Poetry, as Hannah Arendt discovered through writing her own poems, can be a heimat for the unheimlich, a home for the uncanny, the homeless outsider, a linguistic space for conscious pariahs to engage in emancipatory speech acts. My colleague Dr. Cynthia Nielsen, who blogs at Per Caritatem, has recently introduced me to the poetry of Kristina Zolatova, who like Arendt, is a philosopher by training, but a poet by sensibility. Her poetry plays at the boundary between visibility and invisibility, silence and speech, and explores the paradox of transgression and salvation, and the dialectic of community and individuation. I am looking forward to reading more of this new poetic voice that is just beginning to emerge from Russia.
A strange place with strange customs.
Ornate head coverings, odd masks masking a
Is there a “second” subject?
Does it signify?
Content (pale) men clap their hands, embracing the silence and silencing the embrace.
Let the nightingale sing.
At least, at least let her scream.
This strangeness, however, exceeds the holy places.
The towers, ivory and otherwise, are filled with dogmatists, alchemists, and many other ists.
Left, right, left.
Silencers all of them.
Hollow soundings, shady submissions.
(Oна не здесь).