Samurai Song

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 my sleep.

– Robert Pinsky


Robert Pinsky is a poet I came across first as someone associated with the Favorite Poem Project, an online collection of videos of different people reading out their favorite poems and explaining what it means to them. It’s a wonderful place to explore poems that are familiar in the new light of another person’s relationship to it, or to be introduced to an unfamiliar poem.
You can read more about Robert Pinsky here, here, and you can read an essay by him here.

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  1. achyut dutt

    Enjoyed this one. Thanks.

    Posted July 2, 2012 at 18:13 | Permalink | Reply
    • Madhu

      My pleasure, mate.

      Posted July 4, 2012 at 09:01 | Permalink

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