Blog Entries tagged 'icon'
After we flew across the country we
got in bed, laid our bodies
delicately together, like maps laid
face to face, East to West, my
San Francisco against your New York, your
Fire Island against my Sonoma, my
New Orleans deep in your Texas, your Idaho
bright on my Great Lakes, my Kansas
burning against your Kansas your Kansas
burning against my Kansas, your Eastern
Standard Time pressing into my
Pacific Time, my Mountain Time
beating against your Central Time, your
sun rising swiftly from the right my
sun rising swiftly from the left your
moon rising slowly from the left my
moon rising slowly from the right until
all four bodies of the sky
burn above us, sealing us together,
all our cities twin cities,
all our states united, one
nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
I spent some time today reading Hemingway's gorgeous memoir, A Movable Feast. I breezed through it in college, really appreciating it now.
A particularly lovely paragraph:
You got very hungry when you did not eat enough in Paris because all the bakery shops had such good things in the windows and people ate outside at tables on the sidewalk so that you saw and smelled the food. When you had given up journalism and were writing nothing that anyone in America would buy, explaining at home that you were lunching out with someone, the best place to go was the Luxembourg gardens where you saw and smelled nothing to eat all the way from the Place de l'Observatoire to the rue de Vaugirard. There you could always go into the Luxembourg museum and all the paintings were sharpened and clearer and more beautiful if you were belly-empty, hollow-hungry. I learned to understand Cezanne much better and to see truly how he made landscapes when I was hungry. I used to wonder if he were hungry too when he painted; but I thought possibly it was only that he had forgotten to eat. It was one of those unsound but illuminating thoughts you have when you have been sleepless or hungry. Later I thought Cezanne was probably hungry in a different way.
Be Near Me
Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Translated by Naomi Lazard
Be near me now,
My tormenter, my love, be near me—
At this hour when night comes down,
When, having drunk from the gash of sunset, darkness comes
With the balm of musk in its hands, its diamond lancets,
When it comes with cries of lamentation,
with laughter with songs;
Its blue-gray anklets of pain clinking with every step.
At this hour when hearts, deep in their hiding places,
Have begun to hope once more, when they start their vigil
For hands still enfolded in sleeves;
When wine being poured makes the sound
of inconsolable children
who, though you try with all your heart,
cannot be soothed.
When whatever you want to do cannot be done,
When nothing is of any use;
—At this hour when night comes down,
When night comes, dragging its long face,
dressed in mourning,
Be with me,
My tormenter, my love, be near me.
There is a line of Verlaine I will never remember
There is another street I can no longer walk down
There is a face in the mirror I have seen for the very last time
There is a door that is closed until the end of the world.
Among the books of my library (I am seeing them now)
There are some that will never be read.
This summer I will be fifty:
Death consumes me, constantly.
---Jorge Luis Borges
"Art, especially the stage, is an area where it is impossible to walk without stumbling. There are in store for you many unsuccessful days and whole unsuccessful seasons: there will be great misunderstandings and deep disappointments…you must be prepared for all this, expect it and nevertheless, stubbornly, fanatically follow your own way.
"Years later, when Pushkin became famous, one teacher grumbled: “What’s all this fuss about Pushkin? He was a scamp—nothing more!” Engelgardt, the Lycée headmaster, took an even stronger dislike to his most famous pupil. His school report in 1816:
"Pushkin’s higher and only goal is to shine—in poetry, to be precise, though it is doubtful indeed he will ever succeed, because he shuns any serious scholarship, and his mind, utterly lacking in perspicacity or depth, is a completely superficial, frivolous French mind. And that is in fact the best thing that can be said about Pushkin. His heart is cold and empty: there is neither love nor religion in it. It is perhaps as empty as ever any youth’s heart has ever been."
"Anyone who’s ever dabbled in Zen Buddhism knows that “emptiness” can sometimes be an achievement of the highest order. Perhaps the very “emptiness” --or openness-- of Pushkin’s heart made it a perfect vessel for sublime expressions of love. His “emptiness” was a treasure not to be cluttered with skills for “the service of the state”. Already in the Lycee he had decided:
Farewell to ye, cold sciences!
I’m now from youthful games estranged!
I am a poet now; I’ve changed.
Within my soul both sounds and silence
Pour into one another, live,
In measures sweet both take and give.
...and wondering with @JenDeaderick if, after her horrid birth experience, Betty Draper will read the Feminine Mystique, put her head in the oven or both. Which inspired the lovely JD to send me to one of Plath's many extraordinary poems:
by Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath, “Morning Song” from Collected Poems.
Copyright © 1960, 1965, 1971, 1981 by the Estate of Sylvia Plath.
Just home from the perfomance tonight. Two of the strongest, most honest works I've seen in some time. I wept.