watch this dark
Words are but this, if incarnation seeks the ancient inspiration
it swallowed in the tangle of nerves and blood and bones which
the text is made of. Can Life have many incarnations at the same
time, like one in many different ones? What is thus left to do
if poetry comes with many a root out of the rocks and seeds,
breaking the compulsion of innumerable things, under many
languages? It’s neither a matter of some part and its
counterparts. Nor a fact of sheer imitations, reckless
variations, obvious transliteration, sharp nails digging up in
search of some deeper tone. Is it worth trying to sink images on
the rear dull side of a mirror? What delights in that, not yet
descended onto the page?
Here is rather a closest encounter with the many bodies longing
for one more body.
«My poems are different from Indian poets’ too, as I write in
isolation, so I write what I feel in me – not impressed by
contemporary Hindi poetry. That is why your understanding will
be good for my poems, they may get a new dimension, see,
translation can give a new life to poetry, as when you are
taking my poems to Italian readers, they may be talking in new a
language, their expression may get a new life. So, do not worry,
just ask me if there is any cultural difference or some
confusion.» (excerpt from a letter of Rati Saxena)
Assume that you may have now to deal like with a couple of
twins: you ask the first and listen to the other answer. So, who
is who? They both resemble some truth and seem to attain it at
once. Which text brings instead the original inspiration and
which gives it back as a minor, rough, borrowed tone of it?
Words, draping all things together under a new whiteness,
in-shape the world, though deeply along the thread of Fate,
maintain and protect their good conduct to the ripest
experiences of life. «Before your arrivgrowth
and death, is all at once revealed
within the eternal enmeshment of spirit and matter, among the
planes of heaven, and then «Try talking / everything will come
again / flesh, bones and tongue / and sound too». All those
bodies are one and only shelter built for Life: «everyone has to
make his place / by cutting the hardness without teeth».
As much as the perfect singularity of inspiration resists
translation and against the multiplicity of the tensions, the
sometimes laborious inventions to create “the” purest language
from the one soaked in the other many languages, you need to
abandon any strict grammar register, the clean, easy line of the
basic structures combination and risk re-writing.
Metaphors are the brown curses of bones, the black branch, after
some delight of imagination.
All of one life you read certain verses and write others, but
you do as if you had nothing to read, nothing to write, as if
you had already heard all the music pause in silence.
New signs swarms instead on your body: you head for the endpoint
and gauge you are too heavy, too tall or too thick to pass
through. Something must be left behind, thousands of year old.
Let the verses become the awaited guest inside you, beneath the
stream of sounds and ideograms, out of the same sheet of music,
vibrating on different strings, swallowed by black resonance
boxes. Then you cross the thick forest dwelling on their
symbols, interpret the thumb on the lips of the child, «While
passing through a strange dream / crossing the way full of
Arms, legs, beaks, feet, wings, fingers, trunks, boughs, roots,
rats, worms, moths: not mute parts of a common scene, where the
poem is spoken, mouldered, spread out of randomness. They are
bred out of Love. All celebrate incarnation. These ones are all
bare skin covering the same underlying bones, swinging between
the different stages of time: late age and youth, not other than
two clearer turns of the same wheel, of the turning world,
nodding at any new turn. «Father loved this saying: /“When an
ant dies, it grows wings” / He said this whenever our dreams /
seemed ready to take–off».
Nothing thus ever comes to a polluted end, fearful,
finally accepted as a relief from pain. «In the dark fearful
jungle / atop the thorns / a beautiful dream blossoms».
Death is holy, quietly welcomed when it is time, like a guest
you took all life to get acquainted with. It establishes itself
as a quality which requires some effort, not a violent, enraged,
disposal of nature «On the earth / I started decaying /
earthworm was also there / where I fall».
The scriptures encourage a joyous release to the heaven worlds.
Ashes and remains collected on a tray, white fragments of bones
– flowers – the water sprinkled over.
Then it comes with no disbelief, exhuming spirit from its old
skinned-shape, like the fragrant secretion from the dried
flower, an outer dream, an enlarging bark ring «[...] as soon as
I open my mouth, / my dream slips out / and hangs on a branch
like a ghoul. // My very own dream, now outside the window. /
while I’m inside».
Grafted beyond the window, all trees invite the dead under their
green spine to take a seat alone and watch the dark.
A Short Note on Rati Saxena's poems by Federico Federici