Juan Philipe Herrera
The son of migrant farm workers, US poet laureate Juan Philipe Herrera is a voracious lover of life and laughter across borders, cultures and time. The Poetry Foundation praises his voice, saying, “Herrera’s poetry brims with simultaneity and exuberance, and often takes shape in mural-like, rather than narrative, frames.”
A beautiful example of his style, this poem was the appetizer that led me to seek out the sensory feast that is Herrerah’s incredible body of work.
FIVE DIRECTIONS TO MY HOUSE
- Go back to the grain yellow hills where the broken speak of elegance
- Walk up to the canvas door, the short bed stretched against the clouds
- Beneath the earth, an ant writes with the grace of a governor
- Blow, blow Red Tail Hawk, your hidden sleeve—your desert secrets
- You are there, almost, without a name, without a body, go now
- I said five, said five like a guitar says six.
This poem and four others were published in the New York Times.
Read them here