Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Job Well Done

My camera offers no solutions to this flood;
I offer images of only what floats past.
My feet are on the ground but it is mud.
The difference between loose and fast
Is obvious to some.

If I paint these mocking pictures (if I was a painter)
What more or less would you expect of me?
If a singer of political songs, must I sing them fainter?
The difference between blind and won't see
Is obvious to some.

So I write my words and string them in a poem
They take up space not on paper, but on screen
Because they no longer can find in print a home.
The difference between heard and seen
Is obvious to some.

Journalist I am not, no politician's mate.
The canary's job is to drop dead - it's a token
Of his contribution - it is more than fate.
But there are no answers when questions are left unspoken
Even that is obvious to some!


This pathetic poetical excursion was inspired by the mrbrown affair, something that still haunts the Singapore blogosphere, the way the reaction to Osip Mandelstam's poem tells us so much about Stalinist Russia. Link 1 Link 2 Link 3

Quotes from Hope Against Hope:

Was it just coincidence that none us ever broke the rules of Soviet etiquette? M. [Mandelstam] for example, didn't observe them at all. He had no self-control - he joked, shouted, hammered on closed doors, raged and fumed and never ceased to express astonishment at what was going on around us. P289

"Stalin doesn’t have to cut heads off," said M. "They fly off by themselves like dandelions." P301

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