Skip to content

Saying What’s Necessary to New Audience or What’s New to Necessary Audience

An excerpt of Shout of a Bedouin woman by Ella Bat-Tsion on Poetry International Web:

We love our land so much
If only we could live and die on this land
If only, if only, if only

How can one live like this?
From all sides, closed
On one side the border guard
On one side the nature warden
On one side there is nowhere to go
On one side —

I am a widow woman and have no saviour
I am a widow woman and have no saviour
I have no one but Allah

There’s something in the rhythm. It is ballad-like.

Part of my kneejerk goes ack, woman as helpless!, must not propagate the pattern but the other knee goes no. it’s not that simple binary.

Why a woman trapped and not a man? The answer is more situational than in ideology of the point of view of the poem. Is it an appropriation of voice or her voice, or a listening to story and rebroadcasting with skill from a useful position?

There’s something that feels compelling in the cadence, and it is a relief to read a poem that is not from middle class point of view of people waiting, traipsing about twisting a napkins or pining over a relationship rather than doing something immediate when something immediate is an option. It feels like a more necessary story. Much that is written feels like an unironic equivalent of Duddy Kravtiz with the ball of, what was it, tinfoil? gum wrapper? between his toes when it feels like there are more worthwhile utterances one could spend one’s life futzing over if one must futz over words.

People without status in unrecognized villages are in an invisible violence, a structural marginalization of a parallel society. An estimated 120,000 Bedouin are without legal status in Kuwait as well. This means job opportunities are constrained. They’re

“not granted official residency permits, birth or death certificates, or marriage contracts, only reports documented at the Ministry of Justice, in addition to their being denied passports. Article 17 grants passports to the infirm and students,” al-Salem added. “Likewise, the bidoun are deprived from registering at state schools or universities.”

This seems communication across an information gap rather than people who know an experience, communicating that to someone who shares the same or comparable experiences in the same context but perhaps with more or less flare or skill. The information transferral is small. The artistry must become more important because there isn’t a need to say something. There’s already an equilibrium of understanding between the two containers of speaker and listener.

If the medium is not words but sound, there can be an information gap because there is not a clear predictable conflict, narrative, resolution or marked pretty resistance to resolution arc. There is less shape until one habituates to the range possible and has enough exposure to see patterns. Until then the game between speaker and listener can be one of more exploration, rather than display what’s expected, with enough variation to keep it interesting and get the applause expected with enough variance in response to keep it interesting.

It widens out the range of what can be said. Instead of small captures of nuance and getting in a small but fascinating vibration of something of one’s own story, or doing the popular historical fiction on the other side of a safe historical calm, it is more real somehow. Why dabble in the allegorical or metaphorical when one could broker in change at present?

Part of VERSeFest will include responses to the the call for poems addressing Human Rights: women’s rights, migration rights, democracy and self-determination, social justice, indigenous rights, and/or other topics related to oppression and resistance.

And presumably there’s room inside that envelop for stories of success surmounting and leading.

Related posts:

  1. Benefits of the Test Audience In his post, the joy of revision, Robert Peake talks about looking at a poem’s elemental structure and intentions, and about the benefits of workshops for aesthetic calibration: it is...
  2. Balancing What’s Known, To Licit the Exp and Imp The narrator is implied without an explicit I because without a narrator there would be silence not words. A lot of poems begin with I, which is to say, let...
  3. Audience and Publishing and Tipping Points If poetry is a religion, is publishing the place of worship? If something can be hunted up even if people have no inclination to do so, does it still count...

Categories: Uncategorized.

Comment Feed

No Responses (yet)



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.