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night without armorTitle: A Night Without Armor

Writer: Jewel

Publisher/Edition: HarperCollins Paperback Edition (1999)

Pages: 140p

Bought at: QB World Books Pondok Indah (RIP)

I picked up this book when I was in my first year of college. I went to Jakarta and visited one of the coolest bookstores I’ve ever known, hidden in the busy area near Pondok Indah Mall (RIP, QB World, you are terribly missed!). I didn’t understand much about poetry those days (and chose this book because I liked Jewel’s songs), but one thing I knew was this book spoke to me, mostly in my difficult time.

When I was insecure and lonely and didn’t feel like I belong anywhere in college- not with the popular crowd, not with the smart kids, and not with the activists (i was almost nothing, I thought) – and I picked up this book, let it console me with its wisdom.

Saved from Myself (p12)
How often I’ve cried out
in silent tongue
to be saved
from myself

In the middle of the night
too afraid
to move

Horrified the answer
may be beyond the
capability of my
own two hand

so small

(no one should feel this alone)

And when I finally found someone whom I loved to share my days with, when I felt that there was happiness anyway among my bleakest days, when I fell in love like I thought I would never ever feel that way –  I opened this book, it poured some love into my soul.

Someone to Know Me (p 120)
At first it seemed shocking
but now the idea
tickles my tongue.
And intrigues my curiosity
beyond the ability
to rationalize or resist:

I want to live with you!

I want to wake
each morning
in your arms

comforted by your oddness

seduced by your knowledge
of my ways

I want to care for you

brush your hair
put lotion on your scars

and pet you at bedtime,
watching your eyes close slow
like a child’s
heavy with the thousand things
that filled your day.

But from the beginning I knew that my love was bigger than his, and I was so scared that I would be hurt. I started to fear I’ll be losing him. And I thought no one understood. So I let the book spoke – again – about the fear of losing.

I Guess What I Wanted Was (p102)
I guess what I
wanted was
to hear

you’d stay with me always.

I guess what I
wanted was
to see

those hands vowing
never to leave my own.

I guess what
I wanted was
to know

I am not loving in vain.

And after so many years of catching up and breaking up, of being hurt and falling apart, the inevitable finally came. The darkest shadow fell into my life, I was scared as hell. It made me long for the childhood I left behind, and afraid of the harsh grown up world that I was pushed into. Tears filled my eyes, and I flipped the book’s pages, searched for the consolation it always offered.

Freedom (p82)
Having mutilated
and freed myself
from the very wings
which for so long
held me aloft
I have cast my heart
like a purpled fruit
toward the violent earth,
far from the Heaven
of your arms

And my days, felt lonelier than ever. At nights I thought what went wrong, what should’ve been different. If I ever felt the same again, for anyone, with anyone. Making this book felt more and more like a best friend to me, whispering through its endless words.

Too Many Nights (p9)
It’s been
too many nights
of being with

to now be suddenly
without

***

Reading Jewel’s poems is like listening to her songs- with your own invented private melody. They spoke differently to different people, but they were created with the same elements, and produced the same feelings: honest and true. Some of the poems are a bit raw, naïve as if written by a young girl. And it’s actually true, since Jewel wrote in the afterword:

“I thought it was important to include poems from my early years, even if they lacked the technical skill of my later work, because they were true to my confusion, my fear, and dreams relative to my age.” (p138)

Through 109 poems in this book (!!), Jewel talked about her transformations- from a little girl growing up in Alaska to the famous singer she is now. The simple happy days as a farm girl, and the lonely complicated days as an artist. She talked about her hometown as enthusiastic as when she wrote about all the exotic places she visited in her tour.

She spoke about things that were important for her: wars, family, growing up, loneliness, and love. Happy love, sad love. Things that are easily related to us, whatever our state of minds are now. Simple, short but thought provoking, Jewel’s poems reminded me of my younger days, when my heart was so vulnerable and everything was like a blank in a canvas.

But they also reminded me of how beautiful it was when I had the purest feeling in the world, when I was brave enough to love with all my heart, to live my life to the fullest.

And thank you Jewel for making me realize that I still have the same vulnerable heart like I had before, even though I pretended so hard not to know it. But I’m starting to feel again now. Piece by piece. Bit by bit.

“A good poem helps to change the shape and significance of the universe, helps to extend everyone’s knowledge of himself and the world around him.” -Dylan Thomas (1913-1953)

Jewel Kilcher (born May 23, 1974), professionally known as Jewel, is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, actress, and poet. She has received four Grammy Award nominations and has sold over 27 million albums worldwide. She was born in Utah but grew up in Alaska. Some of my favorite songs of her are Foolish Games, Hands, and Pieces of You. She is married with her longtime cowboy boyfriend, Ty Murray, and the live with their son in San Diego. Her poetry book received mixed reviews, some of the critics said that there were so many incorrect words that out of context in the poems. But most of her fans love the book.

Submitted for:

Posbar Tema Buku Puisi bulan Maret 2014

Posbar Tema Buku Puisi bulan Maret 2014