Set 27, 2012

Mula sa Nouvelles en trois lignes

ni Félix Fénéon
aking salin

Walang trabaho o tirahan si Louis Lamarre, ngunit may dala siyang ilang barya. Sa isang groseri sa Saint-Denis, bumili siya ng isang litrong petrolyo at ininom ito.

Set 25, 2012

Scavenger Poetics of "The Way"

The first time I heard Armantrout read this, I thought that a case could be made for her "The Way" as a poem about poverty.

In the first stanza, we are set in a place of worship. But why are we not facing the altar? Instead, we see "Card in pew pocket" and learn that a possible divine "I" resides in that pocket. There's the word pocket, of course, but in the church of my youth, what you find in the pew pocket is the Misalette (a pamphlet-type guide to the Mass) and envelopes with words of green ink asking for donations. So, why is the divine located here? Also—if after the multiple "I" we are still allowed to assume a persona behind this poem—why is she looking at the pew pocket instead of the altar?

The second stanza is strong enough by now to support many other readings, especially that word "statement," which could be read alternatively as a financial accounting, a spare one at that, because of the "bad winter".

What's the way out? Grease! That is, a surplus of resources. You've got so much of the stuff that your car can't take any more so you put it on hair, hair that's too big for your head. The movie also features these kids wrestling with issues of conformity, rites of passage and so forth, but we must remember how rich they are with their shoes and their engines, their races and dances and what they've come to call problems. Imagine how these images must seem to a kid or adult with "real life emergencies"—ought she aspire for grease? Must s/he look away?

Why do these images take precedence over the speaker's life? Now, "behind the scenes," that's where all the errors are, in real life, where someone also resides, but is unmarked by "I". But this is the subjectivity that perceives the pew pocket "I" and the teen movie "I," that sees in them possible paths. But perhaps these "ways" are closed of to him or her by virtue of "bad winter" and "real life emergencies".

The I's present is less clear to her than her past. She was abandoned to fiction. Agreed, the best place to get lost in. But why was she abandoned in the first place? Mother and father looking for money? When I was a grader I had to stay two hours at the library after class after all the other boys have gone on home because my father was working extra hours. That's good abandonment, yes—and I remain grateful not only to my parents but also to our circumstances—but it's still abandonment and the cause was clear to the child: time, work = pay. But minus child. Therefore, even as a child, she also had to pay the price.

But look, she was given fiction, fairy tales, "story/ made of trees". And when she grew up, what did she pour forth? "A small/ gasp." Poetry! (against "Prose" in Dickinson's "I dwell in Possibility," perhaps?) And it's this type of poetry, one that consists of scraps, that insists on one incomplete I after another, that moves from one fragment of dream after the next.

Viewed in this manner, "The Way" traces an ars poetica, a demonstrative manifesto of how to piece together beauty from the leavings of spare life.

Set 19, 2012

Ang Pusong Tumatawa

ni Charles Bukowski
aking salin

ang iyong buhay ay iyong buhay
huwag hayaang mabugbog ito at mapasuko.
bantayan mo.
may mga landas na palabas.
may liwanag kung saan.
puwedeng hindi ganoong kaliwanag pero
natatalo naman ang kadiliman.
bantayan mo.
aalukin ka ng mga diyos ng mga pagkakataon.
kilalanin ang mga ito.
kunin ang mga ito.
hindi mo matatalo ang kamatayan pero
matatalo mo ang kamatayan sa buhay, paminsan-minsan.
at kung mas madalas mo itong matututunang gawin,
mas marami kang makikitang liwanag.
ang iyong buhay ay iyong buhay.
kilalanin mo habang ito'y iyong hawak.
nakamamangha ka
naghihintay ang mga diyos na magalak
sa iyo.

Set 18, 2012

Mula sa Nouvelles en trois lignes

ni Félix Fénéon
aking salin

Pumusta siya na kaya niyang inumin ang 15 magkakasunod na absinthe habang kumakain ng isang kilong karne ng baka. Makalipas ang ikasiyam, si Théophile Papin, taga-Ivry, ay bumagsak.

Set 15, 2012

Nananaginip na Hangal

ni Carl Sandburg
aking salin

Ako ang primera sa mga hangal
(Gayon ako nanaginip)
At lahat ng mga hangal sa daigdig
            ay inilagay sa akin at ako
            ang pinakamalaking hangal sa lahat.

Mga hangal ang iba tuwing umaga
O sa pagsapit ng gabi o kapag Sabado
O kakaibang araw gaya ng Biyernes a-Trese
Ngunit ako—hangal ako sa bawat araw ng linggo
At sa aking pagtulog ako ang natutulog na hangal
(Gayon ako nanaginip.)

Set 14, 2012

Whitman Thread

—Encompassing, I agree!  Not just the whole poem, but I think also its atoms. For example, that word "assume." It's positively electric for me when he says "What I assume, you shall assume," how it activates all the meanings of that word, the mental process of pure persuasion, the physical cycles of death and rebirth, how he enters through your nose, how we are Whitman now, whether we like it or not, and just because he says so! And while it comes from a grand and overwhelming pride—that forceful Self of his!—it also seems like a matter-of-fact partaking, how we are companions because we both eat earth and shall be eaten by earth.

—Neruda's poetry (as with much of Latin Am poetry and prose) was excited by Whitman. His Canto General and Ode to Common Things seem to me impossible without a Whitmanian sense of scope, a love for particulars. Two other favorites share in his poetic lineage: Borges and Pessoa.

—Pessoa was a Portuguese poet who took Whitman's lines ("I contain multitudes") to a whole new level by splitting himself into many poets, each with a different biography and writing style (eg: Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis, Alvaro de Campos, etc). These poets of Pessoa are called his heteronyms. A good place to start for me would be "I've never kept sheep..." by Caeiro. But his Alvaro de Campos is the one who's truly Whitmanian. He is an engineer by profession, has seen much of the world, and writes in sprawling free verse. From this one, I recommend "Time's Passage," a great Whitmanian denouement. Oh and I'm glad you've also read Borges. He mentions Whitman in his poetry, fiction, and essays.

Thank you for mentioning Muriel Rukeyser. I will try to read more of her. As for Borges, I would venture that his strange catalogues, his romance with the infinite, and—maybe most significantly—his invention of "Borges" the character was directly inspired by Walter Whitman's "Walt Whitman" who claims with such power that he is us and we are him. Perhaps it best to let Borges explain for himself? Here is an excerpt from the prologue that Borges wrote for his Spanish translation of Leaves of Grass: "Whitman was already plural; the author resolved that he would be infinite. He made the hero of Leaves of Grass a trinity; he added to him a third personage, the reader, the changing and successive reader. The reader has always tended to identify with the protagonist of the work; to read Macbeth is in some way to be Macbeth; a book by Hugo is entitled Victor Hugo Narrated by a Witness to His Life; Walt Whitman, as far as we know, was the first to exploit to its interminable and complex extreme, this momentary identification."

Set 12, 2012

The Stair-spirit

Nostalgia must remain a word foreign 
               like the hiss and lick and release 
from the roof of a stranger’s mouth, 
must seek to become etymology running 
back to years of lost avenues, 
To music and a late morning sky, or 
                              to an afternoon of you  
               Blessing a stairwell with shadow,  
seeing the steps for what they were—a craft  
of stone, the points of ants from a wet crack—  
not for where they led to, or for who  
had been sitting upon them, waiting for exits.  

Nostalgia is a poem thing, a thing tongueless  
               still drawing a name from our veins.  
                              Here I am, there you were,  
and what belongs to now can’t be my friend.  
For years ago we left our roots   
               hanging in the air, and today   
a blind wind began whistling on my skin.   

Set 9, 2012

Nine Nine Twelve

SR.SOL— I am your spare tire.

ANATH— As analogies go, Sr., you are a fine-weave bookmark.

SR.SOL— If it breaks down, you want me to keep it running.

ANATH— I must know where I stopped, after all the waking and sleeping—

SR.SOL— But it is this, you see, the waiting in the dark.

ANATH— It is the sense of purpose, the inclination toward beauty. Be proud of these things. And the words around you, words that never change, but you always turn them up and over. And now they've made sense ten thousand times.

SR.SOL— Nineteen.

ANATH— Do you think you would stop if I told you to?

SR.SOL— You can't believe in my own engine, but I'm right behind you.

ANATH— It's possible, yes, that you're inside, in the upper left hand corner, where I am still and insignificant and believe myself smelling of lanzones. Where there is no life at stake.

SR.SOL— I have no meaning?

ANATH— Time runs out on meaning, Sr. But here are metaphors, language! You get to keep your hands clean—

SR.SOL— I have no meaning.

Set 8, 2012

itong kalungkutan

ni Jan G. Elburg
aking salin

Itong kalungkutan ay totoo kung paanong
ang pekeng diyamante ay maaaring totoong salamin:
nakaiintindi ako, nakakakain at nabubuhay
at marami pang mas masamang bagay, kahit para sa akin,
ngunit gayon pa man . . .

Nakikita ko ang mga ibon, at hindi ko sila naririnig.
Naririnig ko ang mga ibon, at sila'y nakakubli.
Hindi ako buo.

Kalahati ako ng isang halik,
kalahati ng isang haplos,
hindi ako buo.

Set 4, 2012

Mula sa Nouvelles en trois lignes

ni Félix Fénéon
aking salin

Sa Rue des Rondeaux, dalawang beses sinaksak si Blanche Salmon sa kanyang tagiliran ng kanyang kasintahan, si Louis Lestelin.

Set 2, 2012


ni Amy Lowell
aking salin

Nagpinta ko ng larawan ng multo
Sa aking saranggola,
At isinabit ito sa puno.
Mamaya, kapag kinalas ko ang pisi
At hinayaan itong lumipad,
Magyumukyok ang mga tao
At itatago ang kanilang mga ulo,
Dala ng takot sa Diyos
Na lumalangoy sa mga ulap.


ni William Carlos Williams
aking salin

Lubhang magkaiba, itong lalake
At itong babae:
Batis na dumadaloy
Sa parang.

Sa Anino ng mga Makata

—salamat sa pagtangkilik paminsan-minsan! hope the weather did you some good

—kaya ko rin lang tina-translate kasi gusto kong maintindihan yung orig. halimbawa itong si ted hughes, ikukwento ko bukas siya sa klase. yung asawa niya, makata rin (si sylvia plath). iniwan niya ito gayong may 2 siyang anak rito. hindi nagtagal, nagpakamatay si plath. yung pangalawa niyang 'asawa' nagpakamatay rin at—sa kasamaang palad—isinama pa ang kanilang anak na sanggol. itong si hughes na lamang ang natitira rito, siya ang uwak, tapos yung mga balahibo ay ang mga trahedya't kasalanan niya sa buhay

—minsan nga hindi ko alam kung ano ang mas gusto kong intindihin, yung buhay ng makata o yung tula. kung may kahit ano kang nais ipapaliwanag, itanong mo lang ha. makakatulong rin ito sa akin, kasi nga trabaho ko ito e

—nakakahiya mang aminin: kaya ko rin iniiwan-iwan itong blog dati ay dahil ________________________. hindi ko na kayang maging spontaneous katulad nang dati, nung kasisimula pa lang. conscious, vulnerable. at least pag nagsasalin ako ________________________ sa anino ng mga makata

—yey look forward to your Qs! magandang gabi/umaga na sa inyo dyan.