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Articles tagged "Nature"

The City and the Writer: In New Orleans with Sheryl St. Germain

Special Series/Nature Writers 2015 If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.                   —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities   Can you describe the mood of New Orleans as you feel/see it? It would be hard to limit New Orleans to one mood. It’s true that the city is always ready for a...

The City and the Writer: In South Lake Tahoe with Suzanne Roberts

Special Series/Nature Writers 2015 If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.                           —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities     An Introduction to this Special Series of "The City and the Writer" According to Louis Owens, the division of nature...

From the Archives: Spring Comes to the Mountains

In this endless winter, when spring seems distant as the sun, we turn to Mario Rigoni Stern's luminous "Spring," beautifully translated by Gregory Conti, from our March 2007 issue. Rigoni Stern opens with his childhood memories of winter's end in the Italian mountains—"in the month of March, when the thaw opened up the passes"—and the keen anticipation of spring; with his grandfather he writes a postcard: "To the Head of the Black Swifts | Alexandria, Egypt, Africa:...

Passing Through Seongeup Village

Whenever I gaze into a horse’s virtuous eyes, it seems to know nothing but the indigent evening in the direction the wind is blowing from. Translation of   "Seongeup maeureul jinamyeo. " By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2011 by Brother Anthony of Taizé and Yoo Hui-Sok. All rights reserved.

From “Ode to The Dove”

Trapped on the lips are sounds, like pearls of forts oceanate are mute for thousands of years, and over the muteness—a blade. "Dove darling, childhood's child, let the lips speak, give them speech Become now the cry of the sounds, or else the dream is extinct . . ." A sudden kiss on my lips. Who and where am I? Finally The locks all unlock themselves. Muteness is cut by a knife. Pearls, pearls, and pearls, with secret rushes of sea Raining from my lips now. A pearly...

from “Waiting for an Island”

Image description

Marc Legendre's daydreamer waits for his past


From 2017

That night, under the muffled, machine-like sound of the rain, the professor dreamed that this woman had come to him. Naked and very skinny, she was as perfect as a Latin letter, a sample of a special human typeface. Tucking up her angular elbow, she lay on her back, and her belly was as white as a mug of milk. There was nothing special in the lizard-narrow creature, but all the beauty on the banks of the corundum river had been a preface to this body, to the maddening shadow under her...

From “The Geographer Drank His Globe Away”

"Hey young fellow, it's your stop . . ." Sluzhkin was being prodded by the old guy on the opposite bench. He unglued his eyes, sprang onto his knees still in his sleeping bag, and shot a look through the upper window pane, because the lower one was thickly overgrown with a dense cover of icy ferns. The lopsided, gray little houses of Valyozhnaya were undulating past the electric train, across the hillside. "Code red, gang!" Sluzhkin roared. "We nearly missed Valyozhnaya!" The...

“Survivors,” from “The Ears of the Wolf”

I wake up. The bus stops, and a village full of horses appears. Mama and her women meditator friends and her women communist friends and my sister are on the bus, along with the peasants. We get off, we wander among the horses, we eat something, we find someone to guide us. Beyond the village and throughout the following days are only the infinite mountains of Tierra Adentro. Days spent walking up and down mountains. Fat, fatigued meditators. Farms reeking of fermented coffee. Nights...

Love of Chile

For love of Chile, for love of all things from north to south, east and west all that opens, all that speaks White-water rivers and glaciered peaks touch and speak words of love because in this world all things speak of love; stone with stone, grasses with grasses That's how all things make love, beaches, deserts, mountains, southernmost forests, glaciers, and all the waters that open and touch So that you may behold them open Only so that you may hear, Chile rises Only...

Spring

Spring this year arrived as clean as if in its Sunday best, and we felt embarrassed that we were still in our work clothes, our hands unwashed, with the dog in the barnyard mangy and shedding. And we didn't know whom to blame, Spring or ourselves, for being out of step. Beauty, says the old schoolteacher, should arrive unexpected, and cause a little discomfort. Translation of an untitled poem in the series "Maijs" [May] in Poēma par pienu [Poem of Milk]....

Memory of My Yellow Hometown

Translator's Note: China has always been an agricultural society. In spite of recent industrial development, the majority of Chinese are officially identified as farmers, holding what is called the "nong ye hu kou" (farmer's resident status). Rural China has received much less attention than cities in China's modernization process. Farmers are facing a changing world where their traditional lifestyle is challenged as they often have to leave for the cities to make a living....

Philosophy

Little spider, greet the sun. Don't be down. Give thanks, dear toad, that you are here. The hairy crabs, like roses, all have thorns, and mollusks are reminiscences of women. Know how to be what you are: enigmas that have taken form. Leave responsibilities to the Norm, who will in turn send them on to Heaven. (Sing, cricket: the moon is lit. And, bear, go ahead and dance.) Translation of "Filosofia." Translation copyright 2008 by Gabriel Gudding. All rights reserved.

Pastoral

An expansion of plants with water fingers Drink this and look The laced skirts of raw milk The subterranean giants drowned in the azure And lakes open mouths have remained frozen Four oxen under a tree, defying reality Kneel down and adorn their horns With flowers of deadly nightshade Through clouds passes the perfection of weeping And young lambs suck teats of rain The planet of sleep settles over fields The spring's current carries last reflexes Like the last words of a...

The Silence of the Outcasts: An Interview with Dacia Maraini

(Pescasseroli, Easter 2005) To meet with Dacia Maraini and speak with her in peace means going up to the bitter and severe lands of Abruzzo where the writer, who lives in Rome, takes refuge during holidays and in summer. This March, Easter concludes a winter of polar temperatures and the snow in the National Park of Abruzzo remains plentiful. Dacia Maraini loves cross-country skiing and walking in the woods; this is her natural realm, and she settles here to write her books in solitude...

from “Colomba”

A character knocked on the door of the woman with short hair. Tapping timidly with her knuckles, the character entered the room without making a sound. She's a modestly dressed mountain woman. On her feet she wears sturdy little boots. She sat down on the edge of the seat and stayed there in silence, letting the coffee cool on the table in front of her. She seemed embarrassed and ashamed but determined to stay. Then slowly, toward evening, after eating a bowl of soup and drinking a...

Moon

So many things follow us like the moon, listening for our primal cries. We stop, it stops, while thirty miles ahead bright moonlight floods the brain of a wild animal. Grief rushes through its sorrows. Now is the moment to shake the moon from our track, yet like a dead friend's soul it slips into my six-square-meter room. If I can't plant my fingerprints on the moon, who's to say it exists? The mad still dance in moonlight, old women in alleys wrap their...

Underground Flower

There is an orchid that only blooms underground. Because it never shows itself above ground few are said to have seen it. Only white ants can enter the blooms, drawn by the fragrance rising from the runnels cut by the autumn rain. The orchid withers in sunlight, which the white ants burrow into the ground to escape, their bodies sparkling white, though they work in the dark. Like undeveloped film, this orchid never shows itself; its whole body consists of roots, even its...

White Birds in a Black Space

He said: You may walk into the spaces of mildness and obedience with the rebellious, the dreamers and the scared; you know that the city has been raped, that everything is permissible, impossible and chaotic. You may stand under the sun, write on its walls with the blood & wisdom which it has hidden in the memory box. White birds in a black space. Black birds in a white space. He said: With first light, we travel to water's edge; escape from the siege of dusty...

Crying over Light Green

Even as I scoop Korean sushi into my mouth with a trembling hand, the train forces the fields of summer into my eyes. The light-green rice paddies prick my pupils. Why is the field so green? No, the word "green" is hardly adequate. Every shade of green is said to be the same, but to me light green is different— a color containing a wave or a rustle that never bows its head. Look at the pure rice plants. Why is my heart so dark? I swallow a fourth piece of Korean sushi...

Aqua Fortis

You don't deserve the Light. Something after the explosion of the cells arranged for you to bequeath dark water, the quicksilver of life. Life has been lived for you, your merit is limited to words. Everywhere, though, example and serenity you are, reliable. As if a sky could rely on a star, as if one should decide where his eyes are put. I started as one who grazes the lilies, with a seal on the heart, in my hand a hand that is not to be mine, the cold was watching me...

The Woman Who Stole the Rain

I go to Lisbon on business fairly regularly. I get on a plane to go there, if not every month, then at least every six weeks or so. I understand the language well enough not to need an interpreter, having spent a good deal of my childhood and adolescence in Brazil, where my parents lived for some years, again for professional reasons. I know the city reasonably well too. Places we travel to frequently eventually do start to feel familiar, at least superficially, even when, at a deeper...

Illuminations

A cloudless sky, no breath of wind, I sit beside the courtyard pool. The slow stirrings of the goldfish, the radiance and I, the earth and water--- Life clusters in a fresh washed bunch. My mother is cleaning sweet basil leaves. Bread and white cheese, a cloudless sky, the moist satin of petunia blossoms. Salvation is near, tucked between the leaves of the...

Water

Let's not muddy the water. Imagine that close by a dove is drinking from it, or in a distant grove a finch is washing its wings in it, or in some village it fills a storage jar. Let's not muddy the water. Perhaps this flowing stream runs by the foot of a poplar tree and eases some heart's grief. A dervish, perhaps, has moistened his crust in...

The Bonsai’s Boast

I, you mindless fools, am a pint-sized giant. Time passes me by, distance can't touch me, my breast is pure coral. All I need is water and thirst to decode the book of life. True greatness is in detail. For the author's "Spying," please click here.

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