Featured Poet: Sylva Boyadjian-Haddad, Concord
Sylva Boyadjian-Haddad is a poet, writer, and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire. She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Entelechy International/A Journal of Contemporary Ideas. She was twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize (in 2004 and in 2007). She resides in Concord, New Hampshire.
Of her showcase poem, Sylva writes:
My poetry focuses on memory as it confronts and informs the present. I believe without memory, be it private, cultural, racial, or historic, we would be amputated beings, amnesiacs in a world of newborns. Without memory, there cannot be growth as we humans define growth, no empathy for others, and possibly no mercy. The last several years, we have witnessed a lot of human suffering, not necessarily because there is more of it, though I suspect there is, but because we now have the technology that allows us “to be there when it happens.” With every new calamity, every new horror, the old archetypes stand a bit more erect. Protean Deliverer, part of a series of poems that deal with this issue, was born one evening long after the last news of the day was turned off. I was trying to sleep, but the breathless statement “Back from exile freed of pretense my century here at last I'm made visible” kept on echoing in my head. Then the words “shadow twin of life” were added and I was on my way.
Back from exile freed of pretense my century here at last
shadow twin of life I'm made visible.
Summoned by torturer and tortured alike
arms open to all, I don't disappoint.
From my glorious past to time spent in darkness
full and intimate,
brilliant dazzling sunshine on white sea crests I walk,
then like a fleeting shadow
on icy stillness I arrive. Millions know me as deliverance,
a curse, an inevitability.
I absorb pain, humiliation, silence and cries. At times swiftly,
at times playfully,
as rain, gangrene, and ashes I come. A constant drone far above
I lull all to dreamless sleep.
Every century, every decade, year, moment knows
my footsteps, sees my foot prints, my handiwork,
my hushed presence moving incessantly through time.
No more murmured voices pleading with me now,
no averted eyes, frail bodies full of lies. Lice infested,
hidden. I take advantage of technology.
I am on TV now, on the internet, fully present, celebrated,
recognized even by toddlers.
No more dark corners and dust and mold and shame
for me. I make everyone's work visible.
I am palpable reality closer than one's heart.
I am solace, certainty, respite, reward, finality.
I am reliable. I am entertainment. I always come
if not always on time. I come.
I was when the first seed was planted, when the heavens opened up,
if not a clear alpha ever, always the omega for sure.
Acknowledgement: Entelechy International/A Journal of Contemporary Ideas, issue #4 (2006).
To contact Sylva Boyadjian-Haddad: [email protected]