Tuesday, February 5, 2013

open letter to Sofiya

Dear Sofiya,

I've been thinking a great deal about poetry for quite a long time. Mostly I'm perplexed by what I read here and there. I don't know why those poems are being written. I don't want anyone to tell me about their life or about life in general. Life is already there, in front of everyone.

What I like about your poems is how the lines are like spoken spells. They constitute an act of indirect conjuring. In the openness of your lyrics, the more-than-life peeps through. The mystic unsayable that Wittgenstein alluded to or pointed toward is given space to breathe.

I would like to think that a few of my own efforts also allow something of the metaphysical (for lack of a better word) to shyly appear between the lines.

Whatever it is that is beyond the quotidian and the pathetic of experience lives in the poetry of Tomas Tranströmer and a very few others. It has a quality akin to waking dream and to the suggestions of ambivalent music. It creates haunting atmospheres of reading. It chants (like Brodsky) with images subtly conveying the spirits of things behind phenomenal and ordinary appearance. As if the soul of time and the ghost of space commingle just beneath the script. Metaphor as real magic -- a transforming into presence.

I don't want to read poems that rehash experience, that are hung up on mere situation or nostalgia. I prefer poems composed with aesthetic elements reaching into the uncanny and tremulous moods of being.

All my best,


  1. My dear friend Tim:
    Let me tell you a tale, perhaps a fairy tale that I hope belongs not only to me. Once upon a time there was born a girl with the bouquet of beautiful rainbow shadows clanged in her little feast and a deem premonition of her task to find the things to which these shadows belong . This was her only heritage, and for many years she was looking for a home, where to find these things until right before the final curtain on the stage of her life was about to fall she found…well …not a house, a land or a man, but a garden where yet her shadows are to be planted into the little hearts of beautiful flowers for which much work yet to be done. But this is the story of her destiny. And what about .. her poetry? It ‘s still walking on the swinging rainbow net of uncertain shadows, looking for the direction, for a guiding light in an open streams of turbulent light projected into the dusk by the dancing stars on the invisible skies. Sometimes her poetry lands to rest in the beautiful worlds filled with incarnated thoughts and textured experiences, the rich worlds like you poetry , my friend Tim. There she learns to walk in profound meditations and not to miss a turn or a corner of Time incarnated in time.
    Today I want to dedicate to you one of my first attempts to write poetry in your native tongue. You may also consider it as my credo.
    the poet music
    To Tim
    София Юзефпольская-Цилосани
    before you slide up to the very heaven
    along the trembling scared string of violin
    before you weep out the sweetness of cello
    and taste the aroma of longing
    before you dance and sparkle in the springs
    consisting of the tiny drops released by flute,
    and swim in grand-piano's roar of waterfalls
    or being magnetized reflect its moons in silence
    before the orchestra has started to unleash
    the oceans upon the concert hall
    and even
    before you hear bits of ancient drums
    that circulate the blood of your desire
    sink in the mud of day
    in the messy resolutions
    sloppy performances
    and stupor
    of feeling deed and thought
    have a cup of bitter coffee
    in the morning, count money
    cry over broken dish
    eat a cold dinner, go shopping
    exhaust yourself by worries
    over nothing --
    and realize and feel and touch
    your soul at night and how cracked
    how textured it has become
    how ready
    you plough it ... then ... the wind..
    will come

    2 Апрель 2010 г.

    © Copyright: София Юзефпольская-Цилосани, 2011

  2. Sofiya,

    I like the story of the girl who sowed the world with auras of poems and the ghost-colors of metaphor. And I'm honored by the dedication of your credo poem. I remember this poem of how inspiration subtly leaks through cracks opened by the friction and wounds of daily experience. How music gains its resonance by being so other to the ordinary.