Sylvie Drake: "A Lemon Is Not a Lowly Fruit" & Two More Poems

Sylvie Drake is a translator, writer, poet and a former theatre critic and columnist for the Los Angeles Times. A directing graduate of the Pasadena Playhouse, she was born and grew up in Alexandria, Egypt, and currently serves as Director of Publications for The Denver Center for the Performing Arts.


Egypt Re-Ignited

I saw the moon rise
On the beach
Behind a wall
Over the living sea

I saw the sun rise from the lotus
Quivering on the dark primeval waters

Country of my birth
Kemet and Deshret
Order and Chaos
Land from whose Winds and Deserts
I came

Land from whose chants
I learned speech
Heard echo
Formulated sound

From your divided self, Egypt,
I learned co-existence

Parched, gentle land
Full of dread, despair and broken promise
Where the light
brilliant and infinite always
brilliant always
infinitely surprises

Where I saw the moon rise
On the beach
Making the gold one silver

Inspired by the Egyptian exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, June 1998


On the Advantages of Lop-Sided Hearing

Unilateral hearing
is the selective solution

to noise pollution

simply by sleeping on your good ear
you may choose, as you lie supine
(and with apologies to Gertrude Stein),
whether you want a hear here.


A Lemon Is Not a Lowly Fruit

Since lemon makes almost everything taste better
Why is it viewed so poorly in our speech?
It makes food tart, more interesting and wetter
And all that pucker brings a kiss within our reach…

We are proud to premiere these poems in Cultural Weekly.

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