Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Poetry as advocacy for human justice

The thing about political poetry that is so confusing is that so much written to dignify the oppressed become anthems to glorify the ignominious--like the odes to Stalin when he died by Pablo Neruda & Paul Robeson. The artist, who should be a herald of human dignity & emancipation instead becomes a toady & lickspittle apologist for the status quo.

Art can be ideologically liberating or it can be a straightjacket. Art can be art or it can be propaganda. That’s why the poetics of Indian poet Musab Iqbal are of such consequence. He is not dispassionate; he is not neutral in the struggles between human violence & human justice. He expresses the dichotomies poetically without compromising:

"The cruelty of border is best known by my heart pierced by the fact of its existence. All my dreams are like glorious skeleton hanging at the electric wire separating two worlds, which share the vinous wind and golden evening. The terror of anxiety is the failures of reconciliation between the dreams of remain free and the reality to arrest what is free. Like a sculptor I search for new material, new elements to mold and cast new forms of dream to be embraced by reality without violence.

I find myself with handcuffed in a museum of dreamy objects tempting me to touch and kiss and own but with my wounded eyes I cant even gaze them for prolonged time. In delirium to achieve dust of agony, a piece of anger, a flower of love and lock of anxiety I imagined a world where I am left in an imagined space where all walls are noxious and windows are shielded with iron plate and most obscure waves to communicate are ripped by the security apparatuses outside the imagined boundary.

The luxury to hunt soul has marked the character of angel of death whom I met last night crossing a bridge made of rusted materials on the colorless rivers flowing to an unknown destination. In their pot of dead souls I found one, which was wrapped, not naked like others. It was glittering like a distant star being very closed unable to speak for itself the angel with his eyes nutritioned by the cold fire ignited by the spark of soul. One which glow was the soul not ready to return all faded were crying to get back.

Ashamed of his existence his own name the angel of death was asking for mercy when the sheet of sky was wrapped and earth was groundless being creature of space he was not even hung. Paradise was swinging between man and a woman and angels sucking blood were the tunnels through which they crossed to reach the final destination not what was in between.

Counting the pages of the encyclopedia of wounds his eyes was blue and red in color stone in matter and marked by atomic fire the scars were the retinas capturing the constitution of wounds. Only wound can hold wound.

In preserving all the molecules of life one stumbles to know what is wholeness of life when the most important of atom is so separated, so isolated and so included. I then see myself as an atom in your life, your life that flows like sea caring for nothing but to move and oscillate.

My words are like birds when in clutch of two hands don’t move, don’t vibrate, don’t exist but as they get free from the thought of hand they fly and find meaning beyond the system never return telling me what they found and what they captured in their flying eyes."

- Musab Iqbal, 11th March 2013

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