Canary

chris (2002-10-15 08:30:22)
2413 views
1 replies
Together we will bend the bars
Bend the rules, defeat the cage.
And our chests will not fall broken.
They will touch - two to one

And we will know there are no walls.
No doors, no keys required,
But bridges built, with guides to guide.
Your little angel at our side.

Together we will scent the air
And taint it yellow too.
Fine wings reach fine things,
Find fire and fight fiends

Fiends fall as we unite
In unity we can take flight
Together, with the cage behind
We'll spread our wings tonight.


Chris Lacy-Hulbert
Autumn, 2000
comment
chris
2008-03-11 11:31:50

What was that all about?

I decided to re-visit this poem and offer some commentary on where it came from. Hopefully this will explain -

The poem was inspired by a song (video embedded) by Pasarea Colibri called 'Canarul' (in English, Canary). Pasarea Colibri was a Romanian folk band. They were formed early in the 1990's who were known for layering light, childish songs over quite dark, sinister lyrics. This song 'Canary' is a protest song. Such songs were popular during that era particularly as people realised that there might be and end to the Socialist regimes which had dominated Eastern European politics throughout the latter half of the 20th century. Below are the original lyrics in Romanian:

Canarul galben ca un galbenus
Cu pene moi si ochii dusi,
Cânta de dupa sârmele de-argint
Si viersu-i se pierdea în vânt.

Deodata ochii tristi din cap tresar
Si da din aripi, dar în zadar,
Lovind cu pieptul sîrmele de argint
Cade în jos cu pieptul frînt.

Sarman canar, ti s-a parut
Ca zarile ti s-au deschis,
Dar n-a fost, doar, decât un vis
Ranit tu ai cazut.

Canarul galben ca un galbenus
Cu pene moi si ochii dusi,
Plîngea de dupa sîrmele de-argint
Si viersu-i se pierdea în vânt.
Si viersu-i se pierdea în vânt.

Apart from being an interesting song, these lyrics also provide some insight into the Romanian language - An attractive, Latin language with some hardened morphologies (such as the 'â' in vânt, meaning 'wind'). These sounds, along with the dark lyrics drew my attention to this song and inspired the poem. I guess you could argue that being an over-intellectual student engrossed with solving so many of the world's problems provided more impetus aswell.

Incase you are curious, here are the song's lyrics in English (hopefully the translation is close enough):
The canary yellow like a yolk,
With soft pen and wistful eyes
Was singing in his silver cage
His song was lost in the wind

Suddenly his grieved eyes are trembling
fluttering his wings, but in vain
Beating his chest against the cage's silver bars
he fall down, injured.

Poor canary, you had 
the illusion of an open sky
but it was only a dream
and you fell down, hurt.

The canary yellow like a yolk,
with soft pen and wisful eyes
was crying behind the silver wires
and his crying was gone with the wind. 
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