Today I'm sharing a poem by Jill Peláez Baumgartner, a Professor of English and the Dean of Humanities and Theological Studies at Wheaton College.
My names, a drunkenness of vowels,
l’s, ümlauts, a mélange of ancestries,
diacritics, an unreasonable stretch
of signature, this seven-syllable
amalgam, this roughhouse of families,
this farrago of Spanish, English,
German, this gallimaufry
of tree gardener, medieval shrew,
Pelayo’s son, this rummage
sale of dactyl and anapest.
This, what I announce near the titles
of poems or at their endings,
on office door and syllabus,
name tags squeezing it into the exquisite
particularity of syllables.
To be envied: the orderly
timbre of Mary Smith
and its portable anonymity.
But here, now,
I stumble after, as my names,
go galumphing on,
all of my consonants pushing ahead
like a lopsided cow catcher.
Happy Sunday all.