Hey guys this was my essay response for Amherst. I've already submitted it. Its 309 words. (limit 300 words) Let me know what you think of it.
PS - I know poems are risky and dangerous. However, I have a close connection with theater, and I know I wouldn't have been able to expressed myself any better than this.
"Literature is the best way to overcome death. My father, as I said, is an actor. He's the happiest man on earth when he's performing, but when the show is over, he's sad and troubled. I wish he could live in the eternal present, because in the theater everything remains in memories and photographs. Literature, on the other hand, allows you to live in the present and to remain in the pantheon of the future.
Literature is a way to say, I was here, this is what I thought, this is what I perceived. This is my signature, this is my name."
Ilan Stavans, Professor of Spanish, Amherst College
From "The Writer in Exile: an interview with Ilan Stavans" by Saideh Pakravan for the fall 1993 issue of The Literary Review
Standing there alone in the darkness,
The whispers backstage grew in hushed wildness,
Trembling and shaking each second,
I anticipated the forthcoming, knees weakened.
Through the slit I saw the dazzling light,
Flooding the stage and me like the sun rise.
It was my first act; the curtains were apart evidently,
As the thousand pairs of eyes looked intently!
Tick tock, tick tock, the clock walked;
Out of the apparent freeze, my body thawed.
Just like practice, I knew what to do,
Though after a thousandth time, it still seemed new.
The thrill and the rush were so exciting,
That slowly passed away all the anxiety.
Taking my cue I played the part,
Who knew my first monologue could touch so many hearts.
At end when off stage my feet led me
-Without letting the performance being stymied.
I moved into the wings without pause,
For my act from beyond the stage, I heard a round of applause.
The feeling was invigorating,
I felt a new me liberating.
Perhaps I finally found my place –
In this mean world which is compelled to race.
What's the difference between an actor and a writer?
-Just the same difference as between a lion and a tiger.
Who is then the more powerful an artist?
-Oh no, it is almost as difficult a battle as between the sexes!
Writing and theatre are more like sisters of the same brood,
One is elder and other is the younger bloom;
Together in harmony they express themselves on the canvases
Of this amazing world filled with sadness, rapture and promises.
Theatre and Literature both communicate
-One through pictures and actions, the other through language.
You're right Mr. Stavans; it is true that pen is mightier than the sword,
But you should also know that a picture speaks a thousand words.
Thanks for your time! I anticipate your critiques. :)
Do look through my other essays!