Sunday 17 October 2010

Sustained Musicality

on “The Northern Sun” by Sherwin Bitsui. Poet and writer, Bitsui is Navajo of the Bitter Water Clan, born for the Many Goats Clan. He is from White Cone, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation and currently lives in Tucson, Arizona. His new book Flood Song won the 2010 PEN Open Book Award. The Northern Sun is from Legitimate dangers : American poets of the new century / edited by Michael Dumanis and Cate Marvin.

In Bitsui’s “The Northern Sun”, I found a rich sustained musicality throughout the poem. He writes with a voice of a man drunk with words and yet each sentence is controlled with a precision of a maestro violinist.

Thursday 7 October 2010

Beijing Wants to Choose Tibet's Reincarnations


From the onset of China's occupation of Tibet, the Chinese Communist Party's outlook towards Tibetan Buddhism has been of extreme suspicion and fear. Tibetan people's way of life and their outlook towards the world is inextricably linked with fundamental precepts of Buddhism. This common philosophical thread and a shared culture bind Tibetans into a unified entity giving them a sense of national identity. For Tibetan people this basic identity is inseparable from their belief in Buddhist principles, which "encompasses the entirety of their culture and civilization and constitutes the very essence of their lives. Of all the bonds which defined Tibetans as a people and as a nation, religion was undoubtedly the strongest."1

On the other hand, such unifying power and spirit become definitive threats to Beijing's authority and survival. As a result the Chinese rulers have been at pains to hammer down and eradicate Tibetan faith and identity from within their hearts.