Good evening guys. I’d liketo share my reading for the poem Bir Gün Sabah by the amazing Turkish poet Turgut Uyar. I read it in both Turkish and Arabic.
Hopefully my Turkish isn’t that bad :p
Bir gün sabah vakti kapıyı çalsam,
Uykudan uyandırsam seni:
Ki, sisler daha kalkmamıştır Haliç ten.
Vapur düdükleri ötmektedir.
Köprü açıktır henüz.
Bir gün sabah sabah kapıyı çalsam…
Yolculuğum uzun sürmüş oldukça
Gece demir köprülerden geçmiştir tren.
Dağ başında beş-on haneli köyler,
Telgraf direkleri yollar boyunca
Koşuşup durmuş bizle beraber.
Şarkılar söylemişim pencereden.
Uyanıp uyanıp yine dalmışım.
Biletim üçüncü mevki,
Lüle taşından gerdanlığa gücüm yetmemiş,
Sana Sapancadan bir sepet elma almışım.
Ver elini haydarpaşa demişiz,
Vapur rıhtımdadır pırıl pırıl,
Hava hafifden soğuk,
Deniz katran ve balık kokulu.
Köprüden kayıkla geçmişim karşıya,
Bir nefeste çıkmışım bizim yokuşu…
Bir gün sabah sabah kapıyı vursam,
-Kim o dersin uykulu sesinle içerden.
Saçların dağınıkdır, mahmursundur.
Kimbilir ne güzel görünürsün sevgilim,
Bir sabah vakti kapıyı çalsam,
Uykudan uyandırsam seni,
Ki, daha sisler kalkmamıştır Haliç ten.
Fabrika düdükleri ötmektedir.
لو أطرق الباب صباحاً ذات يوم.
لو أيقظك من النوم.
مع العلم أن الضباب لم يزل بعد من الخليج وصفارات البواخر تصفر.
الأنحاء مظلمة تقريباً.
يكون الجسر مفتوحاً.
لو أطرق الباب في الصباح الباكر ذات يوم.
قد استغرقت رحلتي الكثير يكون القطار قد مر من جسر السكة الحديدية ليلاً.
وعلى الجبل قرى مؤلفة من عدة منازل.
وأعمدة التلغراف ركضت معنا طوال الطريق و توقفت .
غنيت أغاني من النافذة.
استيقظت و استيقظت وشردت مجدداً.
تذكرتي من الدرجة الثالثة، حال الفقير.
ووضعي لم يسمح لشراء قلادة فاشتريت لك سلة من التفاح من سابانجا.
قلنا هات يدك إلى حيدر باشا.
و الباخرة على المرفأ.
الجو بارد قليلاً.
البحر محمل برائحة الأسماك و القطران.
تجاوزت الجسر بالقارب إلى الضفة المقابلة.
صعدت المرتفع بنفس واحد.
لو طرقت الباب في الصباح الباكر ذات يوم.
تقولين: من الداخل من ذلك؟ بصوتك الناعس.
يكون شعرك مبعثراً و تكونين مخمورة.
من يعلم كم تبدين جميلة يا حبيبتي.
لو أطرق الباب صباحاً وأيقظك من النوم.
مع العلم أن الضباب لم يزل بعد من الخليج.
وصفارات المصنع تصفر.
To my behold, I believe that the genre of Magical Realism has been made only for Haruki’s works. I do not recall myself reading in such genre for other authors without me sinking in too much fantasy and very little realism then I end up reading something like Game of Thrones or Harry Potter; however, it’s quite the opposite in Haruki’s works. I remember when reading Kafka on The Shore, I paused for almost two hours in a try to observe how in the hell he was able to incarnate the human spirit on a character that we’ve known as fictional: Johnny Walker. He was Kafka’s father and he played a pivotal role in building the story. The same applies to Colonel Sanders.
“You can hide memories but you can’t erase the history that produced them.”
Nevertheless, Haruki will not lose sight of creating the natural human dialogue between the characters; his characters are thinkers, skeptics, recount many of the events that occurred with them during their day, dreamers, and most important; that all characters are developing characters, were secondary or main. And this makes the plot in a permanent escalation and definitely adds to the mood.
Yet, he’s the ability of overlapping the story’s reality (Haruki’s reality) with the reader’s reality and make the events one gigantic ball of mixed realities that make it hard for the reader to distinguish the truth from the fiction and start questioning the real reality if it was true or false; like how Tsukuru Tazaki’s dreams affect the reality of events.
“But I do think that sometimes a certain kind of dream can be even stronger than reality.”
When reading Haruki’s, especially when the book is finished, I recallJames Mccosh: The book to read is not one which thinks for you, but the one that makes you think. This is why I read for Haruki; he makes me think and rethink of everything. It’s true that most of the times he leaves you high and dry, but it’s never in vain; he doesn’t want to tell you:Oh, this is how the story ends. No, he wants to make sure that you are the one to end that story in any way you see fit.
“There are colors I really like in the world and ones I hate. Pleasant colors, sad colors. Some people have a very deep color, while for others it’s fainter. It can get really tiring, because you see all these colors even if you don’t want to.”
What idea did Haruki want us to develop about Tsukuru being colorless? Did he, after all, really was an empty vessel? Colorless person? for as far as I can remember, most of the people I know run the same “colorless” life that Tsukuro’d had, not to include, of course, Shiro’s part in it. But in a way or another, for himself only he was colorless but to the world and to his friends he was a rainbow that contains all the colors in the world. He build railroad stations and for the importance of his being in the group of five friends and for the strong person they thought him to be, he had to be the one to cut off the group instead of Shiro.
Do we take a habit of underestimating ourselves in front of ourselves just because we don’t receive the exact amount of blood, sweat and tears we put in others? Does that make our lives colorless and aimless? Despite the skeptical, defeatist, suicidal and isolationist personage that he possessed, one could not see Tsukuru as colorless as he thought himself to be.
Many of the ideas raised in the novel have reinforced in Tsukuru’s self that he’s colorless and made him build his life accordingly. First, the nature of the names in Japan in general and within the group in particular. Being a teenager means that everything will have an impact on your feelings and your psyche. You will be at the most sensitive stage of your life so that the simplest joke among friends becomes a sufficient reason to turn your life upside down. Naming Tsukuru “colorless” and the comparison of his name with their colorful names was the beginning of everything for Tsukuru. The lack of color in his name made him believe that there was no color in his whole life and built his life on that basis.
“He wasn’t the type of pretty young boy who immediately grabbed people’s attention, but one whose graceful beauty only become apparent over time.”
Second, during adolescence, one feels extremely attached to the group of friends he makes. Everything that happens during this friendship, every world every action affects the passages of his life later on. As much the friendship was strong as much the destruction it will bring when it’s over.
“The four colorful people and colorless Tsukuru Tazaki.”
Not to ruin the pleasure of reading this marvelous novel much more, you must know that, “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki would just go on living his colorless life.
The whole story is not telling a tale of the shoes that were danced to pieces but a tale of mistrust. It’s obvious that the king had never trusted his daughters; he treated them as his princesses rather than daughters. As a resultant to all this, his daughters never felt encouraged to open up for him and told him were they danced their shoes to pieces every night. He acted like a king and put his daughters as a prize for who could solve this mystery which was so mean. Nevertheless, it is still a fairy tale and if there was anything a child could learn from this tale is to be honest with his parents and parents in return give your children an absolute trust so they will have no excuse to sneak in behind your backs.
In a play that seems to be discussing women’s power in withholding sex for greater good. However, it is far deeper and intriguing than this. This play gave us peeks into women’s daily lives in Ancient Greece. And that not only men are sex-crazed but women as well (but maybe they acted like so because there was actually nothing they could do but getting laid, having babies and cleaning the house!! *THE FEMINIST PART OF ME IS TALKING*
However, It wasn’t the sex strike that led to peace; it was more of a strategic Intelligence that includes:
Acknowledging the problem (the war between Athena and Sparta),
Recognizing its consequences (the loss of individuals from both parties and the absence of men in Athens and Sparta because they are all in war)
Beginning to think of a satisfactory solution (peace)
Finding a way to put this scheme into practice (sex strike)
While men were busy getting laid with their wives and fighting Spartans in vain, Lysistrata -a woman who’ve always considered to be lessen than men, not for herself in particular but for being a woman in general, went initially defying her own sex from Athenians and Spartans by changing their stereotypical image about themselves: they are just sex toys, baby machines and housewives. Thus, there was no impact they might have outside this range. Accordingly, she managed to occupy the Acropolis of Athens. By mutual consent with Spartan women, they exchanged hostages. Thereafter, Lysistrata and her army of women subjected the ruler and all the men under their terms of peace right after all the men of Athens and Sparta have wiggled in agony for not having sex for too long (Which explains who is the weaker party here).
There are a lot of things about us women
That sadden me, considering how men
See us as rascals.
As indeed we are!
But the question remains: why did Aristophanes chose to present his criticism of the Peloponnesian War in the form of a sex comedy? And what makes the women’s sex-strike successful? I believe that this was due to the fact that all the political and military solutions have failed in the eyes of Aristophanes. In a city where most of its men were fighting in the war, only women were left behind, weeping and waiting for their husbands and children to return from the war, so they can resume their life of feeding, sewing and most importantly, having sex. Moreover, when men return from the war there will be nothing for them to do, most of them are soldiers their job is to fight wars. And when they return they will want a warm embrace and bodies burning with lust to ease the horrors of war. So, when they don’t find such a nirvana in home they’ll be forced to put the terms of peace on the table and end this war forever.
“Let each man exercise the art he knows.” The father of comedy once said. In my years of little knowledge of the Athenian society, it never crossed my mind that they were so advanced and intellectual. This Play doesn’t only visualize the Athenian society at the time, but it also visualizes the current societies to the same extent. Even after thousands of years, dear Aristophanes, the situation did not change. Women are still a tool for sex, and a servant in their husband’s house and their roles are almost marginalized, and are still enslaved in many countries, Patriarchy still exists. The women’s movement (Feminism) did not emerge from a vacuum, but from what woman suffered and will be suffering over the years. By referring to the quote above, Aristophanes excelled in exercising the art he knew, he did not only direct the play to the existing political and social events, but proposed a complete solution to them. All the dirty jokes mentioned, the musical extravaganza was not just a comedy for the masses but was more of a scream to catch their oblivious attention to the seriousness of the current situation.
The solution Aristophanes had given proved to be effective until this moment. Initially, the word Lysistrata was listed in lexicons as: The wife that withholds sex for the greater good. Sex boycott, in its various forms, proved its efficiency in many protests around the world (in Colombia, Kenya, Italy, South Sudan and others). Even great movies like Chi-Raq and Absurdistan were made based on the powerful idea of sex strike.
Nevertheless, Lysistrata also focuses on the politics of Athens. The main problem threatening Athenian democracy was that democracy itself DID NOT INCLUDE WOMEN, as their political opinions were marginalized; they were never taken seriously not by government nor by their husbands. However, men of the city think women shouldn’t be allowed to take part in politics because they believe that women were born to satisfy men, to be baby machines, to take care of home finance and sew them some clothes. The idea of women having a voice in politics was non-negotiable. Thus, Lysistrata and the other women thought they should be allowed to take part in politics, because they believe that men are having too limited perspective, and when it comes to peace they should be listening to their wives because they are the ones who really suffer from the consequences of the war.
LYSISTRATA. Before now, and for quite some time, we maintained our decorum and suffered in silence whatever you men did, because you wouldn’t let us make a sound. But you weren’t exactly all we could ask for. No, we knew only too well what you were up to, and many a time we’d hear in our homes about the bad decision you’d made on some great issue of state. Then, masking the pain in our hearts, we’d put on a smile and ask you, ‘How did the Assembly go today? Any decision about a rider to the peace treaty?’ And my husband would say, ‘What’s that to you? Shut up!’ And I’d shut up.
FIRST OLD WOMAN. I wouldn’t have shut up!
MAGISTRATE. If you hadn’t shut up, you’d have got a beating!
At the latest, I believe that Lysistrata succeeds in delivering a political message; all the sex strikes that took place around the world can prove so. And if Aristophanes does not expected that a women’s sex strike could take place in Athens and obviously in the whole world, then why he write this masterpiece at the first place? Sex boycott is powerful if known how and when to use it.
I have this believe that diaries are not worth more than 3 stars, if we’re gonna talk in a star rating way. You see, no matter what events have occurred in your life or what kind of hell you were suffering, at the end of the last page it will all be familiar, easy to imagine and lacks the thrill factor. I know that diaries aren’t being written like fiction and sometimes the thrill factor could be an in accessory to the line of events. But it is just that I do not consider diaries to be a literary work, period.
However, you’ve been bitten by your own karma Mr. Anonymous. As you clearly said, “we are not punished for our sins, we are punished by them.” And that is it. No need to weep about it. And diffiently no need to publish your “word in”book. But I have to admit that although this diary seems to be somehow close toThe Catcher in the Rye. Nevertheless, I absolutely enjoyed every single word, it is well knitted and his way of writing is obviously impressive that I had to overlook some things in order to give it a three stars.
“And the fact that they were attracted to a piece of shit like me made me hate them even more than if they’d laughed in my face and walked away.” I do not have much to say about it actually, because neither the genre nor the plot are raising the bar of interest in me. The writer diffiently have some issues, and he’s diffiently reading our reviews right now, cursing or laughing at us, I don’t know. But I’m just a mere reader not in a point of judging his evilness or how he decided to react toward the ongoing events of his life. So to his diary I’d say: WHO CARES?
P.S what’s with the cover picture! Anyone find it irrelative or it is just me? “The more they confided and invested in you, the deeper the shock and the more satisfying the moment at the end.”
“Why would anyone set out to break the heart of someone he loved? Why would anyone intentionally cause that kind of pain?”
“Romance has killed more people than cancer. Okay, maybe not killed, but dulled more lives. Removed more hope, sold more medication, caused more tears.”
“A girl had caused it, so a girl would have to pay.”
“I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m far more interested in symmetry.”
“She knew how to handle a guy . she made you feel like it was okay to be a guy. To be yourself. This, it seems to me, is the most devastating weapon of all in a woman’s arsenal. If you can encourage the man to be himself, to reveal his character, his ways, then you know how to navigate him, and therefore he will never be able to hide from you.”
I remember being told the Nathaniel Hawthorne version of the story. Which was really mournful for me back in my childhood. However, I’m still a big fan of it; I grew up fond of dark romanticism genre. It suggests that sins like the seven deadly sins yet guilt and evil are naturally inherent in human beings. This is absolutely true. I believe that parents must tell their children dark versions of the fairy tales. For me, I wouldn’t like it if my child grew up believing that the world is so nice and will do him good, and life is a rose pink and fairy tales can possibly happen in reality.
I was just thinking that not every child will respond to a tale in the same way. Some will be fond of the greediness of the king, some will feel agonized for the state the king had reached, some will fear to make a wish because what you wish for might just come true. We should not expect children to interact with one interpretation of the story (good interpretation). We should keep their eyes open to the rest of the possibilities and discuss them with them and give them the freedom to adopt the opinion they want for themselves.
Now allow me, dear readers, to shred this tale into piece:
First of all, I like to admit that I do not have the slightest concern of seeing any goodness, or bright side of any story or the explicit meaning it holds. However, I like to focus more on the badness and the implicitly. It’s more fun and stimulus.
And the first deadly sin we have is: greediness. When I was reading that King Midas “had everything that money could buy, but he wasn’t happy.” I said alright, that’s cool, he might be lonely, melancholic, lost a loved one. But hell no, he’s just a greedy MOF , “More than anything else, King Midas loved counting his money and piling it into great shining heaps of gold, but always he wanted more.”
However, when a wish was offered to him, he could not think of something else but to wish that everything he touches turn to gold.YOU HAD ONE WISH! AND YOU BLEW IT, BITCH.
Let’s go back to the first lines of the story, where you’ll discover the second deadly sin for the day: pride. That mad kind is taking a huge pleasure of counting his gold like a maniac, “More than anything else, King Midas loved counting his money and piling it into great shining heaps of gold, but always he wanted more.” This is so close to the character of The Businessman in The Little Prince, he was concerned with matters of consequence, like counting an recounting the stars so he can be richer. Nevertheless, that Businessman said one hall of thing to The Little Prince, “Kings do not own, they reign over. It is a very different matter.”
Well, what King Midas did with his old school teacher and the friend of the God Dionysus MIGHT look so generous, lovely and thoughtful of King Midas, but no. Let us just focus on the implicitly: Gluttony, our third deadly sin.
As you see, it was just the two of them for a meal. However, King Midas felt the urge to show off in front of the old man and “he ordered his servants to prepare a feast for him.” See the word FEAST, this is gluttony mixed with greediness.
Obviously, gods judges by appearances. COME ON, HE’S A SINFUL KING! But who can blame Dionysus; he’s the god of ritual madness and religious ecstasy. However, this story explicitly tells us that the God Dionysus is kind of merciful; he’s not a Genie who can’t reverse a wish you’ve made. He’ll give you the wish you want and watch you regret it, and beg him until his ego is fully satisfied then he’ll reverse your wish.
And now, that I’m all satisfied with my critique I’ll leave you for your thoughts.
I’m actually confused right now. This story holds a lot of implicit meanings behind it:
1. It sheds the light on handicrafts. How the development and emergence of factories began to hurt the interests of professionals, “(…) with all the big factories springing up all over the city, it’s hard to make a living as a shoemaker these days.”
2. The craftsmen were paid little money, during the period in which the story was told. Unlike today, the craftsmen, and specifically “The handmade” shoemakers, are paid huge amounts of money for the art they make. There is no comparison between handmade shoes and commercial shoes, as there is no comparison between natural leather and artificial leather, “(…) it’s hard to make a living as a shoemaker these days.”
3. So, let me understand this clearly: you are in serious crisis, there is no money to provide your family from, and there is no money to buy leather. Then you wake up the next morning and all of a sudden “there was a beautiful pair of leather boots sitting on the workbench.” Then a young man come and pay for the boots, then days passes without having the slightest curiosity to know who’ve done all this. If it was me, I would have camped from the first night to know who was doing all this.
4. And now, when the bulb lights up their minds to know who’s been doing all this, all what they were thinking of is to actually PAY THEM!!! They still don’t have any curiosity whatsoever to know who are they or why they’ve been doing all this, or if they want something in return. Seriously, how dumb is that?! “We’ve got to pay our nighttime helpers back somehow”
5. I’m not going to discuss the idea that they ACTUALLY FIND ELVES!!! LIKE REAL ELVES! Since it’s folklore, and all. However, when the ELVES finally got paid for their thanked work “They never returned.” It was like: Hello, what an example are you trying to set for the poor children here? Huh? a) Do good and wait for the day when you get paid. b) Don’t have the courtesy to thank who did you good. c) Be an elf and spread your goodness, and don’t forget to play guitar.
“But don’t worry about the shoemaker and her husband. They had been touched by magic, and they were prosperous and happy for the rest of their lives.” No, I’m not worried. It’s just a lovely and simple fairy tale story that my advanced reasoning couldn’t help put profoundly analyse it until it’s fucked up. Sorry.
I’ve never known so many synonyms for sadness and depression are existed until Dostoevsky brought them up to build this story. It’s my first encounter with Dostoevsky’s works, and it has been such a voluptuous one. This short story represents a lot of Russian culture back in 1800s. You’ll feel how the culture, buildings, people and daily routine are vividly and candidly been described by Dostoevsky through the eyes of the nameless narrator.
All those years, I’ve read so many quotes that have been quoted from Dostoevsky’s works. But you see dear reader, here lies the problem of quoted stuff; It conveys to you completely different meanings than the original text has. This affects the reader by making him more attached to the book or the author or the imaginary idea carried by the quote. Then he feels crestfallen and irksome when he reads the book from which it was quoted, to find that the amount of anguish, dejection, gaiety, or pensiveness has little place in the book, and that he has been deceived in one way or another. This vexatious treachery often happens when translating the works of Dostoevsky and Franz Kafka. We believe that they’ve carried a great deal of oppression and misery in their lives and between the folds of their pages, but this is not true. Absolutely not.
This voluptuous short story which had been told in first person, tells the story of a late twenties man (the nameless narrator) and a simple teenage girl waiting for her suitor to keep his promise and come back to her. And the white nights they spent in the company of each other.
“allow me, Nastenka, to tell my story in the third person, for one feels awfully ashamed to tell it in the first person”
From what I’ve understood; he’s lonely. Profoundly lonely; that he takes pleasure (not in a kinky way) of befriending the nature, the buildings and houses of St. Petersburg. However, he occasionally creates some imaginary friendships with the citizens of Petersburg. All to let his aching soul feels less abandoned, less miserable than it is already.
One day he met Nastenka. She’s standing all in tears. And as soft as a breeze on a cheek he falls for her, as simple as this. He went to her and they start knowing each other by sharing “their history” (form the first moment they’ve met. Bizarre now, not then) it felt like the song Strangers In The Night by Frank Sinatra has been playing in the background all the time I was reading the story. From this night onward they kept meeting and talking, and opened up to each other that Nastenka told him about her suitor. Our miserable protagonist tried so hard to hide his feelings for Nastenka, pardon my French, but that cold hearted bitch played basely with the cords of his heart. And at the dénouement of the story she kind of deluded him to believe that she cease or cease not loving her suitor. Can or cannot love our poor narrator. She frankly gave him high expectations about the future of their relationship. But all went in vain when her suitor showed up. However, she did not cease being mean, she sent the man a smashing letter telling him how much she loves him, and wished if she could be able to “LOVE THEM BOTH AT THE SAME TIME” like really, can anyone be so despicable and stolid that proceeds forward with this insolence by asking the poor man to become “a brother”, “a dear friend” of her, FOR GOOD.
And as degrading as that was, our narrator proceeds his life, frustrated and moribund. So that he started to see everything in the existence much older and more melancholic.
“My God, a whole moment of happiness! Is that too little for the whole of a man’s life?”
As devastating as this may seem, I can’t blame her for being a cold hearted bitch; she’s a teenager, who spent her whole life pinned to her grandmother, little experience she has from the world and from love yet from proper manners.
However, let me shed a light on her name; Dostoevsky really used to know what he’s doing. As you may or may not know, the name Nastenka is a hypocorism of the name Anastasia. The name Anastasia is of a Greek origin that means resurrection. So I was thinking, maybe Dostoevsky’s picked up this name for a reason, I concluded to the idea that Nastenka brought resurrection to the narrator’s life; since resurrection mean: the concept of coming back to life after death. He was living in loneliness before she came, she liven his heart with love, sacrifice, acceptance. Nevertheless, she never brought reincarnation, as she left him to his misery and suffocation and went on with her suitor.
I actually blame the culture back then, for the lack of education and experience that Nastenka was immersed in. The Russians were a closed people, concerned in chastity and obedience. I can imagine that the rest of Dostoevsky’s stories and yet other Russian authors will continue in the same sequence of events.
“And one shakes one’s head and says how rapidly the years fly by! And again one asks oneself what has one done with one’s years. Where have you buried your best days? Have you lived or not? Look, one says to oneself, look how cold the world is growing. Some more years will pass, and after them will come gloomy solitude; then will come old age trembling on its crutch, and after it misery and desolation. Your fantastic world will grow pale, your dreams will fade and die and will fall like the yellow leaves from the trees. . . . Oh, Nastenka! you know it will be sad to be left alone, utterly alone, and to have not even anything to regret — nothing, absolutely nothing . . . for all that you have lost, all that, all was nothing, stupid, simple nullity, there has been nothing but dreams!”
Aren’t we all bunch of hollow men, wandering above this wicked planet? Looking for salvation in the simplest things, maybe “An eye“, “A kiss” or something else. Bunch of people full of sins, full of mistakes, dreams maybe or hope. Gazing at the “Death’s other Kingdom” eyes full of timid hope, legs trembling between marching forward to paradise and retreating backward to netherworld. But like our ancestors, The Hollow Men, we have frozen in our places year after year, like scarecrows.
All the literary influences in the life of Eliot, have led to this masterpiece. Where its profoundly metaphorical lines, force you to imagine the smallest detail in the lives of these hollow men. Land of nothing but dust and cacti, a mud river maybe. Men reciting their final lullaby into the ears of other generation of hollow men. However, those men completely understand their condition, they are unhappy, full of regret, full of lust, perhaps they want to turn back the time so that they may find salvation in it, for their current situation. You can’t actually know if god has forsaken them or they have forsaken him, the situation in which they are in, I believe, is a sacrifice from both parties.
Eliot’s succeeded in creating a state of physical and psychological suffering, so the reader can realize that those hollow men are aching from the inside and out, like the Dead Men in Pirates of The Caribbean. The narrative talked about a shadow that prevent them from doing things that they want to do, but chew on this; aren’t we all have that shadow? Dogmas, families, money, physical pain, lake of imagination, lack of knowledge or experience, lose of a loved one, anything. We have that shadow right behind us. Some have the courage to face it and put an end to it, while some just leave it roaming around them and build a prickly wall of fear wrapping their lives.
I’m developing the idea of a hollow man. What makes a person hollow? I think every single person on this earth is missing something; and the thing that he misses makes him hollow in a way or another. Some people are philistine, talentless, with disabilities, with high IQ or low IQ, too sensitive or too solemn. Anything that we lack could make us hollow. Moreover, I do not lean to the idea that “Death’s dream kingdom” is heaven per se; maybe it’s the thing that we aspire to complement our lack, our weakness, and our inability, which makes us less hollow.
“Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us-if at all-not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.”
Here, I do believe that the hollow men do not want us -the next generation of possible hollow men- to be like them, they want us to learn from their mistakes and do much better that what they have done. I can’t but salute Dante and whoever helped with giving influence to Eliot so he can come up with this brilliant ode.
Nothing lasts forever. Glory, reputation, conquests or occupations, everything will come to an end eventually. This ambiguous ode carries between its folds heaps of philosophical matters.
Scholars really tired themselves giving different interpretations for this poem and many others. I believe that the beauty of a poem lies in the multiplicity of its interpretations by each person. Everyone has his own vision and saying about what he reads, sees or hears and there is no right or wrong when it comes to analyzing a poem.
However, one line really catch me up, “The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed.” it’s obvious that the poem talks about a king named Ozymandias , where what left of his statue speaks of himself. However, that particular line is a political kind of philosophy. It tells (from my personal view) that leaders, kings, emperors whomever got an authority on people, don’t have to like, love or show empathy toward their people. Call me Machiavellian, I do not care. But at the end of the day what really matters is “the heart that fed” not the“hand that mocked”. The end is what really matters here.
The line reminded me of Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. They were men of principles, they did a lot of bad things to their people, mocked them explicitly and implicitly, but at the end of everyday they gave them a life that is surly better than the life they are living right now. And to me, this matters.
The poem holds a lot of symbolic and imagery content. The title of the poem itself is a metaphor from another name to Ramses II. There is a lot of death in the poem; the death of the king and its people or civilization and the death of the statue itself, it was like a lyric from Rains of Castamere, “Now the rains weep o’er his hall; and not a soul to hear” it’s just epic. The poem gave a life to the statue, it is the one whose telling the story not the traveler, the traveler’s job was more of pointing out the events that led to the destruction of the statue, and nevertheless if you concentrated in the statue it will reveal itself for you.