February

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Old Bones
Out there walking round, looking out for food,
a rootstock, a birdcall, a seed that you can crack
plucking, digging, snaring, snagging,
barely getting by,

no food out there on dusty slopes of scree--
carry some--look for some,
go for a hungry dream.
Deer bone, Dall sheep,
bones hunger home.

Out there somewhere
a shrine for the old ones,
the dust of the old bones,
old songs and tales.

What we ate--who ate what--
how we all prevailed.
-Gary Snyder

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How Poetry Comes to Me
It comes blundering over the
Boulders at night, it stays
Frightened outside the
Range of my campfire
I go to meet it at the
Edge of the light
-Gary Snyder

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DE ÁRBOL A ÁRBOL
a ambrosio y silvia

Los árboles
¿serán acaso solidarios?

¿digamos el castaño de los campos elíseos
con el quebrancho de entre ríos
o los olivos de jaén
con los sauces de tacuarembó?

¿le avisará la encina de westfalia
al flaco alerce de tirol
que administre mejor su trementina?

y el caucho de pará
o el baobab en las márgenes del cuanza
¿provocarán al fin la verde angustia
de aquel ciprés de la mission dolores
que cabeceaba en frisco
california?

¿se sentirá el ombú en su pampa de rocío
casi un hermano de la ceiba antillana?

los de este parque o aquella floresta
¿se dirán de copa a copa que el muérdago
otrora tan sagrado entre los galos
ahora es apenas un parásito
con chupadores corticales?

¿sabrán los cedros del líbano
y los caobos de corinto
que sus voraces enemigos
no son la palma de camagüey
ni el eucalipto de tasmania
sino el hacha tenaz del leñador
la sierra de las grandes madereras
el rayo como látigo en la noche?
-Mario Benedetti

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The profession of film director can and should be such a high and precious one; that no man aspiring to it can disregard any knowledge that will make him a better film director or human being.
-Sergei Eisentein

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You're seeing me develop, not only as a filmmaker if you've seen my earlier films, but you're seeing me kind of learn how to be a human, how my philosophy has evolved.
-David Cronenberg

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For such an advanced civilization as ours to be without images that are adequate to it is as serious a defect as being without memory."
-Werner Herzog

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Congratulations to the New York Giants for winning Super Bowl XLII !!! Your fans are very proud. Neither the '69 Jets, the '69 Mets, nor the '70 Knicks have anything over you. Although considered by nearly everyone to be the clear underdogs in this year's championship, you exemplified team play and indomitable heroism by upsetting one of the very highest-rated teams in NFL history. It is a real shame that Coach Belichick let himself, his team, and football fans everywhere down with his unsportsmanlike premature departure from the field with time remaining to be played. Had he had the dignity and decency to stay and shake Coach Coughlin's hand like a gentleman, it would have been a memorably noble way for him to end what has been the most remarkable of seasons for his New England Patriots. Congratulations to all Patriot players and fans for their extraordinary year.
-Viggo Mortensen

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The most ordinary word, when put into place, suddenly acquires brilliance. That is the brilliance with which your images must shine.
-Robert Bresson

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Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
-Robert Bresson

_____________________


I am learning that if I just go on accepting the framework for life that others have given me, if I fail to make my own choices, the reason for my life will be missing. I will be unable to recognize that which I have the power to change."
-Liv Ullmann

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What I have learned from my work up to now, is to try to be open, but also protect myself by not letting the good and the evil get too much importance.
-Jane Campion

____________________


NO ES QUE MUERA DE AMOR, muero de ti.
Muero de ti, amor, de amor de ti,
de urgencia mía de mi piel de ti,
de mi alma de ti y de mi boca
y del insoportable que yo soy sin ti.

Muero de ti y de mí, muero de ambos,
de nosotros, de ese,
desgarrado, partido,
me muero, te muero, lo morimos.

Morimos en mi cuarto en que estoy solo,
en mi cama en que faltas,
en la calle donde mi brazo va vacío,
en el cine y los parques, los tranvías,
los lugares donde mi hombro acostumbra tu cabeza
y mi mano tu mano
y todo yo te sé como yo mismo.

Morimos en el sitio que le he prestado al aire
para que estés fuera de mí,
y en el lugar en que el aire se acaba
cuando te echo mi piel encima
y nos conocemos en nosotros, separados del mundo,
dichosa, penetrada, y cierto, interminable.

Morimos, lo sabemos, lo ignoran, nos morimos
entre los dos, ahora, separados,
del uno al otro, diariamente,
cayéndonos en múltiples estatuas,
en gestos que no vemos,
en nuestras manos que nos necesitan.

Nos morimos, amor, muero en tu vientre
que no muerdo ni beso,
en tus muslos dulcísimos y vivos,
en tu carne sin fin, muero de máscaras,
de triángulos obscuros e incesantes.
Muero de mi cuerpo y de tu cuerpo,
de nuestra muerte, amor, muero, morimos.
En el pozo de amor a todas horas,
Inconsolable, a gritos,
dentro de mí, quiero decir, te llamo,
te llaman los que nacen, los que vienen
de atrás, de ti, los que a ti llegan.
Nos morimos, amor, y nada hacemos
sino morirnos más, hora tras hora,
y escribirnos y hablarnos y morirnos.
-Jaime Sabines

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As the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award ceremony is this sunday in London, and the movie Eastern Promises is nominated for Best British Film, I take this opportunity to thank and salute the incomparable David Cronenberg and his entire team for the beautiful professional work done to tell this story. Since our movie unfortunately did not receive (much deserved, in my opinion) nominations for Directing or Best Picture from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars), this seems like an appropriate moment to say goodbye and wish continued good travelling to all involved. Win or lose, this movie is unique and will stand the test of time as a thought-provoking and finely-crafted piece of storytelling. History will show that David Cronenberg has been the rare top-level movie director that has improved from project to project, decade after decade, and never really looked back. There is no director alive in the world today who is working at a higher level technically, artistically, philosophically, or in terms of consistently delivering stories as entertaining as they are unsettling. A master. They do not come along very often, and some of us have taken note. There are many among our actors and technical crew who also ought to have been recognised by the various prize-giving organisations for the excellence of their creative contributions. Their exclusion takes nothing away from their enduring accomplishments. I am proud to represent our team just a little longer.
Spasiba!
-Viggo Mortensen

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When somebody moves something in your house, you notice it. When somebody moves something in the woods, I notice it.
-Tom Brown, Jr

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Hoy te quiero más que ayer
Pero menos que mañana
Mi pasión es azulgrana
Y reclama tu fervor...
-Canaro (que tuvo un flautista llamado "Cuervo", viste?)

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TU NOMBRE
Trato de escribir en la oscuridad tu nombre.
Trato de escribir que te amo.
Trato de decir a oscuras todo esto.
No quiero que nadie se entere,
que nadie me mire a las tres de la mañana
paseando de un lado a otro de la estancia,
loco, lleno de ti, enamorado.
Iluminado, ciego, lleno de ti, derramándote.
Digo tu nombre con todo el silencio de la noche,
lo grita mi corazón amordazado.
Repito tu nombre, vuelvo a decirlo,
lo digo incansablemente,
y estoy seguro que habrá de amanecer.
-Jaime Sabines

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CUARTO DE HOTEL

I
A la luz cenicienta del recuerdo
que quiere redimir lo ya vivido
arde el ayer fantasma. ¿Yo soy ese
que baila al pie del árbol y delira
con nubes que son cuerpos que son olas,
con cuerpos que son nubes que son playas?
¿Soy el que toca el agua y canta el agua,
la nube y vuela, el árbol y echa hojas,
un cuerpo y se despierta y le contesta?
Arde el tiempo fantasma:
arde el ayer, el hoy se quema y el mañana.
Todo lo que soñé dura un minuto
y es un minuto todo lo vivido.
Pero no importan siglos o minutos:
también el tiempo de la estrella es tiempo,
gota de sangre o fuego: parpadeo.

II
Roza mi frente con sus manos frías
el río del pasado y sus memorias
huyen bajo mis párpados de piedra.
No se detiene nunca su carrera
y yo, desde mí mismo, lo despido.
¿Huye de mí el pasado?
¿Huyo con él y aquel que lo despide
es una sombra que me finge, hueca?
Quizá no es él quien huye: yo me alejo
y él no me sigue, ajeno, consumado.
Aquel que fui se queda en la ribera.
No me recuerda nunca ni me busca,
no me contempla ni despide:
contempla, busca a otro fugitivo.
Pero tampoco el otro lo recuerda.

III
No hay antes ni después. ¿Lo que viví
lo estoy viviendo todavía?
¡Lo que viví! ¿Fui acaso? Todo fluye:
lo que viví lo estoy muriendo todavía.
No tiene fin el tiempo: finge labios,
minutos, muerte, cielos, finge infiernos,
puertas que dan a nada y nadie cruza.
No hay fin, ni paraíso, ni domingo.
No nos espera Dios al fin de semana.
Duerme, no lo despiertan nuestros gritos.
Sólo el silencio lo despierta.
Cuando se calle todo y ya no canten
la sangre, los relojes, las estrellas,
Dios abrirá los ojos
y al reino de su nada volveremos.
-Octavio Paz

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Ein Fichtenbaum steht einsam
Im Norden auf kahler Höh.
Ihn schläfert; mit weißer Decke
Umhüllen ihn Eis und Schnee.

Er träumt von einer Palme,
Die fern im Morgenland
Einsam und schweigend trauert
Auf brennender Felsenwand.
-Heinrich Heine

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The Leaf
A little oak leaf tore off from its branch
Was driven o'er the steppe by a cruel gale;
Dried up and withered from the cold, the heat and sorrow
It finally alit by the Black Sea shore.

A young plane tree stands by the Black Sea shore;
A whispering wind strokes her green boughs;
On her green boughs sway heavenly birds
Singing the praises and fame of the queen of the sea.

The traveler lit at the soaring tree's roots;
Anguished he pled for a moment's shelter,
And these were his words: "I am but a poor oak leaf,
Matured before my time in a grim homeland.

For ages I've wandered without a goal, all alone
Without shade I withered, without repose, faded.
Would you welcome this stranger among your emerald leaves,
I know many stories of wonder and wisdom."

"But why do I need you?" the young tree replies, -
"You are dusty and yellow - ill-suited to my wholesome young sons.
You've seen many things - but what use do I have for your tales?
The heavenly birds have long wearied my ears.

O traveler! Be on your way. You are a stranger to me!
Beloved by the sun, I bloom and shine for him;
My boughs are spread in the heavenly fields,
The cool sea refreshes and washes my roots."
-Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov

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Let America be America Again
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!
-Langston Hughes

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Life Is Fine
I went down to the river,
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn't,
So I jumped in and sank.

I came up once and hollered!
I came up twice and cried!
If that water hadn't a-been so cold
I might've sunk and died.

But it was Cold in that water! It was cold!

I took the elevator
Sixteen floors above the ground.
I thought about my baby
And thought I would jump down.

I stood there and I hollered!
I stood there and I cried!
If it hadn't a-been so high
I might've jumped and died.

But it was High up there! It was high!

So since I'm still here livin',
I guess I will live on.
I could've died for love--
But for livin' I was born

Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry--
I'll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.

Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!
-Langston Hughes

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Voices Of the Night
Pleasant it was, when woods were green,
And winds were soft and low,
To lie amid some sylvan scene,
Where, the long drooping boughs between
Shadows dark and sunlight sheen
Alternate come and go;

Or where the denser grove receives
No sunlight from above
But the dark foliage interweaves
In one unbroken roof of leaves,
Underneath whose sloping eaves
The shadows hardly move.

Beneath some patriarchal tree
I lay upon the ground;
His hoary arms uplifted he,
And all the broad leaves over me
Clapped their little hands in glee,
With one continuous sound;-

A slumberous sound,-a sound that brings
The feelings of a dream,-
As of innumerable wings,
As, when a bell no longer swings,
Faint the hollow murmur rings
O'er meadow, lake, and stream.

And dreams of that which cannot die,
Bright visions, came to me,
As lapped in thought I used to lie,
And gaze into the summer sky,
Where the sailing clouds went by,
Like ships upon the sea;

Dreams that the soul of youth engage
Ere Fancy has been quelled;
Old legends of the monkish page.
Traditions of the saint and sage,
Tales that have the rime of age,
And chronicles of Eld.

And, loving still these quaint old themes,
Even in the city's throng
I feel the freshness of the streams,
That, crossed by shades and sunny gleams,
Water the green land of dreams,
The holy land of song.

Therefore, at Pentecost, which brings
The Spring, clothed like a bride,
When nestling buds unfold their wings,
And bishop's-caps have golden rings,
Musing upon many things,
I sought the woodlands wide.

The green trees whispered low and mild,
It was a sound of joy!
They were my playmates when a child
And rocked me in their arms so wild!
Still they looked at me and smiled
As if I were a boy;

And ever whispered, mild and low,
"Come, be a child once more!"
And waved their long arms to and fro,
And beckoned solemnly and slow;
O, I could not choose but go
Into the woodlands hoar;

Into the blithe and breathing air,
Into the solemn wood.
Solemn and silent everywhere!
Nature with folded hands seemed there,
Kneeling at her evening prayer!
Like one in prayer I stood.

Before me rose an avenue
Of tall and sombrous pines;
Abroad their fan-like branches grew,
And, where the sunshine darted through
Spread a vapor soft and blue,
In long and sloping lines.

And, falling on my weary brain,
Like a fast-falling shower,
The dreams of youth came back again,
Low lispings of the summer rain,
Dropping on the ripened grain,
As once upon the flower.

Visions of childhood! Stay, O stay!
Ye were so sweet and wild!
And distant voices seemed to say,
"It cannot be! They pass away!
Other themes demand thy lay;
Thou art no more a child!

The land of Song within thee lies,
Watered by living springs;
The lids of Fancy's sleepless eyes
Are gates unto that Paradise;
Holy thoughts, like stars, arise,
Its clouds are angels' wings.

Learn, that henceforth thy song shall be
Not mountains capped with snow,
Nor forests sounding like the sea,
Nor rivers flowing ceaselessly,
Where the woodlands bend to see
The bending heavens below.

There is a forest where the din
Of iron branches sounds!
A mighty river roars between,
And whosoever looks therein,
Sees the heavens all black with sin,-
Sees not depths, nor bounds.

Athwart the swinging branches cast,
Soft rays of sunshine pour;
Then comes the fearful wintry blast;
Our hopes, like withered leaves, fall fast;
Pallid lips say, 'It is past!
We can return no more!

Look, then, into thine heart, and write!
Yes, into Life's deep stream!
All forms of sorrow and delight,
All solemn Voices of the Night,
That can soothe thee, or affright,-
Be these henceforth thy theme.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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To my lips I raise this greenness,
This viscous vow of leaves,
This vow-violating earth,
Mother to snowdrops, maples, young oaks.

Look at me--I grow stronger, blinder,
Stooping before these submissive roots;
Can my eyes endure the grandeur
of this thunderous grove?

And the voices of the croaking ones,
They all come together, like drops of mercury,
And the twigs become branches,
And the mist becomes make-believe.
--Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam
(Translation by Stanislav Shvabrin and VM)

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A Psalm of Life
Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us farther than today.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, - act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sand of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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NO TE SALVES
No te quedes inmóvil
al borde del camino
no congeles el júbilo
no quieras con desgana
no te salves ahora
ni nunca
no te salves
no te llenes de calma

no reserves del mundo
sólo un rincón tranquilo
no dejes caer los párpados
pesados como juicios

no te quedes sin labios
no te duermas sin sueño
no te pienses sin sangre
no te juzgues sin tiempo

pero si
pese a todo
no puedes evitarlo
y congelas el júbilo
y quieres con desgana

y te salvas ahora
y te llenas de calma
y reservas del mundo
sólo un rincón tranquilo
y dejas caer los párpados
pesados como juicios
y te secas sin labios
y te duermes sin sueño
y te piensas sin sangre
y te juzgas sin tiempo
y te quedas inmóvil
al borde del camino
y te salvas
entonces
no te quedes conmigo
-Mario Benedetti

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Last edited: 31 March 2008 06:13:53