Lyn Coffin

Paradelle on Love


Once, our hearts were open. We made love.
We made love once our hearts were open.
We turned and embraced in huge, unmade spaces ruined by war.
Unmade, we turned and embraced in huge spaces ruined by war.
Once we turned and embraced open war in huge spaces we made,
our hearts were ruined by unmade love.

Have you vanished from the face of this life?
You have vanished from the face of this life.
Still, I miss belonging to you and longing to have love.
Still, I miss belonging to you to have love and longing.
I have vanished from this life to miss longing,
and still you have the face of love belonging to you.

Our old blind pain did not help us find a way to God.
Our old pain did not help us find a way to blind God.
God could not let us be true to one another.
One God could not let us be true to another.
Let us find another blind God to be true to.
Our old one way pain God did not, could not help us.

Our old way of belonging to blind war turned
our hearts’ spaces to pain. We once embraced love,
and could have vanished from another God,
to find the one true face to help us. You were not open,
God. You did not let be, and have ruined us. And,
still, in this unmade life made huge by longing, I miss love.


“Paradelle on Love” is reprinted from Limbs of the Pine, Peaks of the Range (Rose Alley Press), edited by David D. Horowitz. More about the paradelle form here.


Lyn Coffin is a widely-published poet, playwright, fiction and non-fiction writer, as well as a translator. Thirteen of her books have been published, and two more are due out in 2013. She teaches Literary Fiction at the University of Washington (Department of Continuing and Professional Education), and a Translation Seminar at the Shota Rustaveli Institute in Georgia, the country, her teaching there support this year (2013) by the American Embassy in Tbilisi. Decades ago, one of her fictions was published in Best American Short Stories 1979 edited by Joyce Carol Oates, and plays of hers have been performed on Off Off Broadway, as well as Malaysia, Singapore, Boston, Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Seattle. She is currently working on a full-length translation of the great Georgian epic, The Knight in the Panther Skin, by Shota Rustaveli. She will lead a presentation on the poetry of Mohsen Emadi at the 2014 AWP in Seattle. She has been named Wordsworth poet twice, mostly recently this summer. Her awards include an honorary PhD. from the World Academy of Arts and Culture (UNICEF) for “poetic excellence and her efforts on behalf of world peace.”


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