Thursday, April 24, 2008

Just an effort to stir the dialogue

Love after love

The time will come
When, with elation,
You will greet yourself arriving
At your own door, in your own mirror,
And each will smile at the other's welcome,

And say, sit here, Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
To itself, to the stranger who has loved you

All your life, whom you ignored
For another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

The photographs, the desperate notes,
Peel your image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott

Do you consider this a "relieving" poem? Why?


nanuka said...

...what do you mean by releiving??

nanuka said...

..sorry, I think is "relieving" anyways, nobody is answering me...Javier was telling me today that maybe the Zapopan Lectures Blog was almost death?? I don`t think so, but please anybody say something...lots of poets, of people that work with words, where are you??? at least answer my question...

garrett said...

No the blog is not dead. We just took two weeks off from the lectures because of conflicting schedules.

Why relieving? Why is that a question? I find the poem relieving in the way that I find someone giving me advice relieving, someone I didn't ask for advice from. I'd rather watch television.

Who ever said art should comfort us? If this was the goal of art, all our painting would look like the walls of psychiatric hospitals. I'm tempted to write a list of literature that I think is great, moving, deeply significant - and not relieving - but that would include pretty much all great literature.

I'd rather answer to the idea of looking in the mirror with a poem of my own, from my book Malilenas.

Malilenas 32.

You have beautiful eyes,
I said to the mirror.
This was the day I went blind.

I like to watch,
said the mirror.
This was the day I tore my eyes out.

Unable to see,
my hearing became quite acute
give me this

and I heard a voice say,
Who are you talking to?
And when I opened my eyes,

¡Mira! how good we look together!
Even now, one says, I will follow you,
imaginary friend, into the future,

then is gone. Now only one of us
in the mirror.
The mirror says,

I will follow you, imaginary friend,
into the future, then is gone.
Now no one, nothing left, to prove I’m smiling.

Malilenas 32.

Tienes ojos hermosos
Le dije al espejo
Este fue el día que quedé ciego

Me gusta mirar
dijo el espejo
Ese día fue el día en que arranqué mis ojos

Incapaz de ver
Mi oído se volvió más fino
Concédeme esto

Luego escuché una voz decir
¿A quién le hablas?
Y cuando abrí mis ojos

Look! ¡Qué bien nos vemos juntos!
Aún ahora, uno dice, voy a seguirte
amigo imaginario, hacia el futuro,

luego se fue. Ahora sólo uno de nosotros
en el espejo.
El espejo dice,

Te seguiré amigo imaginario
hacia el futuro, luego se fue.
Ahora nadie, no queda nada que pruebe
que estoy sonriendo.

(Poema de Garrett Kalleberg.
Traducción al español de la poeta Laura Solórzano).

szalvador said...

Beautifull poems from Derek and Garrett. And I (YO MERO) said that art will relieve us, comfort if you want. And yes, all our modern paintings are the virtual walls of the IMH our cities/world has became, and that's why we're not all into those psi-hospitals. And the relieve of art comes not as a free concession but as the prize for the work's been done. (Oh! I'm sure my english is soo bad but please, forgive me and if you can, help me too. Thanks).

szalvador said...

Sorry Javier, but yes, I consider Love after love a relieving poem, maybe because of the title, which is the same as the song from Fito Páez: El amor después del amor. And because of the calm, the great serenity of the one who became aware of love, of the love he got from others, and the one he can give to himself...

nanuka said...

...Salvador, your english is great! maybe I can talk much more than I can really, now, seriously...I loved all the poems (cause I always thdink that a translation is also another poem) and also I am releived by art...not always, but a lot...also by sense of humor...

szalvador said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
szalvador said...

... himself, yourself, that other.
Feast on your life.

javierjwoo said...

I came to this poem by Walcott in a book titled "Ten Poems to Change Your Life" (poems that inspire you to live what you always knew in your bones but never had the words for.)!!! Great, isn't it?
Well, I've read the poem several times but my life hasn't changed; it's still the same dull everyday life.
Perhaps this therapeutic use of art, as proposed by certain gurus doesn't work with me. As Garrett wrote, I'd rather watch television, read Montaigne or, even better, try to find awareness in Malilenas 32.

nanuka said...

...I want the book of Derek, and I also found inspiring Garrett´s poem...sorry, I know it wasn´t your porpouse...

javierjwoo said...

There is no book of Derek. "Ten Poems to Change Your Life" is a compilation of poems (ten, of course), made by certain Roger Housden.

Walcott's poem appears among works by: Antonio Machado, Walt Withman, Neruda, W.S. Merwin and others.

Are you serious about reading this kind of book?



El tiempo vendrá
cuando, con gran alegría,
tú saludarás al tú mismo que llega
a tu puerta, en tu espejo,
y cada uno sonreirá a la bienvenida del otro,
y dirá, siéntate aquí. Come.
Seguirás amando al extraño que fue tú mismo.
Ofrece vino. Ofrece pan. Devuelve tu amor
a ti mismo, al extraño que te amó
toda tu vida, a quien no has conocido
para conocer a otro corazón,
que te conoce de memoria.
Recoge las cartas del escritorio,
las fotografías, las desesperadas líneas,
despega tu imagen del espejo.
Siéntate. Celebra tu vida.

szalvador said...


Burruchaga said...

I enjoyed the poem Javier. Art, in my opinion, should move us. I think Borges could say something like art helps us to relieve us of the weigth of being someone; should make life more bearable.

Thanks for your poem Garrett, and for the translations too.

javierjwoo said...

Borges also said that "to die is to be relieved of the burden of the world". It seems that the act of living, still considered as a battlefield, needs some kind of relief, perhaps art.

lacatolica said...

Every comment in this window is very inspiring. I like the poems a lot. I enjoy yesterday's class. Thank you, Garrett.

garrett said...

Ay, thank you all! I think I've finally found the right balance between the material and our time - I think this means that I'll continue to split my lectures into two parts each, and add a few more onto the end, sot that there are perhaps 15 lectures instead of 10.

Again, thank you all for coming, for participating, for having this conversation with me!

szalvador said...

It's our pleasure and our privilege...