Treasure Island

Warren Falcon

(04/23/52 - xxxx / Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA)

Transparencies: Lovers Sing To Each, Death The Veil Between Them, After Japanese Noh Theater


O each eye holds a temple.
Each eye curves away from each.
Each knee contains a hidden country -
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  • Warren Falcon (9/15/2010 3:11:00 PM)

    It is impossible to evoke the enduring power of Japanese Noh theater outside of the Japanese language and sensibilities. This poem is inspired by Noh, its mysterious gradual unfolding of dramas enfolded and entwined in all things on stage. Everything is in some sense center stage. All objects including humans are pivotal actors.

    Noh Theatre's power and drama is evocative, nuanced as are the moves of each actor (all male actors, no women) , the singing (inflected, hypnotic, inductive, eerie to non-Japanese ears and sensibilities) , the music, the movements choreographed to slow motion which is also trance inducing for the audience captivated and transported into liminal space as in dwelling in the pause between breaths, between heartbeats.

    My poem has, of course, the sounds and rhythms of Western senses and sensibilities though I have tried to use repetition to evoke some of the otherness of the world and worldview (animistic and Buddhist) , the inflected participation of negative space almost as equally important to positive space.

    As in all poetic endeavors try your hand at it, experiment and perhaps you may stumble upon some poetic astonishment and wonder even if subtle and not at all 'Noh' but new. And as in much Japanese Noh, learn from the failures. There is the profound tradition of the 'noble failure' in Japan (Donald Keene's excellent book, The Nobility of Failure, traces this historically through Japanese history up to the Kami Kazi pilots and, later, Yukio Mishima. (Report) Reply

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