Skip to content

Keywords

Articles tagged "Homage"

Requiem

That day—I remember it clearly, I had decided while I was waiting for the bus into town: I would steal a book. When it finally came, I sat next to a woman who was coming from the hot springs; so I turned on my Walkman and listened to Charly García for the fifteen minutes it took us to get to the business district, along the Avenida Bolívar. At the bookstore I greeted the owner; as usual, he asked after my dad. “Good, Fernández, we're all...

Bonsai

Our bodies are like Bonsai trees. Not one innocent leaf can grow freely, without being viciously suppressed, so narrow is our ideal of appearance —Khyentsé Norbu   After I got married, I always spent Sunday afternoons at the botanical gardens in Aoyama. It was a way of taking a break from work and from household chores—if I stayed home on the weekend, Midori, my wife, would always end up asking me to fix something. After breakfast, I would take a book and...

Never Any End to Hemingway

Well here we are, he wrote to Anderson, as he lay there, smoking. He liked typing letters from his bed with the black Corona on his lap. And we sit outside the Dome Café, opposite the Rotonde that’s being redecorated, he wrote to Anderson, warmed up against one of those charcoal braziers and it’s so damned cold outside and the brazier makes it so warm and we drink rum punch, hot, and the rum enters into us like the Holy Spirit. Period—new paragraph, as he weighed up...

For Antonio Gamoneda

I wanted to write like Antonio Gamoneda, so I went to León and, after visiting the cathedral to ask God to forget me, I arrived at the poet’s house. Maestro, I said, tell me, reveal to me the secret of poetry. I’m no maestro, just a dealer of useless things.  And among these things poetry is like a frigid goddess proffering her gifs. Can you imagine? If you want to write like I do, write and erase and write again. Write like yourself, if you can, or...

For Álvaro Pombo

We are accomplices and accomplices have no reason to embrace or kiss or mourn their own dead or ours.  We live in endless complicity with shameful times that have become scars and ashes in our memory.  Dark days that today are luminous mist in Neuchâtel or in brothels on Las Ramblas whose ceremonies we don’t attend but which we’re familiar with because we’ve lived in brothels and in dungeons and in the incense of basilicas. Accomplices...

For Eugenio Montejo

Serene, Salinas, grows the air and decks itself in beauty and unaccustomed light when consummate music sounds steered by your knowing hand.      Tr. Michael Smith      Fray Luis de León, “To Francisco Salinas” The music without sound, The solitude that clamors The supper that revives us and enamors.        Tr. Roy Campbell      San Juan de la Cruz, “Spiritual...

from “A Garden in the North”

Dr. Heidegger, the adjunct lecturer, lived in a rented room on a back courtyard off the Friedrichstrasse, above a brothel, and one can say that he kept an open house. At the age of seventeen, with a high-school diploma in his pocket, Heidegger had fled the parental spinning mill in a valley in the Swabian Alps with only two goals in mind: to exchange that provincial fustiness for the big city, and to learn languages. First, however, he had to get himself exempted from military service...

Marcel Proust’s Last Three Days

November 16, 1922 Marcel listened to his neighbor’s grandfather clock striking the end of one more November day. Celeste had assured him that it was impossible to hear any clock in his room, but his heightened sense as an insomniac picked up the sounds—even the muffled ones—of his home and those next door. His bed was strewn with papers and notebooks, and his inkwell balanced unsteadily on a board that served as his writing desk. He had been working for more than...

On Tao Qian

Tao Qian on Tao Qian: He likes to read and is satisfied with the most simple of explanations. When he understands what something means, he is so happy he forgets to eat. Su Dongpo on Tao Qian: He writes the way someone who is no longer impatient speaks. Huang Tingjian on Tao Qian: The poems are of no use to someone just out of childhood, but if he rereads them when he is old it is as if he has made his decisions without knowing enough. Huang Tingjian says that Su Dongpo is...

Du Fu

Du Fu says of himself that he was a child prodigy, that he was writing poetry when he was seven or eight years old. When he’s over forty, he will be a great poet. What he can think about, he can write about. A child asks if something is important enough to think about. Is this an excuse to get out of doing something else? The other children are already at work. Reading takes time, just like looking around. Every word Du Fu uses, he read somewhere. He remembers the meaning of...

Su Dongpo and the Trick he says he Learned from Tao Qian

The simplest way to find tranquility: keep starting over in a different way. He knows nothing about those who find tranquility, free from what surrounds them; he’s never met anyone like that. Let’s send him somewhere else, see if he changes his tune then. His trick is to be more than happy when things are going well. It’s a warm evening and it will rain later. More to see left and right than he can list. Quiet, except for old man Du Fu reproaching old man...

Timoniad

Sing, Muse, of that misanthrope, who was homeless and forever wandering, since he had yet to chop down his fig tree. In the city he ignored the many routine evils of most men as he strove to keep alive, with a sorrowful heart, his fig tree and the warm pot of food for his friends. But, hard as he tried, he could not save himself. The fool, ruined by his own wasteful ways, saw the amount of wealth he had squandered, all of the cows and goats he had eaten, while his friends...

September 2011


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