#13099 - 08/25/00 11:14 AM
Belizean poet receives international award
George Gabb is no stranger to Belizean art scene. Recognized as an
establish sculptor, playwright and poet, his artworks can be viewed at
his combination restaurant and gallery in the Buttonwood Bay, or at the
entrance to the capital city Belmopan, where his lightening bolt like
sculpture entitled "The Freedom of Thought" is situated. In September
1996, Gabb published a book of poems and proverbs called "Naked Eye."
Now, almost four years later that publication, which contains a poem
"The Sculptured Sculptor", has brought the writer international
George Gabb, Poet
"About a month ago, I got a letter from Washington D.C. and they were
inviting me to read poetry in Washington D.C. for the International
Society of Poetry."
Jose Sanchez, Reporting
But Gabb was invited to more than just a poetry reading. His poetry and
proverb collection "Naked Eye" led him to the mother of all poetry
"I was told I was going to be in a competition with two hundred poets
from all different parts of the world. But when I got up there, I found
out that it was much more than two hundred, it was three thousand poets
from all over the world."
To make the semi-finals in this global competition, Gabb had to place in
the top two hundred, which meant rereading his poem many times. One
hundred and ninety eight names were called, before Gabb heard his name
as a semi-finalist. Gabb was ecstatic, and justifiably so, seeing that
numerous poets have been invited to participate for many years and have
yet to reach the semi-finals. Gabb, however, further exceeded his
expectations, when he made it to the final round after qualifying in the
"After I got up and read my poem, I felt really satisfied inside and I
thought there is a possibility that I could be number one. To make a
long story short, after we finished, they did not select me as number
one, the selected an American. As soon as they selected him as number
one, the crowd just jumped up and I felt like I won because they were
saying "The man from Belize. The man from Belize." The judges scrambled
Gabb's poem wasn't simply written. His philosophy on creativity is that
he must write about the piece of carving before he molds it. Wanting to
make a piece for his creator God, the sculpture became the inspiration
for the words that led him to his spiritual fulfillment.
"The very deep imagination that I'm doing it for this supreme being
actually pushed some power into me more. I felt myself being carved as I
carve. When I got to a certain point in the sculpture I had to leave it.
I rushed into the shop, pulled out a pencil, and a pen. and I start
writing. And this is how this poem is born and I called it:
"The Sculptured Sculptor."
"I speak not with the voice or make-believe,
or with art of forming words to bring about some fancy thought,
or to make some rhythmic sound or to please a lovers quest,
even not to answer King's command,
but rather to open one's heart and mind, and let thoughts
fly in the sky of truth that man and angels may hear my song.
I have found another part of him in me
he smiles as I leave myself free to fashion
His gentle touch explodes only to release
fearful, trembling, wanting,
I strip myself to yield complete.
Fleeting moments of immeasurable suffering,
particles of ecstasy leaking from the seams of time
"A messenger of truth"
A haunting voice beyond existence, echoes to my heart
take shape, make shape, there is no time,
Be a ripple in the sea of eternity, for in time there is none.
Only on the shores of infinity where blessed souls
bathe themselves with countless shapes of sculptured water
and quench their thirst with the gladness of your coming.
To find the echo that was once lived in my heart,
now lives in my voice singing, shouting on that same seashore.
Time is no more."
The International Society of Poets was established in 1990 and includes
members such as the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
#13100 - 08/25/00 11:18 AM
Re: Belizean poet receives international award
FROM RAY AUXILLOU:
The George Gabbs of Belize are an upper achiever type family. George
Gabb Sr., made it to Washington, D.C. for the last round of world
competition with his poem. To his surprise, there were not 200 finalists
as he supposed, there were 3000. He had to read and re-read his poem
many times through the eliminations. But old man George who is actually
famous for his sculptures over the last 50 years, mostly for the tourist
trade also wrote a poem in which he described the mental spiritual state
needed before starting on a piece of wood. Old George innovated a lot of
tricks in the sculpture business. Back in the 1960's I remember when he
introduced soaking a piece of wood in soap. Not sure why, but it
worked. He did a jaguar one time that had a bunch of doctors who were my
stockholders drooling. He wanted $500 USA for it. They went scuba
diving with me for 10 days and then came back with minds made up to buy
the Jaguar. That was a lot of money, but the piece was done in black and
the jaguar lines superb. Equal to anything Michealangelo ever did. Never
seen another one like it. Alas! Ten days was too long. The piece had
Anyway, old George went through the readings and eliminations up in
Washington, D.C. these recent weeks and made it to the last round of ten
finalists. This being an American poetry award competition, the judges
chose an American, but the crowd reportedly, stood up yelling the
Belizean, the Belizean! The judges reportedly fled in panic. Or
something like that. Good for George Gabb Sr. He makes entrepreneurial
spirit in Belize stand out. His son George Gabb Jr, is doing alright too
as a Doctorate I believe and Chair of the Computer Science Department at
Miami Dade, South Florida North Campus. He has his work cut out for him,
this campus one of six or eight, I forget which in Dade Metropolitan
County is the distressed child of the system. Nobody seems to be able to
fix it. Job competition seems to be nepotistic, or still the old racial
profiling, where incompetents are hired outside of regulations and over
ridden by senior administration the reports go. Certainly, there is a
big segment of people not performing their jobs properly. But
apparently, that is the price of racial profiling and raising up a
generation of minorities. I had thought Federal law had changed on this
minority profiling, but apparently not. In the meantime, the son of our
famous George Gabb Sr., has his work cut out for him in trying to bring
logic to certification courses in his field at this college and help
raise enrollment figures. He's a young guy George Jr. and just finished
a law degree as well. If he is anything nearly as stubborn as his old
man, maybe North campus will turn around. He has good taste in
secretaries though, he has a beauty up there. Nothing wrong with that
part of the Belizean equation.
Yup! Belizeans can be happy and proud of the George Gabbs, they have
done well for the country.
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