poetry of home

"Home is where one starts from..."


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Subject: Poem-A-Day: Wonder Cabinet by Tina Chang
Sent: Fri, Aug 2, 2013 10:40:45 AM

Wonder Cabinet


I opened the silver pronged evening and translated

the great song of the Industrial Age. Each night

I hoped it would tell a different ending. Each time

it sang a song, sadder than I would have imagined.


I heard it, not only when I put all my perspectives

away on shelves, until the shelves caved in.

What was left: a room with windows that looked out

and I interpreted the vast room that spoke of longing,


but mostly air. I consoled myself, heavy lidded,

I revealed myself to no one. I ached by the staircase.

I opened the cupboards and the refrigerator to let the cold in.

I walked with my bare feet dragging my lone body,


cold as milk as I kissed the bottomless depth, an ear

tuned toward the series of bells, wind tied to a tree.

And then the wind stopped. If I break

the many windows will the sea roil and foam?


I am consumed with houses and what may propagate

inside them. What longing lives there, breeds

redemption? An open door to the wide plain is not a metaphor.

I swing it open each day. I leave the old house. 




Copyright 2013 by Tina Chang. Used with permission of the author.  

About This Poem
"As I was writing 'Wonder Cabinet' I was concerned with space, confinement, and freedom. I wondered what we sought, in shelter, to contain/protect and what we sought to let go and release. The poem is an exploration of home, the memory of which is ultimately a construct of the mind.

--Tina Chang

Most Recent Book by Chang

(Four Way Books, 2011)






August 2, 2013

Tina Chang's second and most recent collection of poetry is Of Gods & Strangers (Four Way Books, 2011). Chang teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College. She is also the poet laureate of Brooklyn.
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