Norbert Krapf: “Hearing Poems in My Ancestral Dialect”
HEARING POEMS READ IN MY ANCESTRAL DIALECT
Hearing poems read in Franconian dialect
brings back memories of the past
in a language old but not suspect,
in words that deep down do last.
I still hear our mother and father
talking at table when we were young
in a language that did not falter
but in which we could not have sung.
Now when a friend from my ancestral region
reads earthy poems in words half familiar
it brings me back to that earlier season
when life was basic and rules were regular.
The human center of our life does not change
even if the words we speak evolve and range.
Norbert Krapf, former Indiana Poet Laureate, is the author of his recent eleventh poetry collection, Catholic Boy Blues: A Poet’s Journal of Healing (2014), and the sequel prose memoir, Shrinking the Monster: Healing the Wounds of Our Abuse (2016), the winner of an Illumination Book Award. He has received a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis and a Glick Indiana Author Award.