“So now she’s gone and I buried her, and that’s all there is to it.” For the love of a dog. #valentines #poetryisjustawesome

Before I started trauma therapy I didn’t connect to people, not like I can do now, in any case, or for a longer time, not knowing whether we would move houses again, countries, towns. For the last 13 and a half years my pug Tommie was one of the closest beings I had- in happy times and times of grief. And that is all there is to it. I love this poem.

A Dog Has Died by Pablo Neruda

My dog has died.
I buried her in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.

Some day I’ll join her right there,
but now she’s gone with her shaggy coat,
her bad manners and her cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I’ll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving her fan-like tail in friendship.

Ai, I’ll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
Her friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
she never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of her hair or her mange,
she never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.

No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, she was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
she’d keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all her sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.

Ai, how many times have I envied her tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea’s movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with her golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean’s spray.

Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.

There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don’t now and never did lie to each other.

So now she’s gone and I buried her,
and that’s all there is to it.

Is this what dying is for? Jaime Sabines, ¿Para esto morir? #mexico #poetryisjustawesome

From: A Few Words On The Death of Major Sabines by Jaime Sabines. Rest in peace Tommie.

Is this what dying is for?
To invent the soul,
God’s frock, eternity, the water
in the fountain of death, hope?
To die so one can fish?
To trap the spider in a web?

The wind blew past. The uncovered well and the blighted root
were all that remained of the house.
And there’s no point in crying. And if you pound
on the walls of God, and if you pull out
your hair or rip your shirt,
no one will ever hear you, no one will see you.
No one, nothing comes back. The golden
dust of life will not return.

Algo Sobre la Muerte de Mayor Sabines

¿Para esto morir?
¿para inventar el alma,
el vestido de Dios, la eternidad, el agua
del aguacero de la muerte, la esperanza?,
¿morir para pescar?
¿para atrapar con su red a la araña?

Pasó el viento. Quendaron de la casa
el pozo abierto y la raíz en ruinas.
Y es en vano llorar. Y si golpeas
las paredes de Dios, y si te arrancas
el pelo o la camisa,
nadie te oye jamás, nadie te mira.
No vuelve nadie, nada. No retorna
el polvo de oro de la vida.

From: Pinholes in the Night, essential poems from Latin America. Selected by Raul Zurita, edited by Forrest Gander.

USED and NEW: Pinholes in the Night at Abebooks.com.

No need to spell out love— poems: “Beyond the last horizon/We’ll see what there is to see…” #TweetHearts #Valentines

When you don’t have to spell out that you love.

North London Sonnet
for Lucinda

A boom-box boats by,
less music than sonic muscle
assaulting the night sky,
a pumped-up hustle-bustle

which manages to disturb
the twirly, needling alarm
of a car tucked into the kerb—
its mantra, or charm—

but that too, soon, quiets
and you sleep on, proof
against the rumpuses and riots
encircling our roof,

till my switching off the light
prompts a muffled Good Night

Christopher Reid

From: London a History in Verse, ed by Mark Ford.

NEW: http://www.localbookshops.co.uk
USED: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=9186279941
Canto IV

You know your glance bedecks the sailboats
In the rocking nights of the catch
You know your glance ties the knot of stars
And the knot of song that will come from this chest
Your glance carries the word to the heart
And the enchanted mouth of a nightingale

There’s no time to lose
At the hour of the body in the dubious shipwreck
I measure the infinite step by step

The sea waits to conquer
So there’s no time to lose
.    Ah then

Beyond the last horizon
We’ll see what there is to see


Vicente Huidobro

From: Pinholes in the Night, essential poems for Latin America. Selected by Raul Zurita, edited by Forrest Gander.

USED and NEW: Pinholes in the Night at Abebooks.com.

I shall drown you in love poems. By Valentine’s Day you will be able to face the chocolate hearts and red red roses!

Not typical love poems, although some are.

Freedom, summer (To my mother, reminding her of the fire)

I hold the photo of two lovers who fell into the sea. They’re dressed
.   for winter, I ask them to take off their clothes. During siestas we sit
.   beside the water pump and stare at each other: light collects in her
.   breasts again; he loved horses and one time he tried to kill himself. (1978)

La Libertad, el verano (A mi madre, recordándole el fuego)

Tengo la foto de dos novios que cayeron al mar. Están vestidos de
.   invierno, los invito a desnudarse. En las siestas nos sentamos junto
.   a la bomba de agua y nos miramos: de nuevo embolsan luz los
.   pechos de ella; él amaba a los caballos y una vez intentó suicidarse. (1978)

For more on Héctor Viel Témperley go here!

Canto IV
Rose upturned and rose returned and rose and rose
Though the warden don’t want it
Muddy rivers make for clean fishing.

Vicente Huidobro

From: Pinholes in the Night, essential poems for Latin America. Selected by Raul Zurita, edited by Forrest Gander.

USED and NEW: Pinholes in the Night at Abebooks.com.

Stations by Audre Lorde

Some women love
to wait
for life          for a ring
in the June light          for a touch
of the sun to heal them           for another
woman’s voice       to make them whole
to untie their hands
put words in their mouths
form to their passages      sound
to their screams        for some other sleeper
to remember         their future         their past.

Some women wait for their right
train          in the wrong station
in the alleys of morning
for the noon to holler
the night come down.

Some women wait for love
to rise up
the child of their promise
to gather from earth
what they do not plant
to claim pain for labor
to become
the tip of an arrow       to aim
at the heart of now
but it never stays.

Some women wait for visions
That do not return
Where they were not welcome
For invitations to places
They always wanted
To visit
To be repeated.

Some women wait for themselves
Around the next corner
And call the empty spot peace
But the opposite of living
Is only not living
And the stars do not care.

Some women wait for something
To change        and nothing
Does change
So they change


From The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
NEW at independent bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634

Elvira Hernández: The Flag of Chile/ La Bandera de Chile

The Flag of Chili 1st page

The Flag of Chili 1st page

Excerpt from: The Flag of Chile

.              No one has said a word about the flag of Chile
.                              about its nobility its cloth
.                           about its rectangular desert
.                               They haven’t proclaimed
.                                     the Flag of Chile
.                                            missing

.                  The flag of Chile says nothing about itself
.                    it reads itself in a round pocket mirror
.                    it gleams delayed in time like an echo
.                           there’s a lot of broken glass
.                   smashed like the lines in an open hand
.                                        it reads itself
.                             seeking stones for its desire

.                          …………………………………………..

.                  They order the Flag of Chile to its mast-tip
.                      and                   this its fa                  tes and mo
.                             because of               bric undula                  ves


.                                                              cause of                   spect
.                                                   and be               this they re           it

.                          ……………………………………………

.                  The Flag of Chile is measured in square meters
.                             its smell measured by twitches of the nose
.                    it’s measured by eyes so blind to its facets of light and shadow
.                              by patience for its diarrheas
.                    the construction of malnourished trust

.               The Flag of Chile is hung between two buildings
.                its banner inflated like an ulcerated belly
.                                        — it falls like an old teat —
.                                                like a circus tent
.                Legs in the air, slit up the middle
.                                         a little snatch for the open air
.                  a little hole for the ashes of General O’Higgins
.                  or an eye for the Avenue of General Bulnes

.                  The Flag of Chile lies on its side
.                                                                            forgotten

.                    ……………………………………………………………..

.                   The Flag of Chile doesn’t sell itself
.                              they may cut off its lights they may leave without
.                              water
.                              they may crush its ribs with sharp kicks
.                   The flag is something like a decoy that resists
.                              they’re worthless, the judges’ sentences
.                              the calloused ropes that hoist it up
.                    The Flag of Chile is end to end

.                    ………………………………………..
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower
.                                                      hoist lower

.                                    in the routine the Flag of Chile loses heart
.                                                                                            and surrenders


Poetry book for people who just started reading poetry today and those who have read miles of it. Very good buy.

The Oxford Book of Latin American poetry, a bilingual anthology, ed. Cecilia Vicuña and Ernesto Livon-Grosman.

USED: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&tn=The+Oxford+Book+of+Latin+American+poetry
NEW at independent bookstore:  http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195124545



If you read the language, this is interesting: http://letras.s5.com/eh290910.html

The Flag of CHili 2nd page

Isabel Fraire, Mexico: The Housing Complex, Complejo habitational!

A moment Captured by a Japanese Painter of the Eighteenth Century Seen in a Moment of the Twentieth Century in a London Gallery.

a plump black
not very attractive
head feathers bristling
from cold
or wind
forcefully clings to
a nearly vertical branch

his posture tells us
that the branch
is being stirred by the wind

the bird
with small black eyes
like seeds
or buttons
at something
outside the scene
we cannot see


the minute the sun comes out
.      everything is beside the point
.                 it is enough
.                               to open your eyes
.                             to stretch your limbs
.                                     like a cat


Housing complex

morning rises slowly like a mist climbing
.                 and spreading through the air

a child crosses             squares of green grass
.           running            jumping          running
.                  carrying
.                          a shopping bag in its hand

the apartment buildings
.                           present flat rectangular            surfaces

.           the windows are equipped with fray steel shutters
.           that close   or open
.                               like lids
.                                                    each room a box

the garden           of smooth green grass              like a new carpet
.           is framed by regular rows of identical trees
.                        that cast an oblong shadow
.                                     like a wall

no one speaks to each other here                  a neighbour tells me
.           breaking the rule
.                                  after a year
at predetermined hours
.                                    two or threw old men and a child
.                                        take their respective dogs out for a walk
.                          one of them is in the habit of
.                                                        letting the dog run loose
.                          the others stop
.                                each time
.                                                        the dog stops

usually silence prevails
.                                 broken only by the noise of traffic
.                   that swells
.                                 at the hours when offices open or close

but occasionally
.     through paper-thin walls     one overhears
.               a bitter violent               discussion
.                                                full of resentment
.                                or a ruined life
.             melodramatic panting
.                                          background music
.                               from the television set
a block away
.            large bulldozers
.            busily demolish a small grove
in order to erect a mass of buildings
.            exactly like this one



If you want an easy, fun, interesting, cool book of poetry and you don’t normally read much, this is your book. Together with the Anthology of African American Verse. It’s like reading short Facebook updates.

Thomas Hoeksema translator

The Oxford Book of Latin American poetry, a bilingual anthology, ed. Cecilia Vicuña and Ernesto Livon-Grosman.

USED: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&tn=The+Oxford+Book+of+Latin+American+poetry
NEW at independent bookstore: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195124545

Surinam poetry. Poezie gedichten geluid uit Suriname!! (Latin-America)

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 10.52.07 PM
Galibi beach, Surinam.

A tree, hosts of sparrows
and amongst them
one other bird.

Een boom vol mussen
en daartussen
een andere vogel.

Geerdi, 9 jaar.

Coconut palm
under the flowing wind […]

onder de vloeiende wind

Michaël Slory
[uit: Waar wordt de lucht gemolken?, 2004]

Sranan tongo:
“Orfeu negro”
Mi sa singi a son opo kon

I will sing
the sun
to rise

With the stars washed away
from the sky
I will sing
in clouds of orange,
Flecked loin cloths of redblue,
Black, that can’t keep itself standing

When my sun arrives
A yellow message
For all who still lay in their camps
for all who are blind with sleep…

I shall sing
The sun

From out of the water
That is so endlessly broad
Until you come outside
To listen
To the message that from my heart
Bursts out
A few droplets of the morning sun.

Ik zal zingen
de zon rijst
komt te voorschijn

Wanneer de sterren weggewassen zijn
Uit de lucht
Ik zal zingen
In wolken van oranje,
Bespikkelde lendendoeken van roodblauw,
Zwart, dat zich niet langer kan staande houden

Wanneer mijn zon aankomt
Een gele boodschap
Voor allen die nog in hun kampen liggen
Voor allen die blind zijn van slaap…

Ik zal zingen
Om de zon
Te laten opkomen

Vanuit het water
Dat zo eindeloos breed is
Totdat jullie naar buiten komen
Om te luisteren
Naar het bericht dat vanuit mijn hart
Naar buiten breekt
Enkele druppels van de morgenzon

Sranan tongo:
Mi sa singi
A son
Opo kon,

Te den stari wasi komoto
Na loktu
Mi sa singi
Alanya worku,
Penipeni pangi fu rediblaw
Blaka, di no man ori ensrefi
Te mi son e kon
Wan geri boskopu
Fu ala di didon ete na ini den kanpu
Fu ala di e sribi breni..

Mi sa singi
A son
Opo kon,

Fu ondro a watra
Di bradi sote
Te un opo kon na doro
Fu arki
A nyunsu di mi ati
E lusu
Wanwan dropu fu mamanten son

Michael Slory [1935]