Tuesday, 3 July 2018

The Will of Life | Tunisia

Firstly, here is an extract taken from the book, "The Wretched of the Earth" by Frantz Fanon ~ p.166, Chapter 4. On National Culture

"To take part in the African revolution it is not enough to write a revolutionary song; you must fashion the revolution with the people. And if you fashion it with the people, the songs will come by themselves, and of themselves.

In order to achieve real action, you must yourself be a living part of Africa and of her thought; you must be an element of that popular energy which is entirely called forth for the freeing, the progress and the happiness of Africa. There is no place outside that fight for the artist or for the intellectual who is not himself concerned with and completely at one with the people  in the great battle of Africa and of suffering humanity.*

*Sekou Toure, 'The political leader as the representative of a culture'. Address to the second Congress of Black Writers and Artists, Rome, 1959.

Beware the "Saatchi Effect" |  As Admen move in on the children of the revolution it is vital they understand the culture in Tunisia is rich beyond that found in the Western World ~ A poem by the Tunisian poet, Abu-L-Qasm Al Shabbi | The Will of Life

Demonstration in Tunisia | The Guardian

The Will of Life

If, one day, the people should want to live,
Fate is certain to respond.
Darkness will meet the dawn,
and shackles will be broken!
Those constantly refusing to accept
            the longing for life
Will surely evaporate into the abyss
            and be forgotten ~~
Grief to anyone not aroused by
            the burning desire of life.
Let others fear the slap of oblivion!
This is what life said to me,
this is how its spirit spoke.

= {|} =

The wind muttered between
            the valleys and the ravines;
“When I aspire to achieve my goals,
I ride my wishes, forgetting caution,
face the wilderness, the rugged trails
and flaming days –
He who does not like scaling mountains
will live eternally in potholes.”

So the sap of youth churned in my heart
As other tempests raged within my breast.
I bent my head, listening to
the loud clap of thunder,
the chimes ringing in the breeze,
and the steady tempo of the rain.

= {|} =

When I asked the earth,
“Mother, do you hate mankind?”
She replied, “I bless those
            with ambition,
those who brave danger –
I curse the ones not keeping
            step with time,
those who are content to live
            a fossil life.
The vibrating universe
            loves what moves
and despises the dead,
            forgetting their greatness.
The horizon hugs no
            stiffened bird
nor does the bee kiss
            an emaciated flower.
Not even graves would
hold the dead,
save for the tenderness
            in my motherly heart!
Woe to the one not longing
            for life!
Let him beware the curse
            of extinction!”

= {|} =

On an autumn night
            laden with boredom,
I was so drunk on starlight
            my sadness drank too.
I asked the dark, “Does life
            return the spring of youth
once it has dried up?”
The lips of darkness did not move
nor did the virginal dawn.
Then the forest gently spoke
like the quiver of a chord:
            “Winter comes, bringing in the mist,
            bringing in the snow and the winter rains,
and creation slowly dissolves.
What budded and ripened in
the gleaming notion of fields
under the quiet charisma of the
bright sky has vanished – gone like
branches that fall with their leaves.
Now the wind tosses dead petals
for floods to bury them, haphazardly.
All perish like a lovely dream
which, shone in the hearts of the few,
            then disappeared.
Only the seeds remain,
            kernels of memory,
still embracing, even under
            thick fog, the snows,
the heaps of earth –
the shadow of life that never dulls,
the green embryo of spring
dreaming of birdsongs,
the musk of flowers,
            the tang of fruits.”

= {|} =

“Time and trouble tumble on,
seasons diminish, others are reborn.
Dreams awaken laced with the mystery
of daybreak, asking,
            “Where is the morning mist?
The evening’s mystique? The glow of the moon?
The elegant swarm of butterflies?
The buzzing of the bees? Where are the clouds
            that floated by,
the sunbeams and creatures,
            the life that we all seek?”
“I have grown thirsty for the
sheen of light on branches,
thirsty for the shade beneath the trees!
Thirsty for the fountain that
            sings through blossoming fields,
            for the voices of birds,
            the whisper of clean fresh air,
the raindrops fluid melody –
I am thirsty for the universe,
searching for the long-awaited world!
Maybe it lies beyond the reaches of our sleep
and we need just awake in order to find it.”

= {|} =

“Like a bird’s slight flutter,
the seed longing to sprout
bursting till it cracks
the surface of the earth
and beholds a world
of exquisite marvels.
And spring returns with its
parcels of dreams,
its sweet-smelling freshness,
and kisses the lips
of all that had faded,
saying, “You have been granted life,
immortalized in your abundant seed.

The light has blessed you –
Now is the time to receive it!
Whoever worships the light in
            their dreams
Will be blessed in that light,
            wherever it shines.
Onward! To radiant spaces,
            inside the dreamy furtile earth!
For you are, whatever is luminous!
For you are, undying beauty.
The meadows, the air, the stars in the sky
            will be your home.
Commune with the moon
            and the stirring of life in all its glory.”

= {|} =

The diaphanous night revealed a 'Beauty'
that kindled in the mind.
A strange magnetism was flung
across the skies
as a giant wizard
            lit the glittering stars.
Incense drifted from flowers
            on the moon’s quiet wings…
A holy hymn singing out in a temple!
Across the universe it was proclaimed:
Endeavour is the flame of life,
the heart of victory.
If the spirit chooses life,
Fate is certain to respond!”

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