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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing January 2023
Mantra of Words, editorial by Mark Ulyseas.
Poetry is one of the most fugitive arts: it can be assigned to memory, taken and hidden in the mind, smuggled into smoky cabin back rooms, recited there and then conveyed only by speech to another person. It is therefore the most likely to survive colonization. – Eavan Boland
The mantra of words never ceases to engage and amplify the thoughts of a poet as the poem crystallises into a gem. There is a synergy between a poem and the ether that resonates and embraces a reader of these words. For without these words, will we be able to hear the music of minds churning to the rhythms of souls?
Some poets’ works remain through the ages whilst others fade into oblivion once they have moved on to another world. Why are the mantras of words of these poets (those whose works are remembered and shared through the years), and those that are forgotten as generations fade and new ones emerge, different? Is it related to cultural sensitivities or is there something more?
Language plays a decisive and divisive role in super-imposing cultural facets on non-native speakers of a language. Languages that are widely spoken have the advantage of propelling poets’ works into the world. But still, despite this advantage, many poets just come and go like the tide, whilst others’ works remain for posterity.
Now, more than ever, there exists a fantastic energy that is inducing poets to publish at a frenzied pace, both in hard copy and online. Is this urgency aroused by a yearning to leave a legacy behind, one that will capture readers’ memories for a long time to come? Or, is this a feeding frenzy of the ego, to be noticed and to instigate readers to react and acknowledge one as a poet? Or, is this in search of acceptance by other poets?
Are literary awards an essential barometer of the ‘value’ of a poet’s work over contemporaries? Or, merely, a politically correct gesture? Or, something else?
Is it necessary to churn out a poem, about one a week, to keep one’s avatar alive on social media? Is there an underlining fear that absence from social media will lead to one being relegated to obscurity, like a leaf on a tree deep in the Amazon forest?
In these times of a manic media and a prevailing vicious form of cultural appropriation and cannibalism of words, how can one define oneself as a poet?
How many poets have become victims of the hashtag generation and its warped sense of correctness and lost themselves in a maze of self-indulgence while the world is at war with free speech?
Does the poetry of today really reflect reality or are many poets inspired by the concentric circles of fashionable hashtags and a nauseating political correctness? And are they threatened by a marauding cancel culture, which determines their choice of words?
Does colour of one’s skin, attire, sexual preference, ethnicity or history of one’s homeland act as a free pass to being accepted as a poet without running the gauntlet of critique?
There are so many questions but not so many acceptable answers to justify not writing poetry.
Poets today have a great responsibility to a growing number of violent defragmenting societies. Poets must fearlessly stimulate minds to reach above and beyond the atmosphere of hate towards what should be – a world of inner beauty that shines a light and drives away the suffocating darkness threatening to extinguish hope.
Live Encounters has, over the years, published work of inspiring published poets and aspiring new ones… Poets who craft their work as messages of great introspection, reflection, revelation and beauty from the world of souls.
For without listeners and readers, how and where will poetry exist?
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om
“I still have no way to survive but to keep writing one line, one more line, one more line…”
– Yukio Mishima
© Mark Ulyseas
Mark Ulyseas has served time in advertising as copywriter and creative director selling people things they didn’t need, a ghost writer for some years, columnist of a newspaper, a freelance journalist and photo-grapher. In 2009 he created Live Encounters Magazine, in Bali, Indonesia. It is a not for profit (adfree) free online magazine featuring leading academics, writers, poets, activists of all hues etc. from around the world.
March 2016 saw the launch of its sister publication Live Encounters Poetry, which was relaunched as Live Encounters Poetry & Writing in March 2017. In February 2019 the third publication was launched, LE Children Poetry & Writing (now renamed Live Encounters Young Poets & Writers). In August 2020 the fourth publication, Live Encounters Books, was launched. He has edited, designed and produced all of Live Encounters’ 261 publications (till January 2023).
Mark’s philosophy is that knowledge must be free and shared freely to empower all towards enlightenment. He is the author of three books: RAINY – My friend & Philosopher, Seductive Avatars of Maya – Anthology of Dystopian Lives and In Gethsemane: Transcripts of a Journey. https://liveencounters.net/mark-ulyseas-publisher-editor-of-live-encounters-magazines/ https://www.amazon.com/Mark-Ulyseas/e/B01FUUQVBG