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Friday, September 20, 2013

The incredible lightness of being a poet



Nothing repulses the poet-weaver like 'facts' or the cultural compulsion she feels to place her feet firmly on the 'ground' - for the poet is an offspring of chaos, consciousness dissatisfied, Maya playing in an orchard of mirrors. Reality is too small for her...too stifling. She knows there is no ground. There are no facts. She believes this - in a way that defeats the very idea of belief. Leave her to glide gracefully in mid-air - her feet brushing the dancing grass, disrupting the pollination songs of the fields, disturbing the smooth surfaces of the river; leave her to build sandcastles near the ocean; leave her to stand embarrassed by a falling leaf; leave her to mock your certainty, your assured creeds, your arms-akimbo-ed heroes and their moral games. Leave her to her fatal insignificance - away from your intricate schemes and grandiose plots; leave her to her confusing ambiguity. Leave her - and in time, or out of it, she will paint you stories that shake you, songs that undo you, and myths that strip life of its cocksureness. And you will see, as if for the first time, that your feet weren't and never were on the ground either. And you are flying.

~ Adebayo Akomolafe (Keynote Speech for EU-DEEEP Global Summit, 2013)