Saturday, April 25, 2009

Poetry and Pain

Can prose depicts the depth of pain better than poetry? There may be debate to be settled, but the fact is poetry touches the heart, brings in humane perspective in cadence and rhymes, even a translated poem can stir a rigid soul. A few lines of poem written by an Afghan poet unravels the continuous blood and death saga in the land where wars and violence seem to have no end in sight.

I'll ask you in the presence of God,

That in order to go to heaven

Why did you orphan my children?

Why did you widow a sick woman?

Why did you kill the son of an old lady?

Why did you kill the only brother of a weak girl?


Ahmad Fawad Lamay
Here is another example from Pasto poet Zarlasht Hafeez describing "burnt hearts", "tears" and "sadness":

"The sorrow and grief, these black evenings,

Eyes full of tears and times full of sadness,

These burnt hearts, the killing of youths,

These unfulfilled expectations and unmet hopes of brides,

With a hatred for war, I call time and again,

I wait for peace for the grief-stricken Pashtuns"

Referenced article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8008754.stm

Questions for James Wood

A new administration is in place, replacing the old tactics of fear with reasons for hope and peace. How truthful ans sincere these gestures are from Obama and his government, only future events and responses will reveal. James Wood is a gifted writer whose book reviews and critiques are widely embraced as contemporary gems in the midst of tabloid referenced information overloads. Here are a few of his observations, answering to readers' questions, delineating the remarkable similarities between George Orwell's 1984 and immediate past Bush groups of brazen hawks.

"Do you think there is any similarity between the government’s use of language in “1984” and the use of language by George W. Bush and his Administration?
Dennis Cohen

Rereading “1984” and the essay “Politics and the English Language,” I was struck by the new relevance of Orwell’s analysis. Think about how the kind of political euphemism that repelled Orwell has become rampant in the last few years—“collateral damage,” “waterboarding” (which makes the activity sound a bit like surfing), “enemy combatant” (i.e., someone utterly deprived of legal rights), “smart bombs” (a grotesque phrase, conceivable only by someone who was not the victim of such bombs). Or think of the perpetual warfare that is the background to everything in “1984,” and compare this with our limitless “war of terror.” Or “Hate Week.” We had an Administration very adept at convincing a good deal of the population that 2 + 2 = 5 (e.g. that Saddam was “behind the September 11 attacks, and had WMD); under the new Administration, whatever its faults (and there will be many, I am sure) we are at least learning how to count again, and not queer the numbers of truth."

Link to Article: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/ask/2009/04/questions-for-wood.html

Does Susan Boyle Know What’s Next?

The world cannot have enough of Susan Boyle, it seems. Network interviews with top most journalists, cover face in magazines and newspapers, these all came like thunderstorm for this seemingly unassuming woman. Tom Bergeron ponders the sad mechanics of these sudden adulation and very possible abandonment in a short while when another epic drama, or trauma grip the world attentions from pure entertainment: "Ms. Boyle’s experience seems to suggest that people are willing to overcome their prejudices and see the world anew. But those same people can turn back into snarky snobs just as easily.....The truth is, more often than not we look only for what we expect to see...........The real problem is that too often we don’t have the courage to sustain wonder".

Article Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/25/opinion/25bergeron.html

Monday, April 13, 2009

Transformation of Looks and Gestures

This video clip should be seen beginning to end to witness the transformation from derogatory judgmental looks and gestures from the audiences and judges to standing ovations and cheers by the same audiences listening to and witnessing Susan Boyle's stunning performance. The song that Susan had chosen was precise for her moment of glory: "I dreamed a dream......"

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY