⇒ ...but I don't want to be a cynical asshole ⇒ ...but I don't want to be a naive idiot ⇒
Life - the way it really is - is a battle not between Bad and Good but between Bad and Worse. - Joseph Brodsky
Reading: Words from Confinement by Cesare Pavese
Cesare Pavese (1908-1950) is another soul that belongs in our cosy anthology.
Reading: The drowned woman by Ted Hughes
Ted Hughes (1930-1998). British giant of poetry. Married twice with ladies who committed suicide, then a third time to live a quiet rural life until his death from cancer. Very prolific. Today I want to read this poem about a drowned woman, published 1957, six years before Plath's suicide at age thirty, which charges it ...
Reading: To the barbarian by Elke Lasker-Schüler
Else Lasker-Schüler (1869-1945) lived a bohemian life and is famous for her love poetry. So let's read a love poem by her hand today. I found some nice English translations by
Reading: The Vacation by Wendell Berry
Today I read a poem whose author is still alive, and I'm a fan. Wendell Berry (b. 1934) is a very versatile and prolific author of essays, novels, poetry - as well as a small farmer in his birthplace in Kentucky. Here is a fresh and simple poem about a man on vacation: The Vacation ...
Phallacy (m) - A fallacy caused by phallogocentric contemplation, or, in colloquial terms, thinking with one's dick
Reading: The Panther by Rilke
Rilke (1876-1925), of course. His Duino Elegies have been called the 'waste land' of German poetry. Of the poem the Panther that he wrote in 1902 inspired by a panther behind bars in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, there exists several translations. I like this one by Stephen Mitchell best: The Panther His vision, from ...
Reading: A list of some observation by Joseph Brodsky
Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996), Russian-American genius and lover of poetry, should be part of our anthology. Sentenced to hard labor in northern Russia in 1964 and exiled to the US in 1972, he had suffered from what mother Russia had become in the twentieth century. He wrote this seemingly simple list of Polar Explorer). Brodsky has ...
Reading: A Dream by Boris Pasternak
Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) was a hero of Russian literature, and not just for the famous Doctor Zhivago. He translated Goethe, Schiller and Shakespear and published influential books of poetry, including his breakthrough 'My sister, Life'. The English Wikipedia page on Pasternak is has lots of original poem, first written in 1913: СОН Мне снилась осень ...
Reading: Beautiful Youth by Gottfried Benn
German poet Gottfried Benn (1886-1956) supported Hitler when he came to power, but changed his mind after the 'night of the long knives'. Still, he was naive enough to join the Wehrmacht, where some officers respected his disaproval of the regime. I don't care too much about the details, but it wasn't pretty. The nazis, ...
Reading: Autopsychography by Fernando Pessoa
I, or at least several of my heteronyms, am a 'fan' of Pessoa (1888 - 1935) and noticed some similarities to Nietzsche (their fathers died when they were five and they both developed cherished alter egos). I read a famous poem that I have encountered before, while living in Lisbon. Autopsychography is a concise description ...
Marina, mine are not in a bookstore. I keep them in a place where not even the moths can find them where silent nods adorn their every line, Maybe they know that their time will never come. Maybe they wait anyhow, and some will ripen in the dark like wine.
do trees hear music when wind moves along their crown and leaves a trembling
...the aeons that it takes our minds to realize that our thinking is just matter lighting itself but there is no one looking.
Reading: Souvenir of the ancient world by Carlos Drummond de Andrade
Today I read a well-known poem by the famous Brazilian poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade (1902-1987). The original is called
Reading: Do not go gentle… by Dylan Thomas
Today a poem that people like myself can't hear anymore, so often has it been repeated and analysed. Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) wrote this for his ailing father. I found a formal analysis online, that is devoid of passion and reminded me why I am doing this. Poetry gets so boring if you must interfere with ...
Reading: The silence of love by Han Yong-Un
Korean poet Han Yong-Un (pen name Manhae; 1879-1944) was a Buddhist monk who resisted against the Japanese occupation of Korea. He wrote about nationalism and love. I choose love, of course, and this famous 'national' poem. There is a creative English translation by allpoetry: The silence of love Love is gone, gone is my love. ...
Reading: The pleasures of the door by Francis Ponge
Francis Ponge (1899-1988) was known as the poet of things. For a future anthology, that drifts further and further away in my imagination the more poetry I am exposed to, I read a thing about doors in an English translation by Raymond Federman: The Pleasures of the Door Kings do not touch doors. They do ...
Reading: Eating Poetry by Mark Strand
This poem by prominent American poet Mark Strand (1934-2014) was just delicious in its simplicity. I quote from the website of
Reading: Burning of books by Bertolt Brecht
Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956)! When I was living in Berlin I intuitively liked the other of the Dreigroschenoper and Mutter Courage, even though I never sat through a live performance of his great plays for lack of money. He would understand. In his poetry, Brecht was a master of political verse, if I may lecture you ...
sparrows on the horizon like musical notes on a bar in front of them, on the G I plant the violin key that old shading tree the world listens not to the songbirds she listens to me.
Reading: Past One O’Clock by Vladimir Mayakovsky
Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930) was one of the important futurist Sovjet poets. He was a versatile writer, with work ranging from stage plays, poetry, travel books, propaganda... He committed suicide in 1930. I heard his name, but when I saw his photograph I wanted to read his poetry, too. This short poem was written in 1930 ...