Summer 2009 • Vol. XXXI No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 2009 |

A Bottle on the Waters

Whatever I send out of this house I cast away like a letter in a bottle. Let it go forth from this place and stand before you, let it stand in my stead like the spear and shield of seafaring men. Whatever they beseech on my behalf, these letters that go forth signed and sealed by my hand, I will not ask for it openly from the hand of flesh and blood because of the disgrace—as if I had no need of their strong hand nor the gifts they grant. And whatever does not leave this house may wear out swiftly as a moth-eaten garment with no one to serve and preserve it, to confer on it the palpable volume and value of a broken potsherd. Here I stand, less than the least, there's no point in wasting words about it, composing epithets. Whatever leaves here like a letter in a bottle will go forth and pass through the waters, will go forth, crossing the waters, be tossed on the waves, swept along in the breakers and the glass may crack, the bottle sink down in the sea. Still, where there's a bott

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.
Chana Bloch’s Swimming in the Rain: New and Selected Poems will be published in 2015. The author of four collections of poetry, she is cotranslator of the Song of Songs as well as translator of Israeli poets Yehuda Amichai and Dahlia Ravikovitch.

Read More

Inside Out

By Chana Bloch

Whatever I send out of this house I cast away like a letter in a bottle. Let it go forth from this place and stand before you, let it stand […]

The Sixth Age

By Chana Bloch

Whatever I send out of this house I cast away like a letter in a bottle. Let it go forth from this place and stand before you, let it stand […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.