Shine on Eastern Star: Review of Eastern Star by David Dephy
I happened upon some poems by David Dephy when my mind and spirit were clear, faint rumblings of discord and animosity were not enough to alter that clarity. It felt as though a fresh breeze made its way to my heart and filled it with hope and visions of what could be. Now his words are a lifeline, as the walls of hatred have closed in around me. I feel injustice, fear, illness, death swirling about the United States of America and New York, the city I love so deeply.
Dear reader, perhaps you are feeling the same. Are you stuck and immobilized, longing for the message that will ease your journey?
You may find solace in the poetry of one who was not born on these shores, but who surely carries the spirit of America in his heart and adeptly builds up the poetry perception. I personally find his works to be extremely unique and attractive. David Dephy’s poetic voice is strong, his poetic world is extraordinarily rich. When I first saw his solo performance on stage at the Bowery Poetry in Manhattan, I thought of Jalal ad-Din Rumi and William Blake. My instinctive response was born of his works’ mystical intelligence, delicate manner of writing and the visionary connotations. That same and unique engagement shimmers through his first book length poetry work in English, Eastern Star (Adelaide Books, New York: October 2020).
If there is no freedom within you, you won’t inspire anyone.
If a star is born only in the sky and not in you, you won’t see the light.
If heaven is not in you, you will never get there.
If there is hell in you, you will never escape from there.
Where do these insightful images, layered in simple but probing words, originate? They come from a man who has experienced war and conflict in his country of birth. Someone – as a citizen of a free country – who fought against Russian oppression bravely and openly and now embraces his new country. I believe every work is judged by how closely it reaches the original aim of the author, when the aim is the reader’s heart.
I am remembering the smile, that divine smile of that child
who saw his father after war and sitting on the ground in
front of a bonfire under the starting rain and breathing
silence of the night, that child’s smile makes me human.
It is humanity that David explores in Eastern Star, not judging but unfolding our simplicity and complexity until we begin to see with his vision. He takes our hand and gently leads us under that brightest star allowing us to bathe in its reflection while embracing the possibilities that lay in front of us.
All the words’ variations come down to one truth.
And all the ideas come down to one breath.
And all the world’s secrets in your heart are revealed.
Till the star of the East is the sign of the future.
The poetry book Eastern Star examines the horror and love, freedom and empathy and fascination a poet feels toward his talent. These possibilities are the fabric that weaves us together. We are both creating our pattern and becoming one with it.
and the heart of everything above or
underneath or within and in between
or beyond or before, is the heart of us
this heart is the book of life itself.
Just as we cannot unravel the fabric without altering its form, so, too, we can’t explore David Dephy‘s poetry without realizing that his craft is his purpose, that a simultaneous co- mingling of feelings, sounds and visions create his tapestry.
“… for me poetry itself is a native language of humanity and a constitution of all mankind. Yes, spirit of us is poetry.” (David Dephy / OPEN DOOR POETRY MAGAZINE, New York / London, December 2020, p. 28)
For David, poetry is about trusting yourself and it is that feeling I have when reading his work. Trust breeds hope and hope breeds acceptance which leads to forgiveness and ultimately to love. His poetry reflects this progression.
When you are the light all around you
in every corner and everywhere
and on every side is the light too,
you are everything and everywhere.
“You are the Light” from which I have written the above lines, has gotten me through many a dark hour; it gets to the heart of me. Like much of David’s poetry, the words are simple, but their impact is profound. I read it and calmness washes over me, a sense of well-being. Then I find myself thinking of those words and all the wisdom they contain, levels of beauty that fill my spirit. What experiences must a person have lived through and understood to write these poems?
As I have come to realize in recent months, the choices we make come from our soul. To be at peace with one’s choices is a great blessing. In his poem, “The Light of Wish,” David offers us his perspective:
Love does not make people.
Love just reveals them… And then
We choose between being right and wrong
And just being kind, just please choose being kind
And you’ll be right.
You cannot go wrong with that outlook.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Linda Galbraith is a lifelong resident of New York City. She received both her undergraduate degree in History and her master’s in Education from Fordham University. Over the next three decades, she joyfully shared her knowledge and love of history, literature and writing with her students in regular and special education. Now retired, Linda enjoys gardening, reading, and traveling the world, experiencing history firsthand. She is an avid fan of women’s basketball and faithfully cheers on her Fordham Rams and New York Liberty.