Those who can make you believe absurdities, will make you commit atrocitie —Voltaire

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Poems for the week ahead

Maldigo la poesia concebida como un lujo cultural por los neutrales,
que, llevándose las manos, se desentienden y evaden.
Maldigo la poesia de quién no toma partido,
partido hasta mancharse...

La poesia es un arma cargada de futuro.

Gabriel Celaya.

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

Dorothy Parker

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

About Me said...


Ann O'Nadada said...

Wonderful quote, as I told you before... It's like a pointing finger...

Now, I'm quite impressed with the one below the "NOT I" section... Hard to read, yet easy to understand. Who wrote that and how did he read mi mind so clearly?
11/19/2006 3:27 PM
Manu said...

You can read it there is it's true form. It's Shakespeare. Who else writes like that?
11/19/2006 4:32 PM
Julio said...

1. Thanks for your suggestions on Wedekind’s English translations – Bond’s sounds appealing. A friend of mine told me has the French Gallimard’s edition with a foreword by Lacan. Have you read it? Is it worth reading it?

2. Celaya’s call for politically committed poetry and some Shakespeare’s post coitum gloomy meditations on lust on the same page... I truly like these seeming contradictions. Hope to find more in the next posts.
11/20/2006 1:29 PM
Manu said...

No I have not read the French edition as I do not speak French unfortunately. I wish i did.

I suppose the great thing about Shakespeare is that every person can find in him what he needs. That said, I do not see Sonnet 129 as "post coital gloom". That punctuation would suggest quite another state of mind. Perhaps you should take a look at the sonnet form that angle. Try reading it aloud and you will find it impossible to get through it without using explosive type energy.
The key to the state of mind or the scene is more likely to be the puncuation and not necessarily the words.
11/21/2006 12:37 AM
Julio said...

Granted: the rhythm is all but gloomy. There’s energy, momentum, ferocity, some sort of violence, and not only in the language (e.g., the hooked fish, like the “bird with its sex pierced by a needle” in Lorca’s Ode to Walt Whitman), but also in the structure: the punctuation and the unfettered torrent of adjectives and images sharply, syncopatedly jerked out, brilliantly convey the turbulent, escalating drive towards ejaculation, the uncontrollable, overwhelming build up of sexual urgency. Yet, the underlying pessimism makes me think that the tone is somewhat pensive, cerebral, detached, an elaboration of deception out of melancholy (if not out of some Judeo-Christian hatred of sexuality). Crane followed: “And so it was I entered the broken world / To trace the visionary company of love, its voice / An instant in the wind (I know not whither hurled) / But not for long to hold each desperate choice”.

Nevertheless, I’m glad you disagree. You’ve already said it: it’s not us reading poems, it’s us reading ourselves.
11/21/2006 12:56 PM
Manu said...

I always thought of the sonnet as the last one-minute ferocious bang leading to ejaculation on the "boys" face out of hatred more than love. The spiritual conflict is inevitable I suppose, that’s why I must contrast it with a setting entirely antithetical such as words spoken during a violent fuck.

He seems to be just as pissed off with humanity in general here as he is in Timon Of Athens or Coriolanus. Two works I like very much.
11/21/2006 1:53 PM
Ann O'Nadada said...

Bueno bueno bueno... vaya mesa camilla shakesperiana se ha montado aquí... ;)
11/21/2006 11:36 PM
Julio said...

I’d never read the sonnet, or thought that it could be read, in that mood. I guess scholars won’t accept your reading (they’d most likely argue, e.g., that this sonnet is placed among those of the Dark Lady) (anyway, who cares?), and I think there’s more middle-age disenchantment (resignation, compromise) than hatred (revolution, change) (if any, self-hatred after realizing life’s managed to cheat him once again with another futile promise of happiness), but yours is certainly a good “perspective” –I’ll surely borrow your “antithetical setting” approach.

I guess it’s not that bad to be “pissed off with humanity in general” – a sign of intelligence indeed.

[I would gladly keep on discussing the sonnet, or the disturbing Parker you’ve posted (I’ve always wondered whether the title has an accent or not: is it “a summary” or is she going “to commit it once again”?), but this is your blog and you may wish it takes a new direction.]
11/22/2006 10:52 AM
Manu said...

For Ann:
I thought you were dead. Or at least that you had been kidnapped.

Ya hemos pasado a Dorothy Parker. Creo que ella estaria mas en tu onda.
11/22/2006 11:25 AM
Manu said...

The beauty of poetry, again, is that it could be either or both.
Yes, the title does have two accents in fact (on both e's)
I am delighted to talk with you about anything just as long as we are not guided in our thinking by what the scholars might say. Though I value a lot of them, I do not deify them, so I never have to necessarily bilieve what they say, much less trust what they feel. I Most writing is about how we feel.
11/22/2006 12:59 PM
Julio said...

Re scholars: I guess it might be possible to “appraise” a work of art to some extent, but I’m not sure about the value of such an “appraisal”. Take the Parker on your website. Should we care about literary technique when reading it?

Yet, I like literary criticism (I guess that’s what we’ve been doing this week), even when I completely disagree (e.g., John Updike’s review of the latest Houellebecq at The New Yorker: I guess because it’s not merely about books we’re talking about.

Re the Parker: It makes me think of irony and emotional restrain in 20th century literature and art in general. It may be only a literary device, but sometimes it looks like we’re ashamed of sensitivity. It is not precisely anti-Romanticism, but it seems authors have to make clear that they’re aware that sentimentality is the worst sin they may commit.

An indirectly related topic: happiness and art. A suggestion for a future post: your desert-island, all-time, top five favourite happy endings, or simply furiously optimistic works (poems, music...), in “scholar’s culture” (i.e., Pretty Woman or The Sound of Music do not qualify). It might not be that easy.

[The “Not I” above the photo refers to the poems as well? Is it another turn on Parker’s irony?]
11/23/2006 9:02 PM
August 24, 2007 11:40 AM