Monday, July 28, 2014

Anya Krugovoy Silver

Anya Krugovoy Silver is the author of two poetry collections The Ninety-Third Name of God (2010), and I Watched You Disappear (2014), both from Louisiana State University Press. She teaches English at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.

In 2004, when pregnant with her son, Noah, she was diagnosed with a rare, incurable form of inflammatory breast cancer. After years in remission, the cancer returned in 2010. “Although I loathe cancer and wish that I didn’t have it," she has said, "I think it’s made me a better poet because it’s given me a subject matter that I feel compelled to write about,” Even so, living with cancer is only one of the subjects in her new collection. At last report, her cancer was relatively stable.

The following poem first appeared in Image.

Ya-Quddus

-------One of the ninety-nine names of God

Yours is the name of God that comes most easily to me
God holy, pure, perfect as geometry, that which is set apart.
God to whom I pray, though I deserve no favors.
And would you, Ya-Quaddus, whom I simply call God, Lord,
bargain with my heart for life? As other from human as ether,
would you turn your non-self, whole self, toward my voice?
I stand in a circle of women chanting your name.
No, begging your name. Swimming in your strange indigo.
Our voices ring out like copper prayer bowls.
Refined one, breathe yourself into my spoiled body,
my body bitter as rind, which I am trying so hard to love.
Like steam, draw out the stains in my bones and lungs.
Let me feel whatever it is you are (since I can never know),
---------heal me.

Posted with permission of the poet.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His new poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.