Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kenia's Wednesday Challenge

The House of Times Past

I knocked on the door of times past, no one answered.
I knocked
a second time and then another and another.
No answer.
The house of times past is halfway covered with vines
the other half is covered with ashes.
The house where no one dies and I am knocking and calling.
Just for the pain of calling and not being heard.
Just only to keep knocking. The echo brings back
my anxiety of opening these frozen steps.
Night and day mingle together in the waiting
in the knocking and knocking.
Times past certainly do not exist.
And the empty building has been condemned.

Hello there toads! It's Kenia here and today I start to introduce you to my favorite South American poets and writers. I've chosen to begin with a fellow Brazilian, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, who lived in the same State I live in. He was born in 1902 and died in 1987 - I was nine years old then and vividly remember going to an exhibit of poems and photographs of his.

On vacation in Rio de Janeiro, one can find a bronze statue of Drummond sitting on a bench on Copacabana sidewalk (vandals have stolen its glasses five times so far this year).

Drummond made use of free verse, and never depended on a fixed meter. His work is one of the most unique in contemporary poetry, his poems are often described as humorous, full of movement, self-knowledge, and appreciation of the transitoriety, his central concern is primarily metaphysical.

Don't Kill Yourself

Carlos, keep calm, love
is what you're seeing now;
today a kiss, tomorrow no kiss,
day after day tomorrow's Sunday
and nobody knows what will happen

It's useless to resist
or to commit suicide.
Don't kill yourself. Don't kill yourself!
Keep all of yourself for the nuptials
coming nobody knows when,
that is, if they ever come.

Love, Carlos, tellurian,
spent the night with you,
and now your insides are raising
an ineffable racket,
saints crossing themselves,
ads for better soap,
a racket of which nobody
knows the why or wherefor.

In the meantime, you go on your way
vertical, melancholy.
You're the palm tree, you're the cry
nobody heard in the theatre
and all the lights went out.
Love in the dark, no, love
in the daylight, is always sad,
sad, Carlos, my boy,
but tell it to nobody,
nobody knows nor shall know.

In the Middle of the Road

In the middle of the road there was a stone
there was a stone in the middle of the road
there was a stone
in the middle of the road there was a stone.

Never should I forget this event
in the life of my fatigued retinas.
Never should I forget that in the middle of the road
there was a stone
there was a stone in the middle of the road
in the middle of the road there was a stone.

(For those willing to get to know more of his style, has a selection of his poems. Make sure to read Seven-sided poem and the great pain of things that will happen.)


The existence and the essence of reality in its multiple aspects are considered to be the major themes of metaphysics, which investigates the foundations, causes, and the intimate relations of all things, questioning why they exist and why they are what they are. My challenge this week is philosophical. Pick a common metaphysical question and work on a thoughtful, poetical answer to it. Click here for a list of questions for inspiration or just in case you can't think of any you find good enough.

Link your poem, leave a comment and provide a link in your blog toReal Toads. Have fun!


Jinksy said...

How could I resist a challenge like this? Thanks, Kenia.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I'm so excited about this challenge.. can't wait to have an hour in this day to devote to it. Thanks Kenia.

Ella said...

Wow, this is an amazing challenge!
I had to give it a try!
Thanks Kenia for pushing my gray mattered poems into new frontiers!

Kenia Santos said...

Thanks everyone participating on my challenge today. You're awesome guys. <3

Mary Ann Potter said...

Loved this challenge. I think that most writers are metaphysical whether we realize it or not!

Fireblossom said...

I flunked philosophy (no really...I did!), but I gave this a go. :-)

Marian said...

ack, i got all boxed up on this one. i feel like i have better examples. but, here it is.

Old Raven said...

I have had my head in metaphysics half a lifetime ... strange for one as literal as I.

shawnacy said...

love this!
hoping to be able to set aside some time this week to set to.

Scarlet said...

My post is up ~ Thanks for the challenge ~

Mary B. Mansfield said...

Great challenge, thanks!