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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"The poem is always incomplete, the butterflies make it whole."



The poem by Mahmoud Darwish titled "To a Young Poet" begins like this:


Don’t believe our outlines, forget them
and begin from your own words.
As if you are the first to write poetry
or the last poet.

If you read our work, let it not be an extension of our airs,
but to correct our errs
in the book of agony.


{The rest of the poem may be read here}

{You must read the rest of the poem}




So many good lines in the poem, including these:

"From now on, your only guardian is a neglected future."

"The poem is always incomplete, the butterflies make it whole."




It's the time of year when one might feel compelled to offer advice to young poets.


So here I am, writing to you from my own neglected future, from my dilapidated garden.  Part of me wants to tell the young poets to find something useful to do. To flee from the enchantment of the book of agony.

But if you can find some beauty and comfort in the solitude of poetry and in the futility of choreographing butterflies, then who am I to dissuade you?







2 comments:

  1. "So here I am, writing to you from my own neglected future, from my dilapidated garden." How beautiful. I love this post: you are my favourite voice against vanity, my favourite company in cultivating writerly humility, fortitude. I love the way you articulate the path so those of us coming along behind can see the way. Thank you.

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  2. thanks my dear - means a lot to me. indeed.

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