Earth Love

January 13, 2016

greatflood

We severed continents and divided countries:
Seeing the state we’re in, poplars were aghast.
Although the earth unfurled its golden feast
Where our hands were joined by bread and salt:
Brother, we failed to understand.
Nights made us all the same until dawn
As they drifted over our beds.
There we were, more foolish than frogs.
While leaves on the pond told the unity of time,
You lived apart and I lived apart.
What evil magic strangles our fate:
For ages our thoughts remain fast asleep?
What mystery is this, white and not white?
We love one another’s trinkets and beads,
And not one another’s land.

Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlarca

translated by Talât Sait Halman from Defense Against the Night

January First

January 13, 2016

keylock

The year’s doors open
like those of language,
toward the unknown.
Last night you told me: tomorrow
we shall have to think up signs,
sketch a landscape, fabricate a plan
on the double page
of day and paper.
Tomorrow, we shall have to invent,
once more,
the reality of this world.
I opened my eyes late.
For a second of a second
I felt what the Aztec felt,
on the crest of the promontory,
lying in wait
for the time’s uncertain return
through cracks in the horizon.
But no, the year had returned.
It filled all the room
and my look almost touched it.
Time, with no help from us,
had placed
in exactly the same order as yesterday
houses in the empty street,
snow on the houses,
silence on the snow.
You were beside me,
still asleep.
The day had invented you
but you hadn’t yet accepted
being invented by the day.
––Nor possibly by being invented, either.
You were in another day.
You were beside me
and I saw you, like the snow,
asleep among appearances.
Time, with no help from us,
invents houses, streets, trees
and sleeping women.
When you open your eyes
we’ll walk, once more,
among the hours and their inventions.
We’ll walk among appearances
and bear witness to time and its conjugations.
Perhaps we’ll open the day’s doors.
And then we shall enter the unknown.

Octavio Paz

(translated from the Spanish by Elizabeth Bishop)

its spirit grows

January 13, 2016

booksinarow

Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón
The Shadow of the Wind

like a sky darkening

January 13, 2016

snake-Cristina Otero

Like a wind, like a storm, like a fire, like an earthquake, like a mud slide, like a deluge, like a tree falling, a torrent roaring, an ice floe breaking, like a tidal wave, like a shipwreak, like an explosion, like a lid blown off, like a consuming fire, like spreading blight, like a sky darkening, a bridge collapsing, a hole opening. Like a volcano erupting.

Surely more than just the actions of people: choosing, yielding, braving, lying, understanding, being right, being deceived, being consistent, being visionary, being reckless, being cruel, being mistaken, being original, being afraid…

Susan Sontag
The Volcano Lover

strip the soul naked

January 13, 2016

liberty_of_soul_by_veinsofmercury-d646fqk

What really counts is to strip the soul naked. Painting or poetry is made as we make love; a total embrace, prudence thrown to the wind, nothing held back. . . .

Joan Miro, from an interview with Georges Duthuit, 1936

The Cry of the Earth

January 13, 2016