A Farewell Poem from Rosa (Modernism 2015)

At the Farewell party for this year’s modernism course, our student Rosa Schwenger from Germany shared a brilliant poem she wrote about her experience at SUISS. The poem was a hit – Rosa was thanked with an enthusiastic standing ovation, and there were a few teary eyes in the crowd. She has graciously agreed to share the poem here with you as well. Anyone who has studied on our modernism course will probably relate to her words as much as her classmates did. Thank you, Rosa!








Rosa Hits Enter At A Lot Of Random Places

Disclaimer: All mistakes are done on purpose, obviously.
All misplaced, superfluous or lost commas are my intention.
All weirdly worded ideas are exactly what they are supposed to be.
Everything is on purpose when the purpose is to be

thrown into the cold grey weather waters
not knowing what to make of anything.
Waves of clouds clashing, whirls of winds dashing
at the periphery of our expectations,
their meaning being entangled like a knot of rain, wind and trees
while gloomy buildings watch all of our cautious steps through the seas.
And if not now then at the end we
will have fought through this jungle of modern isms and survived,
if we all follow the same threads or not.
A physical journey posed Arthur’s Seat
and from up there
the two-weeked future mysteries of an unknown world unfolded in front of us
the excitement is palpable
(who is he even?),
you can feel the suspense in the air
(never heard of this guy, to be honest),
we saw moments of greatness not only flicker but maybe burn
(or got it trust upon us)
just shortly before lots of anger aimed at structures and codes,
though not at the play at hand,
and then
the lighting of the rainbow coloured ceilings, walls,
diverse and overflowing as

all the colours of the voices of Dublin
we tried to understand.
And yes, you can watch your language
when what’s said is so vivid that it doesn’t matter
which sense makes sense
at a time

is space, space is time
when chaotic confusion reached its peak
with elusive allusive Eliot.
when you‘re having fun-
damental thoughts and stuff.
We have no idea what we’re doing
but surely some revelation is at hand
(not to use the word with E).
Instead of inhabiting a waste land
we danced in a stuffed hall
shapeless formless
but unparalyzed and with
rhythm and direction
in not one but many voices which led us around the intangible center of trauma.
Our plunging was more of a stumbling
search for the clearest sound, the sharpest memory.
We will buy this heap of broken flowers ourselves
paying with coins that are more confusing than any stream of semi-conscious ideas could ever be.
When opening this door to prose experiments
In the literary middle – literally the middle – of our journey

we yearn for poetry even though we may not confess it, so
make me king as we march towards a
new wor(l)d order
in India. But this could be anywhere, really
where unknown people meet people they know even less
and politics and fear do the talking.
Prepared like this we visited the parliament
but exhaustion often surpasses political ambitions as we
slouch towards the edge of the end of modernism.
In soft entropy and gyre-ish shapes
we examined the terrible beauty of
words, but also trees and grassy patches
greyscale mazes and empty melting landscapes
in colours which shine with an absence of brightness

so that you dont know if to say
good morning, midnighters,
or good day, children oft he light.
I AM NOT your window to a reality normal people can’t see,
I AM NOT the truth behind.
I am the total distortion of time space meaning
of ‘when have I eaten showered talked to somebody last?’
of being unpleasantly surprised to still be alive but
what to do what to do
what ever is there to do.
I tried to measure out the evenings mornings afternoons
but what means measuring
what means –
It is not that I do not want to be happy
but I cannot remember what wanting means, or happy for that matter;
emotions are not even up for debate when they become the most foreign words of all.
I would gladly set these words on fire
and all my other ones
and those I haven’t written yet
if this could keep the imminent permanent constantly calling
waves of sticky black tar at bay
which suffocate me, and no matter how hard I try to breath I will drown

Writing this today I cannot now what tomorrow might bring
but neither did Orwell nor Huxley and did they let this stop them?
This is just to say:
we will fare one another well
(whatever that means, words are so weird, have you ever looked at them?)
and then will be catapulted into a future of undefined dimensions
and –isms yet to be explored.

© Rosa Schwenger, 2015
This work remains the property of the author.

Creative Commons License
Rosa Hits Enter At A Lot Of Random Places by Rosa Schwenger is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *