poetry as an insolent departure from conformity

weiwei

when you are made to believe
that a tragedy is a tragedy when
it is driven by a populism-pill
or a mass media narrative,

do you raise your right eyebrow
for all those that are left behind?

when you write, remember the spirit
&gushing blood of struggle & revolution,
of the counted measures of oppressors
and patron saints of ‘civilization’.

when you write, remember that your
words reek of the same puncture-
flesh-wound, the same blottings
of history, that are left to obscure
bookmarks or a silent/distractive
nod with a thought that we have
progressed: “we have changed”.

when you write in the colonial tongue
of the superiority of your pain&despair,
take the language, nourish it, and
grow with it, a seeded&sprouted
rebellion, against its masters
of propriety and precipitous puerility —

be insolent, question everything,
be visible, valourize nothing,

use poetry as a tool of discounting
all that they say in rhetorics,
use poetry as the shrapnel death
that maims humanity every day.

use poetry as the breath of those
burrowing through the gutters
of your urban dismay,
use poetry to wreck like the rivers,
the oceans, the hills, the earth,
anguished by your society’s disrepair.

use poetry as a refrain, as a chant,
as a protest, as an active agent for change,
use poetry as a brandishing sword
that would mark the history with
its parallels, and cut open & devein
the sanitized versions and visions
of the hegemonic normals & neutral angels,

use poetry to fuck things up,
use poetry to fuck them up.

.
© Anmol Arora

Image source (Study of Perspective – Eiffel Tower. 1995–2003. Top right: Ai Weiwei. Study of Perspective – Mona Lisa. 1995–2003. Bottom left: Ai Weiwei. Study of Perspective – Tiananmen Square. 1995–2003. Bottom right: Ai Weiwei. Study of Perspective – White House. 1995–2003.)

Linking it up with The Tuesday Platform at WRT, where I am hosting this week and I have given an optional challenge (in consideration of the Poetry Month) to write a poem titled, “Poetry as…” while taking inspiration from Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Poetry as Insurgent Art

Day 16
(Inter)National Poetry Month

18 thoughts on “poetry as an insolent departure from conformity

  1. He who rules the narrative rules the world… can dissent poetry take on the false narrative, the bias, the the power of power? Maybe not, but not trying would perhaps make the poet complicit. You found the words for all our thoughts, Anmol,… may your words inspire us all.

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  2. sanaarizvi says:

    My goodness the voice in this poem is so raw and powerful, Anmol! It’s stronger than a hail storm, fiercer than fire and piercing more still than glass. I especially love; “use poetry as a refrain, as a chant, as a protest, as an active agent for change, use poetry as a brandishing sword that would mark the history with its parallels, and cut open & deve in the sanitized versions and visions of the hegemonic normals & neutral angels.” ❤️

    Arz kiya hai… 🙂

    “Chashm-nam jaan-e-shorida kafi nahin,
    tohmat-e-ishq-e-poshida kafi nahin,
    aaj bazaar main pa-ba-jaulan chalo
    dast-afshaan chalo mast o raqsan chalo.”

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  3. Kestril Trueseeker says:

    I read this several times, once out loud for the joy of speaking this poetic battle cry out loud. The pacing, the word choices – wonderful. This piece demands not only that the reader look into themselves (and get real about which positions they support because they actually give a damn, and what’s just for show) it insists they stop being bystanders and get out there to do the things with their best weapons, their words.

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  4. Fuck them period. You know, I want poetry that makes me angry nowadays. Not in the gutwrenching sad parts of my soul but in the thinking feeling part of my soul. I am tired and have been tired of sophistries for a long time. Tired of the sweet romantic bilge, tired of the say what makes people happy bilge, tired of most of it. When I wrote poetry in the 70’s and 80’s, I wrote incendiary poems. thank you for this one.

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  5. This poem gains pace and power with every stanza……..it gets my adrenaline going. YES! This poem shows how much power a poem carries, how much impact it can have. You wield your pen with conviction, HA. I love this.

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  6. Yvonne Osborne says:

    I love it!! Poetry can and should be all those things. And your ending…yes, for sure. Thank you for putting this one out there.

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  7. Susie Clevenger says:

    I agree with Sherry. I feel this poem, want to write in hard ink, slap some sense into the senseless, raise a middle finger with poetry..Awesome!!

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  8. I so enjoyed speaking the title aloud, Anmol, it made me feel insolent and rebellious and I haven’t felt like that in a while! I love the lines:
    ‘use poetry to wreck like the rivers,
    the oceans, the hills, the earth,
    anguished by your society’s disrepair’
    and your poem is a great example!

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  9. Ah, such fire in the belly! (I remember it.) I LOVE the title. And the last verse. The rest is elaboration (albeit wonderfully expounded). Or perhaps I am just old and sad, and should give thanks there are such as you to whom to pass the torch. (Well, I do give thanks.)

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  10. When you are young you are supposed to fight for a better life for all.. If you are young and you do not then you are already old and can look forward to an interminably long life of old age.If you have never had a young eventful life you will never survive old age.

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