Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Laguna Continued - The Linguist Staff

This week we went ekphrastic, meaning we wrote poems off of art objects.  The piece of art that struck me was a staff from Ghana called Linguist Staff and Top Representing an Elephant  because it struck me as such a metaphor for how we should proceed forward talking about history and understanding the present, always with our hand touching the ears that remember the past, that are listening to what we are saying. 

The Linguist Staff
is covered in ears. Not real ears, but carved,
extruding, so each grip reminds fingers
that the ears exist.  No need to pour these
ears onto a table to illustrate
a point.  Instead, through touch, the linguist speaks
through the ears. When he holds the golden staff
and speaks he knows the ears are listening. 
This is a way to proceed on the rutted path
of history.  If we keep our fingers
locked tightly on those golden ears perhaps
we won’t forget that the past listens, and
expects us to circle back and look under
what we think we know even if the path
is overgrown, impassable, or lost. .

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