250th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 250th Virtual Poetry Circle!

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

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book 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.

Also, sign up for the 2014 Dive Into Poetry Reading Challenge because there are several levels of participation for your comfort level.

Click for today’s stop on the 2014 National Poetry Month Blog Tour: Reach for the Horizon

Today’s poem is from New European Poets edited by Wayne Miller and Kevin Prufer:

First Steps by Stefan Hertmans of Belgium (page 302)

He ran into the street without a glance
and I, beginning to be like him more and more,
thought he could make it to the door.

But he turns around, cars racing
along the prom. Now he’s almost there
I’ll never get to him in time.

Just so my father, all his life,
could dream of my hand, as small
and quick, able to slip between bars
into the depths of rock and water.

Life rushes in a blink.
Then I grab him—he unafraid,
His eyes wide open and so calm—

I with that fatal smash
That will never leave
My life and body.

      -translated from the Flemish by Gregory Ball

What do you think?

This is part of the 2014 National Poetry Month: Reach for the Horizon Blog Tour, click the button for more poetry:


  1. I caught the fear of a parent that their child is always one misstep away from tragedy. There is a sense of danger and excitement here.

  2. Beth Hoffman says

    This one had my heart racing. Excellent!

  3. I don’t know if I get it, which is a problem I have a lot with poetry. Well, and prose. Yes. But poetry in TRANSLATION, what a challenge for the translator!

    • There is the running across the street, the moment of fear of a parent….then the remembering his own father and his fears…there’s a connection here — a set of first steps — perhaps in understanding his own father’s fears and actions toward him as a child.