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Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Poems: new beginning

Ever since I published my first poetry collection, I've been on a publishing or sharing lockdown. It's unfair to say, but I'd do things differently now. Last year hasn't been as productive as the years before, poetry-wise, and it all went in another way. Well, poems went another way, can't really say which, but I don't feel about them as I once did. Now I have expectations, I measure them, judge them... Really, it's a wonder that some still get written. I mean it's not like I didn't judge them before, I did, I just didn't let my judgment influence them... at least not as much as now. It's hard being critical of your own writing, on some level I want to make sense, and be clear, but on another I don't want to give too much away, and keep some sort of mystery and let the reader find, whatever he/she will find. And when rereading a poem, sometimes I'd feel, like it's really simple, and clear and a month later I wouldn't even know what I wanted to say. So...
 
 
 
This past weekend I wanted to write again. I put the song Death is the road to awe (soundtrack from one of my favourite movies, the Fountain) on the repeat, and my mind went into a zombie-like state after two days, yet I couldn't sqeeze a poem out of me. I did write some bits and pieces, like usually, some I have no idea what they wanted to say. But it's a really great song to get you in the mood...for writing and thinking. (And Oh, my God, I miss dancing!).
 
Slowly I'm starting to focus on my next poetry collection. I have an idea in my head. It'll be a bit different. And to get forward from this lockdown, I wanted to share some new poems, bits and pieces, with you:
 
 
Stars have kept me safe:
 
Paper birds:
 
Young hearts:
 
Live on:
 
For love:
 
 

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Poet: Walt Whitman


When recieving a nobel prize in literature William Faulkner said something like:


»The young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid; and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed - love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. He writes not of love but of lust, of defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, of victories without hope and, worst of all, without pity or compassion. His griefs grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars. He writes not of the heart but of the glands.
 
I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.«


And my thoughts immediately go to Walt Whitman's poetry.

»This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.«

 
Walt Whitman is America’s world poet—a latter-day successor to Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Shakespeare. In Leaves of Grass (1855), he celebrated democracy, nature, love, and friendship. This monumental work chanted praises to the body as well as to the soul, and found beauty and reassurance even in death. His occupations during his lifetime included printer, schoolteacher, reporter, and editor. Whitman published his own enthusiastic review of Leaves of Grass. Critics and readers alike, however, found both Whitman’s style and subject matter unnerving. According to The Longman Anthology of Poetry, “Whitman received little public acclaim for his poems during his lifetime for several reasons:  this openness regarding sex, his self-presentation as a rough working man, and his stylistic innovations.” A poet who “abandoned the regular meter and rhyme patterns” of his contemporaries, Whitman was “influenced by the long cadences and rhetorical strategies of Biblical poetry.” Upon publishing Leaves of Grass, Whitman was subsequently fired from his job with the Department of the Interior. Despite his mixed critical reception in the U.S., he was favorably received in England, with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Algernon Charles Swinburne among the British writers who celebrated his work. During the Civil War, Whitman worked as a clerk in Washington, DC. For three years, he visited soldiers during his spare time, dressing wounds and giving solace to the injured.

Whitman's major work, Leaves of Grass, was first published in 1855 with his own money. The work was an attempt at reaching out to the common person with an American epic. The book received its strongest praise from Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote a flattering five page letter to Whitman and spoke highly of the book to friends. The first edition of Leaves of Grass was widely distributed and stirred up significant interest, in part due to Emerson's approval, but was occasionally criticized for the seemingly "obscene" nature of the poetry. Geologist John Peter Lesley wrote to Emerson, calling the book "trashy, profane & obscene" and the author "a pretentious ass".

Leaves of Grass is one of my favourite poetry books, especially the poems Song of the open road and Song of myself.

From Song of the open road:

»Here is the test of wisdom,
Wisdom is not finally tested in schools,
Wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it to another not having it,
Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof,
Applies to all stages and objects and qualities and is content,
Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things;
Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes it out of the soul.
Now I re-examine philosophies and religions,
They may prove well in lecture-rooms, yet not prove at all under the spacious clouds and along the landscape and flowing currents.

 
Here is realization,
Here is a man tallied—he realizes here what he has in him,
The past, the future, majesty, love—if they are vacant of you, you are vacant of them.«

 

From Song of myself:

 
»The smoke of my own breath,
Echoes, ripples, buzz’d whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and vine,
My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the passing of blood and air through my lungs,
The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore and dark-color’d sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn,
The sound of the belch’d words of my voice loos’d to the eddies of the wind,
A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of arms,
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and hill-sides,
The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun.«

»I am of old and young, of the foolish as much as the wise,
Regardless of others, ever regardful of others,
Maternal as well as paternal, a child as well as a man,
Stuff’d with the stuff that is coarse and stuff’d with the stuff that is fine,
One of the Nation of many nations, the smallest the same and the largest the same,«

»I think I could turn and live with animals, they're so placid and self-contained,
I stand and look at them and long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition.
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins.
They do not make me sick discussiong their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the earth.«

»What do you think has become of the young and old men?
And what do you think has become of the women and children?
They are alive and well somewhere,
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceas'd the moment life appear'd.
All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.«

»I believe in the flesh and the appetites,
Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle.
Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touched from,
The scent of these armpits aroma finer than prayer,
This head more than churches, bibles, and all the creeds.«

 »I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.«

Friday, 22 February 2013

Blog: Running out of time



»Time never really cares just what we do...«

I've always judged a day by how many things I got done and how successful I was at it. I have a guilty conscience if I feel like I did absolutely nothing whole day. It feels like a wasted chance. Even though I've wasted probably a lot more chances than I realize now, but at least if I make something out of the day, I can live with myself easier. There is also a scale of importance. My most valued days are those where I learned something new and it fascinated me, when I created something which made me feel like I really got my thoughts out and I actually liked what I made (be it very few though), and days where I felt like I helped somebody, in a small, yet important way. And in the morning when I wake up, that's it, there's no more going back to sleep, it's a new day and I have to start it, I may be more or less happy about it but still, it's a go. But then sometimes life stops you.


»Human compassion is a natural instinct, but it's limited.«

And there is never enough time. I know we all feel the same. I may be expecting too much from myself and it seems there isn't enough time. Because I don't know how much time I have left. No one does. But something keeps pushing me forward in my mind. We're running out of time. And there are certain things I want from what's left. I demand them, though most of the time, I have no clue how to make them happen.
I've always been attracted to topics of psychology, death, birth and curious of how our brains and minds works. My views on it greatly changed through time. But it's not time that I needed, but experience and information.  And who gets to say what is normal and what is not? If you're pushed to the extremes, you might go insane. But when faced with a psychiatric patient, I feel frozen, I have no idea how to start, to lead... I like to listen to their stories though.


»A person may appear a fool and yet not be one. He may only be guarding his wisdom carefully.«

And we're all getting a bit insane. Drowning in our problems. Past four months have been very challenging for me, but I'm grateful for them, I've changed. I'll be facing unemployment in a few months, like most of young people through-out Europe. I long for independence, yet I have no idea when I'll be able to reach it. I wish to have a child to teach and take care of, but I won't have him at  the cost of everything. In spite of high rates of unemployment, there seem to be more pregnant women than ever, half of them without a job. I could never afford that. I don't want my life and the life of my child to be dependent on life of others. I can’t solve these problems at the moment, and what the future holds, I have no idea, no plan, not even a pl. I've been thinking of creating my own business, but the idea holds so many IF’s. And those friends that still stick by my side are in the same situation. I believed if one’s educated, hard working and helpful, one may have a regular job, but then I saw that you don’t need to be good at what you do to have a job.
Times of depression can be productive. All the things I’ve been through in the past months have made me a better midwife, I have a different relationship with patients, and a different attitude towards job, life, friends... So hopefully, what we’ve stumbled onto, will turn into something better than before. It seems as if we hold no control over what the future will be, but we can control what we do daily and how we interact with each other.
And to quote what I wanted to say in words of some who are wiser than me:


“In life you can never be too kind or too fair; everyone you meet is carrying a heavy load. When you go through your day expressing kindness and courtesy to all you meet, you leave behind a feeling of warmth and good cheer, and you help alleviate the burdens everyone is struggling with.“ - Brian Tracy



“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.“ - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Blog: Why you didn't die at birth?



Stellastarr* - Love and longing
"You're different
And all the rest are the same
Stay the same"
 
That's how my day starts anyway, with this song as an alarm. It's a bit unfair to the song, cause through the months you get annoyed by the thing that wakes you from your peaceful slumber. Well, I'll go for any coffee substitute I can find.
 
The second part of winter has been surprisingly generous with snow. Ever since the accident few years ago, I've been afraid of driving in the snow, but this winter has given me the chance to learn how to drive and get more experience...now? I love it. Finally!
 
I've been watching how ice is making a web outside my window, it looks awesome:
 
These past few days I've enjoyed listening to celtic/medieval songs while reading the first book of The Kingkiller Chronicle - The name of the wind by Patrick Rothfuss:
The title itself grabs attention. It's one of those books that is really well-written, you can see how much time he spent on it. Also, some parts are unbelievably funny, or maybe it's just my sense of humour. Anyway, for those who enjoy fantasy books, I highly recommend it.
 
Speaking of celtic music...A song by Mark Knopfler has a certain celtic feel to it:
Mark Knopfler - Before gas & tv
 
I'm so excited I'm getting to hear him live in May (fingers crossed the concert won't get canceled).
And I can't resist not sharing (I know, again):

Dire Straits - Brothers in arms
 
 
Have you ever asked yourself Why you didn't die at birth? Well, here's the answer in short:
 
But more importantly, I wanted to share with you this Ted Talk:
 
When I first listened to this talk, I had no idea where he was going with it, and I was really surprised when I realized. We were taught in school of importance of "optimal cord clamping", and I think we always did that at birth of a baby...to my surprise not every baby gets this chance. It's kind of funny how the quality of our life can depend on the fact who delivers you at birth and what that person was taught. And also what your parents were taught was good for you, or what they were made to believe. But that doesn't matter now...what was. Only what is and will be. Another morning..... So, goodnight.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Photo: After the Fall

 
 


"time
only time
could never take me away from you

and why
should it try
time never cares just what we do"




"it just sits on a star
and gazes down
dropping its moments all around
and if i could wish upon that star
i would find what you dream
and then ask god to grant it"


 


"i wanted
to say this
long before this dark would fall
at night i
would pray this
then wonder if god heard at all
for the chances i've had are now long gone
and that star is no longer wished upon
for on this night it seems too far away"





"try
i have tried
to pretend that i don't care
but then
sleep arrives
and in every dream i find you there"





"but i don't want the past to be my life
and i don't want to live inside this night
but i don't want to see your shadow fade
so i sleep and i dream
though i don't understand it"




"i wanted
to say this
long before this dark would fall
at night i
would pray this
then wonder if god heard at all
for the chances i've had are now long gone
and that star is no longer wished upon
for on this night it seems too far away"




" you can live your life in a thousand ways
but it all comes down to that single day
when you realize what you regret
what you can't reclaim but you can't forget
if i could just fall back into my life
and find you there inside this night
and let eternity just drift away"