Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

 

Let Us Imagine

Let us imagine,

The rivers are burning afar.

We hear the silence; when suddenly,

Music comes our way, to kill us,

So that the dance may gain strength and momentum,

Under the white sun.

Many Jordanians, or at least the ones I have on my Facebook feed, for some time, have been discussing the meaning of a poem painted over Al Fuheis complex in Down Town Amman.

The poem is by Moroccan Poet Mohammad Al Baz, and the artwork is by Abdallah Al Karoom. The piece was curated by Darat Al Funun.

So what is the meaning behind this poem?

It means a lot of things for different people.

Poetry, whether induced by drugs – not that we encourage or write poetry that way – or by uninfluenced imagination, is supposed to make us think. Poets want us to take a moment, whether short or long, and contemplate our existence.

As a visual piece this poem is also an excuse for you to look up a little. Aren’t you just tired of looking at your feet as they heavily shuffle over the pavement — the result of gravity?

If every poem came with York Notes* we’d be a less civilized thinking world, but then again the ongoing wars and murder of people over thoughts that question existence, and everything else, are proof that we are far from civilized.

We are where we are because of our thoughts, words, sentences and paragraphs; written and visual.

What is nonsense to someone makes sense to someone else.

Read Samuel Beckett’s absurdist play, “Waiting for Godot“, which will probably not make much sense after the first reading.

The first time I read the “Let Us Imagine” poem I did not give it much thought either. Now that I am 37 and have a little more understanding of life and literature, or so I like to believe, I decided maybe I should try to give it my own interpretation.

Remember I am not trying to enforce this interpretation on anyone; I am merely trying to give you the approach of an English Literature student to a poem.

Let us suppose a professor came up to me and asked me to explain the poem to him.

I would first translate it into English, and then break down its imagery, similes and what have you.

So here goes!

The first line:

Let us imagine,

In the very first line the poet is inviting us to imagine. He is not asking us to believe. He just wants you to take a moment and imagine a scene with him, a scene from his own mind.

The second line:

The rivers are burning afar.

What the poet did here is he gave water, from rivers, the characteristics of a combustible substance. He gave us a supernatural setting. It is either that or someone illegally unloaded chemical waste in a river somewhere.

So where are we now? We are most probably standing on the bank of burning river –part of an apocalyptic vision.

If Adele can Set Fire to the Rain then Moroccan Poet Mohammad Al Baz most surely can set rivers on fire.

The third line and fourth line:

We hear the silence; when suddenly,

Music comes our way, to kill us,

Silence is given a voice. Giving silence a sound is not a new thing. Simon and Garfunkel would know what I am talking about. So what did the poet do by giving silence a sound? He turned him into a person.

In the fourth line we have another case of personification. Music is given a human attribute in the form of action; the ability to kill. The line also bears a symbolic connotation to the emotional effect that music can have on our minds.

The fifth line: 

In the following line:

So that the dance may gain strength and momentum,

This line tells us of the motivation behind the actions of Music, the person.

Assuming you’ve survived the attack you will find a way to grow stronger. The attack is on our senses. When hearing music our muscles – commanded by our senses – will break into dance.

German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche says,” that which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”

The sixth line:

Under the white sun.

The sun in reality is the color white; and white symbolizes purity. We all end up dancing under a pure sun; in a pure world.

Remember the above is what I understood from the poem.

A poem is no different than a mirror; it only bears your own reflection, or what you choose to see, or read into that reflection.

*York Notes are a series of English literature study guides. I remember seeing many students buy them while studying English Literature in the University of Damascus in Syria. Instead of reading an entire novel or a play one could easily buy York Notes and pretend to have read a book.

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Satan wept and wept.
Death’s scythe through his beloved earth mercilessly swept.

His black crystalline tears tore through the scorched earth upon which he knelt.
All the monsters, hydras, ghouls, djinn and demons, in his realm his anguish felt.

“I have no part in this! Do you hear me? I have no part in this! You have created monsters of your own!” his vociferous voice echoed.

No answer was returned.

Silence prevailed as Death gleefully cut through men, women, and children … young and old.

Satan wept and wept.

Were they tears of joy or sadness?
None dared ask!

When Satan Wept Humanity
by Manuel V. Derida, 1989

Good day all. I wish to thank those of you who still read my words; the words that are not echoing within the corners of this blog as much. It has been a strange year, and in the past few weeks it has become stranger.

The world is burning and one cannot but try to find some sanity through work.

When I have more words to add here you will be the first to know.

For more of Manuel V. Derida’s writings please visit Thoughts from within a Sardine Can Facebook page http://on.fb.me/1mAwzgM

Art: Satan by Mike V. Derderian, pencil and ink on paper, 2014.

 


Charon for Daily Spitpaint by Sardine

The Ferryman’s Sovereign

By Manuel V. Derida, 1950

Reach not to your pocket for I want a sovereign and no more,

With a breath so cold announced the Ferryman.

Don’t need your name for a sovereign is the price of my Oar,

With a breath so cold announced the Ferryman.

Many a men and women have tried to cross this path before,
With a breath so cold announced the Ferryman.

They cried and wailed, “Oh, Ferryman take us to safety’s shore”
With a breath so cold announced the Ferryman.

Away from my boat or you shall taste my oar’s sway…away,
With a breath so cold announced the Ferryman.

Weep not and curse not what you have in life always yearned for,
With a breath so cold announced the Ferryman.

Favoring the yearning of the flesh you’ve neglected that of the soul,
With a breath so cold announced the Ferryman.

Man laments and bemoans the blows of fate only when he is forlorn,
With a breath so cold announced the Ferryman.

Alas, neither I, and nor you, know what the gods for us have in store,
With a breath so cold announced the Ferryman.

Without a sovereign and no more in this place you’ll toil evermore,
With a breath so old announced the Ferryman.

Art by Sardine a.k.a Mike V. Derderian (2014). 

483366_10151318252597687_1538253869_n
Randomness over purpose. Mind over body. Hate not love. Lost. Found. Lost again. Not to be found. Have you seen my cosmic umbrella? losses. Don’t give a fuck! Give a fuck! Respect replaced with lack of thereof. Thank you for dropping – off  -my mask. In + Sanity=Out of mind. Out of Place. A fish out of water inside a tea kettle. Lines broken down into sentences that are trapped withing the lines of floating word bubbles that are about to burst and broken narration boxes hanging over the heads of unsuspecting personages, men and monsters, incarcerated within the frames of a deranged writer/artist, who is sick of his vomit.

The above is from my stream of consciousness pieces. I’ve been posting a lot of these pieces on Facebook. Almost forgot about this one.

I did the illustration while waiting for my colleague Moyad Jaikat to finish reading the news bulletin during my shift at Radio Jordan 96.3 Fm, where I have been working as a radio presenter/DJ/news anchor since 2003.

A visual blog post is coming your way soon. It involves Godzilla and a tough-as-nails geisha called Geisha L.O.V.E like the ones that you will find at this link:

http://on.fb.me/17PEOQl

Have a pleasant day all :-})

Jeanne D'Arc

God is not at the tip of your tongue, he is also not in the bullet fired from your gun.

The reflection of his spirit does not float over the blade of your bloodied sword, he is also not in in the black enameled baton with which you beat the horde.

Your God is my God yet you turn him against me and everyone else with the words coming out of your sordid treacherous mouth.

Slice open your granite eyelids and see the spiritus sanctus before you bring down the house like the blind faltering Samson you are; betrayed by a scheming Delilah from afar.

Kafir you dare call me, and my brothers and sisters and everyone else Kofar. Shame on thee and on your promised eternity!

“Fie … fie!” cherubs at the foot of the throne wept and wept …

Note:

It has been a while since I wrote a poem; or what is deemed a poem. The first few lines came to my head 20 minutes ago and the rest just flowed.

I will probably expand this into a blog post that expresses my dismay over what is happening in the Middle East. I am deeply saddened that there are people out there, who actually dare outlaw harmony and love among the followers of God/Allah; the very same followers, from all religions, with whom I share bread, salt and oil on a daily basis.

Now back to the drawing board …

Illustration by Sardine a.k.a Mike V. Derderian

 
About illustration:

Been working on a action styled Mae West poster when I started drawing other stuff. The above illustration is one.

I am trying to limit myself to black and white lines since that will be the feel of some comics I am supposed to start working on once I get my engine running, especially my The Dark Side of the Spoon  that run for 20 issues in U Men magazine.

The poster tagline is taken from Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc.

Still haven’t drawn my Christmas greeting yet. On a personal level life is good. On an artistic level it is rather dark; I am trying to work on different themes with different styles and overall improve my work as an illustrator.

Thank you all for your wonderful Christmas wishes :-}) 

 

Consumed by emptiness I am,
A hallow man,

Awakened from life’s dream,
A sleepless man,

Burned by our eternal condition,
A mortal man,

Angered by God’s silence,
A soulless man,

Engrossed by earthly pleasures,
A sad man,

Silenced by the vicious howling,
A silent man,

Who shall save this damned soul?

Illustration, “Pan my love show thyself”, by Mike V. Derderian

 

Immortalis

Far ahead into the mist shined an armor.
Terror prevailed for it was the Immortal.
Soldered by Volcan’s burning hammer.
Achilles wore his gift festooned with laurel.

With poor Patroclus being cast into Hades.
Not withstanding a waste of so gentle a youth,
Thetis in fear that Styx would fail her schemes,
A shield so strong for her son she ordered in ruth.

Alas, all men alike have flaws, mortals or gods,
Veiled with a shield or bare, the weakness surpass.
No longer wanton of war or shedding Trojan bloods,
Taken by Polyxena’s beauty a truce was no longer impasse.

Too late, for Paris’ venomous arrow was flung,
Avenging a city and a brother; treachery may it be.
Into the un-immaculate heel of our hero fixt it hung,
And fate’s emissary arrived from afar with all but glee.

 

Blog art Nahar (Daylight) by Mike V. Derderian (me) from the Arabic Sci Fi (ساي فاي بالعربي) collection

Word Bubble:  Daybreak has arrived casting shadows on the land. Taih monsters are lying between the rocks. Yesterday’s victory is with us Mecha-Falcon but we have to search for the victory of today, tomorrow and the day after … so let us move …

For visual vomit check out my Behance account: http://www.behance.net/mikevderderian