Dystopian Novel – Found Poem

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin is a remarkable dystopian novel published in 1921. It is a chilling narrative about control and collectivism and more subtle that Orwell’s 1984. The language (in translation) is curiously poetic and the imagery is surreal. Will Self in his Introduction to the Vintage edition talks about the ‘stuttering enjambments . . agonies of elipsis’  and ‘daring synasthesia’ of the narrative style. The protaganist does not even have a name – he is simply D503. I have tried to convey something of this nightmarish vision in this prose poem.

A MESOSTIC is like an acrostic except the vertical text runs down the middle of the main text.

=====in these hours oBserve the chastely lowered blinds in some rooms
==while others walk alOng avenues in the dark
=the infinite intersectiOn of citizens
========I’m at a desK all night

+                      +                    +
====hear squelshing fOotsteps behind me
===============I Feel as if my hands swinging by my sides don’t belong
but run between folded buildings searching for the woman I saw

yesterday             imagine the

====mocking angle of Her eyebrows raised above the windows of her eyes
=============see sOme people with their feet glued to the ceiling
========you think yoU are capable of love
==========he punctuRed me with his eyes
=====the only answer iS surgery

+                       +                         +

=============I will Be totally frank
============the absOlute solution to the mystery of happiness
=============has nOt yet fully materialised
=====one day we’ll lacK for nothing

+                        +                          +

========one day all Of these 86,400 seconds will be in the Table of Hours
============it’s difFicult to believe people used to live without precise regulation
getting up and going to bed

+                         +                          +

==whenever it occurreD to them I came
=====to a vision of mAthematical nirvana
===above a shape barelY visible clothed in ciphers of light

====descending from Skies – a new saviour

+                          +                            +

==============he Ushered me into the operation room with a smile
=========I knew reaSon & logic would triumph

+                           +                            +

I had to use the odd formating to try to get the vertical text to line up!

The drawing is my own.

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5 comments on “Dystopian Novel – Found Poem

  1. Sabina Ayne says:

    Love the drawing – and the poem. I am looking forward to reading the book!!

    Like

  2. dakrólak says:

    It is a shame your mesostic doesn’t fully line up, I’ve spent many an hour trying to recreate my poetry for the web. And at times just thrown up my hands, because in such instances it really just takes either too much work, or won’t properly present. You did a marvelous job here!

    Like

  3. erikleo says:

    My experience exactly. I’ve managed to format mesostics using adobe but as soon as you paste into wordpress it goes haywire!

    Like

  4. […] (it wasn’t published in Russia until 1988). It was recommended to the Board by another blogger, erikleo , after Jack reviewed 1984.  It is set 1000 years in the future and all individualism has been […]

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