Showing posts from May, 2019
A Casa dos Poetas 2019
From 16th May to 22nd May, 2019, workshops in Silves, Portugal.
Reading, writing, discussion, and wandering with poets. This time the main theme of the workshops is outsider.

                                           (View from my room)
Today's poem

Ms. O has been one of my tutors of English literature. Her specific field is English poetry and doctoral thesis was T. S. Eliot. She has taught to me basic knowledge on English literature and phonetics over six years by customizing a reading program for my writing. This morning I read some poems aloud in front of her garden filled with roses. My drawback is reading based on 2 beats. Although improved, alas, soon back to a poor situation like a spring.

The Rose
by Kathleen Raine
What does the eye see? A rose-bud on a paradise tree.
What does hope say? A rose shall fill time with eternity!
What is memory’s refrain? ‘I was that rose before the world began.’
What does thought foretell? Petal upon petal, World within world, star within cell.
What sings love then? ‘I am the rose, that crimson rose is mine.’
What comes death this way? To take away, to take my rose is mine.’
Why comes death this way? To take away to take my rose away.
What lies in the immortal centre hidden? …
Today's poem

When I met a Danish artist living in Tokyo and talked about the Danish history and culture, I knew N. F. S. Grundtvig. His thought and Folkehøjskole gave me an impact. The philosophy of Folkehøjskole might be analogous with that of ARVON. Grundtvig was an early translator of Beowulf in Denmark. The hymn reminds me of Blake’s 'Infant Joy'.

A Little Child So Fair And Bright by N. F. S. Grundtvig (trans. P. C. Paulsen)
A little child so fair and bright
Is sent to us from heaven;
Before or since that Christmas night
Such gift was never given;
But when the time of God was come,
His Son did leave His heav'nly home
And found on earth a mother;
This Morning Star, this child of fame,
In lowliness among us came
To be our Lord and Brother.
Exalted in eternity
Is Jesus Christ, our Savior!
All honor to our Father be
For His unequaled favor!
Each Christmas day anew we raise
Our voices unto Him in praise,
In joyful adoration;
Though poor our hallelujahs ring.
In heaven co…
Today's poem

I am not a Christian and I have recently tried to read the poem, free from one religion.

Pied Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Glory be to God for dappled things –     For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;        For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;  Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;     Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;        And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim. 
All things counter, original, spare, strange;     Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)        With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;  He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:                                  Praise him.
Today's poem

In the workshop last December, a poet and editor of Carcanet Press, Michael Schmidt recommended reading of the poem to me. At that time I was extremely impressed again to know the vast, bottomless world of English poetry and felt my existence was like dust particle in the universe, however, could have meaning beyond my tiny expectation.


A SIGHT in camp in the day-break grey and dim, As from my tent I emerge so early, sleepless, As slow I walk in the cool fresh air, the path near by the hospital-tent, Three forms I see on stretchers lying, brought out there, untended lying, Over each the blanket spread, ample brownish woolen blanket, Grey and heavy blanket, folding, covering all.
Curious, I halt, and silent stand; Then with light fingers I from the face of the nearest, the first, just lift the blanket: Who are you, elderly man so gaunt and grim, with well-grey'd hair, and flesh all sunken about the eyes? …
Today's poem

The poetry second prize of 2019's Keats-Shelley Prize is as follows. Very interested in poet's imagination to a period when gods leave there - mysterious time for anybody.

Because all the minor gods
            and the ones with their slipping wigs          
            their clacking teeth     and the many armed
cloven-hooved            false-headed                and false-tailed
have given up their shapes                  climbed down from their offices
            and built wings to carry them off to damp caves and sea stacks
we’ve uncoupled from their shines and fiery dusts
for a little while          though their clockwork still clitters through us     
still managing our small bad thoughts
the dark unentered spaces we each contain    undone at the springs. But even without their flimsy attentions
            their whatever-it-is that skies and drops shadow
we can still feel into the shapes of o…
Today's poem

The poem seems to be an aphorism, that is, the poet depicts truth on money without his emotions.

by C. H. Sisson

I was led into captivity by the bitch business
Not in love but in what seemed a physical necessity
And now I cannot even watch the spring
The itch for subsistence and having become responsibility.

Money the she-devil comes to us under many veils
Tactful at first, calling herself beauty
Tear away this disguise, she proposes paternal solitude
Assuming the dishonest face of duty.

Suddenly you are in bed with a screeching tear-sheet
This is money at last without her night-dress
Clutching you against her fallen udders and sharp bones
In an unscrupulous and deserved embrace.

Banknote of Zimbabwe
  (from wikipedia)
Today's poem

Since visiting the exhibition in Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, a camera lucida as an optical instrument has been in my mind. Of course Brueghel didn't use the tool, I suppose. The ekphrastic poem is popular all over the world.

(The Fall of Iicarus by Pieter Brueghel)

Musee des Beaux Arts
by W. H. Auden

About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns…
Today's poem

Her relation to both Pakistan and British influence comes out in her poems.

A Century Later by Imtiaz Dharker
The school-bell is a call to battle,
every step to class, a step into the firing-line.
Here is the target, fine skin at the temple,
cheek still rounded from being fifteen.
Surrendered, surrounded, she
takes the bullet in the head
and walks on. The missile cuts
a pathway in her mind, to an orchard
in full bloom, a field humming under the sun,
its lap open and full of poppies.
This girl has won
the right to be ordinary,
wear bangles to a wedding, paint her fingernails,
go to school. Bullet, she says, you are stupid.
You have failed. You cannot kill a book
or the buzzing in it.
A murmur, a swarm. Behind her, one by one,
the schoolgirls are standing up
to take their places on the front line.

(from the website of Imtiaz Dharker)
Today's poem

     This morning I went to Tokyo Photographic Art Museum to see the exhibition THE ORIGIN OF PHOTOGRAPHY GREAT BRITAIN. Although there had been a lot of seeing chances in books and digital data, it was the first time for me to directly meet Daguerréotype original prints. I was thrilled to appreciate work of photography inventors: William Henry Fox Talbot, John Herschel, Roger Fenton, David Octavius Hill, Robert Adanson, etc. I have done thousands of translations (Japanese➝English) on optics fields, therefore, my interest is photography not only as art but also as technology. I found a John Herschel's book Light there, and strongly wanted to read it.
      What I was most impressed was Cyanotype Gymnogramma calomelanos, Jamaica by Anna Atkins. Since I had encountered cameraless photos by Susan Derges, Atkins's images also have attracted me. Her photo is used for a front cover of a poetry collection by Louise Glück.

Cyanotype Gymnogramma calomelanos, Jamaica by …