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Five Poems

Lisette Model, NYC, circa 1950
Lisette Model, NYC, circa 1950

by Vera Pavlova

Loneliness is a sexually
transmitted disease.
I let you be; let me be, please.
Let’s have a quiet moment
chatting about this and that,
leaving some things unsaid,
let’s have a hug and realize:
no cure for the lonely.

If there is something to desire,
there will be something to regret.
If there is something to regret,
there will be something to recall.
If there is something to recall,
there was nothing to regret.
If there was nothing to regret,
there was nothing to desire.

….

Let us touch each other
while we still have hands,
palms, forearms, elbows…
Let us love each other for misery,
torture each other, torment,
disfigure, maim,
to remember better,
to part with less pain.

….

Eternalize me just a bit:
take some snow and sculpt me in it,
with your warm and bare palm
polish me until I shine.

….

When I am in your arms, you think: “She’s mine, without fail.”
But I will shed my body like a saurian tail,
and you will have to search the starry skies
for what you hoped to find between my thighs.

Dirty Talk II

Sam Haskins, Cheating Ace, 1964
Sam Haskins, Cheating Ace, 1964

Pretend that I’ve forgotten who I am
and it’s your job to remind me: say my name
and tell me all about my body, what it wants
and what you’ll make it do. Pretend we’re sick,
describe the symptoms: our wild slam-
ming hearts, our fever-flush, our violet veins
throbbing. Pretend I’m blind, and tell me what
you see. Pretend it’s possible to think

after you speak, that body can trump brain
which can trump body, translating the words
into impulses, firing from nerve
to twinkling nerve. Pretend we’ve found the way
to heal, between things and names, the divide:
you be the signifier. I’ll be signified.

Ali Shapiro

PANK Magazine / Six Poems.

XXX

Nobuyoshi Araki, Theater of Love, c.1965

Burn of the second
throughout the tender fleshbud of desire
Sting of vagrant chili
at two in the immoral afternoon.
Glove of the edges edge to edge.
Aromatic truth touched to the quick, on connection
the sexual antenna
to what we are being without knowing it.
Slop of maximum ablution.
Voyaging boilers
that crash and spatter with unanimous fresh
shadow, the color, the fraction, the hard life,
the hard life eternal.
Let’s not be afraid. Death is like that.
Sex blood of the beloved who complains
ensweetened, of bearing so much
for such a ridiculous moment.
And the circuit
between our poor day and the great night,
at two in the immoral afternoon.

From Trilce, published in 1922, by César Vallejo (born 16 March, 1892; died 15 April, 1938)
translated by Clayton Eshleman

Ernest Hyde

Fred Lebain

My mind was a mirror
It saw what it saw, it knew what it knew.
In youth my mind was just a mirror
In a rapidly flying car,
Which catches and loses bits of the landscape.
Then in time
Great scratches were made on the mirror,
Letting the outside world come in,
And letting my inner self look out.
For this is the birth of the soul in sorrow,
A birth with gains and losses.
The mind sees the world as a thing apart,
And the soul makes the world at one with itself.
A mirror scratched reflects no image-
And this is the silence of wisdom.

Taken from the Spoon River Anthology, Edgar Lee Masters, 1915

Russian Sonia

Maciek Lesniak

I, born in Weimar
Of a mother who was French
And German father, a most learned professor,
Orphaned at fourteen years,
Became a dancer, known as Russian Sonia,
All up and down the boulevards of Paris,
Mistress betimes of sundry dukes and counts,
And later of poor artists and of poets.
At forty years, passée, I sought New York
And met old Patrick Hummer on the boat,
Red-faced and hale, though turned his sixtieth year,
Returning after having sold a ship-load
Of cattle in the German city, Hamburg.
He brought me to Spoon River and we lived here
For twenty years – they thought that we were married!
This oak tree near me is the favorite haunt
Of blue jays chattering, chattering all day.
And why not? for my very dust is laughing
For thinking of the humorous thing called life.

taken from Spoon River Anthology, Edgar Lee Masters, 1915

George Gray


I have studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Or restlessness and vague desire-
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.

Taken from Spoon River Anthology, Edgar Lee Masters, 1915

Dorcas Gustine

Swimming With the Fishes by Rengim Mutevellioglu

Ho riesumato dalla scatola dei libri l’Antologia di Spoon River e pensato di rendere omaggio al poeta americano  Edgar Lee Masters citando alcuni degli epitaffi che ricordano gli intrigi, le passioni, le ipocrisie, le piccole e grandi virtù delle tante vite represse nelle abitudini e nel conformismo di un villaggio immaginario del Midwest. Questa che segue è la voce in versi di Dorcas Gustine

I was not beloved of the villagers,
But all because I spoke my mind,
And met those who transgressed against me
With plain remonstrance, hiding nor nurturing
Nor secret griefs nor grudges.
That act of the Spartan boy is greatly praised,
Who hid the wolf under his cloak,
Letting it devour him, uncomplainingly.
It is braver, I think, to snatch the wolf forth
And fight him openly, even in the street,
Amid dust and howls of pain.
The tongue may be an unruly member-
But silence poisons the soul.
Berate me who will – I am content.

Taken from Spoon River Anthology, Edgar Lee Masters, 1915

Il mondo è alcune tenere imprecisioni – Jorge Luis Borges

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Decisa a risollevarmi l’umore, mia sorella Floriana ( aka _zema* ) mi ha spedito un set di polaroid, che amo molto, e ho pensato condividere perchè belle.
Belle come sanno essere alcune tenere imprecisioni e la poesia che le esprime

Wislawa Szymborska, ‘Mozart of poetry’, dies aged 88 | Books | guardian.co.uk

Polish poet and Nobel laureate Wislawa Szymborska, whose beguilingly simple, playful poems spoke to the heart of everyday life, died yesterday aged 88.

Described by the Nobel committee as the “Mozart of poetry” but with “something of the fury of Beethoven” – and by an Italian newspaper as the “Greta Garbo of World Poetry” – Szymborska died in her sleep from lung cancer, said her personal secretary Michal Rusinek.

Speaking on Wednesday, Poland’s president Bronislaw Komorowski called her the country’s “guardian spirit”. Her poems “were brilliant advice, through which the world became more understandable”, he said; they showed the importance of finding value “​​in the daily bustle”.

via Wislawa Szymborska, ‘Mozart of poetry’, dies aged 88 | Books | guardian.co.uk.
Vinse il Nobel con la grazia e l’ironia | Accidenti Musicali.

The Nerve Meter by Antonin Artaud via The Poetry Foundation

An actor is seen as if through crystals.
Inspiration in stages.
One musn’t let in too much literature.

I have aspired no further than the clockwork of the soul, I have transcribed only the pain of an abortive adjustment.
I am a total abyss. Those who believed me capable of a whole pain, a beautiful pain, a dense and fleshy anguish, an anguish which is a mixture of objects, an effervescent grinding of forces rather than a suspended point
—and yet with restless, uprooting impulses which come from the confrontation of my forces with these abysses of offered finality
(from the confrontation of forces of powerful size),
and there is nothing left but the voluminous abysses, the immobility, the cold—
in short, those who attributed to me more life, who thought me at an earlier stage in the fall of the self, who believed me immersed in a tormented noise, in a violent darkness with which I struggled
—are lost in the shadows of man.
In sleep, nerves tensed the whole length of my legs.
Sleep came from a shifting of belief, the pressure eased, absurdity stepped on my toes.
It must be understood that all of intelligence is only a vast contingency, and that one can lose it, not like a lunatic who is dead, but like a living person who is in life and who feels working on himself its attraction and its inspiration (of intelligence, not of life).
The titillations of intelligence and this sudden reversal of contending parties.
Words halfway to intelligence.
This possibility of thinking in reverse and of suddenly reviling one’s thought.
This dialogue in thought.
The ingestion, the breaking off of everything.
And all at once this trickle of water on a volcano, the thin, slow falling of the mind.
To find oneself again in a state of extreme shock, clarified by unreality, with, in a corner of oneself, some fragments of the real world.
To think without the slightest breaking off, without pitfalls in my thought, without one of those sudden disappearances to which my marrow is accustomed as a transmitter of currents.
My marrow is sometimes amused by these games, sometimes takes pleasure in these games, takes pleasure in these furtive abductions over which the sense of my thought presides.
At times all I would need is a single word, a simple little word of no importance, to be great, to speak in the voice of the prophets: a word of witness, a precise word, a subtle word, a word well steeped in my marrow, gone out of me, which would stand at the outer limit of my being,
and which, for everyone else, would be nothing.
I am the witness, I am the only witness of myself. This crust of words, these imperceptible whispered transformations of my thought, of that small part of my thought which I claim has already been formulated, and which miscarries,
I am the only person who can measure its extent.
Antonin Artaud, “The Nerve Meter” from Selected Writings of Antonin Artaud (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1976).
via The Nerve Meter by Antonin Artaud : The Poetry Foundation.

On Literature and other Visionary Speculations

Jean-Paul Sartre by Russ Cook
'Yeah cherie, I know what ya mean. All that I know about my life, it seems, I have learned in books.'

Quelle volte che penso agli anni del liceo, ho come la sensazione di essermi persa qualcosa; non solo scuola (che marinavo d’abitudine, 3 volte a settimana- almeno), ma forse quel sentimento di partecipazione collettiva, le gite fuori-porta, i bigliettini sotto-banco, i pomeriggi a studiare con le amichette, il tormento delle interrogazioni. Cose così.
Il fatto è che io trovavo noioso andare a scuola, e di gran lunga più divertente trascorrere, da sola, una mattinata al parco, a piedi nudi sull’erba. O al mare, sugli scogli, a leggere dei dolori del giovane Werther, delle bravate di Holden, dei tormenti di madame Bovary, del lupo nella steppa, dei padri e dei figli della rivoluzione russa.
M’è sempre parso una perdita di tempo, andare a scuola.
E poi avevo la pessima abitudine di litigare coi professori. E di starmene in disparte dalla classe. Meglio ancora se fuori, a fumare nei giardinetti del cortiletto vicino la palestra.
Che poi in fondo, ai professori, devo aver fatto pure un favore. Io marinavo scuola, loro non dovevano preoccuparsi di redimermi, o punirmi. Il direttore di sospendermi. E tutti eravamo felici.
C’è un libro, che conservo nella memoria come il ricordo di quegli anni, a cui sono molto affezionata e che se mai mi fosse stato suggerito dalla mia insegnante di italiano (probabilmente) sarebbe valso a farmi amare almeno l’ora di letteratura; l’ho trovato l’altro giorno in libreria e rileggerlo, sebbene in inglese, ha lo stesso potere, come allora anche oggi, di affascinarmi, emozionarmi.
Sapete ci sono scrittori che amano scopare con le parole. Te ne accorgi dalla passione esagerata, quell’orgia sentimentale d’inchiostro nero schizzato sulla carta di getto, al climax del piacere intellettuale.
What is literature è un libro sensuale. E, a mio parere, un capolavoro della critica e della prosa letteraria.La ragione per cui amo leggere Sartre consiste appunto nello stile, elegante, netto, attento, acuto, della scrittura.
In What is Literature, Sartre s’interroga circa il ruolo dello scrittore, impegnato, e della letteratura.
Questo un meraviglioso articolo, estratto dal Corriere della Sera
SARTRE Quel che resta dell’ intellettuale impegnato
Questa, una meravigliosa critica del libro, di Morgan Palmas
1libro1giorno: “Che cos’è la letteratura?” di Jean-Paul Sartre.
Sotto, l’introduzione e una parte del libro, tratta dal capitolo primo
A fine testo, il link tramite cui accedere alla lettura dell’intero volume, e ancora una critica, in inglese, taken from Philosophy Now | a magazine of ideas.

                                                          FOREWORD
“If you want to engage yourself,” writes a young imbecile, “what are you waiting for? Join the Communist Party.” A great writer who engaged himself often and disengaged himself still more often, but who has forgotten, said to me, “The worst artists are the most engaged. Look at the Soviet painters” An old critic gently complained,”You want to murder literature. Contempt for belles-lettres is spread out insolently all through your review.” A petty mind calls me pigheaded, which for him is evidently the highest insult. An author who barely crawled from one war to the other and whose name sometimes awakens languishing memories in old men accuses me of not being concerned with immortality; he knows, thank God, any number of people whose chief hope it is. In the eyes of an American hack-journalist the trouble with me is that I have not read Bergson or Freud; as for Flaubert, who did not engage himself, it seems that he haunts me like
remorse. Smart-alecks wink at me, “And poetry? And painting? And music? You want to engage them, too?”
And some martial spirits demand, “What’s it all about? Engaged literature? Well, it’s the old socialist realism, unless it’s a revival of populism, only more aggressive.” What nonsense. They read quickly,badly, and pass judgment before they have understood. So let’s begin all over. This doesn’t amuse anyone, neither you nor me. But we have to hit the nail on the head. And since critics condemn me in the name of literature without ever saying what they mean by that, the best answer to give them is to examine the art of writing without prejudice. What is writing? Why does one write? For whom? The fact is, it seems that nobody has ever asked himself these questions.
WHAT IS WRITING?
No, we do not want to “engage” painting, sculpture, and music too, or at least not in the same way. And why would we want to? When a writer of past centuries expressed an opinion about his craft, was his immediately asked to apply it to the other arts? But today it’s the thing to do to “talk painting” in the argot of the musician or the literary man and to “talk literature” in the argot of the painter, as if at bottom there were only one art which expressed itself indifferently in one or the other of these languages, like the Spinozistic substance which is adequately reflected by each of its attributes.
Doubtless, one could find at the origin of every artistic calling a certain undifferentiated choice which circumstances, education, and contact with the world particularized only later. Besides, there is no doubt that the arts of a period mutually influence each other and are conditioned by the same social factors. But those who want to expose the absurdity of a literary theory by showing that it is inapplicable to music must first prove that the arts are parallel.
Now, there is no such parallelism. Here, as everywhere, it is not only the form which differentiates, but the matter as well. And it is one thing to work with color and sound, and another to express oneself by means of words. Notes, colors, and forms are not signs. They refer to nothing exterior to themselves. To be sure, it is quite impossible to reduce them strictly to themselves, and the idea of a pure sound, for example, is an abstraction. As Merleau- Ponty has pointed out in The Phenomenology of Perception, there is no quality of sensation so bare that it is not penetrated with signification. But the dim little meaning which dwells within it, a light joy, a timid sadness, remains immanent or trembles about it like a heat mist; it is color or sound. Who can distinguish the green apple from its tart gaiety? And aren’t we already saying too much in naming “the tart gaiety of the green apple?” There is green, there is red, and that is all. They are things, they exist by themselves.
It is true that one might, by convention, confer the value of signs upon them. Thus, we talk of the language of flowers. But if, after the agreement, white roses signify “fidelity” to me, the fact is that I have stopped seeing them as roses. My attention cuts through them to aim beyond them at this abstract virtue. I forget them. I no longer pay attention to their mossy abundance, to their sweet stagnant odor. I have not even perceived them. That means that I have not behaved like an artist. For the artist, the color, the bouquet, the tinkling of the spoon on the saucer, are things, in the highest degree. He stops
at the quality of the sound or the form. He returns to it constantly and is enchanted with it. It is this color-object that he is going to transfer to his canvas, and the only modification he will make it undergo is that he will transform it into an imaginary object. He is therefore as far as he can be from considering colors and signs as a language.
What is valid for the elements of artistic creation is also valid for their combinations. The painter does not want to create a thing. And if he puts together red, yellow, and green, there is no reason for the ensemble to have a definable signification, that is, to refer particularly to another object. Doubtless this ensemble is also inhabited by a soul, and since there must have been motives, even hidden ones, for the painter to have chosen yellow rather than violet, it may be asserted that the objects thus created reflect his deepest tendencies. However, they never express his anger, his anguish, or his joy as do words or the expression of the face; they are impregnated with these emotions; and in order for them to have crept into these colors, which by themselves already had something like a meaning, his emotions get mixed up and grow obscure. Nobody can quite recognize them there.
Tintoretto did not choose that yellow rift in the sky above Golgotha to signify anguish or to provoke it. It is anguish and yellow sky at the same time. Not sky of anguish or anguished sky; it is an anguish become thing, an anguish which has turned into yellow rift of sky, and which thereby is submerged and impasted by the proper qualities of things, by their impermeability, their extension, their blindpermanence, their externality, and that infinity of relations which they maintain with other things.
That is, it is no longer readable. It is like an immense and vain effort, forever arrested half-way between sky and earth, to express what their nature keeps them from expressing.
Similarly, the signification of a melody if one can still speak of signification is nothing outside of the melody itself, unlike ideas, which can be adequately rendered in several ways. Call it joyous or somber.
It will always be over and above anything you can say about it. Not because its passions, which are perhaps at the origin of the invented theme, have, by being incorporated into notes, undergone a transubstantiation and a transmutation. A cry of grief is a sign of the grief which provokes it, but a song of grief is both grief itself and something other than grief. Or, if one wishes to adopt the existentialist vocabulary, it is a grief which does not exist any more, which is. But, you will say, suppose the painter does houses? That’s just it. He makes them, that is, he creates an imaginary house on the canvas and not a sign of a house. And the house which thus appears preserves all the ambiguity of real houses.
The writer can guide you and, if he describes a hovel, make it seem the symbol of social injustice and provoke your indignation. The painter is mute. He presents you with a hovel, that’s all. You are free to see in it what you like. That attic window will never be the symbol of misery; for that, it would have to be a sign, whereas it is a thing. The bad painter looks for the type. He paints the Arab, the Child, the Woman; the good one knows that neither the Arab nor the proletarian exists either in reality or on his canvas. He offers a workman, a certain workman. And what are we to think about a workman? An infinity of contradictory things. All thoughts and all feelings are there, adhering to the canvas in a state of
profound undifferentiation. It is up to you to choose. Sometimes, high-minded artists try to move us. They paint long lines of workmen waiting in the snow to be hired, the emaciated faces of the unemployed, battle fields. They affect us no more than does Greuze with his “Prodigal Son. 53 And that masterpiece, “The Massacre of Guernica, ‘does any one think that it won over a single heart to the Spanish cause?’ And yet something is said that can never quite be heard and that would take an infinity of words to express. And Picasso’s long harlequins, ambiguous and eternal, haunted with inexplicable meaning, inseparable from their stooping leanness and their pale diamond-shaped tights, are emotion become flesh, emotion which the flesh has absorbed as the blotter absorbs ink, and emotion which is unrecognizable, lost, strange to itself, scattered to the four corners of space and yet present to itself.
I have no doubt that charity or anger can produce other objects, but they will likewise be swallowed up; they will lose their name; there will remain only things haunted by a mysterious soul. One does not paint significations; one does not put them to music. Under these conditions, who would dare require that the painter or musician engage himself?
On the other hand, the writer deals with significations. Still, a distinction must be made. The empire of signs is prose; poetry is on the side of painting, sculpture, and music. I am accused of detesting it; the proof, so they say, is that Les Temps Modernes publishes very few poems.
On the contrary, this is proof that we like it. To be convinced, all one need do is take a look at contemporary production. “At least,critics say triumphantly, “you can’t even dream of engaging it.” Indeed. But why should I want to? Because it uses words as does prose? But it does not use them in the same way, and it does not even use them at all, I should rather say that it serves them. Poets are men who refuse to utilize language. Now, since the quest for truth takes place in and by language conceived as a certain kind of instrument, it is unnecessary to imagine that they aim to discern or expound the true. Nor do they dream of naming the world, and, this being the case, they name nothing at all, for naming implies a perpetual sacrifice of the name to the object named, or, as Hegel would say, the name is revealed as the inessential in the face of the thing which is essential. They do
not speak, neither do they keep still; it is something different. It has been said that they wanted to destroy the “word” by monstrous couplings, but this is false. For then they would have to be thrown into the midst of utilitarian language and would have had to try to retrieve words from it in odd little groups, as for example “horse” and “butter” by writing “horses of butter.”
Besides the fact that such an enterprise would require infinite time, it is not conceivable that one can keep one- self on the plane of the utilitarian project, consider words as instruments, and at the same contemplate taking their instrumentality away from them. In fact, the poet has withdrawn from language-instrument in a single movement. Once and for all he has chosen the poetic attitude which considers words as things and not as signs. For the ambiguity of the sign implies that one can penetrate it at will like a pane of glass and pursue the thing signified, or turn his gaze toward its reality and consider it as an object. The man who talks is beyond words and near the object, whereas the poet is on this side of them. For the former, they are domesticated; for the latter they are in the wild state. For the former, they are useful conventions, tools which gradually wear out and which one throws away when they are no longer serviceable; for the latter, they are natural things which sprout naturally upon the earth like grass and trees.
But if he dwells upon words, as does the painter with colors and the musician with sounds, that does not mean that they have lost all signification in his eyes. Indeed, it is signification alone which can give words their verbal unity. Without it they are frittered away into sounds and strokes of the pen. Only, it too becomes natural. It is no longer the goal which is always out of reach and which human transcendence is always aiming at, but a property of each term, analogous to the expression of a face, to the little sad or gay meaning of sounds and colors. Having flowed into the word, having been absorbed by its sonority
or visual aspect, having been thickened and defaced, it too is a thing, increate and eternal.
For the poet, language is a structure of the external world. The speaker is in a situation in language; he is invested with words. They are prolongations of his meanings, his pincers, his antennae, his eyeglasses. He maneuvers them from within; he feels them as if they were his body; he is surrounded by a verbal body which he is hardly aware of and which extends his action upon the world. The poet is outside of language. He sees words inside out as if he did not share the human condition, and as if he were first meeting the word as a barrier as he comes toward men. Instead of first knowing things by their name, it seems that first he has a silent contact with them, since, turning toward that other species of thing which for him is the word, touching them, testing them, palping them, he discovers in them a slight luminosity of their own and particular affinities with the earth, the sky, the water, and all created things.
Not knowing how to use them as a sign of an aspect of the world, he sees in the word the image of one of these aspects. And the verbal image he chooses for its resemblance to the willow tree or the ash tree is not necessarily the word which we use to designate these objects. As he is already on the outside, he considers words as a trap to catch a fleeing reality rather than as indicators which throw him out of himself into the midst of things. In short, all language is for him the mirror of the world. As a result, important changes take place in the internal economy of the word. Its sonority, its length, its masculine
or feminine endings, its visual aspect, compose for him a face of flesh which represents rather than expresses signification. Inversely, as the signification is realized, the physical aspect of the word is reflected within it, and it, in its turn, functions as an image of the verbal body. Like its sign, too, for it has lost its pre-eminence; since words, like things, are increate, the poet does not decide whether the former exist for the latter or vice-versa.
Taken from ‘What is Literature’, by Jean-Paul Sartre, 1949.
Translated from the French by Bernard Frechtman
via What Is Literature.
Sartre on Literature | Philosophy Now.

Lines of beauty: the art of Sylvia Plath

View of chimney-pots, gables and artist's skylights from Room 26
Tabac Opposite Palais De Justice
Cambridge.A view of Gables and Chimney-Pots
Boat off Rock Harbour, Cape Cod

“Although my mother is known primarily for her semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar and her poetry – particularly her last collection, Ariel, published posthumously in 1965 following her suicide on 11 February 1963 – her passion for art permeated her short life. Her early letters and diary notes and poems were often heavily decorated, and she hoped that her drawings would illustrate the articles and stories that she wrote for publication.”

via Lines of beauty: the art of Sylvia Plath | Books | The Observer.
Sam Leith on Sylvia Plath’s drawings | Books | The Guardian.
Images taken from The Mayor Gallery.

by Bob Cobbing

Nobel Prize in Literature 2011, Tomas Tranströmer

Chema Madoz

E’ di qualche giorno fa la notizia di Tomas Tranströmer, poeta, scrittore, traduttore svedese, vincitore del Premio Nobel per la Letteratura; l’ultima volta che la poesia è stata insignita di un premio tanto prestigioso risale al 1996, grazie alla poetessa polacca Wislawa Szymborska, cui poesia, ‘The Three Oddest Words’, si legge ancora nei manifesti di alcune stazioni metropolitane londinesi, parte di un programma di poesia underground inaugurato lo scorso inverno

When I pronounce the word Future,
the first syllable already belongs to the past.

When I pronounce the word Silence,
I destroy it.

When I pronounce the word Nothing,
I make something no non-being can hold.

Wislawa Szymborska

Non conoscevo ancora Tomas Tranströmer, ma sapere di un nobel alla letteratura assegnato a un poeta fa bene al cuore ed è d’auspicio alla rivalutazione della poesia,  espressione letteraria spesso marginale rispetto alla prosa.
Secondo l’articolo che segue, del The Guardian, Tomas Tranströmer è stato definito un poeta falco, capace di vedere il mondo da un’altezza, in una dimensione mistica, di mezzo la veglia e il sonno, la realtà e l’inconscio. Suona ipnagogico.
He has become known as a “buzzard poet”, a term coined by a fellow-poet Lasse Söderberg to express how he views the world from a height, in a mystic dimension, while bringing every detail of the natural world into sharp focus. His poems are often explorations of the borderland between sleep and waking, between the conscious and unconscious states.
via Nobel prize for literature goes to Tomas Tranströmer | Books | The Guardian.

Under Pressure

The blue sky’s engine-drone is deafening.
We’re living here on a shuddering work-site
where the ocean depths can suddenly open up –
shells and telephones hiss.
You can see beauty only from the side, hastily,
The dense grain on the field, many colours in a yellow stream.
The restless shadows in my head are drawn there.
They want to creep into the grain and turn to gold.
Darkness falls. At midnight I go to bed.
The smaller boat puts out from the larger boat.
You are alone on the water.
Society’s dark hull drifts further and further away.

via Tomas Tranströmer – Poetry – nobelprize.org

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza più scosse.
Ma perciocché giammai di questa fondo
Non tornò vivo alcun, s’i’ odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

Allora andiamo, tu ed io,
Quando la sera si stende contro il cielo
Come un paziente eterizzato disteso su una tavola;
Andiamo, per certe strade semideserte,
Mormoranti ricoveri
Di notti senza riposo in alberghi di passo a poco prezzo
E ristoranti pieni di segatura e gusci d’ostriche;
Strade che si succedono come un tedioso argomento
Con l’insidioso proposito
Di condurti a domande che opprimono…
Oh, non chiedere « Cosa? »
Andiamo a fare la nostra visita.

Nella stanza le donne vanno e vengono
Parlando di Michelangelo.

La nebbia gialla che strofina la schiena contro i vetri,
Il fumo giallo che strofina il suo muso contro i vetri
Lambì con la sua lingua gli angoli della sera,
Indugiò sulle pozze stagnanti negli scoli,
Lasciò che gli cadesse sulla schiena la fuliggine che cade dai camini,
Scivolò sul terrazzo, spiccò un balzo improvviso,
E vedendo che era una soffice sera d’ottobre
S’arricciolò attorno alla casa, e si assopì.

E di sicuro ci sarà tempo
Per il fumo giallo che scivola lungo la strada
Strofinando la schiena contro i vetri;
Ci sarà tempo, ci sarà tempo
Per prepararti una faccia per incontrare le facce che incontri;
Ci sarà tempo per uccidere e creare,
E tempo per tutte le opere e i giorni delle mani
Che sollevano e lasciano cadere una domanda sul tuo piatto;
Tempo per te e tempo per me,
E tempo anche per cento indecisioni,
E per cento visioni e revisioni,
Prima di prendere un tè col pane abbrustolito

Nella stanza le donne vanno e vengono
Parlando di Michelangelo.

E di sicuro ci sarà tempo
Di chiedere, « Posso osare? » e, « Posso osare? »
Tempo di volgere il capo e scendere la scala,
Con una zona calva in mezzo ai miei capelli –
(Diranno: « Come diventano radi i suoi capelli! »)
Con il mio abito per la mattina, con il colletto solido che arriva fino al mento,
Con la cravatta ricca e modesta, ma asseríta da un semplice spillo –
(Diranno: « Come gli son diventate sottili le gambe e le braccia! »)
Oserò
Turbare l’universo?
In un attimo solo c’è tempo
Per decisioni e revisioni che un attimo solo invertirà

Perché già tutte le ho conosciute, conosciute tutte: –
Ho conosciuto le sere, le mattine, i pomeriggi,
Ho misurato la mia vita con cucchiaini da caffè;
Conosco le voci che muoiono con un morente declino
Sotto la musica giunta da una stanza più lontana.
Così, come potrei rischiare?
E ho conosciuto tutti gli occhi, conosciuti tutti –
Gli occhi che ti fissano in una frase formulata,
E quando sono formulato, appuntato a uno spillo,
Quando sono trafitto da uno spillo e mi dibatto sul muro
Come potrei allora cominciare
A sputar fuori tutti i mozziconi dei miei giorni e delle mie abitudini? .
Come potrei rischiare?
E ho già conosciuto le braccia, conosciute tutte –
Le braccia ingioiellate e bianche e nude
(Ma alla luce di una lampada avvilite da una leggera peluria bruna!)
E’ il profumo che viene da un vestito
Che mi fa divagare a questo modo?
Braccia appoggiate a un tavolo, o avvolte in uno scialle.
Potrei rischiare, allora?-
Come potrei cominciare?

. . . . . . . . . . . .

Direi, ho camminato al crepuscolo per strade strette
Ed ho osservato il fumo che sale dalle pipe
D’uomini solitari in maniche di camicia affacciati alle finestre?…

Avrei potuto essere un paio di ruvidi artigli
Che corrono sul fondo di mari silenziosi

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

E il pomeriggio, la sera, dorme così tranquillamente!
Lisciata da lunghe dita,
Addormentata… stanca… o gioca a fare la malata,
Sdraiata sul pavimento, qui fra te e me.
Potrei, dopo il tè e le paste e, i gelati,
Aver la forza di forzare il momento alla sua crisi?
Ma sebbene abbia pianto e digiunato, pianto e pregato,
Sebbene abbia visto il mio capo (che comincia un po’ a perdere i capelli)
Portato su un vassoio,
lo non sono un profeta – e non ha molta importanza;
Ho visto vacillare il momento della mia grandezza,
E ho visto l’eterno Lacchè reggere il mio soprabito ghignando,
E a farla breve, ne ho avuto paura.

E ne sarebbe valsa la pena, dopo tutto,
Dopo le tazze, la marmellata e il tè,
E fra la porcellana e qualche chiacchiera
Fra te e me, ne sarebbe valsa la pena
D’affrontare il problema sorridendo,
Di comprimere tutto l’universo in una palla
E di farlo rotolare verso una domanda che opprime,
Di dire: « lo sono Lazzaro, vengo dal regno dei morti,
Torno per dirvi tutto, vi dirò tutto » –
Se una, mettendole un cuscino accanto al capo,
Dicesse: « Non è per niente questo che volevo dire.
Non è questo, per niente. »
E ne sarebbe valsa la pena, dopo tutto,
Ne sarebbe valsa la pena,
Dopo i tramonti e i cortili e le strade spruzzate di pioggia,
Dopo i romanzi, dopo le tazze da tè, dopo le gonne strascicate sul pavimento
E questo, e tante altre cose? –
E’ impossibile dire ciò che intendo!
Ma come se una lanterna magica proiettasse il disegno dei nervi su uno schermo:
Ne sarebbe valsa la pena
Se una, accomodandosi un cuscino o togliendosi uno scialle,
E volgendosi verso la finestra, dicesse:
« Non è per niente questo,
Non è per niente questo che volevo dire. »

. . . . . . . . . . .

No! lo non sono il Principe Amleto, né ero destinato ad esserlo;
Io sono un cortigiano, sono uno
Utile forse a ingrossare un corteo, a dar l’avvio a una scena o due,
Ad avvisare il principe; uno strumento facile, di certo,
Deferente, felice di mostrarsi utile,
Prudente, cauto, meticoloso;
Pieno di nobili sentenze, ma un po’ ottuso;
Talvolta, in verità, quasi ridicolo –
E quasi, a volte, il Buffone.

Divento vecchio… divento vecchio…
Porterò i pantaloni arrotolati in fondo.

Dividerò i miei capelli sulla nuca? Avrò il coraggio di mangiare una pesca?
Porterò pantaloni di flanella bianca, e camminerò sulla spiaggia.
Ho udito le sirene cantare l’una all’altra.

Non credo che canteranno per me.

Le ho viste al largo cavalcare l’onde
Pettinare la candida chioma dell’onde risospinte:
Quando il vento rigonfia l’acqua bianca e nera.

Ci siamo troppo attardati nelle camere del mare
Con le figlie del mare incoronate d’alghe rosse e brune
Finché le voci umane ci svegliano, e anneghiamo.

Thomas Stearns “T. S.” Eliot (1915)

Vertigo

Secrets Des Templiers by Andy Starflinger

sapete è come entro una spirale di curve strette a vena e voi nel cuore delle onde,lanciati di testa in lungo e profondo,a tratti terrorizzati dalla violenza delle cadute,a tratti eccitati alla vertigine dei picchi, sorprendentemente vivi di paura e illogica euforia

“Mind led body
to the edge of the precipice
they stared in desire
at the naked abyss.
If you love me, said mind,
take that step into silence.
If you love me, said body,
turn and exist.”
by Anne Stevenson
Secrets Des Templiers, photography by Andy Starflinger.

Meta Poetry

La scrittura,che si tratti di prosa,che si tratti di poesia,rispetto alla fotografia,la pittura,il cinema,la musica,rappresenta-forse-il parto creativo più travagliato; laddove in bisogno di comunicare,la scrittura prevede ci sia un ascoltatore,di rimando,nelle possibilità di interagire allo sforzo di comunicazione dello scrittore-leggendo. Leggere implica un atto di dedizione,uno sforzo d’attenzione e considerazione delle parole.Senza un ascoltatore,all’occorrenza uno spettatore,la scrittura è tela bianca tra una cornice di inchiostro nero,o appena una progressione sistematica di parole senza alcuna implicazione di valore a sostegno delle idee,espresse attraverso la geometria delle lettere,argomentate dalla consistenza dei suoni,sfumate di ritmo dalla punteggiatura-in perpetua sospensione. Nulla più.
Detto questo,credo-credo-essere appena riuscita a rendere un esempio di MetaNarrazione(La cosa più curiosa è forse l’esserci arrivata in maniera intuitiva,definendola meta narrativa); lo spunto è nato da un archivio di meta poesie,a mio avviso meravigliose, lette qualche tempo fa in questo blog (utente sconosciuto,per qualche ragione)
Poems all the way down | Metapoetry
La meta poesia esprime poesia,fa dei versi la sublimazione dei versi (ricamo elaborato di pensieri e suggestioni),delle parole l’essenza delle parole.

within
the poems within this poem know something
a purpose (knowing nothing, breathing darkness)
which cannot ever be expressed except in secret
a slip of truth (between light and its source)
that means the world, forgotten before it’s noticed
like time (discovered at last, hiding within us)
to dream the last of night lifting off eternal dawn
beginning (as we believe in the final victory)
in the infinite brightness where all things happen
as a symphony (at the foundation of each now)

point
this is a dance of letters down the line
the music is in the sound within your mind
ultimately to go into space, if unskilled
but if the words can tap themselves in tune
to stop on a dime, a very certain point

birthday
my birthday is whenever you read this
thus is the meaning come to life, each time
for i am not defined until contact is made
as nothing exists without there is change
and meaning that which causes anything
and in quality, all that effects the world
the dream to enter in your eyes, and open

-taken from MetaPoetry,Poems all the way down

Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s Girl Beatnik

Ida Kar (Russia,Tambov 1908-UK,London 1974)

This girl comes from New York
but she does not belong.
Along the neon lights, this girl
runs away from herself.
To this girl the world seems odious-
a moralist who’s been howled down.
It holds no more truths for her.
Now the ‘twist’ alone is true.
With hair mussed and wild,
in spectacles and a coarse sweater,
on spiked heels she dances
the thinnest of negations.
Everything strikes her as false,
everything-from the Bible to the press.
The Montagues exist, and the Capulets,
but there are no Romeos and Juliets.
The trees stoop broodingly,
and rather drunkenly the moon
staggers like a beatnik sulking
along the milky avenue.
Wanders, as if from bar to bar,
wrapped in thought, unsocial,
and the city spreads underneath
in all its hard-hearted beauty.
All things look hard-the roofs and walls,
and it’s no accident that, over the city,
the television antennae rise
like crucifixions without Christ.
Yevgeny Yevtushenko(July 18,1933)Soviet and Russian poet
National Portrait Gallery (London)- Person – Ida Kar.

The Wall Of Love

Izis Bidermanas

Was it you or your loneliness
In the blind dark we opened bleary eyes
Last night’s curses on our lips
We would frequent art-lesbian-lovers,
Galleries and public places
My daily care was to remove you into the midst of men
An ammoniac flower in your button hole
My loneliness my incontinent countess
The lower we sink the better

We loitered in the pubs at Kumkapğ
With beanstew, beer and wine before us
And police battalions behind us; in the mornings
My Guardian Saints would find my carcass in the gutters
Hot as the garbage-collecfors’ hands,
With their hands I caressed you.
My loneliness my bristle-haired beauty,
The higher we stink the better

I looked in the sky a red flash a plane
Steel and stars and human beings galore
One night we leapt the Wall of love
Where I fell was so clear so open
You and the universe at my side.
Uncountable my deaths, their resurrections.
O loneliness my many songs
The more we can live without lies the better.
Can Yucel.
(Translated by Ruth Christie)

Gypsy

I asked a gypsy pal
To imitate an old image
And speak old wisdom.
She drew in her chin,
Made her neck and head
The top piece of a Nile obelisk
and said:
Snatch off the gag from thy mouth,child,
And be free to keep silence.
Tell no man anything for no man listens,
Yet hold thy lips ready to speak.
Carl Sandburg

All my inhibition left me in a flash, When he robbed me of my clothes, But his body became my new dress. Like a bee hovering on a lotus leaf He was there in my night, on me! True, the god of love never hesitates! He is free and determined like a bird Winging toward the clouds it loves. Yet I remember the mad tricks he played, My heart restlessly burning with desire Was yet filled with fear!

Vidyapati (1340?-1430)

Love’s Banks

Taking distance and leave is the horny metaphysics Of men who keep their love hot and moist In a far-off spot, and so cook their days. Leaving, slamming doors, is the pure zealotry Of women who have swallowed their lovers And make their swelling bodies into sheer religion. I know those two, they are alone, but for each other. They have time, the same one, but on grounds that differ Like that banks of that one widespread stream. In that water they lie abysmally reflected Viewing the passing, passing the view. And not a soul who knows what has got into them both.
Leonard Nolens

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