Friday, October 05, 2007

The First Poet

In the beginning was the stone.

Round and flat
and placed on the empty page
it said everything,
was the perfect answer.

All the languages of the world
wept in its shadow
knowing they were no longer needed.

But the King was unhappy
because the stone wouldn't fit
in his pocket

so a young clerk was hired
to make a replica of it in words,
something to balance its silence.

This is how poetry was born.

And today, centuries later,
our poems still sift
the dark river-bed of the truth

waiting for the day
when the sediment of our voices
will weigh enough

to be crushed into stone.

Yesterday was National Poetry Day. (Okay, okay, so I don't live in the UK. But any excuse to post poetry no?)


Szerelem said...

ummm....interesting you posted a poem...I was going through the Poitre site today and was going to request you to put up Adonis or Darwish. Possible?

Falstaff said...

szerelem: Possible, but do you have recommendations for good translations of Adonis? The only ones I've read left me fairly unimpressed.

Anonymous said...


This Falsie he writes pomes
They’re all oh! rather good!
Of course they’re unrhymed tomes
(Though if he tried real hard, he could)

Sometimes he calls it poi-tre
To make it all liter-are
And recites in dramatic fashion
With suitable elocutory passion

Sometimes he calls it prose
Ten thousand words about his toes
Sometimes he writes short stories
Of suicides and other gories

Sometimes he writes ‘bout pics
Both still and moving flicks
Sometimes he pontificates
On alternative lingerie states

But essentially this much is true
That Falsie we love you
Our love is stronger, much more fit
Than those penile enhancements you so relentlessly solicit.


Szerelem said...

Actually, the only translator I remember by name is Samuel Hazo (did you read his version?). I read a few others, but cant remember their names or which ones were good. Will check with the library.

Its quite sad that English translations of Adonis (most Arabic writers in fact are so hard to find). I first found out about/read Adonis in Paris at The Institute du Monde Arabe a few years back. They had loads and loads of his poems translated into French. Same with a lot of other middle eastern authors.

Tabula Rasa said...