Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Poem by Erin Sullivan

Just a little girl, age nine at the oldest,
She doesn’t know a thing about reality.
She lives in a world where she could be a princess,
And fairytale endings really do exist.
The scariest thing about her precious life
Is the walk to the bathroom at night when it's really dark.
She doesn’t know what it is that scares her so much
About the dark. But it does… scare her.
I think back to that little girl that I used to be very often.
And now I think I know why I was so scared
Of the dark, that is.
Because who knows what’s out there, you can’t see.
I don’t like to believe in things I can’t see, but
It's so hard to believe in anything… when it's dark.
There could be monsters, or murderers,
Or boyfriends that don’t treat you right, or
Parents that stay up all night and fight,
Or just plain old loneliness.
And I think back to that dark teenager I used to be,
People must have been so scared of me.
I was endless and hard to see, like the dark
That separated the bathroom from me.
But now I understand
That the dark, twisty places are meant to be seen.
But only by a few that won’t just have pity.
They’ll be there, and even if they don’t understand,
They’ll understand that they won’t necessarily understand all the time.
And that understanding is more than any
I look back and I think
There will always be things I’ll be terrified of.
The dark in the hallway
The dark in my soul.
But one way or another
Fears must be conquered.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Poem by Erin Sullivan

This is some unreal, crazy, infinite shit.
Like you’re pulling back my layers bit by bit.
You unravel me, unroll me until I’m nothing,
Naked on the floor, like a fool cuz you’re bluffing.
And I’m still crawling after you, scraping up my knees
Begging for your love, just please baby please.
You hit me and bruise me so much I can’t think
And then you tell me we’re forever, you put it in ink.
Somehow I don’t understand that actions speak louder than words.
It gets easier in time, at least that’s what I’ve heard.
But my heart beats for you, every rhythm is a cry.
I reach for you, beg for you, I will til I die.
You tell me you need me, we’re two halves to a whole,
We fit together, work together, but this love/hate’s taking its toll.
I want to breathe and think, without waiting for the other shoe to drop
But I just can’t leave you alone, I just can’t stop.
I feel like an idiot, just working my life around your every move
And when you come around, you act like there’s something to prove.
How about this, how bout you prove that you love me?
You quit playing games, we both win cuz we’ll both be happy.
But no, for you it's more fun to see me in pain,
Look at me and all you put me through, all the scars and stains.
I wish I could say I’m leaving you, but we both know I can’t.
I’m stuck here, rooted to the ground, I’m a god damn house plant.
So I’ll just write another verse, and try to buy time.
Before I get blamed and beaten for one more of your crimes.
You smile, I smile. You frown, I frown. Is that enough?
You secretly take advantage, cuz you know I can take it rough.
I’m done caring and worrying what everyone else sees.
I just want to be happy with you, for the fighting to cease.
It never will, and neither will I.
I will love you until the day that I die.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

from the long overdue (re)readings XVI

The Basque woman appears through the sweetness of an unknown language, and she disappears in the ungraspable murmur of words in a foreign language. Who is the Basque woman? And why is she obstinately characterized by an impenetrable 'speaking in tongues'?
   A first answer is implicit precisely in the incomprehensible nature of the verses at issue. The story suggests several times that the Basque woman is that which is so inner and present that it can never be remembered ('I would like her to be so close to me that a forced memory would not give me even her image')...

— Giorgio Agamben, The End of the Poem. Studies in Poetics. Trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen. Stanford UP, 1999. 120.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Thanks to Ria Han for smartly utilizing the cover of David Hinton's latest book, Hunger Mountain, to make a poster advertising this renowned translator/author/poet's talk at The Gunnery this coming Tuesday. That's in two days. That is just another sign of how quickly the spring term is proceeding. If you're reading this, please consider yourself invited to the talk, which will be in the same building as the school's dining hall, a dorm, and the Dean of Students' office. It's called Browne, and it's the first building on the left if you go in the main school gate. The talk begins at 1pm. For more information on David Hinton, click here.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

poem by Anton Frondelius. translation into Swedish by Oscar Arfelt

En vacker mardröm

Jag stänger mina ögon och faller,
Faller bakåt in I det torra höet,
Det känns som en ändlös resa,
Från mina dryga 180 cm tills jag drunknar I marken,
Jag sjunker djupare och djupare,
Fåglarnas kvitter börjar försvinna,
Jag börjar försvinna,
In till en symbios med naturen,
Nar jag blir ett med jorden så försvinner allt som är gjort av människan
Jag har inte längre några kläder
Jag simmar I havet och jag springer over den våta mossan
Jag var gjord for det här, min hud, mina ben,
Är alla gjorda för det här,
Det finns inget motstånd när jag simmar,
Inget har varit lättare än att springa I skogen,
Generationer av avvisande av naturen har gjort mig rädd for det okända,
Det är som den vackraste mardrömmen som kommer tillbaks till mig natt efter natt.

A Beautiful Nightmare
I close my eyes and fall,
Fall backwards into the dry hay.
It feels like an endless journey
From my modest five feet until I drown in the ground.
I sink deeper and deeper,
The birds’ tweets are fading away,
I’m fading away
Away into a symbiosis with nature,
As I unify with earth everything manmade disappears. 
I no longer have any clothes,
I swim in the sea and I run over the wet moss.
I was made for doing this, my joints, my skin and bones
Were all made for this.
There’s no friction working against me as I swim,
Nothing has been easier than running in the woods.
Generations of rejecting nature
Have made me scared of the unknown.
It's like the most beautiful nightmare that comes back to me every night.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Poem by Li Bai. Translation from the Chinese by Xu Qi








The moonlight spilt through the window, reached the bed

Seemed like reflection from the frost on the ground

Musing, I looked up; the luminous moon caught my eyes

Gradually I looked down, and missed my hometown.

- translation from the Chinese of Li Bai (701-762) by Jessica Qi Xu