The Song of Wandering by Aengus

What I love about this poem is the imagery, “I went out to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head, and cut and appealed a hazel wand, and hooked a berry to a thread.” Ahhh that just blows my mind away. The angel that calls him by his name, repeated. The dream of union, kept until “time and times are undone.”

“I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.”

-W.B. Yeats

Apophasis Book Launch

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Had my first ever book launch last weekend! It was really stressful and exciting at the same time. The night before I had been freaking out and afraid no one would show up, but I was so happy to see a good turn out and to end up selling 50 copies of my book:)) Here are some of the pictures from the event!

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Q & A

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Q: What do “apophasis’ and “bildungsroman” mean?

The simplest way I can explain apophasis is that it is a term used in theology to mean the way language is used as a tool to destroy the destructive power of language. Language can be used in two ways, the negative way, kataphasis, which assigns labels and literal descriptions which in a way destroy the unsaid. Apophasis on the other hand attempts to explain in a way that leaves infinity open for discovery. I go into depth about this in the prologue. Bildungsroman is a coming of age work, which is what this book essentially is for me.

Q: What kind of poetry is it?

There are two types of sonnets in English, the Shakespearian and Petrarchan/Spenserian. Although the sonnet format is no longer a popular form of poetry – the modern trend has been free verse – I was introduced to poetry through the sonnet, and so ended up mixing the free verse and the Shakespearian sonnet! This has been done with other forms of poetry such as the Haiku.

Q: How did you end up writing and publishing?

I never intended on getting this published. It started off initially as a birthday gift idea for my best friend, Khadija. I had wanted to print out all of our Facebook messages and make a book out of that. The first message was sent when I was eighteen and heading off to NYU for orientation, and the last one from when we were twenty-three and Khadija was doing her Bar in England and I was still trying to adjust to medical school. Why did we use Facebook messages as a medium for correspondence instead of Gmail? I have no idea quite frankly, it just started there and we wanted to keep the thread.

Alas, three thousand pages’ worth of correspondence ended up being a bigger read than War and Peace, so I decided against that (in the book I wrote two thousand, I went back and realized it was actually three thousand). Instead, as I started reading through all the messages, I ended up picking up general trends and themes. It was amazing to see growth in our thoughts and ideas, basically our whole adolescence was there in words. So those themes became ideas for poems, and it just took off from there. I showed one of my NYU friends some of my poems and he was the one who convinced me to publish them. With the help of my parents, sisters, and friends then I was able to complete this project and do that.

Herodotus and Harry Potter

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Sketch with words from Histories by Herodotus and Harry Potter

All right so the story for this one is from my Greek History class. We were reading Histories by Herodotus, and there’s this conversation in there between Xerxes and one of his men on one of their war campaigns where they say what’s saddest about human life is not only death but that men contemplate taking their own lives. I’d been re reading the Harry Potter series around the same time, and I was suddenly reminded of the scene where Sirius dies and falls behind the black veil and Harry is drawn towards the veil, and Hermione has to yell at Harry not to touch it. As a kid I’d never made the connection of the black veil sort of standing as a metaphor for death and Harry being called to it for some reason, and it somehow linked together with this old text I was reading which was written by the person who is known as the father of history. Completely amazing.