Thursday 26 June 2008

A Faithless Sister: Blood Fetters part Three

This the final part of the Trilogy: It took a long time to write and wouldn't have been written at all, had not old issues and devilment resurfaced.
The previous poems are here
Artistically I am glad - it's been a still birthed poem for a long time and as a poet, carthartic to release and finish. And it is part of but independent of the other two, as each of those are from each other.
As a person - slightly sad.
UPDATED: Thanks so much to readers for their comments and analysis of the Trilogy! I was surprised and interested by the level of reaction and the fact that most readers enjoyed the gothic journey. From answering comments I put together the following commentary on the poem from my pov : the legacy of madness and conflict can be seen either in the personal (eg within a family as Sara remarked) or societally (within the context of conflict in general) And there is another conflict, that really (for me as the poet) is the key to the trilogy and that is Creative Conflict. The conflict between the warring individuals within the poetic soul; the conflict between our varoius legacies and our desire to be new, free, reinvent. That creative conflict is expressed fully in the Trilogy, more so than in any other work I've managed.
As Penny wrote in her comments, the trilogy is about the Dark Shadow side of us all - the conflict between self and self image, and is an abstract journey, trying first to reconcile and then accept the divorce from warring aspects of my own self.

Thanks to all for reading and commenting!



Blood Fetters - History Erased.

I have a sister
in the shadows
- she is the spider in the corner.
I have a sister
whose blood fetters me,
ties me unwilling to her madness
her lies;
her house of shames and half-perceived
sleights of hand.
She has now re-written the past,
family history
twisted
through the kaleidoscope
of her madness.
We have acquired Jewish ancestry.
The kindly Jewess neighbour of our childhood
transmogrified
without her permission
into some distant,
holocaustic
relative.
My own Jewish friends
Offended
beyond words - bad enough she
hawks their collective pain
to produce some born again credentials.
Essentially,
she is a creeping
death.
Poison pen wielded in
self aggrandizement
doggerel offered
as a palliative to gentile minds
untroubled
by depth of understanding.
Our childhood reissued in gothic form
complete with a new province,
new vitae
in a new milieu,
part of our nation's conflict,
born in semtex
and raised by armalite;
inexplicable captions from events
grisly remains
behind golden altars
insulting the old
and the new, the very
marrow of our heritage
prostituted.
I read in disbelief,
fragments
that yield her delusions
read and disbelieve
and fear.
The truth is
a distant country
divorced from her now.
She has denied us
foresworn us
betrayed us.
We are the Tuatha and
she is now
Foreign.
My life has rooted
flowered in the essence
of my reality.
hers is withering on
a dead tree
hanging.

1.
2.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

powerful words and images but I prefer the honesty and symmetry of 'mary baking bread' to the unleashed vitriol in 'fetters'.Does anyone else 'get' the links with the other two parts of this trilogy?

Sara Curran said...

Interesting comments,
Actually of the two blood fetters is the more painfully honest; "mary" definitely has a nice earthy quality but nothing like the depth of "fetters."
I think I get the trilogy - it's a wonderful block of poetry; the cruelty of inheritance, family, dilemma of loyalty, and madness within a family, scary stuff!

Ancestral Celt said...

I've left you a little something at my blog. ;-)

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne said...

thanks guys and expecially for the interest. Anonymous - argh elave a name :) - I agree in part, there is a cheerful earthy honesty in mary (which is yet to be finished) but there is personally more honesty in the Blood Fetters trilogy and one which seems to resonate most with other people. The work has take over 10 years to complete, it was dragged from deep inside. Vitriol isn't the word I would have used personally as a lot of the "anger" in it is cold - the legacy of madness and conflict however is real and can be seen either in the personal (eg within a family as Sara remarked) or societally (within the context of conflict in general)

And there is another conflict, that really (for me as the poet) is the key to the trilogy and that is Creative Conflict. The conflict between the warring individuals within the poetic soul; the conflict between our varoius legacies and our desire to be new, free, reinvent. That creative conflict is expressed fully in the Trilogy, more so than in any other work i've managed.

Thank you both so much for your interest :)

GMB

Penny Marsh said...

I just finished reading the three poems together and I love them. Reading them and the peot's own comments I felt that the "sister" is the dark shadow side (or madness ?)that lies inside us all. FOllowing that line I felt the poignancy of the revoked invitation in the second poem of the trilogy was finished well by the final distancing of Part three. I thought the litany of complaints and failures was a confessional touch, I can imagine putting myself through such self examination. I also recently read "huang zhu" and for that reason thought of the communist "self examination session" of the cultural revolution.
THanks both for excellent poetry and for a chacne to interact with the writer and hear if our theories are correct!

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne said...

thanks so much Penny...Firstly yes, using imagery and frustrations from real life, the last poem is definitely rooted in Self - the fact that we dislike in ourselves the faults we see in others was a starting point. I'm not sure about the chinese cultural revolution :) but the ability to realize one's dark anture in poetry has long been a theme of mine and it was definitely a sense of this. The "lies and reinventions" of the dark persona are dramtized but each of us have our own individual devils, that tempt us to whitewash, or aggrandize. Divorcing yourself from them, and embracing reality in both past and present I believe is the duty of the poet.
PS I am glad you "got" the revocation of the invitation in part two, the realization that some aspects are not to be integrated but rejected.

peri marguiles said...

wow.
I love your poetry. I got "irish cowboys" and loved it. English is not my first language so sometimes i find it hard to bridge between words and interpret. I love the sounds and rhythms and the images - the imagery are wonderful. I love this trilogy it is gothic but also very human, I too feel that alienation thank you from Per.

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.