Saturday, February 18, 2006

Sick... Phooey (and Poem #6)

Good news - 3 day weekend!
Bad news - I'm kind of sick, purely my own responsibility, as I've been trying to burn the candle on both ends. Instead of getting sleep, I went and played early-morning tennis and then stayed late at work, etc. When will I learn?!? I guess it's the human condition. But overall, I'm fine. I'm going to relax tonight and go see the latest epic movie to sweep India - Rang de Basanti (Paint it Saffron perhaps is the translation??). More on that later, but it's got Aamir Khan, who was in Lagaan (and Dil Chhate Hei of course), and is about an englishwoman who comes to do a documentary on her grandfather's role in the British occupation. Good songs, deep discussions, and she somehow speaks perfect Hindi/Punjabi. Curse her!

Anyway, another poem to try to keep up with my New Year's Resolution of a poem a week! This is one of my old favorites, first told to me on the barren alkali floor of Black Rock City by the poetry jukebox. It's called simply Poetry (I think) and is by Pablo Neruda:

And it was at that age...Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don't know how or when,
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.


I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
with names
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
deciphering
that fire
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
nonsense,
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
unfastened
and open,
planets,
palpitating planations,
shadow perforated,
riddled
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.


And I, infinitesmal being,
drunk with the great starry
void,
likeness, image of
mystery,
I felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke free on the open sky.

6 Comments:

At 4:35 AM, Blogger Alizarin said...

I'm sorry you're sick ... I hope you get better soon.

I looked up Rang de Basanti ... including the character bios. They're packing a lot into that movie. Let me know how the disaffected Indian youth come to terms with the patriotic past of their grandfathers.

Mystical poetry.

 
At 12:42 AM, Anonymous shrinkwrap said...

Yes, indeed, sorry you are or were sick. Hope all is well now. Good poetry is thought-provoking and this certainly is! Reminds me of the first time I learned I loved to write and just wrote from the heart. Unfortunately it was in Eng. 101 at a large univ. and the grad student in charge ripped it apart and made fun of it! Put me off my game, as they say! But I recovered....

 
At 8:17 AM, Blogger Alizarin said...

That rat bastard!

 
At 11:58 PM, Anonymous shrinkwrap said...

Not to put too fine a point on it, I think you have captured the essence of it exactly, A.

 
At 10:04 AM, Blogger Crawdad said...

Wow, no kidding! That's rough. We've been warned against using our consular positions to, say, wrongly bar a person from ever traveling again. Now I understand why. If that had happened to me, well, let's just say somebody might be stuck in Akron, Ohio for a lo-o-ong time.

(Just kidding. Really, just kidding.)

 
At 2:43 AM, Anonymous shrinkwrap said...

Oh, God, not Akron!! Glad you are just kidding! Harsh.

 

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