Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Poem for Three Kings Day--A Response to T.S. Eliot

This is a post from last year. It was inspired by my friends Clare Weinkam and Manuel Susarret when they lived on Flora Street in Cincinnati. Clare is a Cincinnati German-American. Manuel is Puerto Rican-American.

Three Kings Day
(Retort to a gloomy Thomas Stearns Eliot)

Lighten up a bit, Tommy.

Let me tell you about a different Journey of the Magi--

The entire week before Three Kings Day, El Dia de Reyes,
sisters, mother, and friends gather around the big table
in the Flora Street House, Cincinnati’s Clifton neighborhood.

Amid laughter and conversation, Cincinnati Germans and
South Bronx Puertorriquenos prepare
pasteles, arroz con dulce, tembleque, and coquito.

Three Kings does not resemble death,
as in your drafty Anglican Church,
and the gifts are not cold gold, burning incense, bitter myrrh--

but laughter,


and wonderful food.

Lighten up, Tommy!
Have some platanos, and a
glass of coquito!

Bob Coughlin January 6, 2014

Click to see the T.S.Eliot poem (with audio)

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