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god    is a poet

August 8, 2010

by Daniela Elza

Metaphors evoke one another and are coordinated more than sensations,
so that a poetic mind is purely and simply a syntax of metaphors.

—Gaston Bachelard

Literature… is the Promised Land in which
language becomes what it really ought to be.

—Italo Calvino

the language of god

(the burning bush
(the stone tablets
(the serpent

that made us
f all like a ripe apple.

(the elevation
of the mountain

parables of

(the seeds
that take root in fertile soil
(I didn’t make this up)

or those un fortun ate ones that fell on the rocks.

(the lamb.

do we forget we speak in tongues of

between the image
and the lack of a tangible presence

there is a gap
through which

to meaning

(in metaphors.
neatly folds

his mortality. and language becomes
what it really ought to be

the mistake

(he can make) is to take
the making of the world in seven days

lite r ally.

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Daniela Elza has released more than 120 poems into the world in more than 40 publications. Most recently her work appeared in Vallum, Matrix, ditch, educational insights, BluePrintReview, One Ghana One Voice, 4 poets (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2009) and is forthcoming in The Trumpeter and The New Orphic Review. Daniela lives with her family in Vancouver and sporadically blogs at Strange Places.

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  1. August 10, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    i had to go through this one few times,
    still not sure i have it
    but there is some sweet stinging in my mouth everytime my lips utter the words..

  2. Barbara LaMorticella
    August 11, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    I read this poem twice, and yes, there are words of power in it, words that sting sweetly. But then, there are primal myths and realities evoked: the burning bush, the stone tablet–& the ancient earth companions the serpent, the lamb, seeds. But. I believe part of the art of poetry is scoring it on the paper. And this scoring makes no sense to me, except as an attempt at some kind of exercise in cleverness or perhaps uniqueness:

    f all; un fortun ate; lite r ally–

    I was interested to see if Daniela’s reading would shed some light on this matter, but those breaks apparently relate to nothing– she didn’t indicated they exist by even a millisecond’s hesitation as she read.

    If there is some theoretical substructure behind this choice, I’d be interested to hear.

  3. August 13, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Thanks Dhyan and Barbara, for your thoughts, and for your effort.

    Barbara, good question. As you note the auditory experience is different from the visual. I think it is ok for them to be different experiences. A concrete poem, for instance, will have a visual aesthetic which will be hard to put in the auditory expression.
    Visually you will see “all women” and those seeds that fell on the rocks were perhaps not so unfortunate. They become food for birds and other creatures etc. This poem is about interpretation, so these are attempts at pulling more strings in that direction. And, of course, play. Play is very important to me. (Sometimes, the spaces isolate parts of the poem which read in isolation can open their own little window and show another face of a word in a different context.) I want the reader to participate in this interpretation and to play along with me.
    And it may not always be successful. :-)

    For different readers different aspects will succeed depending on what they bring to the poem. And it does take more effort sometimes.

    Other than aesthetic considerations, the spaces are meaningful to me in other ways. They are silences, the things we do not speak. They are gaps in our knowledge, and memory. Yet, when we speak it appears seamless.

    When we say the poem, any poem, we are only speaking one of the interpretations. A friend of mine suggested adding echoes of some of the visual aspects in the auditory reading. I love that idea. I may have to grow in my technological prowess to be able to achieve that.

    The spaces are also an invitation for the reader to come in with their experiences and knowledge.

    Also it is my way to represent on the page in words that it cannot all be captured in words.
    Of course, different aspects of the spaces come to the fore in different poems. etc. etc.

    Poetry is a fine attempt at capturing the world, yet we will be fooling ourselves if we think we have succeeded. Meaning is both in the words… and not in them. So one consideration to breaking up words is to remind myself of that as well. We need to fill them with meaning like we fill a glass of wine to drink from. I feel the poems that touch us most are those that we can participate actively in filling up with meaning.

    Poems are like objects. They can be invested with meaning historic, emotional, geographic etc., or not. (And sometimes we get too invested, as is the case with religious texts. And it becomes problematic when we remove the poetic/metaphoric aspects of the language and read them as we would read a manuals.)

    The world will always be bigger and larger than anything we can ever say. So to me it makes more sense to have a visual way of saying that. To have a more organic, membrane-like form to allow for things to move in and out. And also to be aware that while somethings will be caught, a lot will slip through. I never want to forget that.

    I hope this answer was not too long, and satisfies your question.
    Thank you for asking.

    • August 13, 2010 at 4:48 pm

      wow, it was not meant for me i guess, but i am impress with your comment and the slit it offer to you and your writing

  4. August 13, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    A beautiful poem, beautifully read ~

  5. August 16, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Great, great poem, Daniela!

  1. August 8, 2010 at 5:00 pm
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