It’s World Poetry Day so I’m taking this opportunity to celebrate one of my favorite poets, the singular Sonya Vatomsky, who also happens to be one of my dearest friends. But, in fairness, I knew their poetry before I knew them as a person, so my love for their writing predates my present subjectivity.
This poem is from my treasured copy of Sonya’s first book, Salt Is For Curing, which lives on my bedside table, where I’ve kept it for years now. Here’s the review I wrote for it back when it was new to me:
This little book is a marvel! Although I’ve tried otherwise, I find that I really don’t want to read more than one poem at a time. Each time I open the book to whatever page cares to reveal itself, it’s like standing in a quiet, shadowy space and taking a bite of something dark and rich with such complex flavor – raw in some places, scorched in others, sweet, salty, bitter, the blood-tang of copper, acidic soil, earthy and rotten, yet full of enduring and defiant life – there’s so much here and it’s composed in a way that feels so new to me. So I don’t want to rush through it; I feel physically incapable of doing so. I want to savor each poem, let it roll around on my tongue, down my throat and into my stomach, heart, and head. However I also keep the book nearby, sometimes carrying it with me from room to room so that, just as soon as I’m ready, I can open it and take another bite.