The Art of Laughter

The Art of Laughter

Just finished watching The Circus, Chaplin’s wonderful film from 1928. Silence and black and white. Laughter without laugh tracks, but with Chaplin’s own score carrying us from scene to scene. Pathos comes from The Tramp. He makes us laugh and it’s deep, and meaningful, and sad. The movie made me think of my trip to Ireland in 2003, where I saw the statue above, and it seemed so incongruous there, near the strand, not in Alaska, or in some darkened woods with the hobo’s song in the air.  But then I remembered the Irish have always mixed deep sorrow and belly laughs, and everything in between. Perhaps everyone does at times. Sadness is too sad alone.

Felino Soriano doesn’t necessarily write humorous poems, and the poems below don’t strike me as being particular sad. But they do hold contradictions within them that work and elevate each other. They’re about language and the body and culture and the music of our interactions with one another and ourselves. The titles indicate a recognition of something — something must be praised, is being praised, or is on the way to being praised. They are open ended enough to fight against either/or breakdowns and we can follow them here and there without explication.

 

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