Westernized

My heart broke today.

It was a normal day, like any other. I was at work doing another long assignment, and naturally I got bored. So, I thought: ďHey, I havenít read a Nepali poem in a long time! Letís do that.Ē I looked up Bhupi Sherchan, my favorite Nepali poet, and picked a random poem of his. To my surprise, and fear, I couldnít read it. I had to strain my mind and google translate half the words to understand it. I couldnít read my own language. My heart broke.

I was never that good at reading Nepali, but back in the day I could do so if I tried really hard. I didnít need to google translate anything or such. After the fact I just began a slow spiral of guilty thoughts such as: What have I been doing? Spending all this time reading English poems, American poems, French poems translated in English, Italian poems translated in English, and even god damn Romanian poems translated in English! I have indoctrinated myself into a foreign language while paying no heed to my own. I felt like such a traitor. All this time I never really paid any mind to how much I have been westernized. Itís finally hit me now. I have betrayed my culture.

You might think Iím being over dramatic, dear reader. But see, art doesnít exist in a vacuum, though I wish it did. And of all the arts least of all poetry. Poetry is the voice of the masses. It is the words of a collective group of people, a culture, being writ down by its spokesperson, the poet. Why do you think they killed Lorca back in the Spanish Civil war? Poetry is propaganda. As a culture dilutes so does its poetry. Look at America. Their poets are either academic dickwads whoíll masturbate each other to extinction in their ivory tower or reactionaries reacting to nothing and waging a war no one's noticed. And I have spent eight years studying the language of this culture, reading their great poets, listening to their music that now I have been so far removed from my own that I lie halfway, far removed from both sides. Never can belong in one and never to belong in the other. What do I write now? Fuck.




Poetry by Sameen
Read 67 times
Written on 2017-12-19 at 20:38

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ken d williams The PoetBay support member heart!
Sameen, I talked with a poet this very evening. I ask him if was Napolelce. As he looked as if could be. '' No, Andean.'' Later I explinde why I had ask him such a questan. I told him of your work, and of your qustaning your self. Fund that hard to understand. '' Tell him (you) to stop thinking like that '' ; '' Cary on writing as you are, write his (your) poetry! ''. So passing on the advice from one poet a fellow, poet!
Ken
2017-12-21


Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Go back. Retrieve your essence. By doing so, you will become a better poet.
2017-12-21


Ashe The PoetBay support member heart!
I understand what you are feeling, exactly. You come from such a beautiful culture, so ancient and regulated, and in the US you found the freedom that you probably needed, so you embraced it. What to do now? Perhaps read more of your native poets and literature until you can achieve a balance between the two cultures. It's such an advantage to know both and be able to choose from each culture what fits you. Maybe the desire to follow your own culture will come when you marry a girl from Nepal and you will feel the desire to bring up your children knowing that culture, yet maybe not bound by it. I enjoyed reading your essay. It is the dilemma of all who immigrate.
Ashe
2017-12-20


ken d williams The PoetBay support member heart!
Bravo, Sameen, I sense - feel your pains and your sadness.
Ken
2017-12-19