Emmy Roday

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Our Sunday Showcase this week is Emmy Roday! Her poem “Today” examines the language of music, and the function of language in our changing world. It’s a perfect Sunday morning read. 

Emmy Roday is a poet and nonfiction writer who teaches English, creative writing, and book production. She earned her B.A. in English and Arabic from Kenyon College, including a year of study at the University of Exeter. She worked as an editorial assistant at The Kenyon Review and founded the undergraduate publishing press Sunset Press. Emmy’s currently developing an intertextual poetry series which explores Jewish birth, water, and burial rituals. You can find her poetry in Symposeum Magazine.


 – Emmy Roday

Today, playlists around the world 

bear their wounds openly. 

I remind myself it’s for the right reasons

and yet, Neil Young leaves my commute 

somewhere in gray. Joni departs 

and, with it, my changing seasons. 

I miss the look of our songs

on those virtual, horizontal lines. 

Do you also ache for their place 

in our untouching lives? 

The truth is, we lose one language a week. 

With it, another soul. Half of the world’s 

languages will be gone in the next a hundred years, 

so I tire of vacant denoting the possibility 

of my entrance to the next place. 

In the final hours, I sit here repeating 

your words of affirmation. You once told me 

consuming polluted air was our resigned survival. 

In another life, we walk through blueberry bogs, 

nursing our poetics, with hummingbirds overhead. 

In that life, we choose to speak our future out loud.