po·e·sy n. pl. po·e·sies 1. Poetical works; poetry. 2. The art or practice of composing poems. 3. The inspiration involved in composing poetry. [Middle English poesie, from Old French, from Latin posis, from Greek poisis, from poiein, to create; see kwei-2 in Indo-European roots.]

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Monday, March 26, 2007

March 26 -- Robert Frost

Robert Frost March 26, 1874 -- January 29, 1963

Robert Frost's wonderful nature poetry--

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favour fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

A Hillside Thaw

To think to know the country and now know
The hillside on the day the sun lets go
Ten million silver lizards out of snow!
As often as I've seen it done before
I can't pretend to tell the way it's done.
It looks as if some magic of the sun
Lifted the rug that bred them on the floor
And the light breaking on them made them run.
But if I though to stop the wet stampede,
And caught one silver lizard by the tail,
And put my foot on one without avail,
And threw myself wet-elbowed and wet-kneed
In front of twenty others' wriggling speed,--
In the confusion of them all aglitter,
And birds that joined in the excited fun
By doubling and redoubling song and twitter,
I have no doubt I'd end by holding none.

It takes the moon for this. The sun's a wizard
By all I tell; but so's the moon a witch.
From the high west she makes a gentle cast
And suddenly, without a jerk or twitch,
She has her speel on every single lizard.
I fancied when I looked at six o'clock
The swarm still ran and scuttled just as fast.
The moon was waiting for her chill effect.
I looked at nine: the swarm was turned to rock
In every lifelike posture of the swarm,
Transfixed on mountain slopes almost erect.
Across each other and side by side they lay.
The spell that so could hold them as they were
Was wrought through trees without a breath of storm
To make a leaf, if there had been one, stir.
One lizard at the end of every ray.
The thought of my attempting such a stray!

The Freedom of the Moon

I've tried the new moon tilted in the air
Above a hazy tree-and-farmhouse cluster
As you might try a jewel in your hair.
I've tried it fine with little breadth of luster,
Alone, or in one ornament combining
With one first-water start almost shining.

I put it shining anywhere I please.
By walking slowly on some evening later,
I've pulled it from a crate of crooked trees,
And brought it over glossy water, greater,
And dropped it in, and seen the image wallow,
The color run, all sorts of wonder follow.

On Looking Up By Chance At The Constellations

You'll wait a long, long time for anything much
To happen in heaven beyond the floats of cloud
And the Northern Lights that run like tingling nerves.
The sun and moon get crossed, but they never touch,
Nor strike out fire from each other nor crash out loud.
The planets seem to interfere in their curves
But nothing ever happens, no harm is done.
We may as well go patiently on with our life,
And look elsewhere than to stars and moon and sun
For the shocks and changes we need to keep us sane.
It is true the longest drouth will end in rain,
The longest peace in China will end in strife.
Still it wouldn't reward the watcher to stay awake
In hopes of seeing the calm of heaven break
On his particular time and personal sight.
That calm seems certainly safe to last to-night.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

to Nadia

Nadia Anjuman Herawi (1980? – November 4, 2005) Afghan poet and journalist.

In 2005, while she was a student at Herat University, her first book of poetry was published. Gul-e-dodi (Dark Red Flower) became popular in Afghanistan and even in nearby Iran. On November 4 of that year, police officers found her body in her home. It was reported that she died as a result of injuries to her head. Her husband, Farid Ahmad Majid Mia confessed to beating her following an argument, but not to killing her. He stated she committed suicide. The Times Online had this article about this tragic event.
According to friends, Anjuman was seen as a disgrace to her family because of her poetry, which described the oppression of Afghan women. But her mother and close acquaintances insist she would never kill herself. During the Taliban regime, Anjuman and other female writers of the Herat literary circle studied banned writers such as Shakespeare and Dostoevsky. If caught, they risked being hanged.
Anjuman was survived by a six-month-old daughter. Other sources say a six-month-old son.

From The Middle East Times
Under the fundamentalist Taliban regime of 1996-2001 women were denied the right to education and could not even leave their homes without a male member of the family.
Women have been given more freedom since the Taliban were toppled in a US-led campaign in late 2001. But rights groups say that they are still mistreated by men, including through sexual and domestic violence.

Work by Nadia Anjuman:
From Strands of Steel
Which plunderer’s hand ransacked the pure gold statute of your dreams
In this horrendous storm?

Do not question love as it is the inspiration of your pen
My loving words had in mind death

Even though I am the daughter of poem and songs
My poem was novice and broken
My autonomous twig did not recognize the hand of the gardener

I am caged in this corner
full of melancholy and sorrow ...
my wings are closed and I cannot fly ...
I am an Afghan woman and so must wail.
Ghazal 1

From this cup of my lips comes a song;
It captures my singing soul; my song.

Ghazal 2

There is no desire to speak again; whom to ask, what to say?
I, who was treated ill, what should I not read, what not to say?

Ghazal 3

It is night and these words come to me
By the call of my voice words come to me

I came across Nadia's story in a roundabout way -- On a morning newscast I heard of an organization called Little Women for Little Women in Afghanistan founded in 2006 in the Okanagan by a generous and compassionate nine-year-old girl, Alaina Podmorow. Her goal is to work with other young people to help young Afghan women.
This led me to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan a truly inspiring group committed to supporting the empowerment of Afghan women and girls
Knowing only what I heard on tv or read in newspapers about the dire predicament of women in Afghanistan I searched Google for women poets from that country. I believed there must be women there who had words flowing from their hearts, women who needed to express that which had so long been forbidden. I wanted to know that these women existed and that the world knew about them. This story about Nadia Anjuman's short, sad life was the first article the search provided.
Her story made me cry. It made me angry. Afghan women have suffered a life beyond my comprehension. To have no say. In anything. Their bodies controlled by men. Never, it seems, kind men. (Perhaps I'll search for a male Afghan poet. But that will be another day.) I can't imagine not being allowed to read Shakespeare. Or poetry. Or to write!
Nadia Anjuman, and others like her, are brave heroes to those who follow. They defied the brutal regime of the Taliban. And still they must fight on.
The saddest thing is that nowhere that I searched could I find the date of her birth. Every site and article gave the year as 1980 question mark
To Nadia:
Even the brightest star will burn out and die;
Your words will live forever.