By Marcelle Mansour OAM
Sarkis Karam, Bilingual Writer and Editor of the Australian Affairs in AnNahar Arabic newspaper launched his new English book “Wings of Life” on Sunday 25th February at the Seniors’ Room, Lady of Lebanon Cathedral in Sydney. The book launch event was successful with great speakers as follows: His Excellency Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay. Poet Badawi El Hage, Mr Anwar Harb AM, Mr Joe Baini, Dr Emad Berro and Dr Anthony Hasham.
Wings of Life is a book of literary collection of poetry and prose of the author who was born in Lebanon and immigrated to Australia where he lives and adopts the new country as his wonderful home. It is a book of a collection of reflections that moves through the pages. Each page contains a reflection on wisdom where the author speaks for himself, from his heart, from his thoughts, from his memories and from his own assimilated experiences in solemnity. The collection contains pieces of work describes the author’s memories, contradictions, discoveries and life lessons one experiences when one is neither seen as fully Australian nor fully foreign.
In his fifth book, Sarkis reflects on his life journey exploring various topics where he was able to articulate his thoughts and ideas in creative way. It is interesting to see how he starts his poetry reflections with the poem of Memory that reflects hope. To my surprise this title of his poem is the same title of one of my latest artworks that were exhibited at the Corner Gallery Stanmore in October last year. Sarkis is a good friend of mine and I was grateful that he attended my art exhibition with other friends, and it is pleasant to see him giving his poem the same title of my artwork. The significance of this particular work is actually important to me for I believe that Memories living inside us are the foundation of who we are and the source of our roots and moral conscience that keeps our minds revived in all matters. The author seems optimistic by showing the link between memory and hope when he says:
Revived by fragrance
Of a pine tree… a rock …. A grain…
A flower… a soil…
It is carried away on wings of hope.
And in the poem of Wings of Life he writes:
Suddenly, memories entrenched
in our dreams,
long ago, tend to reappear,
for they have dwelled in our minds….
In the same poem, Sarkis describes his tireless journey of discovery which in fact applies to every one of us as immigrants where “our memories never left.” “From the innocence of “childhood” to the adventures of “youthfulness” through different stages of our ages, our trips are carried “on the “wings of love”’ and ‘on an endless flight.”’
Sarkis Karam’s poems are flame with a passion for life’s love, faith, and hope. His words explore the meaning of those conceptions and the bliss he has from “family” love and lasting “friendship.” His poetry in general offer rich study of the meaning of various topics that he encounters in his life experiences as immigrant who is torn between two countries, that is his motherland “Lebanon” and his new adopted home “Australia,” This definitely applies to every one of us as immigrants. He Explores the connection between his beloved old village in Lebanon and his adopted home Australia. He is in deep love with his old village that he departed, in his piece of prose of Lebanon, his heart is still in Lebanon saying “How can we desert our hearts.”
Sarkis reveals his real self, his inner self through the” sighs of nostalgia flying.” In Motherland, through the “magic of her tenderness” he draws a ‘sketch of pictures of his dreams’ a visual‘ ”image” that ‘’would not shine without the colors of his motherland.”
And in his piece of prose Australia: “A shelter for humanity, a home of comfort, peace and justice…A refuge for liberty and freedom for expression” this great Aussie land we call home.
Then in Strength he proclaims “no strength without faith, no strength without the Lord.” For only in the Lord he finds strength as well as in the Light of Life he finds peace. To him Ehden in fact is ‘EDEN’! and Youssef Bey Karam “lives on as my inspiration.” Sarkis also honours both his country of birth and Virgin Mary by saying O Mary, “Lebanon dwells on your heart.” for they both unite together. His other poems are also glorious and provocative.
As an author, Sarkis has been known for his nice technique and style of writing and the power he evokes from his ideas in his literary pieces that refer to content. In other words his poetry involves the method which a poet uses to convey meaning and feelings. The themes of his poetry tend to be of positive nature with wisdom, faith and hope.
His poetic voice is direct and honest, where he expresses his thoughts, feelings and memories in easy language, in a way that builds a sense of connection between himself and his readers.
This book is worth reading. Congratulations once again to Sarkis Karam on his new achievement and best wishes for his future success.