All poetry all the time
in English, French,Spanish, Portuguese and Haitian Creole.
Monday, January 15, 2018
Some Notes on Rankont Dout
It means meeting in August, meeting with doubt, a meeting that takes place with the knowledge of parting, of a residence on earth ending. For this reason, the songs are full of nostalgia, and they are bittersweet. They note the impossibility of permanence. But they are also full of hope. In one song I write of a Noah's Ark and I ask the listener to come with me on my ark. In another I speak to myself, saying you are a Haitian. You write in our language. You love in our language. In another song I talk of the djonjon mushroom, which I came to love in the island. It adds a black ink to rice and a fine taste. So I talk of carrying djonjon in my suitcase (malet)....enough to last until my next return.
I wrote the songs fearing that I would have to say goodbye, that I could not take the island with me,...so ironically I have indeed taken it with me, in this music, these drums of Pawol Tanbou, the haunting piano of Donaldzie Theodore, the voice and guitar of Titi Congo, in the odd sounds such as the "hoo hoo hoo'" of the song 5 Kesyon Kle nan Dezod.( Five Key Questions for the Disorder). I am free. You are free. He is free. We are free. They are free. Why do you make such a ruckus?. Poukisa tout lobay sa a.?
I also write with wonder and irony. , Brezo means bow tie. I say with the money I will make from my book I will buy a new bow tie and take a taxi to the airport and take a flight to my childhood island to ask the elephants there if they still want to know why I left
I fall in love as well, Mo Maji. Magic Words. I say you know the magic words, simple and forceful, that eliminate dark clouds, and allow me to dance once more (danse anko)
There are songs too about the planet as an island, subject to missiles in the form of comets and asteroids....the apocalypse which also forms part of our consciousness along with the dream of paradise.
Soy poeta estadounidense de origen ceilandes. Naci en esa isla que ya no existe, Ceilan. I write poems in English, Spanish,French, Portuguese and Haitian Creole. I believe in the cross- cultural encounter. Learned early from my parents to turn the other cheek yet keep writing poems on the face of the tyrant. My latest books are Uncivil War, Il n'est de solitude que l'ile lointaine, Pwezi a Kat Men, and Ventana Azul. Look for them on line at Amazon and nirvana.com. Ask for them at your local bookstore. You can also email me if interested in acquiring copies of earlier, hard to find books.
Me gustaria que este espacio sea un lugar de encuentro para poetas de todo el mundo. J'invite a tous a lire des poemes et a faire des commentaires.
Indran Amirthanayagam is a poet, essayist and translator in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Hatian Creole. His first book The Elephants of Reckoning won the 1994 Paterson Prize in the United States. His poem Juarez won the Juegos Florales of Guaymas, Mexico in 2006. Amirthanayagam has published ten books thus far: Aller-Retour Au Bord de la Mer (Legs, Port au Prince, 2014) Uncivil War (Tsar, 2013), La Pelota del Pulpo (Apogeo, Lima 2013), Sin Adorno (Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Monterrey, Mexico 2013)Sol Camuflado (Lustra Editores, Lima, 2011), The Splintered Face Tsunami Poems (Hanging Loose Press, March 2008), Ceylon R.I.P. (The International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2001), El Hombre Que Recoge Nidos (Resistencia/CONARTE, Mexico, 2005) El Infierno de los Pajaros (Resistencia, Mexico, 2001), The Elephants of Reckoning (Hanging Loose Press, 1993).
Amirthanayagam's essays and op-eds have appeared in the Hindu, the New York Times, El Norte, Reforma, New York/Newsday, The Daily News, The Island, The Daily Mirror, Groundviews (Sri Lanka).
Amirthanayagam has played with Non Jazz at various concerts where his poems were set to music by Omar Tamez. He directed Mexico's first ever program dedicated to conversations with poets "Palabras En Vuelo: Poesia en Conversacion" which appeared on cable television in Northern Mexico in 2006. Amirthanayagam is a New York Foundation for the Arts fellow and a past recipient of an award from the US/Mexico Fund for Culture for his translations of Mexican poet Manuel Ulacia. Amirthanayagam has also translated Jose Eugenio Sanchez, Julian Herbert and Jose Emilio Pacheco.