Saturday, October 27, 2012

Another episode in The Natty Hat Competition.

This is the sixth  Literary Giveaway Blog Hop, and the fifth Natty Hat Competition, the idea is to be a contrast to most giveaways which seem to be centred around YA & romance fiction. litbloghop (1)

The reason my own personal contribution is entitled “ The Natty Hat Competition” is that when I first chose to participate in this Hop, I came to the conclusion that I needed some receptacle to posit the names of all those brave enough to enter my challenge. This meant such a vessel needed to be found, so off I went suitably attired in coat, scarf and hat, despite it being a heat wave (always been a martyr to ones own individual style) in search of such a reticule. After many an hour searching for something that would be commodious enough to be fit for purpose, I came to the conclusion that the effort involved was far beyond the ideal image I had of myself as someone of a laid back disposition, with borderline attitude  of a laggard, much suited to a more decumbent position. At this moment the proverbial bolt of lightening struck, and the resultant shock incurred, allowing this singular idea to form “ Why Not Use My Hat ?????????” After laying in a supine position for a week in an attempt to recover from such a formative response to my dilemma, this is what I did and The Natty Hat Competition” was created.Jaxon-Houndstooth-Trilby-Hat

Now following the tradition of The Natty Hat Competition, I set you a slight challenge and as per usual it is related to poetry. My challenge is also related to my plans for world peace, now before you broadside me with the weapons of logic, yeah I already know that this is my personal delusion, so please allow me this slight chimera, this one legged stance of posturing against this fiction of detente and you’ll gain entrance to this the most wondrous of giveaways. So after the waffle I should state what my plans are….. Name me a favoured poet and/or poem from a nation different to your place of birth. Place in the comments the name of a poet or to gain my undying fondness, a poem (with name, writer etc.) plus your email or contact details and you shall be guaranteed your place within this legendary Valhalla, that is the The Natty Hat. As per tradition I’ll start.

Virus Writing

Writing viruses
And electronic labyrinths
With a blackout and no computer
In a rented house, at seven thousand a month;
Kabul, the Afghan capital!
What silly poem is this?
You ask yourself, is poetry the same lonely words that wander in electronic corridors,
Cut off from their existence,
Thrown away, with no choice but to become a poem?
You watch imagination wandering through paths, over the paths,
You throw the leash at yet another word,
Trying to subdue this wild one,
And if you fail,
You stop functioning,
Like a computer crashed.

There was someone, someone who wrote viruses
Behind a diesel-powered laptop
Looking for URLs and
An anonymous mail would be sent
Connecting you to a site, infected;
“I am from Florida, the USA, and 23 years of age,
Looking for someone to follow the link, and make happy”;
To open the mail and to make someone happy?
First, stop the programs;
Passing through security, typing 97, 98, 99,
Approaching the death of romance between zero and one.
A virus-writer drank half a beer bottle at once;
Then, computer deaths;
First to the east of Paris, a house,
Australia, three minutes more,
A man is waiting out the last minutes of an office shift
Needs to get home;
A party is starting in half an hour;
The Philippines, minutes later,
A 19-year-old girl
In a chat room,
Showing off a used body;
In Egypt, more or less the same time,
And the next morning, Kabul.

You, and you, also you,
Yes, you and also you,
You are all arrested!

They tell me, stop writing!
You write and we’ll show you Guantanamo at home,
You write, we’ll kill you.
Kabul, summer of ’07
Hands in handcuffs, feet tied up;
This is Afghanistan, and this here where it is going,
Dead bodies over dead bodies.
The poem has no choice but to stop writing itself.
This is prison.

They asked a Kabul sparrow
Just what is mankind up to?
The sparrow considered this and died!


Kamran Mir Hazar(Afghanistan, 1976) is a prominent Hazara journalist, human rights activist and writer who now lives with his wife and one-year-old daughter in Hønefoss, Norway.

Now that you’ve survived the florid verbosity of my post, thank you for your polite silence. The reason for it was to provide an antithesis to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s definition that

Prose, words in their best order. Poetry, the best words in the best order.  

And to allow you to fully appreciate the Prize Giveaway -  Definitions by Octavian Paler, this is a fantastic collection of poetry that I described as “beautiful, clever introspective poetry, not merely one individual’s exploration of self, but that it relates to you, us, all of us”. Here is more information on this book.


PS. To enter this giveaway You Do Not need to follow my blog or like, or tweet or any other dance steps that may occur to me, but if you do like what you see, please feel free to join & add your own ideas, as a polite introduction to a new idea, whether its a Book, a Poem or your favourite writer is always welcome. Thanks Parrish.

PPS, A big Thank you & respect to Judith from Leeswammes’ Blog,  for organising and for the original instigation of this  Literary Giveaway.

If you would like some ideas on poems check out my Pomesallsizes page for links or visit poetry international and whilst you’re out and about visiting please pay a call on my fellow conspirators in this, The Sixth Literary Giveaway Blog Hop



Unknown said...

How about Rilke? An excellent poet! One nice example is 'Der Panther' (I'm not goign to copy it all here though...)

Judith said...

Thanks for joining the blog hop, Gary, and for your wonderful introduction to your giveaway.

I'm sorry the search for a receptacle took such an effort, but now you're set for life!

I won't enter, as you know I don't appreciate poetry well enough; real poetry lovers should get the full chance to win this collection.

Mari said...

I, too, will choose a writer from Afghanistan. In Afg poetry is spread through song. I love Ahmad Zahir, favorite being "Az Gahmat Ai Nazaneen." He was a beautiful poet.

Liene said...

Juris Kronbergs, a Latvian poet. My favorite poems are in Latvian, but I do believe he's got something in English too.

Bellezza said...

"He who dwells in the shelter of
the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the
I will say of the LORD, "He is my
refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

Surely he will save you from
The fowler's snare
and from the deadly
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will
find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your
shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in
the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at
Psalm 91:1-6

As you know, Parrish, the Psalms are my favorite poems. But, so as to leap outside my box I will also record a poem from a little book I bought at Publisher's Row in Chicago several summers ago:


I wish you liked to read.
I wish you came home bulging
With thoughts, sentences dangling
& looped about you like vines,
your mind mossy and fragrant
with phrases.

You would read to me,
your voice riding each story's weather:
throaty & dark, shrill,
tentative, serene, or scuttling
like a rat.
I would forget the best stories
so you cos read them again.

Sometimes we would cry,
pierced by word-knives, delivered
into rooms without windows,
clutching each other, appalled.

Having traversed a vast
topography of pages,
We would close the book,
cook real food, pour juice or wine,
& eat with the relieved & thankful air
of travelers who have
come upon their Rivendell.
-Ruth Goring

Suko said...

Here is my choice, talented and prolific Indian writer Sweta Srivastava Vikram, who was born in India and also grew up in North Africa. She's the author of 3 short books of poetry: Because All Is Not Lost (Modern History Press, 2010), Kaleidoscope: An Asian Journey of Colors (Modern History Press, 2010), and Beyond the Scent of Sorrow (also Modern History Press, 2011). She's also a novelist: Perfectly Untraditional (2011, published in India). She is a writer to watch!

test said...

Found you through this hop! Oh my, what an amazing post, hahaha! You got me with the combo of Natty Hat and ... world peace!

readerrabbit22 at
My blog (if you're curious:

I have to admit that poetry is a difficult one for me but I do have two books by Khalil Gibran. (I'm from the Philippines, Gibran is from Lebanon). An Excerpt from The Prophet "On Children":

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Cyndee said...

I enjoy all types and authors of Poetry. I had a Teacher who read poems and celebrated poetry by starting class with a poem every day.A Friend introduced to Briceida Cuevas Cobb, a Maya Poet, whose work I discovered from Flor y Canto,(Flower and Song)It is a collection. She has been published in Mexico.
Cyndee Thomas

@parridhlantern said...

Hi Tony, Rilke's a great choice, but can understand why you wouldn't copy it all :-)

Hi Judith, can never have enough Natty Hats. Thanks again for this hop.

Mari, Thank you for this introduction, loving the fact that his songs were based on Persian poetry.
For anyone else interested,Ahmad Zahir (Persian: احمد ظاهر‎ – Aḥmad Zāhir; 14 June 1946 – 14 June 1979) was a singer, songwriter, and composer from Afghanistan. He is widely considered an icon of Afghan music and is sometimes called the "King of Afghan music". His songs are mostly in Persian and based on well-recognized Persian poems, although a few are in Pashto and English.[1] Zahir composed and performed rock and pop music, in a similar style to Elvis Presley. Today, he is regarded as one of the greatest persons in Afghan culture and history.

Hi Liene, thanks for this Intro. just Googled him & yes Arc Publication has a dual Language copy of Wolf One-Eye.

Hi Bellezza, Thank you as per usual, you've risen to this challenge admirably, thank you for your selection.
PS. Damn predictive text..

Hello Suko, thanks for this writer, am vaguely aware of this writer, Beyond the Scent of Sorrow rings a bell.

Thank you for your comment Aloi, glad you liked my inane mutterings. Another blogger from the Philippines (now know 3) so welcome. Khalil Gibran, a great choice.

Hi Cyndee, thanks for this poet,

Lady, Briceida Cuevas Cob

your breasts are two little girls jostling each other in play when you wash.
The rainbow of your glance is suspended in the lather.
To look at you one wouldn’t guess you suffer,
wouldn’t know that at the foot of your washtub you hoard part of your story.
You give a whistle,
your whistle is a thread where you will hang your tiredness.
The wind
is a mischievous lad who tugs and tugs at your laundry.
On the trees of the east
the sun is a newborn baby scattering his warm yellow tears.

Translation: Steve Trott

Mae said...

Wow, I never realized how unfamiliar I am with non-American poets. I guess I will have to go with Yeats. But if you'll allow me to bend the rules a little, I would love to tell you about a poet who is from the same country as I am: Othelia Lilly. It's very hard to find her poems online, so you might have to order a book. But it's worth it.


Falaise said...

As I'm British, I hope I can still choose an Irish poet (although Ireland was still part of Britain when he was born) - W.B. Yeats. I like a lot of his poetry but will leave you with a dose of "The Second Coming":

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned.
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity

@parridhlantern said...

Hi Mae, I wrote a post recently, where I realised that in the process of introducing poetry to others, a lot of the time I'm also introducing it to myself. Yeats is fine & as to Othelia Lilly,she's a new one to me

Park Orator - Othelia Lilly

His voice, a bagpipe with a strain of thunder.
Scrapes the rafters of my brain like slander
That rides the winter down our mansard roof
In a wheezing gale, but then his typhoon
Whirls the summer cottage of my heart
To ruin, while his polar meanings hurt.
Like an icy slaughterhouse with angels dying;
I taste their moldy wings. What is he slaying?
Great thorns of mischief blowing from his
Bleed rosy heaven dead in everyone.

Hello Falaise, if we start to query territories, we could be lost for years, so yes definitely & W.B. Yeats, deserves a place here by at least 2 votes. thanks for the segment.

Rachel Fenton said...


by Tomas Tranströmer
translated by Robert Bly

Men in overalls the same color as earth rise from a ditch.
It's a transitional place, in stalemate, neither country nor city.
Construction cranes on the horizon want to take the big leap,
but the clocks are against it.
Concrete piping scattered around laps at the light with cold tongues.
Auto-body shops occupy old barns.
Stones throw shadows as sharp as objects on the moon surface.
And these sites keep on getting bigger
like the land bought with Judas' silver: "a potter's field for
burying strangers."

Pasted from

neer said...

Dushayant Kumar. Poet from india. Thanks

Darlene said...

Thanks for the giveaway!
darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

I always liked: "Because I could not stop for death" by Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed us –
The Dews drew quivering and chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – 'tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity –

@parridhlantern said...

Hi Rachel, Tomas Tranströmer is a great choice & a Nobel prize winner.

Hi Neer, thanks for introducing this poet to me.
Dushyant Kumar (Hindi: दुष्यन्त कुमार), (September 27, 1931 – December 31, 1975) was a poet of modern Hindi-Urdu literature. In India, he is generally recognized as one of the foremost Hindi-Urdu poet during the 20th century. He was also a Dramatist, Littérateur and Gazal writer.

Hello Darlene, a favourite of mine by this writer, thanks.

@parridhlantern said...

The Natty Hat Competition is now officially closed. Thank You to all those who took part. In the next step all your names will go into the random generator, commonly referred to as my daughter & I will post the winners name on Friday 2nd November.
My thanks once again to Judith at Leeswamme's blog for organising this Literary giveaway
----------The Natty Hat Is Now Closed-------------