88th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 88th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books suggested. Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

It’s a new year, and if you haven’t heard there is a new feature on the blog this year . . . my first ever, poetry reading challenge. Yup, that means everyone should be signing up because all you need to do is read 1 book of poetry.

Today’s poem is from Alicia Suskin Ostriker‘s collection The Crack in Everything:

Somalia (page 32)

Compared to being burned alive
When they torch your village
Death by starvation is a good death
Compared with being shot
Dying slowly of wounds
Or being beaten
By frenzied young men
This is much better

You experience little pain
You become like dry wood
Though your lips parch
It is not so bad
You simply shrink up, except for your eyes
Which grow ever larger, like sponges
Taking in the beautiful liquid sun

And the night stars–

And if you are a baby, like me,
Sighing and growing sleepy
Strapped to this woman who keeps
Humming high in her throat
A thing to drive the devil far away
Death by starvation
Is very good, yes, good
As life can be.

+++++++++October 1992

Let me know your thoughts, ideas, feelings, impressions. Let’s have a great discussion…pick a line, pick an image, pick a sentence.

I’ve you missed the other Virtual Poetry Circles. It’s never too late to join the discussion.


  1. This poem is so sad! Things must be really bad to think that death of any kind is good. Interesting that the POV is a baby’s.
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