Tuesday, 17 July 2012

j.p. christiansen

Of Mirth And Grave

Oh youthful rage,
unmet desire, now,
but do not sully,
speaks an age,
so as to caution.

Of minds oppressed,
time lends a loss,
a scar to ways in error.

One speaks of progeny,
to witness
where parents failed to see –
in this, time tempers me,
a reason for the living.

Below these stones they lie,
and are but visits
when memory comes
to remind that mistress roams,
a lover seeking, true.

This grief is wound to heart
and mind oppressed,
a salve to heal, by knowing –

a mirth, to counter,
a gift, a guide to mind,
like stern through water
for a calmer grace,
a dream for council,
after storm.


TSTmpj:  Are you English?  Please feel free not to say if you deem it too intrusive a question.  I ask it because your poetry reminds me of some of what I perceive to be the finest English poetry of recent decades.  Who are some of your favourite contemporary poets, and what in particular appeals to you about them?

j.p. christiansen:  No, I'm Danish, residing in the US. Favorite contemporary poets/poetesses? I have none, trying to forge a new direction for my poetry. I've read some classical poets as well as contemporary ones, both from the English-speaking world, as well as translations from around the globe. Classical Persian poets speak to me, especially, but I just read, and let 'osmosis' take the course whereby my poet absorbs to later write his own.


TSTmpj:  Your technique is superb.  In your formative times, who did you learn from?

j.p. christiansen:  Technique? I'm very ignorant of established poetic form and technique. I think, again, that I just absorb rhythm, flow, and format from what I read, and subconsciously apply what appeals to me.


TSTmpj:  Which is your favourite Shakespearean play, and why?

j.p. christiansen:  Being Danish, Hamlet, of course. Its message of personal struggle, encapsulated by "to be, or not to be", as it applies to theory and deed, is one each human being must come to terms with throughout life. Shakespeare's strength lies in the fact that his knowledge of human nature still applies to we who live today.

Bio Note

Much of j.p. christiansen’s poetry is inspired by music, in this case Shakespearean lyrics set to song by classical English composers.

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