shadow

Narratives of Diaspora and Exile in Arabic and Palestinian Poetry

Saddik M. Gohar, United Arab Emirates University

Download PDF Version

Abstract

This paper underlines the attitudes of Palestinian / Arab poets toward the issues of exile and identity integral to their traumatic experience of Diaspora and displacement. From a historical context  and within the parameters of colonial / postcolonial theory , the paper  advocates a new critical perspective exploring the dialectics of exile and identity in Palestinian / Arabic poetry in order to argue that  exile , in contemporary world literature ,  becomes  a signifier  not only  of living  outside  one’s homeland but also of  the  condition caused by such physical absence. Aiming to reach a state of reconciliation rather than conflict, the poetic voices, analyzed in the paper, reflect a sense of nostalgia and emotional attachment toward their homeland. The paper  argues that Palestine, for  the Palestinian poets, is not  a paradise or an idealistic utopia that only exists in  their  poetry and  imagination but  a geographical reality caught up in national and religious limbos  and rooted in the trajectories of colonial history and diabolical  power  politics.

Stillness of star-less nights: Afghan Women’s Poetry of Exile

Rumpa Das, Maheshtala College, South 24 Parganas, India

Download PDF Version

 Abstract

Contemporary English poetry by Afghan women presents a remarkable reading experience. Critical explorations, at ease with post-colonial conditions, minority solitude and feminist readings, have largely remained inimical to the unique, yet chequered history that women poets such as Zohra Saed, Sahar Muradi, Sara Hakeem, Fatana Jahangir Ahrary, Fevziye Rahzigar Barlas and Donia Gobar document in their works. Most of them write in their native Dari and Pushtun languages as well as in English and often their English compositions have smatterings of their native tongues. Even though individual experiences differ, these women delve into the collective memory of oppression, pain and unrest to give vent to their feelings, and seek to reach out towards a sorority of shared angst. This paper seeks to explore the complex cultural contexts which have given birth to Afghan women’s poetry in exile.

Voicing Colourspaces: Colour-usage and Response as Alternative Narration in Dennis Cooley’s Bloody Jack

Ashes Gupta, Tripura University, India.

Download PDF Version

Abstract

Dennis Cooley has attempted to unsettle several complex issues relating to post modernity, intertextuality, mingling of genres, decentering authority et al.  His poetry is rich in complexity and in dealing with the problems of the text. He has published three books of poetry.  Leaving (Turnstone 1980), Fielding (Thistledown 1983) and Bloody Jack (Turnstone 1985).  His poetry reveals his interest in formal departures from the tyranny of orthodox running rhythm, and the left hand margin.  From Leaving to Bloody Jack, Cooley has decentred authority from its traditional formal and ideological strongholds including the author, and placed it in the mind and heart of the reader.  In his books of poetry, especially Bloody Jack, Cooley tends to deal with flexibility, knowledge and tolerance and seeks to voice the sparsely populated and neglected space of the Canadian prairie. This paper is an attempt to read Dennis Cooley’s Bloody Jack from the semiotic perspective of his use of colour as sign-code in it and the other related issues that it voices.

The Poetics of John Ashbery

Gargi Bhattacharya, Rabindra Bharati University

Download PDF Version

Abstract

John Ashbery (1927- ) takes the postmodernist polysemy of meaning in interpreting a work of art and the polyphony of styles in composing as his forte. He questions the various linguistic codes and makes us aware of the artificiality of the language. All political, ethical and aesthetic imperatives are rhetorical constructs. The writer uses language to persuade the reader to accept the formulated truth and he intervenes in the process of perception by his/her politics of representation. Though his iconoclastic approach towards writing and individuality of style has kept him aloof from mainstream academic syllabi, yet he has now become a prominent figure in Contemporary American Literature. It is interesting to note how Ashbery’s poetry revives the Romantic sensibility while applying the digitalized methods and the postmodern syndromes of immediacy, indeterminacy, disjunctive syntax, open-ended and multiplicity of interpretations. This paper explores the aesthetics of John Ashbery’s poetry.

Bob Dylan’s Folk Poetics in the Later Albums: Telling the Story of America in Ruins in Simple Poetic Language

Matt Shedd, University of Oregon, USA

Download PDF Version

Abstract

Bob Dylan’s recent albums have returned to a more basic sense of American vernacular and poetics, employing stock phrases that evoke a rural America of the past. However, the past does not provide any shelter from modern day angst and impending devastation. We see this particularly in the 2001’s Love and Theft, coincidentally released on the day of the Twin Towers attack. By foregoing concepts of radical artistic individuality, Dylan use more traditional folk poetics to provide a historical and communal account of the descent of the United States into what Dylan calls “an empire in ruins.”

Language as Remnant: Survival, Translation and the Poetry of Paul Celan

Dipanjan Maitra, Jadavpur University, Kolkata

Download PDF Version

Abstract

This paper is an attempt to explore the relation between poetry and survival taking as a point of focus the poetry of the post-war European poet Paul Celan. By drawing attention to the French thinker Jacques Derrida’s several influential studies of Celan’s poetry on the problems of “witnessing”,  “testimony” and the “idiomatic” this paper finally examines the Italian thinker Giorgio Agamben’s notion of the “remnant” to understand a poetics of survival.

Memory: The ‘Spiral’ in the Poetry of Joy Harjo

Susmita Paul, Independent Scholar

Download PDF Version

Abstract

Memory as a narrative is a vindicated thesis in academia. In the article, the author focuses on the nature and the function of ‘memory’ in the poetry of Joy Harjo, an indigenous American poet with tribal affiliations. Instead of using only Eurocentric discourses of performance studies and theoretical studies on memory, the author attempts to assess the distillation of Harjo’s independent ideas on memory in her creative oeuvre – written and performed poetry. Further, the author probes how Harjo’s ‘theory’ of memory connects the past, the present and the future.

Towards a Postmodern Poetics: Reading Elizabeth Bishop’s Reccy of Realities

Amit Bhattacharya, University of Gour Banga

Download PDF Version

Abstract

In this paper, I have tried to analyze a few poems by Elizabeth Bishop to show how she takes up or takes in shifting identities and subject-positions in a clear dialogue with cultural norms and expectations. I have also sought to chart her poetic trajectory from alienation to alterity to show how she started by refusing to accept the ‘otherness’ about her and her various poetic personae based on such determinants as gender, sexuality, class or age, and ultimately accepted those self-same counts of ‘otherness’ in a never-ending melee with the ‘so-called’ metareality of conundrum and contingency that is provisionally called ‘life’.

Book Review: Poor-Mouth Jubilee by Michael Chitwood

Publisher: Tupelo Press (October 15, 2010)

Paperback: 72 pages

Price: $16.95

ISBN-10: 1932195890

ISBN-13: 978-1932195897

Review by

Paula Hayes

Strayer University, USA

“True revelation occurs amid distortion”—The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture:  Volume 1:  Religion

Southern poetry occupies an inimitable place in contemporary literature. Michael Chitwood, whose work has gained significant recognition and a wide readership over the last two decades or so, represents a current trend of an increased interest in Southern poetry. His latest collection, Poor-Mouth Jubilee, reaches back to the heart of what can bind a Southern town together—religion—in an effort to explore the meaningfulness and fruitfulness of human relationships.  Chitwood’s usual positions of irony, skepticism, and cynicism toward Christianity are softened, considerably, in Poor-Mouth Jubilee.  Still, the unrelenting quality of obstinacy that characterizes a particular sect of Southern literature from William Faulkner to Flannery O’Connor is ever-present in Poor-Mouth Jubilee. The concept of obstinacy in Southern literature translates into the idea that while it is impossible to overcome suffering through a transcendence of it, nonetheless there can be a repudiation of the belief that suffering is meaningless. Poor-Mouth Jubilee reminds us that meaning can be found in the smallest of appreciations. In the poem, “Now And In Our Time of Need,” Chitwood describes how a flock of crows can remind us of the need for prayerful meditation.

Paradise Lost and the Dream of Other Worlds

Hrileena Ghosh, Jadavpur University

Download PDF Version

Abstract

The doctrine of plural worlds is an ancient concept which received a new lease on life as a result of developments in astronomy in the sixteenth century. In his epic Paradise Lost, John Milton repeatedly references this idea. Milton uses the concept of plural worlds in two distinct forms: at the literal level, he invokes the possibility of plural worlds within the created universe of the poem, and on a more metaphorical level, he invokes the possibility of the existence of several distinct but overlapping worlds. This paper seeks to consider how and why Milton uses this idea in the ways he does.

Translate »