Table of Contents
The Bordighera Poetry Prize
(Wise Women's Web)
Fragoletti Hoffman: 1st
of Burnt Stubble | Una Furtiva Lachryma
| The Life & Hard Times of
Fragoletti Hoffman was named 1st runner-up in 2008 for
the Bordighera Poetry Prize by judge: Michael
Palma. Her poetry has been widely published in various poetry
journals, both in the U.S. and abroard. Her short fiction has
appeared in Catholic Girls, published by Penguin and
her articles have been published in The New York Times and
Newsday. She was the subject of a WLIW channel 21 show
“Originals” an “Arts on Long Island” series.
She has been awarded a Fellowship to Virginia Center for the Creative
Arts, Sweetbriar, Virginia. About her poetry, Michael
Palma wrote: “Barbara Fragoletti Hoffman’s book
contains a poem called “The Heat of Burnt Stubble.”
Heat seems to be the dominant motif in these poems that have been
honed and sharpened to a fine point without sacrificing their
raw power and directness. There is the searing heat of anger and
anguish at the cruelty and violence of the world, whether inflicted
by a single gunman or by terrorists in airplanes; the stifling
heat of heaviness and oppression, as the spirit struggles with
the burdens of family, religion, and marriage; and the glowing
heat of sexual desire and its occasional fulfillments. There is
pain here, and much regret, but there is joy too, and hard-won
understanding, and an emotional truth that refuses to conform
to what it cannot respect. These are poems that will linger in
the mind long after they have been read.” The following
are sample poems from her manuscript, The
Heat of Burnt Stubble.
The Heat of Burnt
the heat of his tongue
licking my skin
the godless godful
unpure impure feeling
of his tongue
in the pink folds
the heat of his breath
into fold upon fold
to sear Catholicism
to a burnt stubble
of pubic hair
Published in Fulva Flava, © Barbars Fragletti Hoffman.
All rights reserved
Tear) after September 11, 2001
can hold this grief
no man or woman in frail skin
and shaking bones
only the cobalt vault of sky
or the back of the turtle
on which the earth rests
only the gnarled roots
of a stand of mangrove trees
reaching out under water
to cradle grief in outstretched limbs
grief does not know its own depth
nor its length or breadth
what can hold this grief
only the winding sheet of meadow
blanketed in daisies
the flock of snowy egrets
blotting out the sky
or the gam of white whales
pushing through dark water
what can hold this grief
only una furtiva lachryma
the one secret tear
which floods the body
ruins it resurrects it
published in Light of City and Sea Anthology ©2008
by Barbara Fragoletti Hoffman. All rights reserved.
Life & Hard Times of
from the housewife sleep of 16 years,
threw off the covers.
No more babies to powder.
My husband VP at the bank.
My part-time job so part-time.
Red and green lights winked
at each intersection.
“Come on!” they said.
So I signed up at the university.
My husband frowned.
My hair got curly.
“Straighten it,” he said.
I showed my teeth when I smiled.
Showed my legs when I danced.
I felt illegal.
“Cover up!” he said, red-faced
as he went to more business dinners
& the children banged on the door
while I did my homework.
A-plus was my reward at school.
The handsome parish priest left a bottle
of Cold Duck on my doorstep.
Could I consider that an Act of God?
© 2008 by Barbara Fragoletti Hoffman. All rights reserved,
including electronic, from her ms. titled, The Heat of Burnt