memory's sacred domain

moments mundane and magical

Archive for April 2011

last hurrah for T.S. Eliot’s cruelest month

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“Poems grow”
by Maria Tsvetayeva

Poems grow in the same way as stars and roses,
Or beauty of no use to a family.
O all the wreaths and apotheoses
One answer: —from where has this come to me?

We sleep, and suddenly, moving through flagstones,
The celestial, four-petalled guest appears.
O world, grasp this! By the singer—in sleep—
are opened
The stars’ law, and the formula of the flowers.


notes about the poet from Knopf:

“I love my native land with such perverse affection!” cries Mikhail Lermontov in an enthusiastic entry to the Pocket Poets volume Russian Poets—a category that can’t help but win our own affection, with its characteristically intense, searingly truthful verse from poets born mostly in the 19th century (Blok, Akhmatova, Tolstoy, Mandelstam, Pushkin, to name a few), but also including work by Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996) and Andrei Voznesensky, born in 1933. One section, entitled “The Muse,” opens with Pasternak’s definition of poetry—”It is a fully ripe whistle/ It is ice, shard on shard”—and contains a variety of poems on the subject of making verse, such as this one by Marina Tsvetayeva, translated by David McDuff.

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Written by Romel

April 30, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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It’s got the decided ambience of a small European cafe.That’s Margie’s kitchen for you. Thanks to my cousin Joy, who showed me around Butuan City during a recent business trip and introduced me to the coffee and pastry delights of the kitchen, located along the city’s J.C. Aquino Avenue.

Written by Romel

April 27, 2011 at 1:12 pm

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Except That It Robs You of Who You Are

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For the first day of poetry month, a Hindi poem:

Kabir, translated from the Hindi by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra

Except that it robs you of who you are,
What can you say about speech?
Inconceivable to live without
And impossible to live with,
Speech diminishes you.
Speak with a wise man, there’ll be
Much to learn; speak with a fool,
All you get is prattle.
Strike a half-empty pot, and it’ll make
A loud sound; strike one that is full,
Says Kabir, and hear the silence.

from: the New York Review of Books, April 7, 2011 issue

Written by Romel

April 1, 2011 at 8:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized