It's just poetry, it won't bite

Historical Pain


08.29.09 Posted in today's words by

Sandra Forte was born in Brooklyn, NY, but where does she live now? Yes, you guessed it: Virginia Beach, VA! She is the first-generation American daughter of Russian immigrant parents. Before retiring, Sandra worked as an executive with an international self-help group. In the context of that position, she wrote many published articles and reports. The imagery she infused into that work translated naturally into her work as a poet. In Sandra’s own words, “Historical Pain, although motivated by a flare-up of bursitis in my hip, is really about growing up in a home affected by religious persecution and of feeling different.” And imagery is definitely this poem’s great strength.

Historical Pain
By Sandra Forte

There is something familiar
about this pain.

It first throbbed
at Mt. Sinai
when the tablets
crushed my spine.

It erupted in Spain
when I overdosed
on the forbidden
in order to live.

It oozed gangrene
in the camps of smoke
lit by lampshades
of blistered skin.

It then lodged
in my hip in the
last biblical flare-up
of chronic hate.



3 Responses to “Historical Pain”

  1. Jean says:

    Sandra, the strength, the imagery, the way you’ve put the words together in this poem are powerful beyond measure.

  2. Rae says:

    This poem is powerful in its repetition, its careful use of verbs and sound. It transports a reader into the vast embrace of time. It haunts, like the best poems always do.

  3. Kay Brownlow says:

    This is a truly strong poem. The reader feels the pain and experiences emotionally the reality of your references. You have chosen your words well. Thanks for a beautiful poem