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Poetry

I cross cultures


Goli Farrell
December 27, 2005
iranian.com

I think we should get less classical education and more vocational training. We need more plumbers, electricians, and seamstresses who know how to make curtains and hang them nicely. We need better cooks, housekeepers, butlers, and people who can come and put order in our lives, in our papers, wash and iron our clothes. AND we definitely need less culture and less poetry. For this here thing is what you get from "cultural diversity" and too much formal education:

I cross cultures at about 150 miles per hour,

I think with the mind of Omar Khayyam, and Rumi,

steeped in a “to be or not to be “ type  attitude, 

with some Victor Hugo, Goethe and Jacques Prévert thrown in for good measure,

all the while trying to fight the stings and arrows

of outrageous fortune, the heart-ache, and whips and scorns of time

To die, to sleep; perchance to dream: ay,

a multicultural dream, multi denominational,

Iambic pentametrical dream, rubaii, mathnavi,

neoclassical, post-modern, yes

let us go then, you and I,

through certain half deserted streets in Tehran,

Between ex-Anatol France Avenue and blank verse,

turning left on Park Avenue, via les Chapms Elysée

and Piazza della Signoria,

let us go and make our visit:

Starting with children’s laughter in the apple tree

We are going to seek in the valley and find

Some cool friendly spring, and build a rainbow bridge that will connect

the prose in us with the passion

a bridge similar to the “Pont Mirabeau”

on the Seine—or here on the Potomac/ Arno/ Sadde Karaj

and hope for an epiphany

or “a sudden spiritual manifestation”

according to Stephen’s definition of the word

and then, in the space of a door that opens and shuts

we shall try to make our winter’s night

almost comparable to a summer’s day

and even more lovely and more temperate

and only then

shall we not wish our love to die

and the rain to be falling on the graveyard

and on us walking the streets

but having heard the sparrows in the gutters

we shall have a vision of the street

as the street hardly understands

and then sit upon the ground

and tell sad stories

about the death of kings

and the one that loved not wisely

but too well- and then dedicate the story

to a friend whose work has come to nothing

and although

love is less kind than the grey twilight

and hope is less dear than the dew of the morn

yet the soul of the deer will fight to escape

and we shall say goodnight

a little droopingly but with a hopeful heart

and we shall wait for tomorrow

and tomorrow and tomorrow- forgetting all

but a thing of beauty and the joy forever

and the rose

that is a rose, is a rose, is a rose

and while waiting

we shall try to ask each other questions

under a weeping willow

who has forgotten all about weeping,

and shall say: where dwellest thou?

Forlorn of thee

Whither shall I betake me?

And while waiting for an answer,

we shall sing the song of the ill-beloved

and seriously consider learning about

intervention- for if we don’t yet know

what an intervention is,

it is high time we did

for then we may understand

those Roman girls who danced

around a shaft of stone and kissed it

till the stone was warm-

and on the day of Judgement

when Sa’di of Shiraz shall rise from the ashes, 

the dust of this passion can still be seen

on the skirts of his soul, (dar qiaamat cho sar az khaak e lahad bardaaram,

gard e sowdaay e to bar daaman e jaanam baashad)

between the void and the pure event

we shall await

the echo of our inner greatness

and that of the gods on the roof

that Samson pulled down

and the light that shineth in darkness

and the darkness comprehended it not-

and we shall stay motionless and

long time, face to face

over the rainbow bridge

trying to live the distance of the bridge

with a smile, for if it were now to die

it were now to be most happy

and besides, there is always the threat

of an elegant little creature

who may appear out of nowhere on earth

and ask us to draw him a sheep

which would be quite feasible

had we but world enough and time-

But turning the corner of the 42nd street

And Broadway, we may suddenly find

“Agamemnon dead” and decide

to beware of Greeks bearing gifts

but soon be distracted by the dream

of a Ledaean body (or Appolonean as the case might be)

and forget about it all

and fall down upon the ground 

and worship…..and naked we shall return-

and we shall not cease from exploration

but will elevate the rocks

and imagine Sisyphus as happy

for if the taming made us cry, it has done some good

because of the color of the wheat fields.

Goli Farrell,
Dec.2, 2005,  France

Authors quoted or paraphrased in order

Shakespeare ...................... Hamlet

T.S. Eliot ...................... Four Quartets, Little Gidding

John Milton ...................... Comus

E. M. Forster ...................... Howard’s End

Appolinaire ...................... Pont Mirabeau

James Joyce  ...................... Portrait of the Artist As a young man

Samuel Beckett ...................... Poems in English

Shakespeare ...................... Sonnet 18

Samuel Beckett ...................... Poems

T.S. Eliot ...................... Preludes

Shakespeare ...................... Richard II

Shakespeare ...................... Othello

W.B. Yeates ...................... Collected Poems

W. B. Yeates ...................... Collected Poems

D. H. Lawrence ...................... The Fox

D. H. Lawrence ...................... Lady Chatterly’s Lover

Shakespeare ...................... Macbeth

Keats

Gertrude Stein

Samuel Beckett ...................... Waiting for Godot

The Bible ...................... Gospel of St. John I

John Milton ...................... Paradise Lost

Appolinaire ...................... Song of the Ill-Beloved

Wallace Fawlie ...................... Prologue to Tobias

Ovid ...................... Poems

Paul Valéry ...................... Cimetière Marin

The Bible ...................... St. John I

Apollinaire ...................... Pont Mirabeau

E. M. Forster  ...................... Howard’s End

Shakespeare  ...................... Othello

St. Exupery ...................... The Little Prince

Andrew Marvel ...................... To his Coy Mistress

Joseph Campbell ...................... Hero with a thousand faces

Yeats ...................... Leda and the Swan

Eliot ...................... Little Gidding

Albert Camus ...................... The Myth of Sisyphus

St. Exupéry ...................... The Little Pince

 

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