, , , , ,


We have no word in English
for corazón
the heorte of Old English
and the kardia of Greek
come nowhere near
the heart
of corazón, that word
the Spanish pulse
holds dear
on this I’d firmly stake
my final versos

While Greco-Roman
arguments and conquests
bleed and leak and drip
through aeons still
to tie and twist
our tongues
lone cor
the whole of courage
pumps and breathes
and flies the power
of archangels winged
by light of paired
and weightless lungs.

Old High Germans
knew this, and the forges
of old Norse drew iron
from the blood of ancient
corazón to gird their
spears with the godlike
spirit of Iberia.

Who can know
the origin of that
which knows no
opposite and no
equivalent, no
beginning and no
end to consonance
and whispers through
the ode to corazón?


While looking for the etymology of the subject of this poem, I wandered into the fantastic word, logaoedic, which comes from the ancient Greek for singing or ode. It is, apparently, a poetic technical term for the mixture of meters; having a rhythm that uses both dactyls and trochees or anapests and iambs. What that means in simpler terms, I believe, is that certain poems sing themselves into being with no rules or limitations, apart from those that the senses inspire.

Since the age of fifteen, I have been a dyed-in-the-wool aficionada of Latino music, particularly the pop stars of the 70s and 80s. If I were to use one word to describe what I love about it…well, it took me an entire poem, but it’s still one word. The beautiful image of a heart on fire comes from http://www.1lugarparati.wordpress.com.

© Elaine Stirling, 2014