Saturday, November 08, 2008

An in-dwelling

A small poem that owes much to Cummings. Written twelve years ago.

Sonnet LXIX

by Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)

Tal vez no ser es ser sin que tú seas,
sin que vayas cortando el mediodía
como una flor azul, sin que camines
más tarde por la niebla y los ladrillos,

sin esa luz que llevas en la mano
que tal vez otros no verán dorada,
que tal vez nadie supo que crecía
como el origen rojo de la rosa,

sin que seas, en fin, sin que vinieras
brusca, incitante, a conocer mi vida,
ráfaga de rosal, trigo del viento,

y desde entonces soy porque tú eres,
y desde entonces eres, soy y somos,
y por amor seré, serás, seremos.


*

Maybe nothingness is to be without your presence,
without you moving, slicing the noon
like a blue flower, without you walking
later through the fog and the cobbles,

without the light you carry in your hand,
golden, which maybe others will not see,
which maybe no one knew was growing
like the red beginnings of a rose.

In short, without your presence: without your coming
suddenly, incitingly, to know my life,
gust of a rosebush, wheat of wind:

since then I am because you are,
since then you are, I am, we are,
and through love I will be, you will be, we'll be.

(trans. Stephen Tapscott)

Cummings

if(touched by love's own secret)we,like homing
through welcoming sweet miracles of air
(and joyfully all truths of wing resuming)
selves,into infinite tomorrow steer

--souls under whom flow(mountain valley forest)
a million wheres which never may become
one(wholly strange;familiar wholly)dearest
more than reality of more than dream--

how should contented fools of fact envision
the mystery of freedom?yet,among
their loud exactitudes of imprecision,
you'll(silently alighting)and i'll sing

while at us very deafly a most stares
colossal hoax of clocks and calendars

Quotation of note

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

President-elect Barack Obama, November 4, 2008

---------------

Yes, but can we resist the temptation to describe our political opponents as petty, poisonous and immature?

Just wondering.

November 8, 2008

Optional memorial of Blessed John Duns Scotus.

Friday, November 07, 2008

To hell with terza rima!

The Guardian blog (UK) has a poetry challenge which is, to coin a plagiarism, above my pay grade.

(Hat tip: Poetry Foundation.)

Tracy Chapman

Her newest album, Our Bright Future, to be released Tuesday. Huzzah!

Encumbrances

Shortly after the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, the illustrious conservative writer William F. Buckley, Jr. was asked if he was in a despairing mood. Buckley noted that despair is a mortal sin, but went on to add, "I am not confident that the president-elect will be able to transcend his encumbrances."

Yes, that's about the size of it -- although "encumbrance" is perhaps a too polite word for "advocacy of a policy that promotes intrinsic evil."

November 7, 2008

Friday, and a meditation on the Souls in Purgatory.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The never-ending saga of the cough

OK, so it's day 17, and I still have the cough, a little, a dry tickle in the throat, but no violent chest pain or head pain, and the ears don't seem all blocked up anymore. Saw my doctor today and he prescribed something called Tessalon Pearls (perles?) for the cough, but didn't offer any clue as to how I got this thing. He also recommended sleeping near a humidifier or a vaporizer.

The long and the short of it is: I'm 90-95% better. Thanks to all of you who sent kind thoughts heavenward on my behalf.

From the archives

A small poem called your name. Written eleven years ago.

Post-election beverages

MCNS of Irish Elk asked his readers to provide the name of their Election Night potent potable. Alas, I regret to report that I was stone cold sober for the election and its immediate aftermath. But right now, it's Christian Brothers brandy.

On the direction of this blog

Well, I don't know where it's going, to be honest. Much of my blogging energy is currently going into an unpublic three-person collaborative effort. All the good stuff, you might say, is going there. (Well, maybe not good stuff, but the opinions about politics and other ephemera.)

There will probably continue to be poetry hereabouts, but I'm going through a slow patch -- not only in terms of writing poetry (for all intents and purposes, I've stopped) but in terms of finding poetry to post and share with the faithful readers of this page.

I'm currently reading an anthology recommended by a longtime visitor to this spot. Flowers of Heaven: One Thousand Years of Christian Verse (Ignatius Press), edited by Joseph Pearce, who has written fine books on Lewis, Tolkien, Wilde, etc. There seem to be quite a few gems in this volume, even if the 20th century is a bit underrepresented.

I've heard about another anthology called Place of Passage, described in a subtitle as an anthology of "Contemporary Catholic Poetry." Have not investigated that one yet. But it may compensate for the deficit that I perceive in Mr Pearce's otherwise excellent compilation.

So. Be on the lookout for some poetry -- eventually! I don't know when. And maybe I'll see if I can cause some of my political posts at the other blog to "bilocate" -- there and here. But you have my sincerest apologies if the pace here has gotten a little too slow.

November 6, 2008

Thursday brings a meditation on praying for the dead.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

November 5, 2008

Wednesday of the 31st Week in Ordinary Time. And at catholicculture.org, a meditation on death.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008