Bookish Sundays : Lines from a poem


Emptiness, my bride
who whistles, who listens?

Last week, I came across a couple of lines by Slovene poet Tomaz Salamun in a talk by another poet. Something about these lines requires no context. I haven’t read the poem it belongs to; don’t even know which poem it belongs to. Yet, I thrill to these words suspended in internet ether.

What are some of your favorite lines from a poem?

Picture Credit: Not sure of the exact source; found it via WeHeartIt


  1. Wistfully lovely, Lavanya – thanks for sharing. I’ll have to check out both poets you mention. I just wrote a post featuring perhaps my very favorite poem, but when you asked “What are some of your favorite lines in a poem?”, the first thing that came to mind was from the e e Cummings poem, “A Dream Deferred”:

    “What happens to a dream deferred?
    Does it dry up
    Like a raisin in the sun?
    Or fester like a sore-
    And then run?”

    • I read your lovely post (and thought what a lovely coincidence it was) – I was going to email you about it actually..:). The poem you feature reads beautifully and I am going to include a link here :
      From your email I actually thought I would prefer Victoria Minya’s Hedonist over Eau de Hongrie but I am not so sure after reading your post..:D.
      Thanks for sharing your favorite lines, Suzanne!

  2. After you asked I started thinking and realized that I do not read English poetry so most lyrics that come to mind are either from Russian poetry or from songs in English. Since I appreciate usually the complex play on words or allusions, it wouldn’t make much sense to cite anything in Russian and try to translate/explain it. So let me go with the line from the song that I kept murmuring to myself in the last couple of days:

    But I’m just a soul whose intentions are good:
    Oh Lord! Please don’t let me be misunderstood …

    (I like it in version by Animals but there were several other known versions)

    • Haha- those lines are very true! As in they are very ‘identifiable’..:) Not sure if I’ve heard the song- will look for it.
      Who are your favorite Russian poets? Are there are any existing English translations of them?

      • If you watched Kill Bill, you’ve heard the song. But I didn’t remember it was in there until I read about it
        Anna Akhmatova, Alexander Blok and Joseph Brodsky – if we’re talking classic poets. Contemporary – Mikhail Scherbakov. I’m sure there are some translations, especially for the first three but I do not believe in poetry translation much so I wouldn’t recommend even looking for it.

  3. My absolute favourite lines of poetry are from Snow, by Louis MacNeice, who is from my home town of Belfast:

    “World is crazier and more of it than we think,
    Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
    A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
    The drunkenness of things being various.”

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