& occasionally about other things, too...

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Love conquers all…

Love conquers all is a line from Leopoldo Paradela’s poem Amor Vincit Omnia.  

Here’s the poem:

Let me look at you and
make sense of my theology.
No matter what I do,
I can never empty my heart.
Good for me is good for all.
Silence! My heart speaks;
Love conquers all.

It was the theme of an evening of poems and music organised by the enterprising Jasmine D’Costa’s Trade Architects. 

Jasmine is by now a master at infusing an evening of poetry reading with a touch of chutzpah and turning it into something that stays in your mind for long. 

Love conquers all brought together poets from diverse background – Jasmine from India, Leo Pardela from Brazil, Colin Carberry from Ireland (and now in Mexico) and Goran Simic from Bosnia.

Violinists Mary Elizabeth Brown and Laura D’Angelo complemented the poets and gave a new dimension to the evening by playing pieces from Mozart and some folk interpretations of Bartok, one of 20th century’s foremost ethnomusicologists.

The venue of this splendid evening was the spectacular St.John’s Cathedral of the Polish National Catholic Church on Cowan Avenue

The poetry was brilliant, as was the music.

The poem that touched my heart was Goran Simic’s My Accent.

My Accent
(for Visnja)
I love my accent, I love that wild sea
which attacks my weak tongue.
It doesn't reside in the morning radio news
as much as in the rustle of the job offer flyers
stapled to the street poles.
In my accent you can find my past,
the different me who still talks with imagined fishes
in a glass of water…

My grandfather was a fisherman
and I grew up on a dock
waiting for him to come back.
He built a gigantic aquarium when I was born
and every time he brought a fish
he named it immediately by some word I had to learn
until the next came...next came...next came.
I remember the first two were called "I am"
and after that the beauty of language came to me
through the shining scales.
I learned watching the aquarium
and recognizing the words by the silent colors.
After returning home
my grandfather would spend whole nights
making sentences by combining the fishes
who would pass each other.
It's how I learned to speak.

I left the house the day when my grandfather went
fishing for a black fish he was missing
and never came back.

Now I am sitting in the middle of my empty room
as in an aquarium
and talking with ghosts of the fishes
I used to recognize by words,
talking with the shadows floating
over the flyers ripped off street poles.

"I love my accent....
I love my accent.."
I repeat and repeat again
just not to ask myself :

Who am I now.
Am I real or just the black fish
my grandfather failed to catch.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post, Mayank. Great seeing you last night. Sang