The child and the quest for innocence
It turns out that I am a child
has come to make me a child,
that suffering and joy have made me a child
and like a child
I’ve been turning everything into dreams,
playing with my dreams and my verses,
resisting with them,
that contemplating every world has made me a child,
that like everyone else I was going to be a man,
but borders made me a child,
the pretences and the limits:
everything made me a child
That’s the beginning of the poem “The Conquest of Innocence”, by Spanish poet Jesús Lizano.
Lizano born in Barcelona, 1931. A philosopher, thinker and poet, convinced –way before than the Bloodhound Gang – that we were nothing but mammals, and that we were only wearing customs to differentiate us one from another.
He didn’t called himself a “person”, but a collective of personalities (“the Collective Jesús Lizano”), as part of why we can’t continue to paint the world in black and white, in good people and bad people (some might say in “us and them”), because in the end we all have good and bad within ourselves.
While our boys were singing that there is no them, only us the first of five nights in Inglewood, on May 26, Jesús Lizano died in Spain. For those keeping the score at home, that was the same day Dennis Sheehan passed away.
His work was based on the journey of the human race to transcend. He said that the rest of the mammals and animals, lived in the “Wild Real World”, while the humans have already transcended to the “Political Real World”.
This “Political Real World” is an experienced world, is pragmatic, egocentric and it implies an order and hierarchy, with some people acting as dominants and some as dominated. While this order and hierarchies proper of the Political Real World are useful and an improvement over the Wild Real World, it’s still severely flawed, and a world view that we should leave behind.
He sets the goal in what he called the “Poetic Real World”, a world view based on the “acracia”, a form of anarchy and libertarianism, saying that the only revolution worth fighting anymore was a poetic revolution. The Poetic Real World should be based in people willingly supporting and loving each other, forgetting the boundaries and hierarchies set by the Political Real World. Again, there is no them, there’s only us.
If you think that idea sounds too naïve, probably it is. He was convinced that Innocence was the ultimate goal of humanity. He proposes Innocence as the basic engine to reach humanism and brotherhood. He saw the innocence not as a primitive trait bound to be lost, but as the final stage in the human ethical evolution.
In the U2 universe, for 36 nights in 3 months we have enjoyed a story focused on an Innocence versus Experience dialog, a first half of an innocence being betrayed and drowned and then a second half of experience and how the protagonist’s view of the world changed and how the problems look totally different on the light of experience compared to the innocent view of yesteryear.
But the part I’m really intrigued about that show is the encore.
The epilogue of that story.
Because the ending of the show screams innocence, not experience as one was supposed to assume. The final part of the show leads us to believe that the band is set to conquer innocence back.
Starting with Beautiful Day, the song about finding happiness and bliss despite losing everything and definitely going into the imagery painted on COBL and Streets, two of the songs in U2’s catalogue that are most obviously written as innocence songs, by the time we reach the optimistic and uplifting final message of the show –including that promise of ending the HIV crisis in Africa, along with Stephen Hawking urging us to become global citizens– we and the band are children again, after all the anger in Sunday, Wolves and Bullet, now we aren’t looking for someone to blame, we are feeling empathic with the problems of the world while still being optimistic about the future.
City Of Blinding Lights in Los Angeles, by Rob Berezowski (CC-BY-SA)
Jesús Lizano’s humanistic poetry is a powerful display of utopic imagery ironically painted with the colours of rage and anger, concern and social justice, and all of that is painted through the eyes of innocence.
Does that sound familiar? U2 and Lizano’s works seem to have a lot in common, and when I read this poem of Lizano, I can’t help to find similarities between Bono and the poet, but most importantly, I wonder if I can still be a child myself.
It turns out that I am a child
That solitude made me a child,
That giving it everything and losing it all made me a child,
that I have been a cursed poet because I am a child,
that it made me a child to see that the only thing that is important
is to seek innocence within astuteness,
that when I loved I became a child,
that understanding that there are victims but no one to blame
made me a child,
that for being a child
I maintain hope despite the disenchantments
and the spilt blood between traps and myths,
that to see how we all fall in countless ruses
made me a child,
and that without being a child
never would rebellion have been born in me,
that it is necessary to begin to rebel in oneself,
not to follow the order to become a man,
that I am a poet because I conquer innocence
every time I open my eyes and contemplate things,
that being a child
is the only thing that I have learned…
The Conquest of Innocence (snippet)
Full poem: http://autonomies.org/it/2015/05/the-poetic-anarchy-of-jesus-lizano/
The article The child and the quest for innocence was published on U2start.com by Bloodraven and last updated .
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