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Three-day Poets’ Festival in Metulla uses poetry as therapy

CM 13/05/2021


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 Poetry can divide opinion. Some like to go with the rhyming flow, while others are swept along by the lyricism of the stanzas. And, yes, there are many who simply don’t get it. 

Indeed there are not a few poetic works which challenge the intellect, and invite us to delve as deeply as possible into some hidden meaning, lurking somewhere beneath the textual surface. You read, then ruminate and hopefully, come out of all of that with some sense of what the writer was looking to convey. Then again there are in-your-face creations which leave the reader with a clear and unavoidable understanding of the sensibilities and emotions that went into the lines. 
It is safe to say that Odea Roznak comes from the latter end of the poetry writing spectrum. She recently published her debut offering, excerpts of which she will present, and discuss, at this year’s three-day Poets’ Festival in Metulla, due to take place Sunday-Tuesday under the auspices of Jerusalem-based Confederation House. Roznak will contribute to a young poets’ slot, alongside Sharon Arik Cohen and Yisrael Dadon, at 6 p.m. on Monday.
The tome goes by the name of “Boh Lakek Otee” (“Come and Lick Me”) and, just in case you are pondering whether there are any sexual undertones in there, wonder no more. In a recent interview the 30-year-old gave to Lisa Peretz, on the KAN Culture radio channel, Roznak talked openly, and poignantly, about the psychological scars she bears after being the victim of emotional and sexual abuse as a youngster, and how that impacts on her, as a person and as a writer. 
“In my poetry, I can also be the oppressor,” she noted, adding that she utilizes her craft for some remedial gains, which can swing both ways. “There is this tension between culprit and victim. I portray myself in both roles in my poems. I experienced so much violence, so I feel I can allow myself to be the attacker in my writing. It is a healing process for me.”
She has plenty to unload. “First and foremost I write about love – obsessively, with burning passion, stormily – love that is unrequited,” she states. Considering her familial backdrop that is perfectly natural. In addition to being victimized by a sexual predator who, she says, was not part of her nuclear family but was “very close to it,” she suffered the unfathomable trauma of losing her mother at the tender age of seven. 
Poetry helps her to look for Plan B routes to reconciling that, and related areas of her life. By the time she was 15, her literary endeavor began to take on a more serious, and more clearly defined, shape. Even at such a young age she was determined to get the fruits of her burgeoning penmanship out there. So, why did it take her until the age of 30 to finally get her writing published in actual corporeal form?

“No one wanted me,” she smiles wryly. She dispatched her creations to newspapers and poets around the country but says she received nary a response. 
We all need affirmation, especially in our emotionally vulnerable adolescence and, particularly, when we are putting our heart out on our artistic sleeve. “I wanted someone to confirm that I had some writing ability and, maybe, some talent. For many years no one related to me or, in the best case scenario, as mediocre.”
But, as they may say these days, when the going gets tough the tough gets going, to social media. Three years ago she began posting her work on Facebook, hoping something would give at some stage, and that someone with the professional and financial wherewithal, and market presence, would pick up on her “gems.” It took a while but cultural publishing house Marom Books eventually got wind of Roznak’s poems and “Boh Lakek Otee” came into fetching red cover-bound being.
As the Marom blurb has it, the 98 works between the covers represent “a fatal blow to the heart, and a tender kiss on the lips.” That oxymoronic, emotional spectrum-spanning description neatly sums up Roznak’s professional and personal ethos. 
The title poem of her new release, perhaps, spells out her seemingly simplistic philosophy. “No one belongs to anyone, you taught me. And soon there will be no lions or lionesses left,” she writes. Later on she muses: “You remember, I wore jeans. And you saw a dress, under which you imagined honey-daubed flesh. And, as such, and as no one belongs to anyone, and the world that remains, remains, for a brief moment, come and lick me. After that whatever will be will be.”
Eroticism, romance, yearning, raw emotion and a little dark humor are all intertwined in Boh Lakek Otee. It may have taken Roznak an eternity to get it out there, but it is quite a debut.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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