Saturday, November 29, 2008

revision to "Judgement in the Divine Court", 2

As I mentioned in my previous post, here is the first normspell translation of the poem, II. Juj Men in the Divvine Korten. Really, normspell and stevespell are old terms that don’t do justice to the transformation of language going on in my current poetry. I am not merely altering words and grammar and spelling for their own effect. I am composing, in one text, multiple statements with divergent meanings embedded into each other.

I am not aware that anyone else is doing anything even remotely similar in English. I do not say that with arrogance. What I am doing may be a total waste of your time. Even so, my experience in writing it has a unique and elevating quality to it. It seems to be forcing me to understand the world in an entirely new way.

You know that “new way.” You’ve heard it a thousand times before, but not quite like this. We must learn to see the world from multiple perspectives. But I’m not saying that we merely need to see the multiplicity. We must integrate those perspectives, allowing mutual admissibility, not just of what is compatible, but of what is contradictory. I am not talking about juxtaposition. Juxtaposition does not require integration. Nor does it require moral judgment. We juxtapose and we pick and choose. We juxtapose and we become relativists.

I am talking about formulating an intellectual and spiritual foundation for a diverse society, that is able to draw the borders between acceptable individualism, and the depredations of extremism. To achieve this, we must restructure the way we think. It is not enough to be well-read. Bigots can be well-read. It is not enough to be open-minded. Naive fools can be open-minded. We must see broadly, and then process what we see in a more integrated and critical/self-critical fashion.

I offer this writing as a possible model. Perhaps it is a good one; perhaps not. Well, what of it? But if Western society does not succeed in this venture, the great experiment of democracy and individualism will fail. And the likes of the 10 men in Mumbai that murdered hundreds will usher in our new world.

II. Judgement of our Divine Courtship

From their heavenly realms the Prophets of the Ancient of Days
Observe the worlds that they have bestirred.

Moses and his sanhedrin of disciples sit;
They, the human generation of Adonai.
From Yehoshua and Shmuel to Ezra and Malachi
Their court dictates through Israel, God’s beloved.
Tremulous, the people try to obey,
But even though their Soul is of the Messiah,
Its presence whispers so nebulously,
And this earth is so brash. What can they hear?
     Accept Israel for the sake of unity,
     And their word will extinguish the interfering worlds!

And into visionary fields, fallow and fertile,
In scorn, men went from the Temple to plow;
These two in caustic soil up to their teeth:

Jesus, his lone and enchanting voice,
Bits of abstract tales in a language unknown.
But his minions imagine his words are clear,
That he speaks a language that corresponds to what they hear.
They trample and stampede in their dreamlike hearing,
But when they will wake, they won’t believe a word.

From his tome of God-war comes the echos of Muhammed
Repenting. Hear his terrible groans,
His twisting and shaking from hate-full wisdom:
     “By my faith I have bred a house of pollution.
     “My book is a plan to build warrens of hate.
     “The jihad verses see a world so corrupt –
     “What a dim view of the holy Soul.
     “To carve into my children a realm of peace,*
                                                  *“Dar el Islam
     “Behold the bloody knife that I bear!
     “Islam itself is the Dar el Harb.*
                                                  *”region of war”
     “To my Lord I have drawn them in brutish garb.”
Muhammed has turned his back on the soul
Of his generations. Till their will is broken,
He will intercede, that their work will fail.

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