Monday, September 6, 2010

and enter in euphrates (9.6.10)

child of a wayward parent
lay down your bow
your past
strip off the armor you wore well
helm to boot to raiment

closen eyes which sift through times
faults of all her favors
enough life to realize
burdens of our neighbors

lesions and age
ride upon your face
prove readable at last

come now
and enter in euphrates

wash it all downstream


Galyn said...

I like it. It symbolizes repentance, cleansing, and starting over for me.

Bryson D. Kearl said...

It meant something slightly different to me . . . I loved my interpretation. J-Rock, am I privy to know your meaning?

Josh said...

Nice flow. Artistic yet conversational. Makes me envision a seasoned soldier in Roman armor in a desert as he sheds his past of conflict and immerses himself in the refreshing river of water.

J.S. Lewis said...

Josh, your analysis was poetic in and of itself. Thank you.

I relish in others' individual interpretations. After Kubrick unleashed "2001: A Space Odyssey" on mankind any who saw the film wanted an explanation. He never gave one. Said he, "You're free to speculate as you wish about the philosophical and allegorical meaning of the film — and such speculation is one indication that it has succeeded in gripping the audience at a deep level." Many of my works are cryptic, abstract and altogether mystifying. Like him, I support the reader to find their own meaning within the text. We each bring our own experience, beliefs and ideas to the table where we dissect art. We each find something different.

However, I have decided to comment briefly on this piece. This is not by any means the answer. Merely some of the thoughts that linger in my mind in association with this poem:

I've been meaning to start a blog for my poetry for some time. Yesterday was that day and I was trying to think of what my first post should be... an introduction of some kind...

I had decided to call the blog "euphrates," which was the name for a collection of poems I began writing three years ago. At that time I was reading the second chapter of Genesis. I love the imagery of the river flowing out of the Garden of Eden. It flowed until a point where it parted into four heads: the birth of four rivers. Euphrates was the fourth, the last, and I decided to start there.

Recently, when reading these verses again, I noticed that the account mentions where the first three rivers (Pison, Gihon, and Hiddekel) flow to, but not the fourth, not Euphrates. The notion of a river that nobody knows to where it flows thrilled me. Now, of course, man knows where Euphrates goes - it was just for [whatever reason] not mentioned in Genesis 2. Still, this idea enters me and I love it and so I take and so I use it. Besides, after reading the entry for "Euphrates" in the Bible Dictionary, I like it all the more. It mentions it being "a route of communication between east and west." Perfect for poetry.

And so, with the name and purpose known, I sat before my Mac yesterday with every intention of writing an introduction to euphrates and that is what I did. I just didn't know it was going to be in the form of a poem. In hindsight I feel that nothing could be better. This is a place for poems and only poems (besides readers' comments and I am my own biggest reader).

I have put myself into euphrates. I feel I've enough experiences for this to work. I'm going to let some of these infinite words in my mind "prove readable at last." This piece begins it all. Henceforth and forever will be what follows.