Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Nina Kossman

Over and over
the darkness of sands,
the stillness of waves.
a tangled thread
saved Theseus’ life.
Ariadne’s gift
became Ariadne’s fate:
a gift to be abandoned
on a leaf-shaped island.
Solitude is a gift.
Theseus was so generous with gifts.
Thank you, Theseus,
for sailing away when I slept.
I woke up on Naxos alone
I saw your ship sailing away.
No better gift than solitude.
Thank you, Theseus, she said over and over.
I was just a girl, nothing but mortal flesh,
now I’m a constellation in the sky.
A silly thread made me what I am.
Thank you,
over and over
the darkness of sands,
the stillness of waves.


Nina Kossman, a Jewish refugee from the former Soviet Union, is a bilingual poet, memoirist, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and artist. She has authored, edited, or edited and translated nine books of poetry and prose. Her work has appeared in over ninety magazines and anthologies and has been translated into many languages, including French, Italian, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Persian, Chinese, and Japanese. She is a recipient of several awards and fellowships, including an NEA fellowship, and grants from the Foundation for Hellenic Culture, the Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, and Fundación Valparaíso. Her plays have been produced in several countries. She lives in New York.

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