Your soul has three names;
the mirror, the holdall, the word
you dare not read.
A poem might be said to save the world by preserving something -- an insight, narrative, or historical moment. I write poems partly as an attempt to gain understanding of what I don't know or have only a vague sense of. I then hope that other people have had similar feelings and questions and can relate to the poems because of that."
Mackenzie is a Glaswegian poet in Edinburgh for the last four years (i think) and has a blog Surroundings
In a recent post, Rob deposited a poem by Italian Gabriel d'Annunzio, who was a mentor of Mussolini's and a rival intellectual combatant, one of the few who could play this dictators' game by using a gift for Decadent writing gripping Europe in the 1930's - to elevate himself a position with a mass to care about him, to ask questions and defend him, if his leader decided on a whim, to turn from friend to foe.
He is one of the many who wrote then, and d'Anunnzio's work is clouded now by the taint of his Fascist associations, but who can deliver a morally binding judgment --- with an accuracy we believe possible to clearly detect in the principle actors -- inhabiting this darkest time - upon bestial we, you us me or him, dear hearts?
d'Anunnzio was a Futurist poet - and artist whose Movement ultimately doomed itself. Hung from a scaffold erected with hot air nihilism brought on, when the first wave of modern mass technologies aimed at what - until then - had been the illiterate mass of sub-class and simple God fearing yoe-people, we the mass of peasantry where targeted with and by it, shaped into dangerous hate filled micro-cosmic compact mobs whose binary cultural philosophies the mass media print revolution and brand new form of Journalism, New-writing, formed.
Thus the base now resting on a genderless s/he-goddess race of gods, in neutral force who good and bad, light and dark within Creation, within each soul, most of whom just wanna have fun; but when on; divide Humanity into the pyramid of language lost and opportunities of finding one's inner Civilisation language-act in this language known as much about now as the poem d'Annunzio wrote in --
L'Ala sul Mare - which Rob translated and I used as a primer, along with the Italian original, to compose a very loose re-rendering of a (re-rendered) translation. But before we reach the revealing of a current piece, what immediately struck me, and detonating reason impelling this exercise --
The Wing in the Sea
Ardi, in the sea’s haze a wing,
cast adrift, shudders like a wreck.
The feathers, severed and scattered,
ripple in the air’s uneven breath.
Ardi, I see wax, the wing of Icarus!
When its creator served the king’s court
he built a hollow, wooden cow –
...are the first two stanzas (scot-gaelic bardic tradition - rann) . The first stanza, it is my contention to contest, reveal across the four lines creating it, the opening stanza's hypnotic sonic underlay and overly palpable design on drawing us to be impressed ---- nest in the waves being Happy, and this rann as the verbal machine enacting what self-remembrance writ its purpose to exist on a plane of Reality via fiction and make-believe, some poetic pretense by the poet, which doesn't fool the author who created it, but does our collective eyes, works the first stanza into a phonologic power immediately, in the opening first of these four lines, imposing itself upon us -- because phonemes acting collectively, as the very sophisticated whole - exercise in phonotactic constraint displayed - in what reads as --- an effortless acoustic groove, running both within each line and pattern of sophisticated metrical complexity, such as to be suggestive of perfect balance, or the Art Straight (dan direach) approximation (in my mind) and effortlessly interlocking a wholly linguistic made, most delicate and yet truly, (and i mean this sincerely) fulfilling the laws of flawless flight perfectly poised.
The first line
Ardi, in the sea’s haze a wing,
Clashes the image in, deceptively. Being the first line, we have nothing to constrast it with, but they beneath it, we are unaware of the first time we read it.
The three masculine stresses, act as an opening bell ring, ee ee ay. Because three of the eight syllables are held together by a fairly central and solid spondee - sea haze - which with the dee of Ardi (in this reading) contrast starkly with the twenty three feminine syllables following the eight clangorous first eight above them, below which
cast adrift, shudders like a wreck.
The feathers, severed and scattered,
ripple in the air’s uneven breath
...the feminine dash sounding far more fluid in swift swallow water wing movement conjuring a sense of acoustic descent, fleeing the arresting first three masculine stresses the first line creates, as a surface splash, acoustically heralding itself, some bell beneath which the meat and veg of -- not in yer face verse - but what as words beneath the sonic surface, and a verbal object - changing immediately as it sinks to flight and (apart from *like* in the second line) into a regular softly stressed - and what could equally be - a rising or descending zero quality of balance this work of invisible silence, weights in the twenty three feminine syllables that appear -- and twenty four beats down from a key masculine stressed image *sea haze) - the stressed *ee*in uneven revealing the underlying sonic architecture to be that of a bell jar or ski-jump top- (or bottom) of a heavy weight and within it -- as zero gravity, above/below - the object floats, finding its note of English language balancing, descended reflection through water or air; vacillating rooted weight-stress beginning to detonate in rising or falling flesh, flashed after the propulsive force release - into fluidity a word as sound and meaning caught in equipoise between intellect and imagination.
An interesting balance, the arresting images of this object i ask; as if some instinctual linguistic Belief or faith in O delivers to one, an unconscious zero cipher placebo of intelligence and creation made visible in that measurement of flight; crated interchangeable and the mind alone eying neutral, a s/he The Critic balanced and eyed i which declare a pen we the US all possess, hones a balanced listing or too fluent, slipping clumsily stumbling -
-- flourishing and perishing text that unlocks first within art, the Poet brain a there our S/as if ---- in four coded fineries honor and need to read --- wished thrice upon the response thus -- privilege what share the self-enobling craft of language brings, expressing outer as eye-sun and reflection affording the intellectual soul-jahs' decor in such gravity, balance of its brains and beauty in effect -- is noted and The object its measure, unit, phoneme and human breath enough to get worked up about declare (in the post-poetic completion high of state of the wholly inner religious self), affirmation by gods of chance trained instinctual our whimsy
...only can willing, these lines into perfection propel, a telepathic ship of rules crossing translation and desire -- fulfilled into our eye mastered being proof alone it careers the Frostean ice upon a stove of life, messers leonard cohen, robert lennon, all the greats, appear here heard and as ones' Friend of the Intellect Ninius knew, mister and miss.
And funny it is Dubliner Billy Mills, Mackenzie's Guardian blokes blog colleague with the weekly Friday free for all workshop -- mentioned Icarus - within days of this friend/rival robber on his call for a poem written in response to some rigorous visual art flagged twice in short succession, and in the outer beat return this occurence of an object correlation of the hill and mountain to a sky-riven bardic gasser on the one true Craft tuned to freedom B tones of free hug me at a hub across molten, what wax of ewe and birch fettered ask a poet return them,
ask to take us back
breath, and breathing beckon
forward in halting call, grievances
s/he begged, pleaded to be spared
and knew the sacking none relish;
returning no call, silent chains
fettered to make within a prison
provision for synonym and letter
(scripted live each act a folly)
Whether this deliberate act of Idea theft occurred, only as two fictional protagonists in this object drama imagination creates and life re-ran -- or as two only they who answer canned what force creation wrought together upon pages far, far away, so lit time all forgotten that a head weighted luna orb pitted by the base sun, sitting there with a cat and spoon, three times fifty otter-skin suitcases and Funny, funny how Mills also mentioned two other topics which up the telekinesis quota of evidential measure -- sorrow's natural clowns Mackenzie, Mills and i must in some three way tangle of perfect psychic balance be - of what until the beginning of last month, was a near specious guild -- happy poet AND visual artist.
the visual artist Poet i admit to holding a fairly vicious prejudice toward as a cowardly human being capable of acting totally childish where Art questions occur, because the first famous one i met, overwhelmingly more viz than bhard, dressing as s/he did, in all sorts of cloak and garbled raiments, had no tungen but one from do you know who i am (not) cut ups mashed thrift and throwaway, nor link to a definable source beyond some vibey academic source of their island within where all alone, all alone our free winds moan o'er the i that hadn't met the eye of a visual artist and poet in that 50/50 balance so clearly and genuine; that until having the very great honor of meeting another happy one, he were only the second i've met, befittingly at the poetry evening of Ledbury Scribes, on Monday 7 July last, at Black Pepper restaurant, where it was created such a species do clearly exist and flourishing in the first bloom of the second wind youth deliver our future artist-intellectual striving to attain some faith in something within us alone as an individual member; a human collective rest of us alone, all art pieces divisible and yet All source Thing all around within and without us, our eyes decipher reality in a realm of five (sixth?) senses Instinct and i we all are living it, second to minute, forth and back beat the we oscillate collectively vocalising Creation's want for us to create who reveal his name is Roland MacMurran, a young chap who exited from academe with a first, several weeks before our lives collided in the heady mix that magical Herefordshire town concots.
Unaware of Herefordshire's local strong ciders, it was a pleasant bonus to discover Henry Westons Vintage Special Reserve, two seventy (pounds) and eight percent local cider and three of these a night, over short run, was the magical brew which possessed and fostered an Englishness about the Horshoe pub (integral inn at the top of Homend) that is not greatly urbanised and a very attractive allure for city dwellers. If only everywhere in England was as balanced as the finest ciders, its culture would be perfectly balanced. And it is easy to see why Ledbury poetry festival reflects that.
A third synchronism Mills mentioned, is Elizabeth Browning (nee Barrett), whose family owned slave-run plantations (though she wrote against this and for many political emancipation causes all her life) and who was also Ledbury native, reared in Homend, which is the very center of Ledbury town life, and where MacMurran and I attended the Homend Poets poetry event on Tuesday 8, in Ice-Bytes internet cafe, which charges a very reasonable two quid for half an hour.
Roland and I recited a selection of our work there, and bought The Homend Poets' anthology, with poets like Mike Andrews, Julie Louise Jones, Guy Malkerson, Med Snookes, Dave Turner, Charles Eden and Nick Halligan -- very committed poet and retired teacher who carved a way into our guild of eloquence, at the coal face of secondary education, and whose lines -
"A ship in a bottle, a black ash-tray owl,
A barrel for spills and bent copper bowl.
Everything worthless, yet all have a place
A friendly reminder, the familiar face "
..affected me Live, in a way which brought goodness and a sense of the communal, us, the Ledbury Scribes, the Homend Poets and the three other events Roland and I as poets in residence of the open-mic series, in which numerous local poets from Herefordshire and beyond, came together and celebrated the verbal art, shared our songs and took an active role in our communities of average working poetry lovers attending the work-shops.
And the fourth and final connection the very human blogs of these two men, caused and immediate association with, a visual object, viewing through the triple lens, the likeness in which we attempt to import and link with an original sonic heft of what original essence (as I discern it) third hand, is very beneficial for any practice; offers the opportunity of working in a way which allow all access to the one store in which --
Far god cast off above the sea,
feathers drift, an airless evening
And the rippling wings of Icarus
severed with a single breath
hollow light above the sky he sought
to go beyond, his flight sun-courage
driving waxed wings high above
a lone sphere, glow Too hot beyond
His normal orbit and attempting
to reach and reunite, raise feathers
in our greater mind
to write; into the whirlpool Icarus
thank you very very much for the honor of sharing and learning messers M&M.