Witchy & Weird Poem of the Week: “La Sirena y el Pescador” by Elisa Chavez

Here the Moon-Birds will sacrifice to you, our readers, a weekly poem which has caught our eye(s)—poems which invoke, in whatever way, witchy-ness, spooky-ness, the sacred feminine, the mysterious, or the otherworldly. 


This week’s poem comes to you from the incandescent moon-bird @thewitchathena (Kate). She has the following to say:

“This poem is phenomenal. I can only find it on her tumblr, it’s in a limited print chapbook. [Note: If anyone knows where that chapbook can be purchased, please leave a comment! We want to support our poet friends.]

I gave this poem to my class of freshman at Lehman College,  many of whom are bilingual in English and Spanish. It’s so amazing to see the different journeys people go on as they read this poem. Students who are fluent in Spanish read the Spanish version first, and then are horrified when they read the English. They come into class furious with the English translation. Students who only speak English come in having only read the English version, but feeling like they’re missing something—like there’s more to the story that they’re not seeing. I’ve heard so many different interpretations of the poem: the desire to create a “sanitized” version of colonial history, the miscommunications that occur between people of different cultures and languages, the difficulty of really understanding someone else’s lived experience, the power of language itself to shape our interpretation of the world around us. All in a four stanza poem about a mermaid and a fisherman.”


Wickedly Yours,

Baba Yaga

Follow me on Twitter: @abitunsettling

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