Friday, January 1, 2021



The Treacherous Word –

A Bergsonian Perspective


Living in several languages, I have always been confronted with a greater or lesser amount of incongruities among them. No wonder then that the Sapir – Whorf principle of linguistic relativity has been a main concern of my research studies. Language as an imperfect means of expression and communication has been a much dealt with topic, but few authors have managed to provide such a wide-ranging insight into this issue as the French writer and philosopher Henri Bergson.


Much in the Whorfian vein, he was conscious of the far-reaching influence of language on humans' structuring of reality. According to Bergson, we perceive an object as being constant because we always name it in the same way, thus disregarding its perpetual, even though sometimes minimal, changes. Language is all the more unreliable when talking about sensations, which, through their very nature, are difficult to grasp:


What I ought to say is that every sensation is altered by repetition, and that if it does not seem to me to change from day to day, it is because I perceive it through the object which is its cause, through the word which translates it. The influence of language on sensation is deeper than is usually thought. Not only does language make us believe in the un-changeableness of our sensations, but it will sometimes deceive us as to the nature of the sensation felt. (2001: 131)*


As a matter of fact -- and poets know it best – we live in a state of continual fluctuation of sensations and feelings. Yet, we have a limited inventory of words at our disposal to express them, which often enough causes us to think/say, “I can't really find the proper words to convey what I'm feeling.”


As a tool of displaying inner states, language is, according to Bergson, wholly unsatisfactory. We are permanently induced to confuse feelings and sensations which are in a perpetual state of change with the words that express them. The structuring of reality through language misleads us into thinking of states of consciousness as distinct entities which can be put side by side in a fictitious, homogeneous medium which we call time, while, in reality, they pervade each other in a living, concrete time, named duration (la durée) by Bergson. This duration is heterogeneous in character and we can only be aware of it through our own states of consciousness, whereby even the word state is inappropriate, since consciousness is not static, but dynamic. This real time is not susceptible to measurement like conventional time, since it is not quantitative in character, but a sum of qualitative multiplicities.


As a basic element of language, “the rough and ready word”, as Bergson called it, comes to impose its own stability upon the fugitive impressions of individual consciousness and to restrict its potential. Each of us experiences love and hate in a particular way, yet the names for these feelings are constant. Words serve the social self, not the individual one. Bergson most obviously complied with the idea of linguistic relativity when stating that the same names of things or beliefs have distinctive meanings for different individuals.


While basically fully agreeing to Bergson's reiterations, I am trying not to ignore that it is precisely this shortcoming of language that compel wordsmiths all over the world to forge the language into original, intricate patterns of metaphors and other stylistic devices in order to create unique, unparalleled literary works.


Now, what is the relevance of this perspective to the OPA poets? Our Poetry Archive being an international, multi-cultural literary platform, the impact of the relativity of words is even stronger. Originating from different languages communities, the OPA poets must find a common denominator in the process of transmitting their poetry to the audience. This may occur in several steps. The non-native speakers of English need to translate or have their poems translated into English, which already includes a process of adjustment of the word fluctuations in their mother tongues to the target language, i.e. English. The non-English readers, on the other hand, are biased by their native languages in the reception of the poetic message. An amazing encoding-decoding process takes place which may alter the original poetic message to a great extent. To be aware of these mechanisms of poetry creation and reception is very important for all involved: poets, translators, teachers and, last not least, readers.


With this edition of OPA, we are glad to introduce poet PER JOSEFSSON of Sweden, as the Poet of the month. Poet MARIA MIRAGLIA of Italy has taken an exclusive interview of him for this edition. Let’s hope our readers will enjoy both his interview and his poems along with the whole issue consisting of more than a hundred poems of the poets all over the world. So, thank you once again and I welcome everyone to this new issue of OPA.


*Bergson, Henry, 2001, Time and Free Will, An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness, transl. by F. L. Pogson, Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York


Dr. Aprilia Zank

From The Editorial Desk













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MARIA MIRAGLIA: When did you approach poetry?

PER JOSEFSSON: I did that at a very early age. I remember that my mother used to read Swedish poetry to me when I was just a little child. Many poets and authors dwelled in my parent’s huge library. I was surrounded by literature, music and art.


MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Do you think of anyone to dedicate your words when writing?

PER JOSEFSSON: Yes, I often think of my brilliant wife and life companion Joanna and how immensely privileged I am to be her husband. Sometimes I contemplate over what’s happening in the world around us. Sometimes I fantasize about re-writing historical events the way I would have wanted them to happen.


MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Air, water, earth and fire. What element would you like to be in poetic terms?

PER JOSEFSSON: Well, if not all four – at least Air, Water and Earth. Earth being the soil and fundament upon which we all stand secured. Water to cool down anger and mischief and to wash away bad karma. Air and wind to gently sweep worried minds in positive thoughts and to carry whispers of love and happiness and prosperity at any distance.


MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what kind?

PER JOSEFSSON: Sometimes yes and sometimes no. It very much depends on what mood I’m in and what kind of topic I use. Sometimes I need to let my mind flow freely without anything else to focus on but itself. As a part-time musician, listening to music is an enjoyment within itself. I often close my eyes and see pictures and different sceneries in my head while listening to music.


MARIA MIRAGLIA:  What did you feel when you held your first book  in  the hands?

PER JOSEFSSON: I remember that I was very little. The book was an old, leatherbound volume of H C Andersen’s THE UGLY DUCKLING. When opening it, I can still recall its fragrance of handmade paper, old printing-ink and my father’s sweet tobacco.


MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Where does poetry come from?

PER JOSEFSSON: From your heart and from your vivid imagination. From different states of mind. From memories, conclusions and personal experiences.


MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Is there a time of the day when you prefer writing?

PER JOSEFSSON: The poem itself almost always chooses and dictates the right time. The inspiration comes to me, not the other way around. Early in the morning, though, the mind, the spirit and the inspiration is freer. Not yet bound by daily duties.


MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Does writing come from the heart or from the mind?

PER JOSEFSSON: It depends. Strong, spontaneous feelings like love and devotion, anger and rage, often comes from the heart. When you put yourself in a special mode though; that’s when you use your mind. That is, at least, my belief.


MARIA MIRAGLIA:  What do you think of poetry and poets on the web?


PER JOSEFSSON: I believe that there are so many greatly talented poets and so many beautiful minds out there in the world. Since both my wife and I started to connect with other poets around the globe, we really feel enriched. So I think it definitely is a new and great dimension. In Sweden we have documented poetry dating back to the Vikings and the 9:th century.


MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Who are your favourite contemporary poets and why?

PER JOSEFSSON: Favourite poets, beside my wife Joanna Svensson, are Tomas Tranströmer, William Shakespeare, Dan Andersson, Lasse Lucidor, Nils Ferlin, Erik-Axel Karlfeldt, Hjalmar Gullberg, Karin Boye, Birger Sjöberg and C M Bellman, among others.


PER JOSEFSSON: is a writer, poet, novelist and translator. He is also a book publicist, a graphic designer and a language teacher. Have translated several books of poetry and anthologies and participated in numerous poetry festivals and book presentations in different countries. At present he is publishing 2 books of poetry and 1 collection of short stories. As a language teacher he is educated at Lunds Universitet and as an illustrator and graphic designer at Konstfack in Stockholm. Working as an illustrator and graphic designer has given him many commissions in the book- and advertising industry over the last 30 years. Born in 1957 and living with his wife Joanna in the south of Sweden. Close to the cultural life in Lund and Copenhagen. On the threshold to the European continent.


MARIA MIRAGLIA: Educationist, poet, translator, peace activist, Maria A. Miraglia was born and lives in Italy. For a long time, an active member of Amnesty International, she herself founder and chairwoman of World Foundation for Peace. Member of Ican, of the International Observatory for Information and Human Rights. Founding member and literary director of the Italian cultural association P. Neruda, honorary member of Nationes Unidas de las Letras, advisory member of the editor board of Galaktika Poetike Autunis, member of the editorial board of Our poetry Archive, member of the editorial advisory board of Sahitya Anand. Presidente de la organization Mundial de los Trovatores, Italy and Deputy President – Coordination, at a child rights global organization, the United World Movement for Children (UWMC). She collaborates for poetry with numerous national and international newspapers and magazines. Her poems have been translated into several foreign languages and are collected in numberless anthologies all over the world.  Dr Maria Miraglia is often a welcome guest of international events for poetry. Beauty and profundity are the most important characteristic of Maria Miraglia’s works and although these elements are found in some of the exceptional works by modern writers, blending them together seems a challenge for many, where Maria is found to be successful applying them into her poems. Author of anthologies in Italian, English or both languages She is recipient of numerous national and international awards and recognition.






The Two Red Roses

(In a desolated garden)


We drove and drove

Up and down the hills and valleys

In the winding, swirling country

Looking for a proper spot

To take a little rest

With afternoon tea

We saw a house in ruins

In a desolated garden

Hedges, trees and bushes

All long-time growing wild

But through a leafy vault

A sunbeam shown right in

At two tall and proud red roses

Standing straight in the wilderness

I found a little green empty bottle

In a puddle I cleaned it up

Put it on our little table

Poured our tea in our homemade cups

So I say Thank you dear, for being

For being my wife

Love do really germinate

Through the darkest times in life

I say Thank you dear, for being

For being my love

My love is yours for always

For this life – for next life

And for every life to come!


The Sun And The Afternoon


I sat today – in the sunlit afternoon

In our beautiful autumn like garden

And thru my inner thoughts

My whole life did pass

Just like moving pictures

I’ve lived a very rich life

With unforgettable moments

But penetrating loneliness 

Sometimes shows its ugly face

I remember being little

All I wanted as a child

Was pure togetherness

With my parents - oh, so mild

I was given lots of toys

All wrapped up in loneliness

I was given all the love

In the way that they were able

But all I wished and longed for

Was togetherness and family

They said I was too sensitive

I know they both meant well

But loneliness has left its mask

And all my life – I’ve been a seeker

My vulnerable feelings

I hid behind a smile

Seek and thou shall find

It echoed in my mind

Well, I did and I did pray

From up above you came to me


You found my soul – my inner me

You made it rise unexpectedly

You’ve given me – unselfish love

Without second expectations

You are for me – my everything

Although words only makes it lesser

So I say just silently

Please accept my humble soul

You are now – my life at last

My love, my happiness – I cherish you

With all my heart – I give it all

What I can give – so it will last

At least a lifetime – and many more!


I Have Chosen Love


When the darkness was

As dark as darkest

When carbon felt like

Sinking through

When all of my beliefs

My truth just disappeared

What was left were only daily duties

Thoughts were swept in

An invisible cloak

When day was done

Loneliness was all around

I sat alone here on my porch

A very early cloudy morning

Saw the skyline and suddenly

Through a slot in the clouds

I saw the brightest light

And I heard an inner voice:

Light a candle and pray

You should pray for what

You really really wish

But you may only use one word

So I chose love

And she is here and now

She is here and now

For now and for always!



Two Pairs Of Shoes


Two pairs of shoes

That couldn’t find each other

Because the left one

Wandered off into the woods

And the right one

Wandered off to the beach

But finally one day

Both of them

Went the wrong way

And wandered and wandered

And searched for a straight way

When they finally

Came to a crossroad

Where they both again would meet

This way my life was like

I felt like a pair of odd shoes

I felt just like I was missing

Missing the other half

I wandered through life

Maybe jumping on one leg

Until I finally found

My other first half

My soulmate

My pair

So now

We’ll always wander off together


For ever the right way!


I Will Marry You


I will marry you

in all my future lives

For you have lit the stars

on my dusky path of life

A path full of stones

which I used to stumble

and fall upon

My eyes could see nothing

for the straight jacket of darkness

made me blind

Blind and unseeing

Unseeing what was good

in the one that had hurt me

so many times

Because of no reason

Just because – just because

I asked myself

so many times 

so many times

Oh, why?

Why this useless war?

Where did our peace go?

The one we loved so dearly

I asked myself these questions

over and over again

Although I knew

I would never get no answer

But then you

came into my life

Like a burning torch

With warmth and love

and kind words

of peace and comfort



And I will never

ever forget

When first I saw

the stars of hope

light up

I saw them

in your eyes!

Suddenly my road of life

became lighter - lighter

Easier to bare

Suddenly I felt love

Love in full bloom

All around me


Your peace swept me

in its comfort

Your power of love

Your strength

Your peaceful heart

Reflected in me

Comfort and security

And now I know

No matter how

The day our bodies

and our souls

no longer dwell

upon this solid earth

We will for sure have peace

Peace and love in our hearts

So, Yes! I will marry you

in all my future lives

For you have

for ever more

Lit the stars for me!







Everything Is Going Down


Winter is coming and everything is falling

Only the night is getting fuller and fuller

The pupils of the luminous sky are clear

They are apparently unharmed by fear

But humans are knocked back to their origin by the virus

Which looks for any weak body it can attack

Furious lips and teeth add to the confusion

Desire bends the path of light

The image of a world wrapped in roses

Covers its vast ugliness of reality,

A deception called prosperity.





Destruction Is the Highest Art  

 Facing the dim waves


Spring has been destroyed, summer is on its way


The lives fell for the earth have not held spring tightly


The daisies are spreading out the altar


More than three hundred thousand lives in the last four months


Like the branches and leaves destroyed by a strong wind




Is the earth shaking?


Wife lost husband, child lost parents


How to sew the torn bone?


The breathing lungs, the virus' shelters


Fear is just the thunder on a sunny day


The sun still spins overhead in daytime




Crematoriums, eyes, ideologies


All is not true, breathing is still breathing


Shrouds, the vultures became the winners


Reality, Ecuador's streets are full of dead bodies


Corpse loading vehicle and living people are sharing the same space in America


It's not a magic novel. The tongues full of gunpowder


can't change the powerful killing alien races




Rambling Cronus, please come back to the center of Justice


You can't be higher than ants, butterflies, even cockroaches


Small creatures sneak into the leather bag for food


Dust swept away by wind, has no number


We are used to cheating our brains with beauty


From birth to accept the anti reality,  illusion of fog


Pan American vocabulary constructs self happiness scene




Where has the Muses gone


Poetry can't break the shackles of soul


Destruction has become the highest art


The dew of breath will not praise the vultures who eat people


They try to occupy space with human beings


Strong wind breeds excellent painters


God of peace, please comfort the bleeding chests!




Money and power blind eyes


Prayer blinds wisdom


or some other unopened words


Who is promoting blood to squeeze out the whitening sky


Red and white are competing


Maybe white makes it possible to be longer


You know "water", the cosmic soul


All of you are just a flash of light




Time Is An Eye Penetrating Consciousness


Who knows that the unknown has no love

unless the soul destroys itself

no matter how many raindrops fall

from the clouds into the sea.

When the lips are full of angry portraits

then time is an eye penetrating consciousness.





ANNA KEIKO(安娜·惠子)once studied law at the School of Political Science and Law, Shanghai East China University, permanently living in Shanghai. Member of Shanghai Pudong Writers Association. Founder and Chief Editor of Shanghai Huifeng Literature Association and Chinese representative and director of the international cultural foundation ITHACA, and the Chinese representative of Immagine & Poesia in Italy as well. Member of the Board of Directors of the Young Writers Magazine and Member of the Board of Directors of New Literature Alliance. Her poetry has been published in more than 20 languages in approximately 110 newspapers and magazines spinning around the United States, France, Italy, Canada, Cuba, New Zealand, Tunisia, Iraq, the UK, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, the Philippines, Romania, Greece, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Chile, Peru, Poland, Kenya, Mongolia and others. More than 1000 poems of hers have been published up to now. Annaeiko was invited as a special guest to some international poetry festivals such as the 2nd Chalkida International Poetry Festival in Greece, the 7th Mihai Eminescu International Poetry Festival in Craiova, Romania, The International Poetry Festival in Santiago de Chile. In Rumania she was awarded the Mihai Eminescu College Medal and received a certificate of honor at the poetry, painting and music event in Curtea de Arges, the King Bashab Nigo medal. Her recently published English poetry anthology “The Language of Deep Sleep” has been greatly appreciated in China and dozens of foreign countries. The Chinese version of the collection was published by the Shanghai literature and Art Publishing House and broadcasted by the Shanghai People's Broadcasting Station. She was granted the excellence award of the Shanghai Citizen's Poetry Festival competition in 2017, won the bronze award of the First “Left Dragon Right Tiger Cup International Poetry Competition” in 2019, and was granted Special award “Best Strange Authors” section A of the Eighth “ The Colour of Soul ”International Poetry Competition in SanremoItaly in October 2020and also  awarded IL Meleto di Guido Gozzano (Italy) in September 2020. Anna Keiko has great publications ranging from poetry, poetry criticism, prose, essays, lyrics to drama, etc.