After Lars von Trier’s film Melancholia
by Elif Sezen
The new planet, will it unite us? Melancholia their name for it. A princess, she’s flying towards the black-hole helplessly, it will teach us the silence of crumbled stars. And we thought we would stay quiet, didn’t we? or we scream towards the sun non-stop translucent honeybirds yearning for love in their ultra-violet hues. We become the man and the woman who are dancing on a distorted television screen, the sweet death-dance, yes. You are the man sitting on the side of the street now begging for money I am the woman who lost her family in an earthquake street-wandering, passing by I give you the last coin in my pocket and our glances flick, we feel as if we already met somewhere in the millennium ‘how strange’ we both think and then we are two indigo children. Without getting caught at all in the power games of grown-ups, we sit in silence in a bonded sacred agreement. City cuts off the electricity and Melancholia blinks an eye to us. But that we knew.
I wrote this poem upon watching Melancholia, a film written and directed by Lars von Trier. The film explores the depressed states and challenged relationship of two sisters who are already symbolically distanced, while the impending doom (the possibility of a mysterious planet called Melancholia threatening to collide with Earth) influences the film. Lars von Trier’s inspiration for this film came from a depressive episode he suffered. Thus not only the catastrophic idea of exploring the end of the world; but also the examining of the various facets of the soul in the state of such chaos portrays this state of mind. While writing my poem ‘Two indigo children’, I was drawn into an elusive notion of ‘reawakening’, a sense of spiritual emergence even in the atmosphere of an impending disaster. Through poetic experimentation, I found it fascinating to be able to approach the fragmented depths of one’s psyche as an opportunity for healing and growth, in the process of becoming whole again. The poetic initiation draws its strength from this sense of existential transformation.
Elif Sezen is a Melbourne-based multidisciplinary artist, bilingual poet/writer and translator. Her most recent collection of poems A Little Book of Unspoken History was published by Puncher & Wattmann (2018). Her previous book Universal Mother was published by Gloria SMH Press (2016). She translated Ilya Kaminsky’s acclaimed collection Dancing in Odessa into Turkish, published in 2013 by Artshop Press. Her poems appeared in national and international journals and anthologies. Elif’s website: https://www.elifsezen.com/publications
Acknowledgement: ‘Two indigo children’ first appeared in Elif Sezen’s collection Universal Mother (Gloria SMH, 2016)