Saturday, November 24, 2012

Susan Sontag and holding up culture

Susan Sontag continues to be alive in my consciousness although she has left this world some years ago. Every now and then, you read bloggers, writers, even those creepos called politicians, citing her. 

I have a memory of Ms. Sontag who, on remission from cancer, still went to cover the Bosnian war in the '90s and despite the power blowout, continued to write. She was a figure of moral authority, someone who didn't solicit admiration but was admired worldwide, and her last collected essays stands in my bookshelf, well-worn from thumbing. 

Today, I found a poem that she wrote in her youth. It gives me goosebumps because as early as her teen years, she was clear and had prioritized what she wanted to do in this world (making tons of money wasn't in her sphere of awareness but how money and power held by an idiotic few fascinated her as a subject). 

I like the format of this poem--an informal list that reminds me of a recent slambook project I was involved in for St. Paul College Quezon City batch '73's ruby jubilee to be celebrated on Jan. 12 next year at the old Gilmore Avenue campus.

What do I believe?
In the private life
In holding up culture
In music, Shakespeare, old buildings

What do I enjoy?
Being in love

My faults
Never on time
Lying, talking too much
No volition for refusal
--Susan Sontag

 Source of poem: 

Source of Sontag's image:
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