You actually think I care if this
Poem gets off the ground or not. Well
I don’t care if this poem gets off the ground or not
And neither should you.
All I have every cared about
And all you should ever care about
Is what happens when you lift your eyes from this page.
“Was this the face that launch’d a thousand ships,
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium–
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.–
Her lips suck forth my soul: see, where it flies!–
Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again.
Here will I dwell, for heaven is in these lips,
And all is dross that is not Helena.
I will be Paris, and for love of thee,
Instead of Troy, shall Wertenberg be sack’d;
And I will combat with weak Menelaus,
And wear thy colours on my plumed crest;
Yea, I will wound Achilles in the heel,
And then return to Helen for a kiss.
O, thou art fairer than the evening air
Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars;
Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter
When he appear’d to hapless Semele;
More lovely than the monarch of the sky
In wanton Arethusa’s azur’d arms;
And none but thou shalt be my paramour!”
Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus Act V, Scene I (1604)
Sunday of last week, I was up late working on this composition. I had Jazzcast on – listening to Sip Happens ( host Heather Bambrick). The music had been selected in honour of Emancipation Day. Included in the selection was Gregory Porter’s 1960 What?. (Jazzcast Schedule)
The word lists that I use are composed by daughter. Natasha is a Downs person. Besides corking-Spool knitting, swimming, dancing, acting, and bowling, she enjoys copying out words, stories, and occasionally, dialogue from Laurel & Hardy movies.
When I completed this collage composition, with all the music, history, & current events running through my head, the words “travel angry” jumped out. From slave ships to Black Lives Matter marches, there has been lots of travel. Lots of anger, much of it aimed at people of colour. There are many citizens of America & Canada that become angry when they are reminded that our democracies paint over past & present inequalities of race, class, ethnicities, age, gender, genetic differences, and sexual orientation.
Emancipation Day marks a historical event, but there are many still waiting for the emancipation to be completed. Take a good look at the words in this visual poem composition in the context of the angry travel metaphor & Emancipation Day. What do you hear & see ?