poetry

POTD - To Laugh Often and Much by Ralph Waldo Emerson

"To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

To kick off National Poetry Month, we have the very talented actor Bryan Bellomo reading this amazing passage from Ralph Waldo Emerson.

POTD - You Whose Hands Are More Innocent Than Mine by Vesna Parun

You Whose Hands Are More Innocent Than Mine
By Vesna Parun

You whose hands are more innocent than mine
and who is as wise as nonchalance
and who removes slow shadows of doubts
from his face
like the spring wind removes
shadows of clouds floating over the hill.

If your hug gives courage to the heart
and your thighs stop the pain,
if your name gives peace
to his thoughts, and your throat
a shade to his berth
and the night of your voice, an orchard
still untouched by storms.

Then stay beside him
and be more devoted than anyone else
who loved him before you.

Fear the echo approaching
the innocent love nests.

And be gentle with his dream
bellow the invisible mountain
at the edge of the soughing sea.

Walk around his coast. Be seen
by sorrowful dolphins.

Wander around his woods. Kind lizards
wont do you any harm.

And the thirsty snakes that I tamed
will be humble before you.

May the birds that I kept warm sing to you
in the nights of sharp frost.

May the boy that I protected from
stalkers on a deserted road
caress you

May the flowers that I watered with your tears
bring fragrance to you.

I didn't witness the best years
of his manhood. His fertility
I haven't received in my bosom
ravaged by looks
from cattle drivers at fairs
and from greedy thieves.

I will never take care
of his children. And the stories
that I've prepared for them long ago
I might tell, crying,
to little miserable bears
abandoned in black forest.

You whose hands are more innocent than mine
be gentle with his dream
that remained harmless.

But let me see him
his face when strange years start to come down on it.

And tell me sometimes a thing or two about him
so that I don't have to ask strangers
who find me silly, and neighbors
who pity my patience.

You whose hands are more innocent than mine,
stay beside his pillow
and be gentle with his dream!

Vesna Parun

Vesna Parun

Ideas, Art, Aesthetics - 5 Books I Love to Share

Sharing books you love with people you like/love/admire/appreciate is one of the most delicious things. You walk around with a shared interior room. You establish an invisible tribe of the heart and head. So, I like/love/admire/appreciate you. Here are the books about ideas, art, aesthetics I want to share with you.

If you want to share with me yours I would be so grateful.


Languages of Art 

by Nelson Goodman

I got this book referred to me by a professor of ancient Chinese calligraphy ( a bit about that experience). It is cerebral and lovely and trusts the reader immensely with discussions of the invisible, the dynamic, the hidden flows that make art move the way it does.

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Kant and the Platypus

by Umberto Eco

With a playful approach Eco gets me to a thoughtful reckoning of the heavy cognitive burden that language bears. 

I have actually bought copies of this book and sent them to friends because I wanted to talk with them about it.

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Twentieth Century Pleasures

by Robert Hass

With a wide range of subjects (from the image/thought of haiku, to contemplations of Tranströmer and Checkov) poet Robert Hass writes clearly and generously about the poetry he has found resources in.

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The Language Instinct

by Steven Pinker

Very much interested in the way we learn and develop language and the way that language overruns the rules we think define it, Pinker puts forth the notion that language isn't a cultural artefact, isn't an invention that set our societies off from their pre-linguistic past through its instrumentality, but instead that language is an inbuilt biological activity that has shaped our evolution as it evolved beside us.

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In Praise of Shadows

by  Junichiro Tanizaki

The way we approach beauty, the things we allow it to say about us, the way it contributes to the moment-to-moment experience of living, this is what Japanese novelist Tanizaki discusses in this brief little discussion on everything from tableware to architecture to space and light.

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POTD - Tracks by Tomas Tranströmer

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Tracks

by Tomas Tranströmer

2 A.M. moonlight. The train has stopped
out in a field. Far off sparks of light from a town,
flickering coldly on the horizon.

As when a man goes so deep into his dream
he will never remember he was there
when he returns again to his view.

Or when a person goes so deep into a sickness
that his days all become some flickering sparks, a swarm,
feeble and cold on the horizon.

The train is entirely motionless.

2 o’clock: strong moonlight, few stars.