The poetry from Ladan Osman is utterly beautiful. Her poem entitled “Ordinary Heaven” is both fascinatingly haunting and the simplest form of childlike beauty. The poem is about a conversation with a doll, a confession of her dreams and questions about life all to this being who has no way of talking back. To me this doll represents God. Or at least something very similar. And in a way Osman is asking questions about why God made this world how it is to something she knows won’t respond, similar to God. In this poem such necessary and simple questions are asked that are truly fascinating like the line, “Does the sea favor it’s roar or murmur?” Ultimately these questions allude to what the poem itself is named after. To me this poem is about accepting that some answers cannot be found and the idea of a heaven may not be achieved for a very long time. Thus, we must come to terms with our ordinary heaven that we know too well today. The one that surrounds our day to day lives with sorrow, regret, disturbance, riot, and fear.
Another hauntingly beautiful poem of hers is the one entitled “To Abel.” I would be interested to get more information on the inspiration and origins of this poem but I interpreted it has referring to watching something tragic and the effect that can have on a person. A big theme throughout the poem is the idea of “voice.” She talks about songs being stuck in the back of the throat and wanting to be released. There are a lot of things that we as human beings don’t say and restrain ourselves from saying. To me this poem is the feeling of watching a tragic event unfold to a loved one or even to a random person and not knowing what the right thing to say is. Is it right to tell them that they are in your prayers if they aren’t religious? Is sorry too small of an apology for such a vast ordeal? What if you have no relation to this person prior to the instance? Is it still alright to tell them that they are in your thoughts? This is a feeling I have felt numerous of times and have yet to find the right answer for. I will continue to try to discover new ways of explaining my regrets to whomever needs comfort but for now the best that I can hope to do is hug them until my shirt absorbs the ocean of tears that have drowned their present existence. (Seamus Kreitzer/City of Stories Student)