Sunday, September 4, 2011

Poetic reflections - week 3

"The sea, washing the equator and the poles,
offers its perilous aid, and the power and empire that follow it...

''Beware of me,'' it says, '' but if you can hold me,

I am the key to all the lands.''

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

* * * * *

Welcome to week 3 and Poetic Reflections. I am Blaga and today the talented Isabel Paulo from "Tales from the sea" is our guest. Welcome Isabel! Thank you for your time, sharing thoughts with Gooseberry Garden!

Strange sea
by Isabel Paulo

I want to be
A calm strange sea
With no past or memory

I want to feel
The gush of sunken waves
With no expression or ordeal

I want to travel
The length of prismatic deeps
With no foreseen horizon or marvel

Sometimes I just want not to exist outside love

Tell me about yourself, who is Isabel Paulo?

I don’t know if I should describe myself as a person or as a poetess… or if by chance the person and the poetess are the same at all. Or even if I take myself seriously as a poet, since I don’t see myself fitting the description of one. (Is there such a description?) When I try to fit into descriptions I usually discover that I could as well fit the opposite. Or maybe I am afraid of facing who I really am.

No Longer Me

I am no longer
who I was
I am not yet who I want to be
Tortured by
erratic love
And harsh winds
from the sea

When I cannot escape a description, I usually say that I am just like any other human being, capable of good and bad things. I have strong convictions, yet I am pliable enough to adjust to different people and situations. My interests are diversified and change frequently. I need that change because I get easily bored.

I enjoy family life. Family is a strong organism. Strange too. One day we can feel safe and happy. The next day we can feel miserable. I definitely enjoy the sun. With the picture I selected I want to show a good moment in my life: reading and enjoying the sun at our naval club.

I was educated
in Europe but I don’t fit there any longer. Still, I am not truly African. I tend to live in an island, so any place can be good for me as long as I am allowed to live on that island. Sometimes I can feel African. It’s a rush of color and sound. Happiness can be kilometers of pristine space or the simple way African people enjoy life.


The name of my beloved

the wild emptiness
call changed to roar
I am his lioness

I write professionally. I can write about anything. (In my own language, of course.) That comes from working as a newspaper editor. I had to know all kind of subjects. More recently, I’ve been ghostwriting books.

Tell me about your blog, about the name and what it means to you? When did you start blogging?

I started blogging just because my hands got used to “action”. Can you imagine how busy editing a newspaper is? I was capable of editing material and sleeping at the same time. The next morning I would be pleasantly surprised with the result. When the newspaper closed I turned to blogging and editing other less demanding things: newsletters, books, magazines…

“Tales From the Sea” is a diary. I picked that name just because the element sea is very present in my life - or at least should be. Poetry was very rare until I was invited to Poetry Potluck. I had phases.

What draws you to express yourself through poetry?

Poetry for me is about expressing emotions and thoughts. At the same time, it is an undercover sort of writing. You cannot trust a poet. I wouldn’t trust myself. Sometimes I feel that people take my words literally and that is not entirely wise.

I feel more comfortable with the idea of being a thinker than a poet. And if I have to find a reason to write poetry I would say “love”. I write poetry to understand love. And I’ve been reaching a few very interesting conclusions… Love can be very cruel.

Suppose someone adores you and then disappears from your life. That
person leaves in you a taste difficult to match. Others will be always compared. And just because of that you can be unhappy, unsatisfied, unfulfilled for the rest of your life. Terrible, isn’t it? That’s how I write. I imagine situations that can have a relation with my own experiences or none at all. Recently I posted:

Laws of

The person who
The amazing
laws of attraction
Forgot 1 detail:
warranty of satisfaction

I had on mind
men and women complaining about unsatisfactory relationships. My own satisfaction or dissatisfaction isn’t necessarily (or mainly) dealt through words.

I like what I
write for a very short period. This is a journalistic thing. It’s done? Let’s move to the next one.


Exiled of your words for too long

Silence is the foreign land

Where my dreams still grow

When did you first write a poem? Do you remember it?

I was first published when I was nine. My first poem was about blindness. I am very inconsequential in terms of writing. It never crossed my mind to make money out of poetry. Poets and poems should be as free as birds. Poetry books look to me like cages. Still I own a couple.

Favorite books? Authors?

I like African poets for their connection with nature. I love Brazilian poetry. It’s free, audacious and often associated with music. I appreciate the intense expressiveness of a couple of Portuguese poets. Florbela Espanca, with her doomed love poems, is amazing.

I am very much into
Japanese short poetry, its straightforwardness and sobriety. I never think rules. I always think emotions. I studied just a little of English Literature. My teacher was a Shakespearean. She forgot about any other author and insisted in making us memorize entire parts of his work. I still recognize passages during television game shows, when most English speakers fail to do so.

What benefits there are from joining communities like Gooseberry Garden and Thursday Rally?

I feel more motivated to write. The Rally is a little bit more complicated for me, even if I have to recognize that I usually get a lot more visits and comments. Above all, I like the concept of sharing associated with poetry. I love reading other poets and enjoy being read. It’s the free expression aspect. I can understand the decision of making poetry profitable. Though, I still prefer the idea of sharing.


The sea is so deep

I could only find it in thee

That deep so deep

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If you like to discover more about the sea and Isabel, visit her at "Tales from the sea".
Thank you for following Gooseberry Garden and today!
Stay tuned for Poetic reflection - week 4.

I am Blaga and I wish you a happy Sunday!


A.B. Thomas said...

"you can never trust a poet" - I like that summary, it fits so nicely with my own concepts of poetry. thank you to both Isabel and Blaga for a very enjoyable and thoughtful read

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

I really enjoyed this post. Thanks very much!

Anonymous said...

great interview blag, good to know you isabel- stay connected.. :)

Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...

she looks fabulous,
and her poem spicked here are elegant to read.


Jingle Poetry At Olive Garden said...

this is refreshing post.

outstanding job, Blaga.

JamieDedes said...

Ladies, you both did an outstanding job on this post: Blaga, with your selection, introduction, and very clear layout (much appreciated) and Isabel with her well-honed poetry and her charmingly honest responses to the interview questions.

Bravo! and Thank you!

Anonymous said...

It is kind of a nice surprise to me since I was only able to check this now... A warm thanks to Blaga and to this exceptional group of writers I am so thankful to be part too. :)