Skip to content

Keywords

Articles tagged "Earthquake"

WWB Weekend: When the Earth Moves

Image: Local prefecture in L’Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy, after the 2009 earthquake. Wikimedia Commons. This week’s horrific earthquake in central Italy sends us back to the accounts of other quakes elsewhere, as survivors testify to the geographical and emotional havoc wrought by natural disasters. Dany Laferrière’s telegraphic “The World Is Moving around Me” captures the hallucinatory aftermath of the 2013 Haitian earthquake; he...

From the Archives: Moving Around Me

To whom does the story of the Haitian earthquake belong? Whose is it to tell, and in what form? Haitian writer and longtime Montreal resident Dany Laferrière was in Port-au-Prince for a literary festival when the quake struck. His "The World Is Moving Around Me," from our November 2011 issue of writing from the Caribbean, records his impressions of the aftermath. When he tells his nephew he plans to write about the disaster, the younger man shyly reveals that he does, too, and...

Primal Needs

They arrived together, a pair of butterflies with green and yellow wings, dappled and tremulous. They landed here and there on the hibiscus blooms surrounding the pool, and the youth marveled at their casual grace. His palms itched with the urge to paint. He yearned to take up the brushes hidden in the back of his closet, away from the scornful, jeering faces of his friends and the scathing comments of his father, who would much rather have seen him wielding an architect’s...

Under the Rubble

We held our breath close to our bodies sorted words in a straitjacket our lives between parentheses turpentine to make hope last fear sets up a tent on our chest fog invades our minds paralyzes our limbs    Day holds night’s hand evenings play merry-go-round with mornings the days turn in circles  until they feel dizzy we forget all debts, all promises projects overflow like water springs the earth sips in with a straw   Clocks...

Time Stretches Out and My Words Do, Too

Mid-August. The beach, for the first time since the earthquake. The water is warm, just the way I like it. I keep saying that Haiti is neither a postcard nor a nightmare. This Sunday more than ever. I’m exactly in between the water, the sun, the sand, and the sky. Not in a postcard, not in a nightmare. In something that makes my blood sing gently. That’s all. On January 12, time froze; every second was loaded. We were without a past, without a future. In the unique,...

January 12, 2010

An interview scheduled with the French writer and literary festival director Michel Le Bris and Dany Laferrière, a Haitian and Canadian novelist and journalist. The noise, first of all. As if some unknown monster were crashing through everything beneath us to get to the surface. And then, the swaying, slight, barely noticeable. Two seconds of swaying, as gentle as a cradle rocking. Acceleration—and within a few more seconds the room can’t hold still, dashes to the...

Japan, One Year Later

On March 11, 2011, the Tōhoku region of northeastern Japan was rocked by a violent earthquake and tsunami that triggered an accident at a nuclear power plant. We mark the anniversary with poems by two Japanese writers, both translated by Jeffrey Angles. In "Do Not Tremble," Sayaka Ohsaki finds the shifting earth "an unruly cradle  / A cruel cradle that lets / Neither adult nor child sleep"; Toshiko Hirata's "Noisy Animal"  declares, "I am an animal that...

Do Not Tremble

It trembles It is trembling again today I did not know that the earth Is an unruly cradle  A cruel cradle that lets Neither adult nor child sleep   It is March, it is spring It should be a gentle season of vernal sleep  When one sleeps so deeply there is no dawn But spring this year Shakes us to keep us From falling asleep   Earth, it is enough For you simply to  Keep spinning happily Leave the trembling To windblown flowers and Laundry hanging in...

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.