I'VE poured my WINE

WIKIMEDIA…Silence of the Piano Sings

 

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SILENCE_OF_THE_PIANO_SINGS_by_M_Syre.jpg

Written/uploaded by Aamir Latif Siddiqui on Silence of the Piano Sings, the book published in 2011 from the UK.

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  • Zahid Ali Jatoi

    Having read the text Aamir Siddiqui has written about the process of Muzamil’s English poetry book SILENCE OF THE PIANO SINGS on http://commons.wikimedia.org/…/File:SILENCE_OF_THE_PIANO_SING…

    I went back in those days. It reminds me the days we used to have only one work: analysis and discussion on the poems of Muzamil. I was harsh critic to some of his poems; all he did listened to me patiently. Having heard me, instead of being defensive, he asked me to convince him on my stance. Sometimes I convinced him, at times he convinced me. Consequently, I withdrew from my stance. I am not a poet; poetry is not my strength, my strength is criticism, but technically not the literary criticism. I knew it not, it was he who made me explore this strength of mine through engaging me into intellectual discourse. We were engrossed into discussion so deeply that we forgot the differences of day and night; felt so motivated that started attending literary meeting of poets and writers. His poems led me to the unobserved patches of life.

    Few lines of his poem,

    “As I take puffs at it,
    My life burns away more,
    And its ashes fall
    Into the ashtray
    Of Time
    As black and white poems”

    made me reflect and learn that poetry is not just rush of words, alignment of ideas or a group of attractive phrases. Somehow, I felt that poetry is just the evidence of life. If poet’s life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. In his one poems, he writes:

    The Time-winds
    Strew the tray
    With these ashes
    Whom the ashtray keeps
    In her heart
    As the Ganges river keeps
    The Arthis
    Of a cremated body.

    As I said earlier, I am not a poet. I as a prose writer can’t help being mesmerized on the analogy and metaphors he uses in some of his poems. His expression, his choice of topic, and his reflective approach towards himself and critical approach to social evil and aesthetic sense he shows through objects glued me to be working with him; I forgot whether it was his work or mine. If you read following lines of his poem:

    The corpse of my feelings
    Hangs over one bough of
    A gnarled, dull, old oak tree;
    In flock some fierce vultures
    Swoop down over the corpse
    And chop it so wildly…

    You would find him being reflective and critic to social evils. He criticizes both the observers who wait for something to happen and the victim who endures the pains and waits for miracle to occur. In some of his poems, he expresses his firmness against wounded- self victimized by social evil. If you read his lines,

    Cannot resist the stairs!
    Cannot resist the feet!
    Blood boils up with falling
    Of blossoms, cones and leaves

    Somewhere in his book, you would feel optimism oozing out of words of
    the poems as if he preaching disappointed ones to believe, through his realistic approach, that no one can uneducate them if they have learned to read or as if asking them dare not humiliate themselves if they feel pride. Thirst and inquisitive nature goes along bumper and bumper with optimism when he writes,

    Chain me like Prometheus,
    In the heart of Caucasus,
    Only then shall peace prevail.
    I grimly question history
    You are proud of and die for…

    His poem “On Cloud of Drifting Time” suggests an idea of strength, striking with the idea of truth as Socrates did; while the second poem I Have Poured My Wine tilts to give a modernistic idea of the poet’s ideology and egoistic flavour obliquely suggesting that his philosophy, ideology or whatever he believes in has or will have a profound impact on the world from various angles. The lines I have shared so far are from very first drafts. We discussed on those lines. Sometimes we went from generalization to specific and at times vice versa. The message of poet was not affected though.
    Post discussion

    There was huge impact of his poems on both of us. Particularly I started seeing life and people differently. Everything mattered to me most and sometimes nothing mattered at all. His expression in poems has magic. “His words are too quick to touch mind and heart” as I feel that a readers can easily link oneself to those words does not need time to synchronize themselves with pines of poems as if his poems telling a tale to a reader of his or her own life or the lives of people he is surrounded with. I believe if you want to know a person, read him or her.

    The impact of discussion has different dimensions. On one hand, I felt lovely excursion of the movements of the world through optimistic, realistic approaches to romanticism. Lengthy but productive discussions on just one line or one word took us hours and hours. Sometimes we laughed and at times we felt sad through the excursion of the book. It has been an unforgettable journey, an epic of life.

    I appreciate Aamir when he writes and I quote,“……for instance, in the following poem, the first line was written as “with one leg chopped off above the knee”. It was thereafter discussed as to why “above the knee” is significant in the poem; the meaning could be conveyed without the phrase. And as such the poem finally adopted the following shape: With One Leg Chopped Off … In the similar vein, the following poem, which was a bit long compared to its final shape, came out only to three words instead of around fifty words:

    “Socrates killed hemlock!”

    Perhaps, the above poem titled “Hemlock” is the smallest of poems in the world!

    Syre originally considered titling the book The Bell Chimes. The title was selected from a poem with the same title. The poet considered the title to be prophetic as the phrase “the Bell Chimes” suggested one or the other way a clarion call to the world/ reader. So, it was changed into Silence of the Piano Sings—more of an aesthetic and artistic title than a revolutionary one. The title suggests an apparent paradox in the wording. Close to being an oxymoron, the word ‘silence’ is shown ‘to sing’ in the keys of the piano. ” The book comprises sixty short poems. At the end of each of these poems dates are given with the names of places where they were composed. The sequence and placing of poems is neither intentional nor haphazard. It is just the flow of the poet’s mind that is at work behind placing of the poems where they are.”

    Also, poems do not have a continuous connection in terms of idea or subject, they however have been placed to touch various ideas without any sequential manner. As a writer, I realized how beautifully by the value of metaphors he presents the act of writing from different viewpoints as the poems contain ideas of liberty, justice, freedom, etc. A critical reader can analyze that these modern ideas are not given the modern treatment in the book as there are a few of poems with Romantic approach applied on them, for instance I Saw the Silvery/Voice of Birds and Insects. Nonetheless, the treatment of poems has more of post-modernistic elements in them. So, the book is an admixture of modernism, post-modernism and romanticism.

    Though the poems do not necessarily give an impression of postmodernism pervading through them, a contemporary pulse beats within most of them. Symbolism is one of the key elements in the poems. Wine, Statue of Liberty, Goddess of Justice, Silence of the Piano Sings , Hemlock, Socrates, Venom, Smoking, Cough, Tower of Pisa, Ash, The Bell Chimes, Corpse, Eyes, Music, Leaning, The Ice Age, A Venetian Market, Trumpet, Freckles, Ink, Fag, Fire, etc have been used in the book as universal and special symbols for the meaning the poet wishes to convey. In here, Syre sounds like W. B. Yeats having focused on special symbols compared to more general and universally known ones.”
    Written by Zahid Ali Jatoi
    ( Assistant Professor)

    • Syre

      Thanks Zahid, for such a detailed feedback.

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