A feeling deferred (?)
This is the fate of most unpublished poems.
Something happens, you get touched, it festers, you need to let it out, or you’ll start making a fool of yourself (And it’s important not to make a fool of yourself-at any cost! After all, you are an “abesha” J).
So, you grab a piece of paper and jot it down. Upon reading it, you recognize a rhythm. You impoverish. And it becomes a poem. You read it. Your friends read it! You wonder. They wonder! Something has changed with both you and original problem. It has stopped eating you. Or you have refused to let it! Doesn’t sound as bad anymore. You may even mumble a humble “leBego ne’w” (for you are, after all, an “abehsa”. No God can dare not to get involved in your measly little affairs). Having accomplished it’s mission, the piece of paper gets disposed of. Some place where old memories with old feelings go (an old strap-less leather hand bag you have no use for anymore, as in my case, or a closet full of clothes you can never hope to fit into again, or books you have yet to finish reading)!
Years later, when you are either cleaning the closet or flipping through the pages of an old book, you come across it. It surprises you! The emotions surprise you, because you no longer have them! And the way you captured them surprises you, because you no longer care. If this was a person, and not a piece of paper, you’d have probably passed him/her by on the street. If it was an ex lover or a firmly held (presecuted over; spent nights after nights crying under the pillar of) religion, you’d have started homorraging already.
Next to the way your hair looks in the evening (you know who you are), and the people you once thought you can’t live without, it’s one of those things that makes you stop and wonder about yourself. Because you are no longer that person. Sure! The feeling used to be yours! The hand writing certainly is familiar. But it is missing the main ingredient.. the talking point, if you will: It doesn’t have *you* in it!
So, can you still have a claim to it? Can you call it “yours”, present perfect J?! Shouldn’t there be an expiration date to your writing, just like there is to your emotions & beliefs? A growing out of, a coming of age, a letting go?! A bowing out for the less pimply, less insecure & less sentimental *you* who probably doesn’t have as much way with words as used to, but is more masterly when it comes to the way of this world?! In short, how long is your writing your writing?!
Here is a short something “I” wrote a couple of years ago, when I had the ability to capture an idea the way I would have liked to capture ideas now. It’s dedicated to Ato Wondwossen Adane, Head of Literature Department at Addis Ababa University, and hopes to give the finger to another AAU instructor who, to this writer (and a couple of other wannabee writer friends atleast) is the abesha version of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”. He steals talents and kills them. It’s no wonder, then, that none of the handful writers whose writing we know and love are Literature Department graduates!
Ok! Enough accusations :-)! Click on document for a clearer view, hit the back button when you are done reading. And Enjoy!
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