British poetess Clare Saponia about her new book

This 23 September 2011 video from London, England says about itself:

Breaking the Silence: Anti-war SpeakOut at ULU, 22nd September 2011. Clare Saponia performs live anti-war poetry from her latest collection “Copyrighting War and other Business Sins”.

Another video from London, England used to say about itself:

Clare Saponia at Keats House

14 December 2014

Clare Saponia performs a piece from her forthcoming collection: “The Oranges of Revolution” (Smokestack Books) – from the Arab Spring and the UK riots of 2011 to civil wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya and the Ukraine.

By Clare Saponia in Britain:

Take the trouble to listen to our inner selves

Thursday 9th April 2015

CLARE SAPONIA explains the inspiration behind her new collections of poems

THE Oranges of Revolution emerged from the hearth of the Arab Spring and explores its knock-on effect felt around the globe, from Cairo to Kiev — not only politically, but also socially, economically and spiritually.

The collection is divided into five parts: Skin, Pith, Flesh, Pips and Juice, with the consistency of an orange used as a metaphor to depict the various stages of society in its relationship with revolution.

The poems delve into a range of issues across time, from outdated colonial values to despotic trigger-happy dictatorships, financial turmoil and social upheaval.

They underscore the battle for oil monopoly and the lack of moral responsibility exercised by Western powers in a bid to maintain their clout in the market, regardless of human cost.

We are living in an age of small-time imperialist intentions and ex-colonial nations unable to put down their spears and acknowledge how exploitation and military interference has harmed the lives of people both home and abroad. There is no such thing as a civilising mission that emanates from hostility, hatred and greed. That in itself is a contradiction in terms.

In any case, we do not need to venture far from base to see the effects of a crumbling system.

The collection focuses substantially on Britain’s own arthritic social structure as an allegedly developed, democratic and yet increasingly divided nation. It addresses the implementation of government policies which favour a rogue banking system and preserve the nation’s antiquated class structure, consistently setting the poorest members of society at a permanent disadvantage.

The poems explore the causes of the August 2011 riots, the conditions that gave rise to them and how this apparent social meltdown reflects a waning emphasis on basic human values and emotional authenticity at society’s core.

The Oranges of Revolution calls to account the coalition’s commitment to the Big Society it claims to be moulding and the state’s brutally austere budget cuts to vital public services which have ostracised and demeaned the country’s most financially fragile, and will continue to affect the nation in myriad ways for generations to come.

And yet, despite clear signs of its own social disintegration, Britain still feels duty-bound to persistently impose its supreme ideological wisdom and moral values overseas. This indeed begs the question: what kind of civilised land invests in warfare but cuts welfare?

The collection is an acknowledgement of the global youth’s commitment to seek out an alternative, a distinct, positive echo: there is a choice. It has every right to determine the state of the world it is growing into.

The poems were written in the spirit of experiencing the moment, my goal being to connect with others from that specific place and mood, to acknowledge convictions, healthy discontent — “the prelude to progress” in the words of Gandhi — and the pursuit of self-truth.

I aim to recognise those who have suffered at the hands of tyrannical regimes, fought and continue to fight for political and social justice around the globe, as well as those who have fallen in the process.

The Oranges of Revolution is not a monologue, cryptic and unreachable. Neither is it about proving a point or claiming to be right. It is about accessibility and human exchange, creating space for real, authentic interactions fundamentally essential in building relationships, advancing the reach of ideas and facilitating change — that ultimately starts from within.

After all, what good are words if there’s no dialogue?

An orange has segments for a reason. It can be peeled, shared around and digested. It is potential dialogue, not a weapon to be hurled around as a whole in order to harm. And with a measure of vision, its pips can be replanted to reap future generations of positive exchange.

If we consciously take the trouble to listen to our inner selves, trusting in our intuition and communicating it instead of passively accepting what is spoon-fed to us via government organs, how much further will society progress?

As Leo Tolstoy once wrote: “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no-one thinks of changing himself.”

It requires huge levels of responsibility — looking inside, owning up, choosing how we are seen and heard. But always choosing, constantly reassessing what we believe in.

It’s just a question of trusting ourselves.

The launch of The Oranges of Revolution will be at the Poetry Cafe, London at 7.30pm on April 10.

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