Poetry Friday: Boston Year

January 23rd, 2009

During this week’s inauguration ceremonies, Elizabeth Alexander read her poem, Praise Song for the Day. This week’s poetry selection is another one of her poems, Boston Year.

Boston Year
By Elizabeth Alexander

My first week in Cambridge a car full of white boys
tried to run me off the road, and spit through the window,
open to ask directions. I was always asking directions
and always driving: to an Armenian market
in Watertown to buy figs and string cheese, apricots,
dark spices and olives from barrels, tubes of paste
with unreadable Arabic labels.

Read the full poem

Entry Filed under: Poetry Friday

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kelly Polark  |  January 23rd, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Thanks for sharing another poem of hers!

  • 2. TadMack  |  January 23rd, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    I am finding so much love for this woman all over the web today. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ve passed this on to my girlfriend who is having a dreadful year in NJ — she needs those red notes, and to find color and rhythm in a dark world.

  • 3. Yat Yee  |  January 23rd, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    What wonderful images: red notes in a grey town; a tiny man who sleeps in a faberge eggs. And “are you my mother!”


  • 4. laurasalas  |  January 26th, 2009 at 7:03 am

    Ooh, I’ve seen several of her poems this week, but this is my favorite so far. Those sensual food descriptions, and this:

    I learned the samba from a Brazilian man
    so tiny, so festooned with glitter I was certain
    that he slept inside a filigreed, Fabergé egg.


    Thanks for sharing!

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