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They Say -- Ben Okri

Guest poem sent in by Suchitra S
(Poem #838) They Say
 They say
 Love grows
 When the fear of death
 Looms.

 They say
 Courage looms
 When the fear
 Of never loving again
 Disappears
 In the smell of the enemy
 Who crushes us so much
 We can only fight.

 Love and courage grow together
 When the flesh is rawest
 And the spirit charged.
 And distorted within the nightmare
 We see the possibility
 Of a future.
-- Ben Okri
I've always worshipped at the altar of verse that goes  beyond mere
word-play. Verse that is forged in the furnace of experience...and is so
painful to write, that when it is eventually written, every word is as it
should be.

But this one is not entirely sans joy.

It is about Hope and the Spirit and  Dignity, and about coming into one's
own. About digging into one's soul in moments of despair, and finding the
jewels hidden there.

It is wonderful and reminds me of Dostoyevsky. Okri here seems on the verge
of making some phantasmagoric , metaphysical revelation that might just
heal.

Suchitra

Links:

The Ben Okri page at
  http://www.uweb.ucsb.edu/~rbb0/academic/projects/okri/okri.html
contains an extensive set of Okri resources, including a biography.

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