Live Virtual Group Session: 6pm EST April 5th 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined for this session! In honor of just having passed our one-year anniversary of launching our virtual group sessions, we are revisiting a text that was unfortunately interrupted one year ago.

That text is “The Mailman” by Nazim Hikmet, posted below.

Our prompt for this session, again, was: “Write a letter you’d like to deliver.”

More details on this session will be posted, so check back!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Friday April 9th at 12pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

The Mailman, Nazim Hikmet  from Hungarian travel notes
Author(s): NAZIM HIKMET, Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk
Source: The American Poetry Review, Vol. 23, No. 2 (MARCH/APRIL 1994), pp. 38-39
Published by: Old City Publishing, Inc.
Whether at dawn or in the middle of the night,
I've carried people news
– of other people, the world, and my country,
               of trees, the birds and the beasts –
                               in the bag of my heart.
I've been a poet,
                which is a kind of mailman.
As a child, I wanted to be a mailman,
not via poetry or anything
but literally – a real mail carrier.
In geography books and Jules Verne's novels
my colored pencils drew a thousand different pictures
                 of the same mailman– Nazim.
Here, I'm driving a dogsled
                                                            over ice,
canned goods and mail packets
                                                           glint in the Arctic twilight:
I'm crossing the Bering Strait.
Or here, under the shadow of heavy clouds on the steppe,
I'm handing out mail to soldiers and drinking kefir.
Or here, on the humming asphalt of a big city,
I bring only good news
                                                                 and hope.
Or I'm in the desert, under the stars,
a little girl lies burning up with fever,
and there's a knock on the door at midnight:
The little girl opens her big blue eyes:
her father will come home from prison tomorrow.
I was the one who found that house in the snowstorm
and gave the neighbor girl the telegram.
As a child, I wanted to be a mailman.
But it's a difficult art in my Turkey.
In that beautiful country
                a mailman bears all manner of pain in telegrams
                                and line on line of grief in letters.
As a child, I wanted to be a mailman.
I got my wish in Hungary at fifty.
Spring is in my bag, letters full of the Danube's shimmer,
                                                                  the twitter of birds,
and the smell of fresh grass –
letters from the children of Budapest
                                to children in Moscow.
Heaven is in my bag . . .
One envelope
"Memet, Nazim Hikmet's son,
Back in Moscow I'll deliver the letters
to their addresses one by one.
Only Memet's letter I can't deliver
or even send.
Nazim's son,
highwaymen block the roads –
                                 your letter can't get through.

11 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 6pm EST April 5th 2021

  1. A letter I would like to deliver~~~

    I sit at my desk as the early morning sun rises over the horizon.
    Pen in hand, putting my thoughts across the page.
    I write a letter to my Mom who has passed from this earth many years ago.
    A flood of emotions being transcribed into words flowing forth.
    Now it seems so easy to put my thoughts into words, but without her here to hear them.

    Thanking her for the many sacrifices she made for me and all her children.
    Caring for us when we were ill and staying at our bedsides until we fell asleep.
    Consoling us when we had our setbacks as children and beyond.
    Always thinking of others first before herself.
    Always there, to give her love, to give her support.

    I would say all the things in this letter that I didn’t get the chance to say while she was here with me.
    I loved her, I respected her for the person she was.
    And so, I fold this letter and place it in a safe corner of my desk.
    A letter never to be delivered, but somehow I hope she is able to know what is written inside.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tony Errichetti

      Thank you for this Michele. For me ths evoked the basic spiritual act of connecting with ones mother, regardless of the time difference. The mention of the never to be delivered letter also added to the mystery of mother-child communication. Somehow they know what’s in our hearts, we sincerely hope.

      Liked by 2 people

    • al3793

      Michele, often we don’t get to know our mother until we are older and there are so many conversations we would like to have had, but our memory can’t conjure them all into occurring. But usually your speaker’s respect is all that is necessary…”And so, [we] fold this letter and place it in a safe corner of [our] desk.” Andre

      Liked by 1 person

  2. al3793

    Write a letter I would like to be sent…

    Dear Dawn or middle of the night,
    Dear people from all over the world,
    from Tukey the beautiful, Moscow
    Dear dogsledder crossing the Bering Strait
    I must confess,
    and the stars above the desert,
    the trees and birds and beasts and clouds
    will serve as witnesses for the prosecution
    that I read those post cards in my bag
    every one of them
    Interloping into love
    and Dear John
    and I’ll be home
    and the dreams of a blue eyed sleeping child
    and I find myself alone
    drunk on Kefir and the smell of freshly cut grass and
    I squint against the shimmer of the Danube
    surrounded by letters from my bag
    unable to deliver what’s most important
    as the highwaymen have discovered my infidelity.

    [I took some liberty after the session, unsatisfied with my original prompt response, and wrote a letter that I thought would recognize what the poet has done for us tonight.] – Andre

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tony Errichetti

    A Letter

    My Dearest friend.
    I’m coming soon.
    Thanks for picking me up from the airport.
    I’m only carrying 1 bag containing A LOT of money, obtained in the caper we planned.
    It went well!
    I’ll tell you all about it.
    See you soon.


    Liked by 1 person

    • al3793

      Tony, it is interesting that the speaker offers to tell, but there is no offer to share. I wonder what he has in mind for this meeting. Is this a cautionary tale? I want to hear the rest of the story.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Isabel Del Valle

    A letter I´d like to deliver may be the one I´d never dare to.
    A letter about wishes, feelings and words I could never say. My private conversations with myself, those that live in my inner silence.
    I really would like to send it, but I know very well, it will never be sent.


    • al3793

      Isabelle, the speakers admission about “private conversations with myself…that live in my inner silence” so much resonate with the latter part of the text where the poet laments that he can’t deliver his letter to his son. Such beauty in just a few lines. Andre


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