“noise, peace” took a lot of my poetic energy to write, and I’m still slightly on cooldown. These times also great to compose, because they allow me to produce humble and simpler compositions that are just as necessary as others of higher complexity.
Heavily inspired by Chinese music and partiture, this specific composition is only special in the fact that it isn’t special. I quite like that.
Disclaimer: “The Moon Sets Over a Desolate Castle” is a traditional chinese melody.
Author’s Note: the division of the composition is only aesthetically deliberate, the two parts do not have autonomy in either order or independence.
Y’all, I’ve been reading too much American poetry, so I’m going through this mixed phase of modernism and romanticism, I hope something good comes out of this because its certainly weird for me to write like this.
Disclaimer: bulletless doesn’t seem to be a real word, but I don’t get why, so I’m gonna use it anyway.
Disclaimer 2: I’ve since revised the second part of the poem, so if you’re reading for a second time, you may find it different than the original. If you seek the original, you can find it here.
My letter response a while back, where a dear friend asked me why poetry sounds deeply saddening to him. This was my theory (although I have more theories now, I still stick to this one most times):
Since the elder days of lyrical production, poetry has taken shape of shoulders carrying the shadows of human declaration.
From a singular first word of verse to the last sound of its adored stanza, it has been used to spawn nights of joyous dreams, dawns of draping silks, and as a hand moves to slide away those curtains woven of melody: a window, leading to giant sights of exposition, hills of galloping horses hauling our pains, our wounds, whatever we deem worthy to exist in that composition, because it too shall stand to compose us.
That is the level of communication all artistic movements tend to bleed out, those small shreds of emotion that plea for capture, and beg ever-so softly to be replicated, to be laid upon those hills of erosion so they too can taste the winds and streams carving away figures of reality. So they too can dock at those immense seas of versed salt, so they too can be cast upon the shame of their fault. Sharing all our moralities and sorrow, fears and loves, they are the Gods our minds are able to create, our fronts illuminated midst the foggy lighthouses of our fate.
Poetry is sound requesting to be heard, all the while praying that it shall never be truly felt. It holds no message but the one it cannot convey, inhales only the air it cannot attain, and rises ethereal, dodging a volley of arrows aimed at the core it humbly attempts to translate.
And I, narrating the strolls of flowers and their petal waltzes, am reduced to a lonesome grain, carried away, endlessly carried away, each verse another wind-strike, meters and meters of paths along a starless sky, from eons where the sun is blindingly beautiful in its rise, to minutes where it’s just an icy sphere casting upon me the lores of demise. Taken away by blowing agonies, abducted in the desperate glistening of their tears.
What was before an effigy of nature’s claims, is now a valse of linen strings placidly caressing my skin, takes form beneath my ground of insecurity, holds my callous hands, kisses my cracked lips, and signals towards horizons of truth in doubtless figure, wrapping around these hands, and soon dissipates.
Versing is of utmost cruelty, its envy at the rawest state;
Envy of those blooming lotus flowerbeds, breaking the hearts of any deemed beautiful before their reveal. Envy for the melodious birds whose lyrics none can encapsulate. Envy for a world presented to us in all its higher forms, and along those horizons of elevation and the figures representing such painstaking fortune, we do not see ourselves, only, at the rarest of times, glimpses of our verses and melodies along with paintings of our pains. Versing sets boulders ablaze and hauls them at the endless scenario, salvaging anything beautiful enough to stand out from the remains, leaving a wake of all we abandoned at the flanks of those once-sylvan lanes.
It hurts… every time. Doing so in any tangible way…
But what would poetry be if it could not destroy the landscapes it attempts to create…
I’m sorry about the overuse of gerund, it has come to my attention recently that I do use it a bit too much. You can blame Portuguese for that odd habit.
This is generally the style of my regular prose, even in simple informal communication (such as a letter). I’m not too confident in these, but tell me what you think, I have tons more.
Recently, I came across the endlessly talented Tadzio and his blog of English translations of Italian poems. A little apprehensive at first, I decided to give a shot of my own at translating some of my most adored portuguese compositions.
Florbela is the poet I credit with my interest in composing, so it would be fair to say that any verse of mine you might have liked, is due to her incredible humility and fine-crafted lyricism. Very devalued in life, she now stands as the most important female poet of the portuguese poetic pantheon, one whose influence reaches far and wide within our culture.
And its portuguese, original version:
Disclaimer: I’m not a professional or academic of this subject, this translation is merely an attempt at a very arduous and respected Art, that of translating poetry, and I have no intentions of devaluing it with my impish attempts.
Second Disclaimer: I did severely alter the verse that mentions “saudade”. There is a common myth that saudade is an exclusive word of Portuguese, and there is another common myth debunking the former, stating that “longing” and “missing” are direct translations. Neither are correct, there are translations of saudade, and also imports, as Catalan shares the same word (thus making it not exclusive), and other languages have direct translations. English is not one of them. Missing or longing do not mean saudade.
I could not recommend more that you visit The Container and be delighted with Tad’s brilliant translations.
Today was a specially hard day, I carried pain with me. And sometimes, days are sad, and I don’t know why.
I vaulted this composition a while ago, when I wrote it, I deemed it not good enough for sharing. Now, despite not being any better, it looks more heartfelt than ever.
I’m including numbered lines in case anyone wants to comment on a verse without having to copy it, since these are images. I’ve never realised until now how hard I was making it for you. That aside, this is another one of those decompressing compositions, but I quite like this one, it makes sense to me.
I’ve been writing a very long parabole poem called “BAICHENG’S PRIME EHRU”, aside from being time consuming, it’s also very draining, so I’ve written lighter and simpler compositions in the meantime so I can decompress. Hope you like it as well, a little bit of lightness can be good.