Emily Bilman: The Clash of Contraries

 Emily Bilman

  The Clash of Contraries
  After William Blake

  JPR 08

  Plate I : Truth Reversal

I entered Blake’s print house in the Red Cross
Where prisoners’ archives were aligned
In the war-chains of Death. Name after name
After name of unexchanged prisoners. Lost souls.

To the refugee outside, spoken by blood,
Scrouge, and muck, I said: “Your face is etched
By the sea. Wipe the water off your chest and
Do not look back when expelled.”

  Plate II : Time’s Archives

The weak in courage are strong in archives.
Uncouth serpents stalk in buffer-zones.
Energy is countered by conmen.

Knowledge is kept from generation to generation.
Power is perverted by the bureaucrat.
Archives slumber. Resolution is hard.

  Plate III : Science and Man’s Guilt

At the expense of poachers, elephants and rats,
The guilt of Science expends man.
Earth is orphaned like the babe who dies
When deprived of gratified desire.
  Plate IV : The Eagle and the Ox

Can the Empire soar despite the eagle’s sovereign brutality?
For the poet, the Kingdom of Poetry is Energy
Penetrating through the windows of our five senses.
The ox of Reason devours the poet’s excess desire
As hungry priests depossess men of natural myths.
The rule for the eagle and the ox is oppression.
  Plate V : The Cassini Probe

Cassini probes Saturn’s methane moons,
Plunges into its storm-ridden atmosphere
Through the largest gap between its rings,

Scans photos of the water-plumes jutting
From Titan’s ocean-girth, celebrating the celestial
Music of its garnered rings, golden in space.

A woman astronomer on a space mission,
I clean the windows of our perception like a poet
So man would regain desire and the world liberty.

Dr Emily Bilman, Geneva, Switzerland.

Dr. Emily Bilman is a freelancer and London’s Poetry Society Stanza representative in Geneva where she hosts poetry meetings in her home. She earned her PhD from East Anglia University where she taught literature and critical theory. Her dissertation entitled The Psychodynamics of Poetry was published in 2010 by Lambert Academic Publishing in Germany. Modern Ekphrasis, dealing with the poetry-painting analogy from Plato to Derrida, was published by Peter Lang, Switzerland in 2013. Her ms. “The Ambiguity of Good and Evil in Melville’s Metaphysics” is as yet unpublished. Her interdisciplinary essays on psychoanalytical theory and literature were published in The T.S. Eliot Journal, The Battersea Review no. 5; and The Journal of Poetics Research at Sydney University. They can be read online. Her poems are published in The London Magazine, The Linnet’s Wings, Hunger Mountain, Offshoots VII, XII, & XIV, Orbis, Poetry Salzburg Review, Iodine, Aois 21, Spillwords Press, The Galway Review, The Battersea Review, San Diego Poetry Annual, The Inspired Heart Vols. 1, 2, 3, & 4, Ygdrasil, Tuck Magazine, Snob.ru, The Journal of Poetics Research, and www.ekphrastic.net. For her ekphrastic research she edits and writes for the digital publication www.paintedpoetry.org. Her poetry books, A Woman By A Well and Resilience, are published by Matador, UK. She was recently awarded the first prize for The Tear-Catcher by The New York Literary Magazine and broadcast by Melinda Cochrane on Bashani Radio, New York. She blogs on http://www.emiliebilman.wix.com/emily-bilman


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