Saturday 12 December 2015

intangible arrows

These trees and their argentines, their dark-spiced
Grow out of the spirit or they are fantastic dust.
The bud of the apple is desire, the down-falling gold,
The catbird's gobble in the morning half-awake-
These are real only if I make them so. Whistle
For me, grow green for me and, as you whistle and grow
Intangible arrows quiver and stick in the skin
And I taste at the root of the tongue the unreal of what
is real.

W. Stevens


Thursday 5 November 2015

i know too

I know too - without statistics - that right now Schubert 
is being played
in some room over there and that for someone 
the notes are
more real than anything else...

Tomas Tranströmer


Tuesday 20 October 2015

kind of blue

At home I have a blue piano.
But I can’t play a note.

It’s been in the shadow of the cellar door
Ever since the world went rotten.

Four starry hands play harmonies.
The Woman in the Moon sang in her boat.
Now only rats dance to the clanks.

The keyboard is in bits.
I weep for what is blue. Is dead.

Sweet angels, I have eaten
Such bitter bread. Push open
The door of heaven. For me, for now---

Although I am still alive---
Although it is not allowed.

Else Lasker-Schuler
My Blue Piano, tr. Edward Hirsch


Wednesday 20 May 2015

the reader

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You sometimes wonder about the time of the book. Not about whether the book is now outdated given the emergence of other ways to distract oneself, other information technologies- must the book be reduced to those categories?- given, indeed, people's shorter attention spans. But the time that is in a book, the time we lose in a book, time lost to life. How does time get condensed, how does it deepen and gravitate around a sentence, a startling turn of phrase? How are we opened up to other times, other perceptions (are these one and the same thing?) What kind of duration is there in a book and why does the experience of reading one, with all its artificiality, seem more real than your own life?

from the Black Sun, the most beautiful collection of reader meditations i have come across over the years...

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