NAME OF WAR (english poetry)

This one is very special.

A little while back, I talked about my Caliath volumes and how the first four were disowned. For good reason, they contain all my poems from the peak of my depression from 15 to 17 years of age, meaning they have incredibly saddening and dark poetics that I don’t like getting back to. Recently, I decided to uncover them and attempt to read some. I didn’t get very far, but I decided to translate one of the poems from that time into English.

Disclaimer: This one, Name of War (Nome de Guerra in Portuguese), is not at all inspired by the racial induced of 1675 in New England, rather by a book of portuguese authorship, by José Almada Negreiros, which I was reading at the time. Despite being sad, I hope you enjoy it.

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JOHNNY

Hoje sou tudo no nada que sou, amanhã serei outro.

30 thoughts on “NAME OF WAR (english poetry)

    • Nothing is too personal.
      I’m no longer depressed, but the process has been a bit turbulent. Suffice to say that I still do behavioural once a week and I take ADs everyday, on a medium dosage, just so I’m safe. But I feel fine now!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thankfully I had an amazing support system in my family and friends, and asking really did help back then. Now, I’m growing and learning everyday to be able to communicate better and rely less on signals, since it can be draining to people around me to constantly try and “rip out” a sliver of how I’m feeling. But my heart melts that you worry, you’re a kind spirit.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Teens carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. I expected a typical teen angst poem, not this. This is an excellent poem. Don’t discount your early work! You can always revise now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘Now it reigns eternally inside me, in cinematic loop’
    Yes, a nice modern iteration of what I suspect is a very ancient tormentor. And eternal makes me think instantly of internal. An ancient internal eternal tormentor that rages still!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You can do a lot of phonetic games with this one, rain/reign, eternally/internally, reigns eternally and rains internally.
      Didn’t even think about that while writing, how interesting haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My first 20 volumes of work, titled Riastuff, was burned by former husband #3. I was angry and felt erased at the time. But, you know, it allowed me to move forward in both my emotional state and my artistic style. Your work, Johnny, in any language, is a gift. Thank you for sharing powerful things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is still saddening to lose work, specially when you yourself weren’t the one casting it away. But I can perfectly understand why and how it helped you move on. Writing encapsulates our feelings, in tiny crystal fragments of Time. In fact, most of it’s power derives from that, one of the very few true oppositions one can have against Time, denying it valiantly.
      The fact we write like this today, and tomorrow it will be different, however, is such a beautiful thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That quality of words being able to oppose to Time is something I think is important. Words have power, for me, almost their own spirit. I know, crazy. But. . . when I write a thing down it’s almost as though I’m telling myself what I will need to know later so I can survive and then thrive further down the road. When that man burned them in a trash bin, he burned (unintentionally, he was trying to hurt ME) the bonds I’d made with words that could not build me or anyone else up. The words I write today are so very different. More depth, as though the river, which runs swift through my heart and my world, has cut deeper over time, and become wider, Giving more place for life to diversify and proliferate. As you say much better than I can, it is a beautiful thing.

        Respect to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Johnny, MT, it saddens me to think of work lost. Have y’all read “Hedda Gabler” by Ibsen? It speaks emotionally about such losses to the world with a profound and soulful diffidence. Your threads brought that to mind.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This poem is perfection. If there is a purpose to such consuming depression it might be found in the beauty and compassion shed to the world therein. I am joyful that you are surviving, this poem sounds just like a friend of mine now for whom my heart aches in her depression. Maybe this can show how Hope can arise from depths. Love hearing that you are feeling better, and thank you for sharing bravely and oh so beautifully. Thank you also for your recent kind notice of my recent poem. 💜 Lona.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah Lona, you’re lovely!
      I’m so glad it resonated with you so much, as it is one of my most honest compositions. I truly appreciate your continuous support, and the fact you kept me in mind means the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This reminds me of John Keats’ epitaph, written on his tomb in Rome’s graveyard:

    This Grave
    contains all that was Mortal,
    of a
    Young English Poet,
    Who,
    on his Death Bed,
    in the Bitterness of his Heart,
    at the Malicious Power of his Enemies,
    Desired
    these Words to be
    engraven on his Tomb Stone:

    Here lies One
    Whose Name was writ in Water.

    24 February 1821

    Like

    • I did not know of this, what an amazing find.
      I knew of Max Richters song “Whose Name Was Written in Water.” I guess that’s where he took it from.
      My iteration was inspired by a Portuguese author named Almada Negreiros, I think perhaps he was also inspired by that tomb.
      What an interesting world we live in.
      Did you enjoy the composition? My portuguese work is a lot more similar to this.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I did. Could not notice the signs of translation at all, since the rhyme is still strong in this one too.
    I’m sorry that the poem came from a place of sorrow. Hopefully writing it gave you some relief at the time, as the act of creation tends to do, even if just for a brief minute of satisfaction.

    Liked by 1 person

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