Free Range Readers

Nurturing Self Reliant Readers and Writers in K-6 classrooms

Poetry Friday!

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UNDER THIS SKY

There’s an enormous comfort knowing

we all live under this same sky,

whether in New York or Dhaka,

we see the same sun and same moon.

 

When it is night in New York,

the sun shines in Dhaka,

but that doesn’t matter.

Flowers that blossom here in spring

are unknown in meadows of distant Bengal —

that too doesn’t matter.

There’s no rainy season here —

the peasant in Bengal welcomes the new crop

with homemade sweets

while here, winter brings mountains of snow.

 

No one here knows Grandmother’s hand-sewn quilt —

even that doesn’t matter.

There’s an enormous comfort knowing

we all live under this same sky.

 

The Hudson River freezes,

automobiles can’t move.

Slowly city workers will remove the snow.

The old lady next door won’t go to work —

it’s too cold.

Maybe my old mother far away

will also enter her kitchen late.

Naked trees in Central Park and Ramna Park

quiver with dreams of new life and love.

 

Fog hangs on the horizon —

suddenly New York, Broadway, and Times Square

look dimly like Dhaka, Buriganga, and Laxmi Bazaar.

 

Zia Hyder

Bangladesh

Translated by Bhabani Sengupta with Naomi Shihab Nye

 

I chose this poem this week from a gorgeous collection of poems from around the world by Naomi Shihab Nye called This Same Sky. This poem has always been a favorite of mine, and I am thinking about it a lot these days as we hear all the hard, sad news about places in the world that are not at peace. What will it take for people to achieve peaceful resolutions and let go of war? Maybe more poetry is one part of the answer.

 

Author: mnosal

I have been in education for all of my life, in one way or another. After teaching 5th grade at an urban public charter school, I have decided to return to the public schools and to literacy coaching K-5. I also teach and mentor preservice teachers.

2 Comments

  1. Yes, Naomi Shihab Nye is a marvelous poet and this poem is an example of that. Love that you chose one that compares and contrasts with the understanding that we are linked in so many ways.

  2. I like Hyder’s repetition of the enormous comfort of the sky. Also, the way winter’s trees quiver with their dreams. A very big-hearted poem.

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