Reading: The Meaning of Simplicity by Yannis Ritsos
Let's do another Ritsos (1909-1990) poem today. I've read 'Injustice' before but felt like more Ritsos. You are looking at a translation by Edmund Keeley here, quoted (not 'reprinted'!) from an anthology of international poetry: The Meaning of Simplicity I hide behind simple things so you'll find me; if you don't find me, you'll find the ...
Meneer Boeddha heeft een dikke kont
We waren omhoog geklommen op de hemeltrappen met aan weerszijden de twaalf astrologische nutsdieren in fonkelwit gips, en bevonden ons op een keurig betegeld plateau, samen met een huizenhoge witte Boeddha. Mijn dochter van vier was onder de indruk van zijn grote oren en dikke buik, dus ik stelde haar, om haar onderzoekersgeest te stimuleren, ...
Reading: Under the poplars by Cesar Vallejo
The Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo (1892-1938) was a very innovative poet who write lines praised for their authenticity. Edith Grossman says, he “created a wrenching poetic language for Spanish that radically altered the shape of its imagery and the nature of its rhythms […] He saw the world in piercing flashes of outrage and anguish, terror and pity
Reading: A Life by Edith Södergran
Edith Södergran (1892-1923) published 5 collections of poetry. She was one of the first modernists of Swedish-language literature. Browsing her poetry, I liked this one, called 'A life'. I read an English translation by Averill Curdy that goes as follows: A life That the stars are adamant everyone understands— but I won’t give up seeking joy ...
Reading: The second Madrigal by Anna Swir
Today my eye fell on Polish poet Anna Swir (Świrszczyńska) (1909-1984). I read the translation by Czeslaw Milosz: The Second Madrigal A night of love exquisite as a concert from old Venice played on exquisite instruments. Healthy as a buttock of a little angel. Wise as an anthill. Garish as air blown into a trumpet. Abundant ...
Great was that chase with the hounds for the unattainable meaning of the world. And now I am ready to keep running When the sun rises beyond the borderlands of death. - Czesław Miłosz
Reading: Via Velasca by Leonardo Sinisgalli
Leonardo Sinisgalli (1908-1981) studied engineering and mathematics before he became a poet, and they appear to call him the "engineer poet". Here is a
The Gods are Back
The gods are back, companions. Right now they have just entered this life; but the words that revoke them, whispered underneath the words that reveal them, have also appeared that we might suffer together. - René Char
Dan komen de miertjes!
Hoe en wanneer moet je je kind voorlichten over de tijdelijkheid van ons bestaan? Zolang je voor het ouderschap nog geen diploma nodig hebt en er geen verplichte handboeken zijn moet iedere ouder dat voor zichzelf uitmaken. Nog staat er geen straf op wanneer we ons kroost te vroeg bekend maken met de verschijnselen van ...
For though I'm small, I know many things, and my body is an endless eye through which, unfortunately, I see everything. - Gloria Fuentes
Reading: I hear that the axe has flowered by Paul Celan
Today, let's dive into a mysterious poem by the great Paul Celan, in a translation by Michael Hamburger. I hear that the axe has flowered I hear that the axe has flowered, I hear that the place can't be named, I hear that the bread which looks at him heals the hanged man, the bread ...
Reading: Female author by Sylvia Plath
An anthology has to have some
Poetry is always celebration or its opposite. Making blackness the word for everything: A symbol, a sound, To fill us and to fill the tombs in our midst.
Reading: St. Sava’s Journey by Vasko Popa
The following poem by Serbian poet Vasko Popa (1922-1991) in the translation of Anne Paddington, did impress me. St. Sava's Journey He journeys over the dark land With his staff he cuts The dark beyond him into four He flings thick gloves Changed into immense cats At the grey army of mice Amid the storm ...
Reading: Meeting by Marina Tsvetsaeva
Marina Tsvetsaeva (1892-1941) I read Meeting in an English translation by
Reading: Verwandlung by Georg Trakl
Today I read a poem by my famous German expressionist, Georg Trakl (1887-1914). I couldn't find a translation of die Verwandlung online, so I created one myself. There is a website where you can contribute poetry translations, and I
In my mind I have created a garden populated with insects who don't bite and birds who don't shit on my paper when I write there is a lily pond, with frogs who know Bach However, they keep quiet. This is my refuge where nothing pierces through the surface every ripple is merely the smile ...
Person of color
A person of color walks into a bar he gets seated on a prominent stool and whispers "triple scotch please" the bartender, who since the unfortunate event two weeks ago, is a person of color too, says right away sir and pours his drink and Nina sings Nina Simone was a person of color, too. ...
Met de fiscus heb ik een relatie die door avontuurlijke theologen interessant genoemd zou kunnen worden. Ziet u: ik betaal graag belasting. Duizend euro meer op een jaar is voor mij geen enkel probleem, mits de mij toegezonden documentatie een bijsluiter bevat in normale grotemensentaal die uitlegt "waar ik aan toe ben." De communicatie met ...