On Poems

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Poems always happen when I am busy with something else.

Maybe they are something else?

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From MUSINGS

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A sobering thought: If I think too much of the LITERARY MARKET, I’ll start molding my poems to the taste of certain popular politicians, whom I despise.

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On Remembering

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ON REMEMBERING:

Monuments are built to commemorate murderers, destroyers, and tyrants. No wonder, those are the ones who fear most, especially death.

The true remembrance is like a belated reading—of a mom raped and murdered, of a child who witnessed it and then was turned into a soldier; of a microwaved cat, a horse bitten do death.

The true remembrance is both an expression of and protest against madness.

©Joanna Kurowska

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A Poet’s Dilemma

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Writing poetry, I feel I do what I must and should do; while, through its lack of interest and support, the society I live in seems to be suggesting, “Drop it and get a REAL job.”

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“The Mission”

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Watching again Roland Joffé’s 1986 movie The Mission (with Robert DeNiro and Jeremy Irons). Almost thirty years after its creation, the film seems to have gained some new significance. True, the “natives” are presented as patronized and unrealistically innocent, but the movie is an excellent study of power. During those thirty years, we have learned so much about the arrogance and immorality of power, ecclesiastic as much as secular. The Mission shows the unholy marriage between these two. A thought: Holy cow, the devil must love the church!

(from Musings)

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Musings

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Have you noticed that growing in power goes in the opposite direction to growing in freedom? I mean, at the personal level—as a person.

(from Musings)

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Reading THE RED BOOK

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While reading The Red Book by C.G. Jung, I begin to understand why some modern scholars (and religious leaders!) can see this work as a bit of an embarrassment.  Not only, through evoking myth, does The Red Book fly in the face of modern rationalism on the one hand, and the established “concepts of God” on the other.  It awakens (and subverts!) both the heroic and the shameful in us.

read more…

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A note of appreciation

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THANK YOU!

Following the press release from Cervena Barva Press announcing the publication of my poetry collection Inclusions, I would like to express my deep gratitude to Cervena Barva Press’s editor Gloria Mindock, and her associates, for publishing my work. I also remain most grateful to all my friends, who believed in me as a poet. Thank you all so much!

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On rejections from literary journals and publishers

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To My Chivalric Rejectors:

Every writer knows rejections hurt, especially when one is a beginner; but even the old veterans of the publishing battlefield find rejections unpleasant. Because so little money goes to both the writers‘ and (as we are repeatedly told) the editors‘ ends of the food-chain, the times when rejectees received personal feedback from their rejectors, seem long gone. It‘s almost amusing to read the same old message with each rejection—not a single word changed for a number of years, for example: “We are sorry to say we’ll have to pass on this submission, but thank you very much for letting us have a chance with your work.” Sounds familiar?

When one gets such a message the tenth time in a row, one begins to feel a single comma or a dash added would change that message into poetry (which acts through surprise). But no. That’s why, when I get a personalized rejection, it feels almost like a distinction. The current times are safely mapped, the borderlines between the powerful and the powerless clearer than ever. Like in an ant-heap, everyone knows where to move, and how. Machines talk to us and we to machines.

Then—suddenly—something humane looms on the rejector’s end. A rejection with some personal feedback. I remember every single one of such rare, chivalric rejections, in which a distinguishable human being tells me “No, we won’t publish you because…” I remember them as much as I remember the acceptances.

I want to tell a story that, on my part, is long overdue. In 2002, soon after my qualifying exams for my advanced degree, I took the courage to send my work to The Atlantic

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YOUR FEEDBACK

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From Debbie Young’s blog:

Whatever you’re reading just now, if you enjoy the book, take a moment to thank the author by leaving a quick review on Amazon, Goodreads, or any other site that you prefer. I guarantee you’ll make the author’s day.

AMEN!!!

Debbie Young is an accomplished writer and literary critic. She has just published an outstanding review of my volume The Wall & Beyond on Amazon and Goodreads. The review has originally appeared in Vine Leaves Literary Journal.

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Morality & ecology

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Morality is ecological. The Wall Street bankers who played irresponsibly with the mortgage loans possibly represent the first generation of people who have been brought in the cancerous thought-branch of postmodernism saying that morality has been but a political construct and hence has no application in public activities. True, systems of power used (or mis-used) morality for their own ends—but morality is simply the ability to coexist harmoniously within a community and the environment. A sense of civic responsibility is surely an aspect of morality. Maybe we need to revisit classical virtues?

© Joanna Kurowska

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About poets’ solitude

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Everywhere marble, the visible grandeur of marble, pink and gray marble, veined and tinted as flayed corrupting flesh,—all these provided agreeable distractions from a rather frightening solitude of a poet,” says Tennessee Williams‘s Lord Byron, in Camino Real)

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