Tuesday, May 31, 2011

EARTH ~






VLADIMIR NABOKOV


The Wood-Sprite


I was pensively penning the outline of the inkstand's circular, quivering shadow. In a distant room a clock struck the hour, while I, dreamer that I am, imagined someone was knocking at the door, softly at first, then louder and louder. He knocked twelve times and paused expectantly.

"Yes, I'm here, come in..."

The door knob creaked timidly, the flame of the runny candle tilted, and he hopped sidewise out of a rectangle of shadow, hunched, gray, powdered with the pollen of the frosty, starry night.

I knew his face - oh, how long I had known it!

His right eye was still in the shadows, the left peered at me timorously, elongated, smoky-green. The pupil glowed like a point of rust....That mossy-gray tuft on his temple, the pale-silver, scarcely noticeable eyebrow, the comical wrinkle near his whiskerless mouth - how all this teased and vaguely vexed my memory!

I got up. He stepped forward.

His shabby little coat seemed to be buttoned wrong - on the female side. In his hand he held a cap - no, a dark-colored, poorly tied bundle, and there was no sign of any cap....

Yes, of course I knew him - perhaps had even been fond of him, only I simple could not place the where and the when of our meetings. And we must have met often, otherwise I would not have had such a firm recollection of those cranberry lips, those pointy ears, that amusing Adam's apple....

With a welcoming murmur I shook his light, cold hand, and touche the back of a shabby arm chair. He perched like a crow on a tree stump, and began speaking hurriedly.

"It's so scary in the streets. So I dropped in. Dropped in to visit you. Do you recognize me? You and I, we used to romp together and halloo at each for days at a time. Back in the old country. Don't tell me you've forgotten?"

His voice literally blinded me. I felt dazzled and dizzy - I remembered the happiness, the echoing, endless, irreplaceable happiness....

No, it can't be: I'm alone....it's only some capricious delirium. Yet there really was somebody sitting next to me, bony and implausible, with long-earred German bootees, and his voice tintinnabulated, rustled - golden, luscious-green familiar - while the words were so simple, so human....

"There - you remember. Yes, I am a former Forest Elf, a mischievous sprite. And here I am, forced to flee like everyone else."

He heaved a deep sigh, and once again I had visions of billowing nimbus, lofty leafy undulations, bright flashes of birch bark like splashes of sea foam, against a dulcet, perpetual, hum....He bent toward me and glanced gently into my eyes. "Remember our forest, fir so black, birch all white? They've cut it all down. The grief was unbearable - I saw my dear birches crackling and falling, and how could I help? Into the marshes they drove me, I wept and I howled, I boomed like a bittern, then left lickety-split for a neighboring pinewood.

"There I pined, and could not stop sobbing. I had barely grown used to it, and lo, there was no more pinewood, just blue-tinted cinders. Had to do some more tramping. Found myself a wood - a wonderful wood it was, thick, dark, and cool. Yet somehow it was just not the same thing. In the old days I'd frolic from dawn until dusk, whistle furiously, clap my hands, frighten passersby. You remember yourself - you lost your way once in a dark nook of my woods, you in some little white dress, and I kept tying the paths up in knots, spinning the tree trunks, twinkling through the foliage. Spent the whole night playing tricks. But I was only fooling around, it was all in jest, vilify me as they might. But now I sobered up, for my new abode was not a merry one. Day and night strange things crackled around me. At first I thought a fellow elf was lurking there; I called, then listened. Something crackled, something rumbled....but no, those were not the kinds of sounds we make. Once, toward evening, I skipped out into a glade, and what do I see? People lying around, some on their backs, some on their bellies. Well, I think, I'll wake them up, I'll get them moving! And I went to work shaking boughs, bombarding with cones, rustling, hooting....I toiled away for a whole hour, all to no avail. Then I took a closer look, and I was horror-struck. Here's a man with his head hanging by one flimsy crimson thread, there's one with a heap of thick worms for a stomach....I could not endure it. I let out a howl, jumped in the air, and off I ran....

"Long I wandered through different forests, but I could find no peace. Either it was stillness, desolation, mortal boredom, or such horror it's better not to think about it. At last I made up my mind and changed into a bumpkin, a tramp with a knapsack, and left for good: Rus', adieu! Here a kindred spirit, a Water-Sprite, gave me a hand. Poor fellow as on the run too. He kept marveling, kept saying - what times are upon us, a real calamity! And even if, in olden times, he had had his fun, used to lure people down (a hospitable one, he was!), in recompense, how he petted and pampered them on the gold river bottom, with what songs he bewitched them! These days, he says, only dead men come floating by, floating in batches, enormous numbers of them, and the river's moisture is like blood, thick, warm, sticky, and there's nothing for him to breathe....and so he took me with them.

"He went off to knock about some distance sea, and put me ashore on a foggy coast - go, brother, find yourself some friendly foliage. But I found nothing, and I ended up here in this foreign, terrifying city of stone. Thus I turned into a human, complete with proper starched collars and bootees, and I've even learned human talk...."

He fell silent. His eyes glistened like wet leaves, his arms were crossed, and, by the wavering light of the drowning candle, some pale strands combed to the left shimmered so strangely.

"I know you two are pining," his voiced shimmered again, "but you're pining, compared to mine, my tempestuous, turbulent pining, is but the even breathing of one who is asleep and think about it: not one of our Tribe is there left in the Rus'. Some of us swirled away like wisps of fog. Others scattered over the world. Our native rivers are melancholy, there is no frisky hand to splash up the moon-gleams. Silent are the orphaned bluebells that remain. By chance, unmown, the pale-blue gusli that once served my rival, the ethereal Field-Sprite, for his songs. A shaggy, friendly, household spirit, in tears, has forsaken your besmirched, humiliated home, and the groves that withered, the pathetically luminous, magically somber groves....

"It was we, Rus', who were your inspiration, your unfathomable beauty, your age long enchantment! And we are all gone, gone, driven into exile by a crazed surveyor.

"My friend, soon I shall die, say something to me, tell me that you love me, a homeless phantom, come sit closer, give me your hand...."

The candle sputtered and went out. Cold fingers touched my palm. The familiar melancholy laugh pealed and fell still.

When I turned on the light there was no one in the armchair....no one!....nothing was left but a wondrously subtle scent in the room, of birch, of humid moss....


from The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov (Vintage)
translated by Dimitri Nabokov




A beautiful early tale by the author to be read aloud (as I did this morning on a drive with Sweetheart) and translated by Nabokov's son Dimitri. Written when the author was barely in his twenties — his first story ever published — then signed with his pseudonym "Vladimir Sirin" (sirin is a hawk owl). Nabokov became a published author while a student at Trinity College, Cambridge. He had moved with his family to England in 1919, abandoning Russia forever, and by 1922 they were in Berlin where his father was assassinated.

Monday, May 30, 2011

TWO FERNS ~
PAINT YOUR WAGON ~






Someone's little red wagon (I) repainted after twenty-years
(with a periwinkle touch)






photo © bob arnold



Sunday, May 29, 2011

EARTH ~






Gil Scott-Heron





"I listen to the jazz station.”

April 1, 1949-May 27, 2011


EARTH ~



Early Tuesday, José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva, a forest activist and tree nut harvester, and his wife, Maria do Espirito Santo, drove a motorcycle through Brazil’s northern Para State, in the Amazon rain forest. As they crossed a river bridge, gunmen lying in wait opened fire with a pistol and shotgun, killing them.








terramagazine.terra.com.br






Saturday, May 28, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

WITH ME ~







ANITA O' DAY

Here is Richard Cook cutting to the chase on Anita O' Day from the Penguin Jazz Encyclopedia (2007):

"At fast tempos, she was incomparable. Lighter and more fluent than Ella (Fitzgerald). Less regal but more daring than Sarah Vaughan, she could scat with a dancing ease."

Born in Chicago in 1919, born Anita Belle Colton, she was gone after a stunning and rigorous career stretching from 1934 to 2006.

Two films catch the "Jezebel of Jazz" with essence:: Anita O' Day: The Life of a Music Legend (2008) and Bert Stern's Jazz on a Summer's Day (1958), where the jazz vocalist conceded she was performing at this Newport Jazz Festival date high on heroin.

While the music plays, find her 1981 memoir, High Times, Hard Times. It's written with the same hard swing and Be Bop verve of the vocalist.

















Thursday, May 26, 2011

LIBRARIES ~


A Country Without Libraries

Charles Simic

Hartland Four Corners, Vermont, 1994. Robert Dawson’s photos of libraries are currently on view in the exhibition Public Library: An American Commons at the San Francisco Public Library.

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.
—Groucho Marx

All across the United States, large and small cities are closing public libraries or curtailing their hours of operations. Detroit, I read a few days ago, may close all of its branches and Denver half of its own: decisions that will undoubtedly put hundreds of its employees out of work. When you count the families all over this country who don’t have computers or can’t afford Internet connections and rely on the ones in libraries to look for jobs, the consequences will be even more dire. People everywhere are unhappy about these closings, and so are mayors making the hard decisions. But with roads and streets left in disrepair, teachers, policemen and firemen being laid off, and politicians in both parties pledging never to raise taxes, no matter what happens to our quality of life, the outlook is bleak. “The greatest nation on earth,” as we still call ourselves, no longer has the political will to arrest its visible and precipitous decline and save the institutions on which the workings of our democracy depend.

I don’t know of anything more disheartening than the sight of a shut down library. No matter how modest its building or its holdings, in many parts of this country a municipal library is often the only place where books in large number on every imaginable subject can be found, where both grownups and children are welcome to sit and read in peace, free of whatever distractions and aggravations await them outside. Like many other Americans of my generation, I owe much of my knowledge to thousands of books I withdrew from public libraries over a lifetime. I remember the sense of awe I felt as a teenager when I realized I could roam among the shelves, take down any book I wanted, examine it at my leisure at one of the library tables, and if it struck my fancy, bring it home. Not just some thriller or serious novel, but also big art books and recordings of everything from jazz to operas and symphonies.

In Oak Park, Illinois, when I was in high school, I went to the library two or three times a week, though in my classes I was a middling student. Even in wintertime, I’d walk the dozen blocks to the library, often in rain or snow, carrying a load of books and records to return, trembling with excitement and anticipation at all the tantalizing books that awaited me there. The kindness of the librarians, who, of course, all knew me well, was also an inducement. They were happy to see me read so many books, though I’m sure they must have wondered in private about my vast and mystifying range of interests.

I’d check out at the same time, for instance, a learned book about North American insects and bugs, a Louis-Ferdinand Céline novel, the poems of Hart Crane, an anthology of American short stories, a book about astronomy and recordings by Bix Beiderbecke and Sidney Bechet. I still can’t get over the generosity of the taxpayers of Oak Park. It’s not that I started out life being interested in everything; it was spending time in my local, extraordinarily well-stacked public library that made me so.

This was just the start. Over the years I thoroughly explored many libraries, big and small, discovering numerous writers and individual books I never knew existed, a number of them completely unknown, forgotten, and still very much worth reading. No class I attended at the university could ever match that. Even libraries in overseas army bases and in small, impoverished factory towns in New England had their treasures, like long-out of print works of avant-garde literature and hard-boiled detective stories of near-genius.

Wherever I found a library, I immediately felt at home. Empty or full, it pleased me just as much. A boy and a girl doing their homework and flirting; an old woman in obvious need of a pair of glasses squinting at a dog-eared issue of The New Yorker; a prematurely gray-haired man writing furiously on a yellow pad surrounded by pages of notes and several open books with some kind of graphs in them; and, the oddest among the lot, a balding elderly man in an elegant blue pinstripe suit with a carefully tied red bow tie, holding up and perusing a slim, antique-looking volume with black covers that could have been poetry, a religious tract, or something having to do with the occult. It’s the certainty that such mysteries lie in wait beyond its doors that still draws me to every library I come across.

I heard some politician say recently that closing libraries is no big deal, since the kids now have the Internet to do their reading and school work. It’s not the same thing. As any teacher who recalls the time when students still went to libraries and read books could tell him, study and reflection come more naturally to someone bent over a book. Seeing others, too, absorbed in their reading, holding up or pressing down on different-looking books, some intimidating in their appearance, others inviting, makes one a participant in one of the oldest and most noble human activities. Yes, reading books is a slow, time-consuming, and often tedious process. In comparison, surfing the Internet is a quick, distracting activity in which one searches for a specific subject, finds it, and then reads about it—often by skipping a great deal of material and absorbing only pertinent fragments. Books require patience, sustained attention to what is on the page, and frequent rest periods for reverie, so that the meaning of what we are reading settles in and makes its full impact.

How many book lovers among the young has the Internet produced? Far fewer, I suspect, than the millions libraries have turned out over the last hundred years. Their slow disappearance is a tragedy, not just for those impoverished towns and cities, but for everyone everywhere terrified at the thought of a country without libraries.

May 18, 2011 10:15 a.m.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

DANGER !







RISK FROM SPENT NUCLEAR REACTOR FUEL IS GREATER IN U.S. THAN IN JAPAN, STUDY SAYS




EARTH ~







A CONVERSATION WITH E.L. DOCTOROW











"100 tons of junk"



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

ILLUMINATIONS ~





ARTHUR RIMBAUD


CITY



I am an ephemeral and not at all dissatisfied citizen of a

metropolis thought to be modern because every known

taste has been avoided in the furnishings and exteriors

of its houses as well as in the plan of the city. Here you

would never point to the traces of any monument to

superstition. Morality and language are reduced to their

most basic expression, indeed! These millions of people

who feel no need to know one another experience such

similar kinds of education, occupation and old age, that

their life-spans must be several times shorter than those

which a mad statistic determines for the peoples of the

continent. Just as, from my window, I see new specters

rolling through the thick and eternal fumes of coal fires,

—our shadow of the woods, our summer's night! —

modern-day Furies, in front of my cottage which is my

country and all my heart since everything here resem-

bles this, —Death without tears, our active daughter and

servant, and a despairing Love, and a pretty Crime

whimpering in the mud of the street.





RUTS


On the right, the summer dawn wakens the leaves and

vapors and sounds of this corner of the park, and the

embankments on the left hold within their purple shad-

ows the thousand rapid ruts of the damp road. Parade of

enchantments. Indeed: parade floats covered with gilded

wooden animals, masts and multicolored canvas back-

drops, drawn by twenty dappled circus horses at full gal-

lop, and children and men on the most amazing beasts;

—twenty vehicles, embossed, flag-draped and decked

with flowers like old-fashioned or fairy-tale coaches,

filled with children costumed for a suburban pastoral. —

Even coffins under their canopy of night brandishing

ebony plumes, fleeing to the sound of huge blue and

black mares' hooves.





WAR


In childhood, certain skies focused my seeing: all char-

acters modulated my features. Phenomena were set in

motion. —Now, the eternal inflection of moments and

the infinity of mathematics chase me across this world

where I undergo every civil success, respected by strange

childhood and abnormally large affections. —I dream of

a War of righteousness or force, whose logic will be quite

unexpected.

---It's as simple as a musical phrase.





DAWN


I embraced the summer dawn.

---Nothing was moving yet on the facades of palaces. The

water was still. Encampments of shadows still lingered

along the road through the woods. I walked, walking liv-

ing and warm breaths, and jewels looked on, and wings

arose noiselessly.

---The first undertaking, in the pathway already filled

with fresh, pale sparkles, was a flower which told me its

name.

---I laughed at the blond wasserfall disheveling itself

through the pines: at its silver summit, I recognized the

goddess.

---Then I lifted the veils one by one. In the pathway, ges-

ticulating. On the plain, where I denounced her to the

cock. In the great city she fled among the steeples and

domes, and running like a beggar along the marble

quays, I chased her.

---Father up the road, near a laurel grove, I wrapped

her in the veils I had collected, and I felt, a little, her

immense body. Dawn and the child fell to the bottom of

the wood.

---When I awoke it was noon.






from ILLUMINATIONS
ARTHUR RIMBAUD
JOHN ASHBERY (trans.)
Norton 2011


top photo: Étienne Carjat




Rimbaud (1854-1891) was known by one as a "disreputable, mean, ruthless, perverse, hateful wretch. He was also one of the greatest poets who ever lived." Ever restless, he managed to travel three continents before succumbing to cancer at age 37. Supposedly his poetry and creative life was all together done with by age 21. We say it has an eternal flame.





Rimbaud self-portrait near the end of his life

Saturday, May 21, 2011

EARTH ~





You know that song Johnny Cash always sang so well about "I've been everywhere, man..." Well, that's how we feel after myriad miles on the road in less than a week. We got punchy with some great road limericks and sayings we invented as happenings occurred. The cheapest gas we could find was dead center in northern New England in a college town $3.73.9 a gallon. Still highway robbery, and that last digit has become the tell-tale con. There was a fellow in a mom & pop backwater business selling it for a little bit more down the road from there. Door wide open, three huge stray mutts lounging on the plank floor, everybody in the family working the place, barely hanging on, still happy to chat. Make conversation. Bless them, really.

We had our bicycles and bicycled everywhere we could, no matter the hour or the rain or not. 6:30 this morning in Manchester Center, Vermont. We've been surveying old graveyards too since we are designing the tombstone for a close friend. Last evening down in the Berkshires we cleaned up the graves for some of the family; then bicycled the spooky lanes.

Bicycled in the northern White Mountains — way back in searching out two waterfalls. Saw long distance runners training barefoot. Gazed up higher, snow still deep in the ravines. Lots of beer now being brewed by all sorts of folks in a wide radius of the Whites. Drive into any small town and one can point easily to the Haves and the Have-Nots. Houses all trim and kept like nobody's business by the old timers, whether they have money or not. They just do it. Otherwise, the wealthy or well-to-do are doing just fine, and then there are way too many old homes broken and sunken and terribly lost. Ravaged is the better word.

The bicycle can get in and out where any other vehicle, or even on-foot, can't quite maintain the same slip-easy arrival and departure. The only way to do these towns is by the back ways, side streets, alleys, cemeteries, back lots connecting debris, pathways, shortcuts, and hidden passages. Overhear worlds and clatter from the Chinese restaurant rear open door. Two mops out there, a ratty chair where someone takes a cigarette break.

A black and white yard cat attentive for us in fixed sit position as we approach on bicycles...he's heard and is waiting for us long before we spotted him.

A coyote crosses the interstate highway rain in four or five loped gallops. Something very serious about that tail. The expression on the face. Reckless speed at 80 mph by many and nobody came close to the wild animal sleek.

Cornfields under water. Burlington flooded. A stranger notices our out-of-state plates on a rental and even though we're from the same state warns us, "Don't go there."

We did drop in to see an old poet friend, and it's been years. I saw him sitting in his favorite living room easy chair by the window of the farmhouse where I last left him and tapped at the window. He looked up and gave a small hand wave and with great difficulty hobbled to the door. What a trouper some of these old gentlemen are! After the door opened I asked if he knew who I was. He said he didn't know. When I told him his whole body relaxed as he said my name aloud and smiled and opened both his hands to gesture me inside.

You're home.





photo © bob arnold

Friday, May 20, 2011

EARTH ~









WALKING DOWN TO GET WATER



She'll return through the pasture

I'll find her shoulders







Bob Arnold
from The Cold Spring Journal No. 1
edited by Pamela Beach Plymell
Joshua Norton
Charles Plymell
September 1974







chimera : sharon arnold


A summer poem I saw happen one summer and many other summers, same shoulders.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

EARTH ~





Alden Van Buskirk




Muted Terror




I am dreaming.

It is pleasant to dream.

I dream cars churning

corners below this porch.

They are not circus wagons

or signboards boiled

open by the sun. Dreaming

they appear as colored sores

issuing from the stop sign.

They are not water, though sun

dances on their glass backs.

Nor can I ascertain their depths

for their reflection breaks from

the limits of chrome.

To dream the motors? It is not

possible except as the sun and the

weeds pry their hoods off in future junkyards.


A blue one displays its thousand broken suns

swinely, dark head in; the window severs blacknecks,

it soars drunken above

the others, a bleeding fire.

This is a car not a bird.

It terrifies beautifully.





from Lami
The Auerhahn Society, 1965








FOR A VERY LONG TIME I HAVE BEEN DRAWN TO THE ABOVE PHOTOGRAPH OF THE POET, MAYBE THE ONLY ONE THERE IS, TIPPED IN BY A LOYAL HAND ONCE UPON A TIME INTO THE POET'S ONLY BOOK. THERE IS SOMETHING NOW AND FOREVER IN THESE POEMS AND FOR YOU IF YOU CAN FIND THIS BOOK. THE POET DIED IN HIS EARLY TWENTIES IN 1961.





Monday, May 16, 2011

EARTH ~






FORUGH FARROKHZAD
(1935-1967)




Another Birth



My whole being is a dark chant
which will carry you
perpetuating you
to the dawn of eternal growths and blossoming
in this chant I sighed you sighed
in this chant
I grafted you to the tree to the water to the fire.

Life is perhaps
a long street through which a woman holding
a basket passes every day.

Life is perhaps
a rope with which a man hangs himself from a branch
life is perhaps a child returning home from school.

Life is perhaps lighting up a cigarette
in the narcotic repose between two love-makings
or the absent gaze of a passerby
who takes off his hat to another passerby
with a meaningless smile and a good morning.

Life is perhaps that enclosed moment
when my gaze destroys itself in the pupil of your eyes
and it is in the feeling
which I will put into the Moon's impression
and the Night's perception.

In a room as big as loneliness
my heart
which is as big as love
looks at the simple pretexts of its happiness
at the beautiful decay of flowers in the vase
at the sapling you planted in our garden
and the song of canaries
which sing to the size of a window.

Ah
this is my lot
this is my lot
my lot is
a sky which is taken away at the drop of a curtain
my lot is going down a flight of disused stairs
a regain something amid putrefaction and nostalgia
my lot is a sad promenade in the garden of memories
and dying in the grief of a voice which tells me
I love
your hands.

I will plant my hands in the garden
I will grow I know I know I know
and swallows will lay eggs
in the hollow of my ink-stained hands.

I shall wear
a pair of twin cherries as ear-rings
and I shall put dahlia petals on my finger-nails
there is an alley
where the boys who were in love with me
still loiter with the same unkempt hair
thin necks and bony legs
and think of the innocent smiles of a little girl
who was blown away by the wind one night.

There is an alley
which my heart has stolen
from the streets of my childhood.

The journey of a form along the line of time
inseminating the line of time with the form
a form conscious of an image
coming back from a feast in a mirror.

And it is in this way
that someone dies
and someone lives on.

No fisherman shall ever find a pearl in a small brook
which empties into a pool.

I know a sad little fairy
who lives in an ocean
and ever so softly
plays her heart into a magic flute
a sad little fairy
who dies with one kiss each night
and is reborn with one kiss each dawn.


from Another Birth (1963)




Bathing


I shed my clothes in the lush air
to bathe naked in the spring water,
but the quiet night seduced me
into telling it my gloomy story.

The water's cool shimmering waves
moaned and lustily surrounded me,
urged with soft crystal hands
my body and spirit into themselves.

A far breeze hurried in,
poured a lapful of flowers in my hair,
breathed into my mouth Eurasian mint's
pungent, heart-clinging scent.

Silent and soaring, I closed my eyes,
pressed my body against the soft young rushes,
and like a woman folded into her lover's arms
gave myself to the flowing waters.

Aroused, parched, and fevered, the water's lips
rippled trembling kisses on my thighs,
and we suddenly collapsed, intoxicated, gratified,
both sinners, my body and the spring's soul.




Sin


I have sinned a rapturous sin
in a warm enflamed embrace,
sinned in a pair of vindictive arms,
arms violent and ablaze.

In that quiet vacant dark
I looked into his mystic eyes,
found such longing that my heart
fluttered impatient in my breast.

In that quiet vacant dark
I sat beside him punch-drunk,
his lips released desire on mine,
grief unclenched my crazy heart.

I poured in his ears lyrics of love:
O my life, my love it's you I want.
Life-giving arms, it's you I crave.
Crazed lover, for you I thirst.

Lust enflamed his eyes,
red wine trembled in the cup,
my body, naked and drunk,
quivered softly on his breast.

I have sinned a rapturous sin
beside a body quivering and spent,
I do not know what I did O God,
in that quiet vacant dark.



"For the first time, the work of Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad is being brought to English-speaking readers through the perspective of a translator who is a poet in her own right, fluent in both Persian and English and intimately familiar with each culture. Sin includes the entirety of Farrokhzad's last book, numerous selections from her fourth and most enduring book, Reborn, and selections from her earlier work and creates a collection that is true to the meaning, the intention, and the music of the original poems. Farrokhzad was the most significant female Iranian poet of the twentieth century, as revolutionary as Russia's Akhmatova and Tsvetaeva and America's Plath and Sexton. She wrote with a sensuality and burgeoning political consciousness that pressed against the boundaries of what could be expressed by a woman in 1950s and 1960s Iran. She paid a high price for her art, shouldering the disapproval of society and her family, having her only child taken away, and spending time in mental institutions."


from the foreword by Alicia Ostriker
SIN
selected poems of Forugh Farrokhzad
Translated by Sholeh Wolpe
(Arkansas)



Traveling to Tabriz in her native Iran Forugh Farrokhzad made a film, now considered a classic, showcasing Iranians affected by leprosy. The House is Black appeared in 1962. While shooting the film, she became attached to the child of two lepers. She adopted the boy, Hossein Mansouri, and brought him home to live with her in her mother's house.







In the late afternoon on February 13, 1962 Forugh Farrokhzad was killed in an accident while driving her jeep attempting to avoid a school bus. She was 32.






dangerousminds.net



Friday, May 13, 2011

EARTH ~







The best a writer writes is beautiful

Forget the mad and dutiful.


IAN HAMILTON FINLAY























































corbisimages.com : IHF smile
poem
blogs.guardian.co.uk : little sparta
garden ~ little sparta
poem
littlesparta.co.uk : IHF sailboat
'for the temples of the greeks...'
esferapublica.org : little sparta
poem
edinphoto.org.uk : IHF boat

GO TO: http://www.ianhamiltonfinlay.com/







Wednesday, May 11, 2011

EARTH ~







APPROACH


I’ve only been away one day

But already between the width

Of the stone wall gate

Spans the thinnest first strand of

A spider’s web, floating there

As the river fog this morning

In the valley — well enough to

Stoop beneath it,

Cause no harm.








© Bob Arnold
from Where Rivers Meet
(Mad River Press)



photo & stonework © bob arnold

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

EARTH ~







POEM: pomegrante / fruit of brides



pomegranate
fruit of brides


melon
fruit of marriages


concentric fruit
hard-soft fruit
fruit of seeding & dying in union


I knew a man whom death was mushing
who liked nothing better than a melon


choosing or eating
he stroked the rumps
sounded them with his finger


melons & melons
were carried in the sun
before his bones turned slush
carried each like a babe
wrapped in papers to keep cool


& ate we ate
salt nubbles
juice on wood
swimming with flies in the stain
casting cool rind to patient dogs


careful
don't drop the baby


the old dog
waddles off
tusks of rind
from his jaw


pomegranate
fruit of brides





PAMELA MILLWARD
from The Route of the Phoebe Snow
(Coyote 1966)





PAMELA MILLWARD WAS FIRST SEEN IN COYOTE'S JOURNAL (SPEAKING FOR MYSELF), AND LATER IN HER NOVEL MOTHER (FOUR SEASONS FOUNDATION).