Head start

‘We dread the future only when we are not sure we can kill ourselves when we want to.’  ‘Having always lived in fear of being surprised by the worst, I have tried in every circumstance to get a head start, flinging myself into misfortune long before it occurred:

E.M.Cioran from The Book of Life

While the first part may not be true about every one’s life , especially those who do not contemplate suicide, the second part finds an echo in everyone’s past.

Many times I used to think if only could steal a march over fate , not by actually going through a possible misfortune brought by us on ourselves but by thinking up all the possibilities in which fate can inflict a misfortune . 

By thinking up all the possibilities we are depriving fate of the chance to surprise us. And if fate does send us the misfortunes from among the possibilities already thought up by us ,we are one up on fate. If,on the other hand, fate does not send us any in order not admit defeat, we manage to surprise fate and are  still one up on fate! We have had a  head start on our destiny.





Uncollected poems

Alejandra Pizarnik : from uncollected poems


The seven poems here are collected from the 17 typed manuscript pages brought to the home of the poet Perla Rezait in 1971, a year before her death.

What does one make of it ? There is death-like passivity in the entire activity of stringing together the seventeen poems as brought to the poet Perla Rozait a year before her death.

The poems are from uncollected poems- how passive , how death-like! Brought to the poet Perla Rezait in 1971, a year before her death. Brought, not collected. How death-like!

Use of repetition

“Within a properly framed context, Lakoff points out that cognitively speaking, the more expressions are repeated, the stronger those ideas are lodged in the circuitry of your brain. Advertisers know it well, so do salesmen. Repetition is key for framing and controlling language and public perception. And at least in the examples above, Donald Trump is often nothing if not repetitive.”

Language wars / by Chi Luu 

Trump may be past master at repetition.It never  has occurred to me repetition helps frame and crystallise public opinion.

When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.

They are not sending you. They are not sending you. They are sending…
They are bringing drugs, they are bringing crime.”

The word sending/send occurs five times.We have seen demagogues in our country using the same technique successfully.

Self-Portrait, Yawning – Google Arts & Culture

Self-Portrait, Yawning – Google Arts & Culture

Joseph Ducreux the French painter(1783) had his selfish portrait of himself. He was found to be yawning and stretching , generally making faces.There were no selfie sticks then.
He had to imagine his own selfish thing.Which he did. No doubt he overdid it and was rather boring.Between us two, he  might have found himself boring. Hence his yawn.

Bana in East Aleppo

“There’s Internet in East Aleppo. There’s solar in E. Aleppo. There’s Bana in E. Aleppo who’s suffering & tweeting. Good night. “- Fatemah

“Good evening my friends. What are you doing today? I am happy I lost two more teeth. – Bana #Aleppo ”

There is internet in East Aleppo. Solar in East Aleppo. There is Bana in East Aleppo.

Good evening, friends. What are you doing today ?

We are buying vegetables for the night. We are writing poems. We are staring at the computer screen. We will tell you when we are through.

You have lost two teeth already? Ok. We had lost all ours long ago.

She tweets like a tiny bird on truth
Who is searching for middle tooth.

Tooth fairy fears to come to sooth.
The uncles hurl bombs from south.

She’ll come after they finish drops.
And then there will be no love left,

And no sweet birds in the blue sky
Nor her tweets, her sweet tweets.

(Referring to seven year old Bana’s tweets from Aleppo about the horrors of the war in Syria)

Beginning my studies:Walt Whitman

Beginning my studies the first step pleas’d me so much,
The mere fact of consciousness, these forms, the power of
The least insect or animal, the senses, eyesight, love,
The first step I say awed me and pleas’d me so much,
I have hardly gone and hardly wish’d to go any farther,
But stop and loiter all the time to sing it in ecstatic songs.

[From Leaves of Grass]

To a poet the beginning to explore nature is the beginning of studies- as you begin you have to understand the alphabet of the fascinating world of nature, the nature of things and the layers of consciousness in which your own self lies buried. You have to look at yourself as part of this world of forms, the power of motion, the light in things, the way light falls on things and makes them out against the things of the world. In the process of taking it all in , a song bursts forth, a song of joy, a song of celebration much before you start experiencing the world in its fullness.

The music pre-empts exploration and the poetry robs you of the experience of going further towards the fuller and richer joys that lay ahead in this fascinating world. A wondrous adventure is lost in the setting of the song to its tune, to a mad pursuit of a rhythm. A poetry recollected in tranquillity is lost to a song that flows prematurely as we enter the world of “the least insect, the animal, the senses, eyesight, love” at the very first step.

Functions of poetry

“Poetry, like all art, has a trinitarian function: creative, redemptive, and sanctifying,” Vassar Miller asserted. “It is creative because it takes the raw materials of fact and feeling and makes them into that which is neither fact nor feeling. Redemptive because it transforms pain, ugliness of life into joy, beauty. Sanctifying because it gives the transitory a relative form of meaning.”

Brain Pickings 22/11/2016

How true! Of the three functions cited here, I think the first one is closest to my own idea of what poetry does. Poetry transforms a drab fact or a plain detail into a beautiful keepsake. As we go along in our lives, we keep collecting them as our own private little trophies to inspect and admire at leisure. The second one is also relevant to our experience. Poetry transforms the ugly facts of our life into enduring tokens of beauty. It takes away the pain from a memory, translates it into a bearable experience .The third one is relatively less significant but has some usefulness .Being conscious of the transitory nature of all experiences takes away their meaning . Poetry ,in the way it universalizes them,invests them with meaning and permanence.