Book of Daniel ( Book of Daniel)
Book of Daniel
Love Songs for the Pandemic
About the Book
"Book of Daniel" was originally written circa 2010 as a collection of love poems to people, places, and experiences- real and imagined- inspired from my life during a time when I was going through a powerful physical and spiritual awakening during a period of prolonged medically inexplicable deafness.
I have done very little with them since and only revisited this collection as the world began to open up from Stay at Home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I realized that much of what I wrote about then, expressing love, grief, or sorrow had become a fairly universal experience for many world-wide.
It is my experience that the best way to change something is to woo it with love, so this collection became a series of love songs for the pandemic and the subsequent social,economic, political, and spiritual transformation occurring on our planet.
I polished and tumbled these songs into something that, I hope gives anyone experiencing them the chance to grow through the musicality of their language and the expression of the sounds used within and through out the collection. I am more and more interested in the playfulness of sounds as catalysts for memory, feeling and catharsis in the reader than I am in conveying a particular message about love through this chapbook.
Collectively, these songs generate their own timbre when the reader/singer looks at them and recites them. I originally chose to write these songs using variations on some traditional poetic forms as well as an exploration of syllabic forms and/or line grouping through free verse. This choice originally was, at the time, an experiment in discovering the interplay between feeling and a method of expressing something nonverbal- like a feeling- and non-linear through linguistic form. It continues to evolve.
Thematically, I was originally drawn to the powerful images, feelings, and lessons evoked through the use of names originating from mythology, religion, and history as anchors in titles for many of the poems that made it into this collection. The names chosen for various poems/songs are intentional; the stories that appear in your mind as a result of reading the name, and the feelings these stories evoke in you are intentional. What you glean from these choices I have made is your choice. That is also intentional.
I rely on the reader/singer's ability to interpret from their own personal and unique experiences how these songs are to be felt and understood. I trust that within each of us lies a universal desire and inherent understanding of how to experience and express the many aspects of love, and I trust you to explore the songs here in whatever way facilitates your experience coming to fruition in that regard.
Each song can be experienced on its own, but the collection is organized to reflect a single organism with each symbolizing a system or aspect of the whole. In this way, the collection is meant to be experienced with that in mind.
These are songs that are meant to be read aloud, heard, chanted, or sung. A love poem is, in its essence, a song of longing, a declaration that honors possibility and prepares for potential change.
Once the lover is successful in their proclamation of their love to the beloved, what next? Ideally, a successful relationship follows the lover's declaration. However, there is often some form of anticipation or loss that precedes the birth of a new relationship. What is familiar is about to change, and the grief that arrives with that anticipation precedes great possibility for growth and evolution.
These songs are moments of activism for the receiver's emotions and an opportunity for change both internal and external. It is my intention that these songs offer a framework of support to everyone who experiences them to be open and ready to receive great, profound, and infinite love.
Cover art "God Heard"
Sarah Nguyen is an artist and illustrator based out of Missouri, USA.
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