Library of the Lair
Poetry / Poesía
Essays | Bio
history & analysis | Pequeña
Personas libro (castellano)
Book persons (English)
libro” en Carboneras
de 20 personas en Carboneras participamos en el programa Personas libro /
donde cada uno elige un texto (poema, relato corto, escena teatral o
cualquier otro) para aprender de memoria y
“entregar” al público (como dice nuestro
director, Antonio). Nuestras
presentaciones han tenido muy
buena acogida, tanto en Carboneras como en otras comunidades.
años de existencia, hemos aprendido cientos de textos.
Aquí indicamos nada más los autores y
presentados por nosotros dos (Balta y Gef) hasta ahora:
A smaller group of
Carboneras have formed an English counterpart of the Spanish
“Personas libro.” Each participant selects and
learns a poem or other short text to present to the group. Beginning in February 2008, we have been
meeting on the last Friday of the month, through May -- before a
vacation break. Here
are the presenters and texts so far, with links where on-line versions
- Philip Larkin,
“Armstrong's Last Goodnight” (music review) in
Larkin, Philip. All
What Jazz: A Record Diary 1961-1971. Rev. ed. New York:
Farrar Straus Giroux, 1985.
- Philip Larkin, This Be the Verse
- Ernesto Cardenal,
This will be my vengeance (translation from Spanish)
Jeanne Durban Taylor
Audrey Leitch, "Poem." This untitled poem was never published
in Audrey Leitch's lifetime. According to Larry Leitch, her brother,
she wrote it when as a British subject, she had to leave Denmark and
her Danish lover early in the war.
might have scaled the heights just you and I
And let the worldly turmoil all go by
As children of the Gods in quest of truth
From man made sham and artifice aloof
We might have basked and reveled in the sun
And sung sweet songs and laughed when day was done
and strode broad highways, gay without a care
Our hearts and minds as one in harmony
And marveled in our love as lovers do.
We might ----- had you loved me as I loved you.
Randers - Viborgweg
This is the Coda to the book by Lauren Muller, June Jordan, and Poetry for the People (Organization). June Jordan's Poetry for the People: a revolutionary blueprint. New York: Routledge, 1995.
I ain't goin' nowhere unless
you come with me
I say, I ain't goin' nowhere
less'n you come with me
I ain't about to be some
leaf that lose its tree
So take my hand, see how
I'm reachin' out for you
Hey, here's my hand, see
how I'm reachin out for you
We got a whole lot more
than only one of us can do
Other poetry / más
Auden, W. H. Collected Poems
Dalton, Roque. Poesía
Blas R. El Nativo (Versos en cuentos para
June. haruko/love poems
June. Kissing God Goodbye: Poems 1991-1997.
Mejía Godoy, Luis E., "Mi venganza personal." See Mermaids and Other Fetishes
James. Love's Mainland:
New and Selected Poems
Nemerov, Howard. The
Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov
Renato. Prayer to
Spider Woman / Rezo a la mujer araña
Auden, W. H. Collected
Poems. Edited by Edward Mendelson. New York:
Vintage International, 1976. 926 pp.
book contains all the poems that W. H. Auden wished to preserve, in a
text that honors his final intentions." Editor's Preface, xvii.
However, it leaves out some wonderful stanzas that Auden apparently
did not wish to preserve, including these from "In Memory of W. B.
Time that is intolerant
Of the brave and innocent,
And indifferent in a week
To a beautiful physique,
Worships language and forgives
Everyone by whom it lives;
Pardons cowardice, conceit,
Lays its honors at their feet.
Time that with its strange excuse
Pardoned Kipling and his views,
And will pardon Paul Claudel
Pardons him for writing well.
to Dirk van Nouhuys for locating these verses.) Wise, witty,
cantankerous, often lovely, sometimes irritating (Auden had strong
opinions), but always intelligent. (Auden, Feb. 21, 1907-Sept. 29,
Dalton, Roque. Poesía
Escogida. San José, Costa Rica: Editorial
Universitaria Centroamericana (EDUCA), 1983.
Roque Dalton (b.
1935) was a Salvadoran law student driven by the crude lawlessness of
his country to commit poetry. He committed quite a lot of it, and
survived two firing squads, gangs of murderous thugs, torture, animal
attacks and outraged husbands while scrambling from one revolutionary
posture to the next, in Central America and then Eastern Europe and
back to Central America. Ultimately he was executed on May 17, 1975 by
his supposed comrades in El Salvador's Frente Farabundo
Martí de Liberación Nacional, acting out the
roles that Bertolt Brecht decades earlier had assigned to Chinese
revolutionaries in "The Measures Taken" (Die Massnahme).
funny, in a sick kind of way. Mainly the poetry is painful. And it
brings back memories of the horrible torment of those years in Central
America. Not the sort of thing to calm your anxieties.
But worst of all: He was a terrible poet. Irritating, complaining,
unmusical. Maybe that was why they shot him (the story has always been
murky -- some of those involved rose to be powerful figures in the
FMLN, and didn't want to talk about it). Still, he fascinates me. I
think that Roque Dalton's poetry was not in his poetry, but in his
life. One could use that life as the thread to draw through the
bright-colored, tear-stained tejidos
of a whole era of Central America.
Jiménez, Blas R. El
Nativo (Versos en cuentos para espantar zombies). Santo
Domingo: Editora Búho, 1996. 70 pp.
Mi favorito es
Núm. 14, que empieza así: "Cuando el hijo del
general trajo la moda de los espejuelos oscuros. ... Cuando la
intelectualidad era cómplice y culpable." Dedicado por el
autor, en la Librería La Trinitaria, 16-02-2001
poems. Foreword by Adrienne Rich. New York:
High Risk Books, 1994.
Haruko, whoever he was, to be so loved.
Jordan, Kissing God
Goodbye: Poems 1991-1997. New York: Anchor Doubleday, 1997.
title poem alone is worth the price of the book, but also be sure to
read "Letter to Mrs. Virgina Thomas, Wife of Whatzhisname Lamentably
appointed to the Supreme Court, U.S.A.," and for something really
timely, "The Bombing of Baghdad." You can hear her reading some of her
María. Melancolía de Otoño. Poesía. Pinar del
Río (Cuba), Ediciones "Hermanos Loynaz": 1997.
Edición financiada por el Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Jerez de la
Frontera, España. 92 pp.
Havana's Plaza de Armas every morning of the week, hundreds of men and
women strain to pull low-slung, steel-wheeled wagons to their reserved
spots, where they begin unloading boxes of books, tables and homemade
folding display racks. By ten a.m. or so, they are displaying thousands
of titles. Most are products of a publishing industry that thrived
during the optimistic days of the revolution, but has now been cut down
to almost nothing by shortages of everything from paper to ink to
electricity to run the presses. There is also a terrible shortage of
anything to buy with Cuban pesos, which is why schoolteachers,
accountants, pharmacists, architects and even surgeons have given up
their state-salaried jobs to peddle whatever they can -- including
books -- to foreign visitors. That's why last January a vendor was
delighted to let me have this slender volume for a couple of dollars.
María Loynaz was born in 1902 (I gather from the
introduction) and died some 90 years later, after producing many
volumes of poetry and fiction. In 1992 she was awarded the Premio
Cervantes, Spain's highest literary prize. This volume is a posthumous
homage, composed of things she had written in her 20's and rediscovered
many decades later. They are romantic, elliptical, sometimes just plain
silly -- which is no doubt why she had never sought to publish them.
Yet there are gems here. Here is one:
Hay gente que
si pudiera, arrancaría los rayos
de la luna, para amarrarse Los
(There are people who would, if they
could, pluck out the moonbeams to tie their shoes.)
-- Dulce María Loynaz
my essay on bookselling and book-making in Cuba, in Linnaean Street, spring
Antonio, Galerías (1899-1907),
Guitarra del mesón que hoy
según quien llega y tañe
las empolvadas cuerdas,
guitarra del mesón de los
no fuiste nunca, ni serás, poeta.
Tú eres alma que dice su
solitaria a las almas pasajeras...
Y siempre que te escucha el caminante
sueña escuchar un aire de su tierra.
the web, see Antonio Machado.)
Walter James. Love's Mainland: New and Selected Poems.
Middletown NY: Lintel, 2001. 88 pp.
intelligent, always artful, often poignant, Walter Miller's writing is
most effective when it captures some immediate sense experience --
visual, tactile, sometimes aural --and translates it in words that make
us feel something like that original sensation. That's quite a trick.
One example that especially impressed me is the poem "A Rocky Mountain
Cloud," which includes this description of waking up at a campsite:
among the solemn spruce, a wind
hints into the tent a day can die of chill
and lifts and lilts the blanket of my goldlint child
when I leap up when an indignant grouse
like a motorboat that shouts its startled starting
flushes up and churns a tumult through the spruce
never heard the loud churning of an indignant grouse, maybe this will
do nothing for you. But if you have, you know the description is just
perfect, as is that glow of affection for a sleeping child. "Noon
Whistle," a celebration of skyscraping construction workers "swinging
down/ from their hammered iron oath that squared/ the air..." is
another bright gem. Also included is the verse play, "Joseph in the
Pit," a fascinating anthropological speculation as to just what was
going on between Joseph (he of the coat of many colors) and his ten
brothers in that polygamous tribal culture. And here are other poems
inspired by such experiences as: induction into the US Army (in World
War II) and getting mustered out ("Honorable Discharge" is one his most
celebrated poems, and justly so); amatory, comradely and professional
relationships, and the search for life in the deadening routine of a
college writing instructor.
Several of the
poems were new to me, but others I've known for almost as long as I've
known Walter, which is since I was a student in his "New York
University Summer Writers Conference" about 15 years ago. But that is
only a small portion of his experience on this planet, which began in
1918. This collection spans nearly 60 years of work and play with
words, and it's good to see that Walter James Miller is still so
this book, send $16 for hardcover or $12 for paperback edition, along
with $2 shipping and handling, to Lintel, 24 Blake Lane, Middletown NY
10940-7370. (914) 344-1690. And while you're at it, ask them to send
you my book of short stories, Welcome to My
Enclose another $9, and if you're ordering both books at once, just $1
more for shipping and handling.)
Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov. Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1981. "The Image and the Law (1947)," pp. 1-48.
images, oddly timely. This is from "Frozen City":
saw by moonlight New York
Which was called in my dream
The Island of God, and achieved
In the paralysis of distance
A splendid fixity, as though the parable of a town.
Cold space parted me from
The marvelous towers
Towards which I strained.
young Nemerov had little patiences for "the snide/ Incredulous stares
of the/ Proprietors of contemporary thought," in "The Place of Value."
from "Metropolitan Sunday":
Chrysler building points
With obscene derision at the bland
Submissive sky, ...
depressed, the poet asks
not one be
Elsewhere, or in Boston?
depression, when a New Yorker fantasizes being in Boston! 02/05/20
Rosaldo, Renato. Prayer to Spider Woman / Rezo a la mujer
Saltillo, Coahuila: Instituto Coahuilense de Cultura, 2003.
Bilingual - all poems
translated by the poet himself. Subject matter is mostly reflections on
los achaques de viejo, ironías del pequeño mundo
académico, recuerdos familiares del poeta mismo. A
diferencia de sus mejores escritos antropológicos,
aquí Renato Rosaldo no parece interesarse en un mundo
más grande, más allá de las
percepciones del autor. Pensándolo bien, así se
podría describir su antropología
también: el mundo no como es, sino cómo una
persona particular lo pueda ver.
This Chauntecleer, whan he gan hym espye,
He wolde han fled, but that the fox anon
Seyde, "Gentil sire, allas, wher wol ye gon?
Be ye affrayed of me that am youre freend?
Now certes, I were worse than a feend
If I to yow wolde harm or vileynye.
I am nat come your conseil for tespye,
But trewely, the cause of my comynge
Was oonly for to herkne how that ye synge."
Nonnes Preestes Tale" - Geoffrey Chaucer
For treason is
but trusted like the fox,
Who, ne'er so tame, so cherish'd and lock'd up,
Will have a wild trick of his ancestors.
Henry IV, Act 5, Scene 2 -