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Sunday, July 12, 2015

VISION: Last Song of the Dead



source




Last Song of the Dead


by Sumana Roy at her blog "Vision"  


The guillotine voice whispers

An eye for an eye

We lost our land and eyes

Eons ago

We subsisted on black milk

Before decapitation

We cling

To the little root of a dream

Of a Child of Sight

To open all eye

Before this hour

Shall cease to be

 



I must keep this poem, remembering the brilliance of one of my partners at Poets United, but also recalling the scriptural basis of "an eye for an eye."  Was it Gandhi who said that "an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind"?  I cringe every time vengeance is the response--just as much as I cringe and weep at the violence of the original slaughter.  And never being able to know what was the original, I pray for the last act--for the one who will turn and say "Look at you continuing the violence! I will not join you in hate."  However, I am beginning to believe that some hatred is a devil that will not die unless we kill it.  I pray about this, that it not take over my life.  I reread Sheri Tepper's Grass where she examines this possibility and rejects it--rejects the superior innocence and withdrawal from the world of those who, under any circumstances, will not kill.  Is this a privilege of those protected in a land of political posturing where the weapons of destruction are being sold right in front of our eyes to countries we pay to do our dirty work?  I find this confusing, confusing.  At times, dear God, I wish to be a tree.



3 comments:

  1. I was totally blown away by Paul Celan's poem 'Fugue of Death". Vengeance has always been the tool of the so called mighty as history tells us. We are the lambs to the slaughter house. Sometimes it is the Pearl Harbor and sometimes Hiroshima, Nagasaki. This vicious cycle of killing and being killed is the Earth's fate sadly. This is direct assault and there are many indirect ways too. Light can come, I think if any of these killers by any chance changes mind and a streak of light kills his darkness. In one of Tagore's dance dramas (Balmiki Pratibha) this theme has been wonderfully exploited. However while writing the poem I had the ISIS fanatics in my mind.
    Thank you so much Susan for your valuable thoughts on the subject. I am enriched. I love your thought, "At times, dear God, I wish to be a tree."..Wish to have similar thoughts too.

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    1. I'm looking for a link to Tagore's dance drama. Found on You tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv9s-ZhxEok but without a translation. Sumana, thank you for continuing the dialogue.

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  2. You might visit this link "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-JwoYqMbjA". It is about 17 minutes and has clippings of Balmiki Pratibha by Tagore. This dance drama was produced by Alokananda Roy who is a renowned dancer, who worked with hard core convicted criminals in a mission to transform them into good souls. This was performed by those convicts and Alokananda also had a part here. I have seen their perfomance on an open stage at Shantiniketan where Tagore stayed. Lots of police vans were there so that these men don't escape by chance. She has been able to bring differences in these men's lives. There's a little performer, daughter of a convict mother. In fact Tagore's theme here is about the amazing capacity of the human reformation.

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