Music, Language of the Soul: the second in a series from Imen Benyoub on music in the context of war and occupation

Poet, writer and artist, Imen Benyoub is from Guelma, Algeria and currently lives in East Jerusalem. She shares with us on The Bardo Group blog a series of stories and insights on music in war and occupation. This month she writes about Palestinian Musician Ramzi Aburadwan, his pursuit of music and his success in bringing it to the children of occupation. It’s a story with a lot of heart, soul and generosity … read on … it’s worth your time …

THE BeZINE

The first post in this series is HERE.
10423604_519811371480762_878196538_n
Music, the language of the soul
The cultural Intifada*…From stones to musical instruments.
The story of Ramzi Abu Radwan.

They impressed the world
And all they had in their hands were stones
They lit like lanterns, and came like messengers
From “children of the stones” Nizar Quabbani (1923-1998), Syrian poet and publisher

The first Intifada is the Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation that started on December 1987 in Jabalia** refugee camp and spread throughout the rest of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It lasted six years until the signing of Oslo Accords in 1993.

It was an unarmed, spontaneous yet exploding uprising, men with their faces covered with keffiyehs***, women and children with nothing but stones, slingshots and Molotov cocktails faced tanks and live ammunition of well-trained, heavily equipped Israeli soldiers.

10423556_519811321480767_1963506964_aOne of those children, a kid…

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Calling all poets and writers: Writers’ Fourth Wednesday is tomorrow

The Church in Auvers-sur-Oise (1890) by Vincent  van Gogh (1853-1890), Dutch post-Impressionist painter

The Church in Auvers-sur-Oise (1890) by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), Dutch post-Impressionist painter

Each month on the fourth Wednesday, novelist, poet and writing coach, Victoria C. Slotto, presents a prompt on The Bardo Group blog.

Tomorrow’s discussion involves reaching into the artist’s tool box to use “color, line, shape, space, texture, perspective, balance, contrast, movement, form, pattern, value, emphasis, rhythm and unity.”

Won’t you join us? Mister Linky will stay open for seventy-two hours so that you can link in your own work. Victoria and I will visit and comment. We hope that you will visit other poets and writers to read, comment and encourage.

I look forward to seeing you at The Bardo Group blog tomorrow. Until then, blog on …

leaping greenly spirits and a blue true dream of sky

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

– e.e. cummings

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When yet another camera went the way of all things and my eight-year-old flip-phone followed, I decided this is the time to transition to a smart phone. I’m past due and multipurpose tools always appeal. Smart phones are certainty that.

I took these photographs with an iPhone 5c. It’s not surprising that it has a better camera than the Moto G I tried out the week before last. (Photo samples in earlier posts.) The iPhone 5c is a keeper, though clearly I have much to learn about using it as a camera, not to mention much to learn about photography. These are views of the neighborhood and the park, which is so beautiful it puts me right in the spirit of e. e. cummings’ poem above.

© 2014, photographs, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

Father’s Day with Juan Felipe Herrera, performance artist and California Poet Laureate

Juan Felipe Herrara (b. 1948), American poet and writer, photo by SlowKing

Juan Felipe Herrera (b. 1948), Mexican-American poet and writer, photo by SlowKing under GNUFDL

Juan Felipe Herrera is a Mexican-American poet and performance artist, a writer and cartoonist, a teacher and an activist.

“Many poets since the 1960s have dreamed of a new hybrid art, part oral, part written, part English, part something else: an art grounded in ethnic identity, fueled by collective pride, yet irreducibly individual too. Many poets have tried to create such an art: Herrera is one of the first to succeed.”  Punk Half Panther by Stephen Burt in the New York Times

Herrara incorporates into his writing his experience of family and the life of the compesinos, migrant farm-workers.

“Into the tilted factories, the smeared taxis,
the stunted universities, into the parlor of bank notes,
in the cramped cookhouse where the dark-skinned
humans still stoop and pitch the daily lettuce bags …”

He sometimes tells stories that arise from what is for him a pivotal moment: the early school experience of trying to fit in though he had no English-language skills. He also writes stories that illustrate the problems of immigration, which often separates families.

In 2012, California Governor, Jerry Brown, named Herrera California Poet Laureate, the first Chicano poet to be so honored.

Many of us – like Juan Felipe Herrara – had fathers or grandfathers who came to the United States to make a better life for themselves and eventually for their children and future generations. Sometimes we like to remember and acknowledge them for their vision, courage and hard work. Today seems like a good day to do so. The video below is charming children’s story, A Tale for Father’s Day, about Herrera’s immigrant father. Enjoy!

Happy Fathers’ Day to all the dads and to all the moms who, for one reason or other, are both dad and mom.