Closing with a really taut composition -
Roy DeCarava: Sun and Shade, 1952
Paul Celan, one of the most complex of all 20th C. European poets, was born Nov. 23, 1920 (d. 1970, suicide)…
Above: All Souls (Poetry, Sept. 1971 - transl. Michael Hamburger)
One of the great essayists of our time, the erudite Guy Davenport, who during the last 40 years of his life spent most of his time in rural Kentucky: Nov. 23, 1927 - 2005…
Davenport has also created some of the most relevant translations from classical Greek, esp. of Heraclitus and Sappho. In addition to his work with non-fiction and translation he wrote poetry, short stories and created visual art (often illustrating his own books).
Above: A small excerpt from The Resurrection in Cookham Churchyard, Poetry, 1963
This poem details the manner of resurrection of a large number of notable personages, including the following:
Christina Rosetti: English Pre-Raphaelite poet
Ludwig Wittgenstein: Austrian philosopher playing language games
Søren Kierkegaard: Danish existentialist philosopher
Raphael Pumpelly: American geologist and explorer
Hugh Miller: Scottish geologist and folklorist
Johannes Brahms: German composer
Octave Maus: Belgian art critic and writer
Roger Casement: Irish nationalist and humanitarian, executed for treason by the Brits
Eugène Ionesco, French-Romanian absurdist playwright: Nov. 26, 1909 - 1994…
“Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together.” — E.I.
Photo : Franziska Rast, Erker Galerie, Saint Gall, 1980s - at an exhibition of Ionesco’s own art…
In search of the philosopher's stone, we are melting like copper; you whose philosopher's stone is cushion and pillow, sleep on. I have abandoned hope for my brain and head; you who wish for a clear head and fresh brain, sleep on. I have torn speech like a tattered robe and let words go; you who are still dressed in your clothes, sleep on. (Rumi)
Translated by Jack Marshall Arabian Nights Coffeehouse Press, October 1986
Much like J.D. Salinger, Aldous Huxley was an adherent of Vedantic faith. In fact, together with Gerald Heard, Christopher Isherwood, and other followers he was initiated by the Swami Prabhavananda and was taught meditation and spiritual practices…
“All that happens means something; nothing you do is ever insignificant.” ― Aldous Huxley, Crome Yellow
Photo: Bassano, September 1931 - vintage print (NPG, London)
Aimé Césaire: Prophecy - from The Collected Poetry, transl. by Clayton Eshleman and Anette Smith
After a while
After a while you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
and you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises,
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes open
with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
and you learn to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure.
That you really are strong.
And you really do have worth.
And you learn. And learn.
With every good-bye you learn.
–– attr. to Jorge Luis Borges