Sunday, 28 February 2016

The Poetry Interlude, may become a Thing...

I'm under the impression I don't much like poetry - witness this post here.  (This is partially the fault of Alias Troubadour, for writing lots of very clever clever poetry that was not, I think meant to communicate and share, as much as be a stimulating mental puzzle, which is another thing entirely; I'm not big on crosswords either - so I was under a false impression as to what poetry was in his hands.  As ...themselves, they were all what he wanted them to be, and lots of people enjoyed them very much.  Of course, the ones of his I always loved best were the ones I understood - hate to feel stupid! - the love poems.)

Then again, sometimes I am slapped in the face by a poem, like this one here, which I had to post up, speaking to the wildness inside.  And this one, remember this one, quite recently, speaking to peace??
This happened again today, and its so good I am putting it below.  I quite forgot I love Pablo Neruda.  I have been Buddisting and Quakering it a lot recently (yes, they are now words) due to stress and attempts to manage it.  I have yet again come to realise some of the best communications humans manage is when they are not talking, not trying so hard.  Turns out Depeche Mode had it right all along; and, interestingly, it is the Official Stanley and Wendy Song from right at the beginning (I'll put that at the bottom, to perversely follow Neruda!).

"Keeping Quiet" by Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak in any language;
let's stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.

Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I'll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

—from Extravagaria (translated by Alastair Reid, pp. 27-29, 1974)

1 comment:

  1. i wrote a poem...

    A DIY enthusiast set about a task.
    Hammer, hammer, whop, thud.
    Sod, damn, blast.