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Saturday, 18 February 2012

Full woman, fleshly apple, hot moon, thick smell of seaweed, crushed mud and light...

...what obscure brilliance opens between your columns?
What ancient night does a man touch with his senses?

(- Pablo Neruda, X11)




...how am I a poet? What do I know of the multiplied geography of the night?

...I want to speak with many things
and I won't leave this planet
without knowing what I came to find...

...And so, gentlemen, I'm going
to have a talk with a horse,
let the poetess excuse me
and let the professor pardon me,
all week I'll be busy.
I have to constantly listen.

What was the name of that cat?

(- Pablo Neruda, Bestiary)


Friday, 17 February 2012

...I have always wanted to be a frog, I have loved the pools and the leaves, thin as filaments, the green world of the watercress with the frogs, queens of the sky...

The serenade of the frog
rises in my dream and excites it,
rises like a climbing vine
to the balconies of my childhood...



When did smoke learn to fly? When do the roots converse? What is water like in the stars?...

...What does the tortoise meditate on?
Where does the shade withdraw?
What song does the rain repeat?
Where do the birds go to die?
And why are the leaves green?

(Pablo Neruda)

I want to speak with the flies...

...with the bitch who has just given birth,
to have a long chat with the snakes.

(Pablo Neruda, Bestiary)




The spring is so long that it lasts all winter: time lost its shoes; a year contains four centuries...

When I sleep all these nights,
what am I named or not named?
And when I wake up who am I
if I wasn't I when I slept?

(Pablo Neruda, Too Many Names)



When I lived with the roots I liked them more than flowers...

...and when I talked with stone
it rang like a bell.

(Pablo Neruda, Too Many Names)



No one can be named Pedro, no one is Rosa or Maria, all of us are dust or sand, all of us are rain in the rain...

They have talked to me of Venezualas,
of Paraguays and Chiles,
I don't know what they're talking about:
I'm aware of the earth's skin
and I know that it doesn't have a name.

(- Pablo Neruda, Too Many Names)



Thursday, 16 February 2012

The child's foot doesn't know yet that it's a foot, and wants to be a butterfly or an apple...

...And then it went down
 into the earth and knew nothing,
because there everything was dark,
it didn't know it had ceased being a foot,
if they had buried it so that it could fly
or so that it could
become an apple.

(Pablo Neruda, To the Foot from Its Child)


The air white like wet bread...

...Their rumps were worlds and oranges.

Their colour was honey, amber, fire.

(Pablo Neruda, Horses)


Saturday, 4 February 2012

The Pomo and Menomini shamans...imitate bird songs.

  During seances among the Yakut, the Yukagir, the Chukchee, the Goldi, the Eskimo, and others, wild animal cries and bird calls are heard...

Many words used during the seance have their origin in the cries of birds and other animals.  "Magic" and "song"- especially song like that of birds- are frequently expressed by the same term.

- Mircea Elaide

In the very earliest time when both people and animals lived on earth, a person could become an animal if he wanted to and an animal could become a human being...

Sometimes they were people
and sometimes they were animals
and there was no difference.
All spoke the same language.
That was the time when words were like magic.

(- Symposium of the Whole, edited by Jerome and Diane Rothenberg)


unmoved from time without end...

unmoved
from time without
end
you rest
there in the midst of the paths
in the midst of the winds
you rest
covered with the droppings of birds
grass growing from your feet
your head decked with the down of birds
you rest
in the midst of the winds
you wait
Aged One

(- Kenneth Lincoln, "Native American Literatures")

I am ashamed before the earth; I am ashamed before the heavens; I am ashamed before the dawn...

I am ashamed before the evening twilight;
I am ashamed before the blue sky;
I am ashamed before the sun.
I am ashamed before that standing before me within me which speaks with me.
Some of these things are always looking at me.
I am never out of sight.
Therefore I must tell the truth.
I hold my word tight to my breast.

(- Kenneth Lincoln, "Native American Literatures)