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  • Najah Amatullah

Aunt Gwendolyn, Unrelated Love Poems, and Translating Neruda


Unsurprisingly, I’m going to love so many poems in this book. I also own the much larger collected: Blacks. Its size daunts me, however, so I started small.

Here are two to start:

This poem inspired a journal prompt:

1) Will you let your dream inside?

2) Have you time to keep it warm?

3) Have you time to keep it very clean?

4) Have you time to anticipate a message?

5) Have you time to let it begin?


Often the answer to the above is no. Let us go forward searching for the yes.


I love the message in this.

What determines a successful life?


rupi kaur is a newer poet that some people think is overrated.

I have not read the entire book, milk and honey, but I appreciate her conciseness. That is skill I have yet to master even though I have a tattoo dedicated to the journey.


Pregnancy was not my favorite time, for reasons I won't get into. But I obviously adore my daughter. At this point in life, having lost my mother, I also see mother ideas differently than I used to. I don't know if I will ever have another child, but the father's voice in this one makes me want to keep the option open.

I have been running from love poems for years. I used to write them, and on rare occasion (once every couple of years), I still do. But this little lovely made me smile.

Maybe. Someday. ;)

This is a practice I began after leaving OCU where I minored in Spanish and had gotten sort of good at it. I definitely have lost some of it, but it's not all gone. And my heart smiled while shlogging through a paragraph today. Neruda also uses very poetic language, which is why it felt appropriate to post about him here.


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