Guest Entry: Ravens


Ravens in the grey sky turning black
Cold isolation thought of unexperienced
Feelings and sensations
Nothing is fulfilling
For nothing can be
Nothing but the urge to write
Nothing but what remains when all’s gone – the omen
– the Black Flower for she is ever reliable
Always there in the most obscure corner
Of your heart – the valley no one ever ventured into
Dancing amidst the fire of truth and pain
For it is all that remains resisting time and decay

This is my very first article on poetry and my first attempt to write down a rather organised and coherent reflection on my own work. I would therefore like to ask the future reader of this creation to excuse any rambling that may occur and to bring a most necessary companion on this journey, patience.

I should start by talking about my belief that any sensory experience or feeling can be or perhaps ought to be seen as eligible for poetry. The reason for this rather radical claim lies in my personal experience, for one of my most productive periods to date coincided with the final exam period in high school. I would then resort to poetry to explore any and every feeling, emotion and/or impression that I managed to gain awareness of and, if I may paraphrase Proust: ‘Turn impressions into expression.’ That is in short, for I do not want to dwell in the past for too long or else I shall start writing poems, the genesis story of him that was to become me, the poet.

If my earliest poems ever were to be published, you would probably recognise one (if not the two) most influential poets I encountered, namely Baudelaire and Shakespeare. The former for his overwhelmingly strong imagery that undoubtedly profoundly marks and perhaps scars the sensitive reader.

Of his works, the poem I would say still influences me to this very day is the Spleen IV. One of his most famous poems conveying, in masterfully crafted art, the vanity of the Soul’s last fight before inevitably surrendering to the triumphant Death. The latter, has partly influenced my writing style, my use of poetic language as well as my taste in regards to poetical preferences. As examples of illustration I would reference Ravens as an example of Baudelairian influence and Time as incorporating Shakespearean language features.

However, more recently in Aken and in The Land Shrouded in Mystery I distanced myself from earlier influences, at first not consciously, and reencountered the power of a simpler language as one can find in Verlaine’s poems and in Novalis’ Wenn Nicht Mehr Zahlen und Figuren. For sometimes less is more, this approach may seem rather simple and easily graspable at first but can convey a message as powerful as that of any other approach. While allowing the reader to engage more thoroughly with it as there is no disentanglement needed in order to understand the words forming the piece, which can be a fertile ground for more thought through, accurate and perhaps less erroneous interpretations, if one assumes that there can be completely erroneous readings, which I do. I would argue that it is in the simplicity of the approach that the essence of the endlessly explorable beauty lies. I shall end this excursion into the Realm where the past, the present and the future not only meet for they are but one continuous everchanging unit, the Mind, by sharing some food for thought.

 I believe that every poet or writer of any and all kinds has his own share of difficulties and issues, hurdles the mind must overcome. Shackles it must free itself from that are nonetheless in an oxymoronic way essential to his self as a poet and as a human. Mine being the illness that makes me cling to the first draft like a Demon to his newly possessed vessel.

FLAME: That was a good sentence.

I would thus, in an ending note, like to challenge the writers and maybe future writers among the readers to explore their own and perhaps, if they so desire, share them.

~Fernando Martins Da Mota, Mention Spéciale du Jury at the Prix Laurence 2019

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