~Pearl, Dreams of Shell~

WordWulf By WordWulf, 4th Feb 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Languages

~My senses have been bombarded by incredible lusts for life, spirituality and eternity, a continuum of that which is beautiful and good for all Peoples, forbearance for that which is not~

~Pearl, Dreams of Shell~

Throughout the year 2006, I worked closely with a poet/translator editing the works of contemporary poets from Bahrain. Hameed Al Qaed translated the work from Arabic to English then sent each piece to me by email for revision and editing. It was my pleasure to introduce Hameed to my friend, Michael Annis, senior editor of Howling Dog Press. He contracted with Hameed to handle the printing of the first run of the anthology when it was completed in 2007. The following piece was my review and forward to the work.

~Pearl, Dreams of Shell~

East meets West in these pages, “The Land Where the Sun Rises, The Land Where the Sun Sets.” These are astral images galloping through my mind as I read and edit the rich and complicated verse of the poets from Bahrain, “The Cradle of Civilization.” There are scores of centuries’ myth and tradition branded into the blood coursing through the veins of these brave wanderers, Seers and Gatherers in the forest of word.

Rich in archaeological sites, Bahrain is the famed and fabled land named Dilmun, the most important trade center in the Gulf region across the ages. Dilmun is known historically to be sacred ground and many temples have been erected there. The most impressive temple in existence in Western Asia is on Bahrain’s northern shore at Barbar. Ancient gravesites reveal the wealth, success, and prosperity of Bahraini ancestors. Primitive images carved on circular seals of metal, wood, and soapstone shells clearly indicate and define the purposeful and intentional spiritual movement of an evolving society. Mine has been the privileged and gifted see into these, the latest messages carved from the spirits of those whose heritage and lineage is yeast in the bread of life.

If words were fission, we might explode in peace, conduct our wars with ink and discussion, fall in love with our enemies, forget and/or redefine what that word means. What we have to offer one another is a statement of peace everlasting. The work of poets is a never-ending flow of one-act realities, the one deeper sadness and epiphanies of gladness.

Culture shock? Absolutely, I got culture shock. My senses have been bombarded by incredible lusts for life, spirituality and eternity, a continuum of that which is beautiful and good for all Peoples, forbearance for that which is not. It is clear through the words of these pages that we cannot embrace one without acknowledgement of the other. At times disillusioned of the American dream, I find new hope in the sometimes dark, ever deep, thoughts and words of these poets and the courage to name myself one. We have much to teach the other, the more to learn and realize together. Read these dreams, immerse yourself in the fallible certainties and infallible spirituality of an old People. Theirs is the wisdom found in the blood of ancients, truth flowing from their dip-sword ink. An infant vampire, Child of America, I am glad to have drunk here, found deeper in this seasoned well of culture.

Editing the incredible work of the poets of Bahrain is the most intimidating literary project I have experienced in my life. These Bohemian voices cry out with love of country, family, and life. They are voices strong and loyal, firmly rooted in a civilization thousands of years old. Much like tiny Bahrain, smallest of the Arabian Gulf countries yet first in formal education, they are undaunted, possessed of gargantuan spirit, hearts of blood and swords of steel. They have adapted to a nuclear universe astride snorting Arab stallions with their adept offerings of word. Odes to love and vignettes to battle grace these pages in a rich blend of poetic device. Parental love and respect, an unconditional bond to children, and homage offered to the wizened elderly are prevalent throughout. I am in awe of the Bahraini voice, find my own inspired in that space sacrosanct where the ink weds the page.

Tom (WordWulf) Sterner

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5th Feb 2011 (#)


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