Poetry raises so many questions that poke and probe at the mind. This Lost Shark has been trawling through some of his favourite poems and decided to take some of these questions and throw them out to the big wide world to see how people would respond.
The first question he sent out to the universe is one of many posed by Pablo Neruda in his classic collection, Book of Questions:
Why doesn’t Thursday talk itself into coming after Friday?
Here’s what people have sent in so far:
Thursday has the joy of anticipating Friday – and anticipation is always the best part of the journey.
but of course it does! i’ve never known a thursday that didn’t come after a friday. some days after, sure…
Because it is better to anticipate than to arrive.
In the deepening twilight of the order of things, Thursday waits, with sheathed blade and bloody imaginings.
Why doesn’t Thursday talk itself into coming after Friday? (Pablo Neruda)
Because as many times as Thursday
tries on Saturday’s football socks for size,
swishes about in Saturday’s hat (just right for picnics),
Thursday is destined to be a bridesmaid
– a lady in waiting.
Never to be Friday,
the celebrated last day of the working week.
Never to stagger bleary eyed into the scratchy Saturday light.
Thursday is always
to be relegated to late night shopping in suburbia
and a few quick ones after work
–it can’t be a big one, there’s always work tomorrow.
Thursday can see Saturday from where it is,
but it lacks confidence,
it drowns in it’s own mediocrity.
Thursday scuffs its feet with its hands in its pockets,
it can see Saturday but it can never be Saturday
no matter how much talking it does.
Because Thursday holds the promise of Friday.
Because Friday is too commercialised, and sells so much stuff to us for the weekend, to ever allow itself to be reduced to a Thursday, because if this happened Friday believes Capitalism would not survive.
It is the beacon still blinking
on the horizon, knowing this
is not our only hope.
It is the wind in our sails that assures us
we’re still moving.
It is the dream, so much stronger
than the touch.
Surely because Thursday is pay day for pensioners?
I love Neruda’s Book of questions. I find echoes of them in Cornelia Parker’s installations http://www.artseensoho.com/Art/DEITCH/parker98/parker1.html – Uncurling an unseen world. There is something sublime in melting the solids of concepts like days of the week in your imagination. I can’t remember who asked this first, but I love the question ‘Why do we remember our past but not our future?’ Questioning destabilises. In schools we are taught to answer questions not ask them. To ask these sorts of questions asks us to look at where symbols end and a non-human reality begins. We create systems with which to make meaning then forget they are our creations. Who decided to name the days of the week? Baudrillard said ‘illusion is the most egalitarian, most democratic principle there is, everyone is equal before illusion, whereas we are not equal in front of the world as ‘truth’ and ‘reality.’ Neruda’s questions mediate a way to this space, effect a partial recovery of what is ‘lost’ allowing the world it’s illusions back. So much we search to make meaning from is a non-physicality. Neruda poses questions as a gift back to our imaginations, juicy to think that the unpresentable can only really come forward as missing contents. Now that’s poetry ha!
It goes back to the Norse gods and the creation myths. To times when the world as we know it was being born, a time when the foundations of society were forming and truths of the psyche were becoming part of humanities archetypal psychological makeup that have since reached into the present with only superficial changes to the fundamental differences between the men and women who have sired the generations, the previous that bring our forefathers and nay our mothers too into the present day, bring us to an age old point of contention that began with Thor and Freya, the original namesakes of our modern day Thursday and Friday.
Thor: (breathless) I’m trying and trying not to…..
Freya: Oh please just talk yourself out of it, think of me as the witch living at the other end of Valhalla…
Thor: Oh no, it’s too late…
Freya: (Sigh)… Thor dammit, no matter how much you try and talk yourself out of it, it seems this woman will always come last.
Bremen Town Musician
I don’t know about Thursday but talking of ol Pablo put me in mind of that Simpsons episode where Bart sells his soul and then finds he can no longer laugh at Itchy & Scratchy..
Bart; “I know its funny so why aren’t I laughing..”
Lisa; “well, Pablo Neruda says that laughter is language of the soul”
Bart (with quiet dignity) “I am aware of the works of Pablo neruda.”
quote from Encyclopedia Simpsonica
The Reverend Hellfire
So what is your response to this question? Be sure to post it in the comments.