pits of salidon. (english poetry)

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Author’s notes:

Line 21 is a reference to Albert Camus’s “The Myth of Sisyphus”

A bit of a poetic mesh of common denominators, but a heart-felt one nonetheless.


JOHNNY

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POETRY LAB #2


FIRST, A QUEST

A little back, I wrote this highly experimental (and primal) composition called MIRROR, in which two subconscious voices would be displayed continuously until they would collapse together and generate this sense of unifying thoughts.
That poem spawned from my fiddling with the concept of multiple voices in poetry. All my compositions are made to be both read and spoken, therefor, all kinds of sound generation are within the bounds of my poetry.

I spent some time wondering about the possibility of poems meant to be read by separate voices, which can be applied to a variety of unique poetic concepts, as well as compounding lyricism with that expression and generate a form of artistic elation of poetry upon dialogue, both internal and external.

MIRROR is not a good example, since its very primitive and faulty in the groundworks of what this exercise proposes. For the ease of division in structural compositions, I will name the first voice “Archeon” and the second voice “Bareon”, A and B for short (I’m not a smart guy). Any number of voices can be used, but in my experiments, more than two can become volatile and overbearing.


SECOND, A THOUGHT

Proceeding to subdivide the purpose of these mechanisms, I’ve found three definitive usages that result in poetic progression:

1. Repetition (no overlay)

a. shining locked within a chest of hope, dimming and reckless,
b. buoying docked at a sea of souls, dim and then… lightless.

2. Interrogation (continuity)

a. eyes shut, where is the flame once consuming and bright?
b. not longer here, just ash, in the shade of innocent white.

3. Exposition (overlay)

a. the scent of olive tree…
b. … that olive tree, rooted in gloom…
a. … is it remembrance, is it pain, is it glee?…
b. … is it doom, is it melancholic empathy?…

(Not actual compositions, just simple demonstrations I etched up in a couple of minutes.)

You might be thinking: well, most of these could be composed with a singular voice. Yes, but their poetic momentum rests on the understanding that two separate voices are communicating an unifying symbol, so that symbol is passed through a lens of duality and then translated back into singularity.
In the case of repetition, giving a sensation of weight applied to certain parts of the conclusion. On the example, words like “locked/docked” and “reckless/lightless” double their weight, by means of stressing their permanence, and allowing their scope to encompass more than just the poetic subject, as in, a descent into a lightless reality tangible by all, inspiring the severity of ones perspective.
In the case of interrogation – the most useful of all – we can halve the stressing of the question and place it upon the answer. That bright flame once respiring consumingly? It is no more, now it has fully devoured, it is ash in its innocent form, fertile and renewing, but still a painful memory. Interrogation allows for the continuity of the poetic narrative, by means of easing the transmission of what is truly meant to be retained and what isn’t supposed to be front-line in the skeleton of the given composition.
Exposition is rather simple, and I would take mostly as a structural aid more than a duality in transmission. It is meant for internal dialogue, and it was the mechanism utilised on MIRROR. It allows for thoughts to unify in two different fronts, giving a sensation of duality when there doesn’t necessarily exist one, often times its just a case of division. Since verses seem to flow into their counterpart voices, it would be a bit too eerie to read it using two separate whole voices, but two separate tones can be utilised rather well. (more on that another day, I’m also producing another Lab with the usage of classical music tempos in poetry, i.e Alegro, Moderato, so on).


THIRD, A COMPOSITION

I’ve been putting off the publishing of this Lab for a while, attempting to etch decent poems that could ally to this minimal theory, but my time has been very scarce and I haven’t been able to compose anything wholesome enough for presentation. I will, therefor, leave you with MIRROR, so you have a general idea of what exposition looks like, and then create the other two during the week, and hopefully publish them as separate posts connecting to this one.
I’m sorry for the apparent laziness, but I promise that I will deliver!

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Not an actual good poem, but hey, its old.


JOHNNY

noise, peace (english poetry)

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.

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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.


JOHNNY

CRAZED PLAYHOUSE (english poetry)

I couple days ago, I thought to myself, what a wonderful world! And I wanted to write a decently happy composition to demonstrate that. Then it ended up like this, and I’m perpetually confused. I have a verse in portuguese that states “I’ve never written a single happy lyric / Perpetuated by silence of the other side.”, seems like I was clairvoyant of my own future there.

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Not-so-fun-fact: it was heavily inspired by my night-outs in Lisbon, that in almost seven years, never produced a single long-lasting bond. People are solitaires nowadays.


JOHNNY

Vanity by Florbela Espanca

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.

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And its portuguese, original version:

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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.


JOHNNY

(Vault) ARPA DIOS

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.

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JOHNNY

Portugal: hills of sun-painted sadness.

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Where I usually write, in front of an elder brazilian peppertree.

Not everyone has the honour of living in an award-winning country, or better yet, not everyone considers that an honour. I was born in a small parish with 110 inhabitants just outside Lisbon, and my youth was paved with finding small water streams among fabled stretching woodlands, watching my grandfather plant potatoes all the while leaning on our dogs and watching the verdant sunset sink. I look back fondly at those memories, and my circle of social life was restricted by those hundred familiar faces all into my teenage mists.

When I was a docile and sensitive boy, one thing was generally known, we were an enclave of the modern world, a tender collapse between edging western development and a deep connection to land, humility, poverty, and pain. In the yet-to-explore sacred and scarlet hills of Portugal, we roamed the sun-lands searching for an oasis that spawned the entire rectangle garden planted sea-side. We quested for a beauty that was already there, and after centuries of isolation and regret, we found a rooted longing for days that never came, for an evasive beauty that time did not look kindly upon.

Those were the days of yore, nowadays, the scopes have shifted. Portugal, now a growing and bursting experience of culture and history, the brand new Jurassic Park without deadly dinosaurs, conveniently docked at Europe’s lonely and serene edge, offers a way to mitigate the pains of modern existence at a manageable driving distance. As we now live among kind visitors and explorers, we listen to those praises of beauty. How sunny are our lands, how old our cities, how beautiful our forests and endless our beaches, and above all else, how deep is our sadness.

As I write this humble prose, I can listen to goldcrests chirping atop that peppertree, and at 20:00 there is still clarity outside, the sun still faintly shines, as it tends to. Faint yet enchanting gypsy music booms at the distance, I can still pick apart the variations of the low-voiced man who is singing to the rhythm. I remember being young, the sun shone its golden-hue with all the same brightness, the buildings and asphalt roads vibrated to the heat, the summer cicadas already knew the ancient lyricists before any of us did, and at the sidewalks of this beautiful block of candour we’ve inhabited, I was already sad, already longing. We all were, and we still are.

It’s difficult to pinpoint why we exist this way, but I’ve convinced myself that it’s only a natural consequence of this paradise we’ve created. In these hills where marine order takes form of beautiful composure, what other sadness could we compare it to than our own inner demons.

And that matching pendulum of innate sadness strikes harder every time, painting Portugal more beautiful and we, sadder, abandoned at a seaside beauty created to evaporate.

And Lisbon, my current home, the city-port of poetry and fado, only seems to reflect that ever-so-strongly, as it tries to grip it’s fainting identity while this bombardment of globalised exposition occurs, which it has always done. The only city where walls still cry, those colourful walls that close upon our dreams and limit our solitaire nightmares.


JOHNNY

ou

João Maria.