Robert Pinsky: Samurai Song

I have been reading Essential Pleasures: A New Anthology of Poems to Read Aloud, edited by Robert Pinksy. Here is one of his own poems from the anthology: Samurai Song. I could not resist posting it here after seeing this video, where he recites the poem.

Here's the text.


Samurai Song
By Robert Pinsky

When I had no roof I made
Audacity my roof. When I had
No supper my eyes dined.

When I had no eyes I listened.
When I had no ears I thought.
When I had no thought I waited.

When I had no father I made
Care my father. When I had
No mother I embraced order.

When I had no friend I made
Quiet my friend. When I had no
Enemy I opposed my body.

When I had no temple I made
My voice my temple. I have
No priest, my tongue is my choir.

When I have no means fortune
Is my means. When I have
Nothing, death will be my fortune.

Need is my tactic, detachment
Is my strategy. When I had
No lover I courted sleep.

Published by Abhijit

Abhijit loves reading and writing.

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