…beloved

Some beloved poetry
Especially while working on the Research Essay I deeply reflected litearture, its impact and what it means to me. Hence I  found some poems to which I am drawn.

The Elegy[1] by David Malouf shows that death helps humans to gain new experiences.

Having become really fond of Malouf’s art – I enjoyed in particular Ransom as it points out the importance of simplicity and humanity. Ali Alizadeh goes in a similar direction. He expresses in his poem Culture and Its terrors to what extent society suppresses individuality. Besides I enjoyed another poem of his (yet I can’t remember the title) but it dealt with the persona’s struggle to find words for very basic elements in life. Thus, the poem dramatized the quest to define normal life as it seems to so very obvious that humans lost eloquence to verbalize it.

David Malouf
Elegy: The Absences
Tree crickets tap tap tap. They are tunneling
their way out of the dark; when they break through,
their dry husks will be planets. Little sheep-bells
clink. The sheep are finding their way down
through clouds, and fence by fence into the distance
dogs bark, clearing ditches, marking farms.
Much that is living here goes into the mouth
of night or issues from it. I sleep, and silence
climbs into my ear, the land blacks out, all
that was delicate and sharp subdued with fog.
The dead are buried in us. We dream them
as they dreamed us and woke and found us
flesh. Their bones rise through us. These are your eyes:
you will see a new world through them. This is your tongue
speaking. These are your hands, even in sleep
alert like animals. Stumbling on
down known paths through blackberry canes I happen
on details that insist. They scratch, they drag
their small hooks, they whiplash, they draw blood.

Ali Alizadehafghanistan
napalmCulture and Its Terrors

Similes, nature analogies, never
so apt to term the pitfalls, assaults upon

the soul’s integrity. Imagine
sinking into depths deadlier than swamps

twisting through the spiral
of angry, lacerating waves. Yes, water

absolutely the right metaphor. Element
of emotion, sucking the body down a well

of killer sentiments. It’s not simply
nostalgia, but a new obsession. See

the pride, revived rituals of we
mere drifters who cannot wriggle our

insomnia-infested bodies out of the claws
of old world nightmares. Call us

tribal, ethnic, quaint, exotic
… dancers?! Somnambulists actually. Wish

we could sleep without the real threat
of drowning in the whirlpool of resurgent

displaced passion. You’ve seen us
flap incongruous flags, celebrate mismatched

dates. It’s not ‘community’. It’s the epitaph
of what we left to the mercy of dying elders in lands

with bleeding soil, inflamed air and blackened
lakes. Yes, the substance of the fierce vortex

of ‘minority ethnicity’ is muddy, tar
poisoned beyond refinement. But don’t lose sight

of the tornado of your ‘dominant culture’. Maybe
sandstorm would be more adequate. Your

nationalism, allegiance fetish
threaten to bury uniqueness with the sands

of stifling self-satisfaction. I’ve seen you
wave your garish flag, grunting anthems

that ‘define’ you. Your power to sequester
others’ lands, then call this ‘progress’,

the cruelty of a pernicious hurricane. And
your winds try to suck me up, have me

twist, submit to the cycles of your ‘national
psyche’. You want me as your ‘grateful

immigrant’, ‘integrate’, in short have
my bones bitten by the teeth of your storm

in the name of assimilation? Calling this
‘limbo’; dull euphemism. ‘Medieval torture’

melodramatic. So I’ve resorted to natural
disaster metaphors: Mother Nature’s blights

complement Father Culture’s terrors.

© Ali Alizadeh
Overland 189 – summer 2007, p. 71


[1] http://australia.poetryinternationalweb.org/piw_cms/cms/cms_module/index.php?obj_id=7286

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