Umm Kulthum

by Jack Foley

listening to the astounding
 listening to the astounding
sounds                    Rendition generates tarab, enchantment
sounds
of umm kulthum
of umm kulthum
is like being
is like being
transported
transported
not to
not to
Arabia
Arabia                                          Listening in Egypt is usually participatory:
but to                                                                            audience members call out subtle compliments
but to                                                             or loud encouragement to performers.  Silence some

vas t                                                                             is interpreted as disinterest or dislike.
some vas  t
empty
empty
space
space
filled
filled                                                               Demands are not met by wishing:
with sounds                                                               the world can only be taken
with sounds                                                 by struggle.
akin to
akin to
wailing
wailing

to a mo –
to a mo –                                                        Opinions are complex entities,
an                                                                                     subject to many forces, some
an                                                                   contradictory to one another.

tha –                                                                                 A stated “opinion”
tha –                                              is a kind of selection
t                                                                      from a matrix of forces
t                                                     that swirl around a subject.
breaks loose                                            It is the point of poetry
breaks loose                                to name

into everything                                            the matrix.

and show –
s

and show
            s

the utter authority
the sheer authority
the vast immensity
the sheer immensity
the all – encompassing
SAHARA

of
pa –
 of
            pa
in
in

Note: Umm Kulthum was an Egyptian singer, songwriter, and actress.
“More than three decades after her death, she is still recognized as
one of the Arab world’s most famous and distinguished singers of the
20th century.”  Wikipedia