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Fall view from the Opera house — a Toronto poem by Jamal Uddin

November 8, 2013 | Shawn Micallef | Comments (0)

Part of my role as writer in residence is meeting with people to discuss their writing about the city (any city, though the GTA comes up the most, and non-fiction is the focus). There's still time to get your submission in (don't be shy). Yesterday I met with Jamal Uddin to discuss some of his poetry, some of which reflects our city. A retired doctor, he's written & published poety in his native Bengali, but has started working in English now, writing about Torontoish things like high voltage power lines, the streets, and the Opera House. He's agree to share one of his pieces below — Toronto needs more of this, writing, prose or poetry, that reflects the city back artfully and helps us see it a little differently.


Fall view from the Opera house

Floor to ceiling wall
but a massive  glass window,
not reflective though,
to see out and to be seen
a citadel from within.

Architectural marvel of modern mix
light and shadow warmth of wood
and cold steel blending into showcase
for a showplace :
ballerina gracefully floats,
aria spreads its wings.

Etrog's sunbird on an artful elevation
watching in benevolent metallic silence,
people mingle in intermission chatter
glasses happily clink.

In vain across the busy street
urban concrete jungle
attempts to  block autumn sun
but the  warm ray cuts a swath through,

blessing maple trees standing erect
golden blazing arms
shivering with cold caress
of gusty autumn wind,
 striping,aritual dance of the season
slowly unfolding.

© Jamal Uddin


There are a 1000 stories in the naked city, as the saying goes, and you should be writing some of them. Writer in Residence Shawn Micallef will be encouraging people to write about their city. Follow along here on city explorations and journeys into the library stacks. Shawn will also be posting some of the city-writing that he receives from people like you.

Your comments, posts, messages and creative content are welcome, provided they encourage a respectful dialogue and comply with the Library's mission, values and policies.
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