Study Guide

Blood Oranges

by Lisel Mueller

Blood Oranges eText - eText

Text of the Poem

In 1936, a child
in Hitler’s Germany,
what did I know about the war in Spain?
Andalusia was a tango
on a wind-up gramophone,                                    5
Franco a hero’s face in the paper.
No one told me about a poet
for whose sake I might have learned Spanish
bleeding to death on a barren hill.
All I knew of Spain                                              10
were those precious imported treats
we splurged on for Christmas.
I remember pulling the sections apart,
lining them up, sucking each one
slowly, so the red sweetness                                15
would last and last—
while I was reading a poem
by a long-dead German poet
in which the woods stood safe
under the moon’s milky eye                                  20
and the white fog in the meadows
aspired to become lighter than air.