Posts Tagged ‘Literature’

Hard Life with Memory by Wisława Szymborska

March 4, 2012

Wislawa Szymborska

I’m a poor audience for my memory.

She wants me to attend her voice nonstop,

but I fidget, fuss,

listen and don’t,

step out, come back, then leave again.

She wants all my time and attention.

She’s got no problem when I sleep.

The day’s a different matter, which upsets her.

She thrusts old letters, snapshots at me eagerly,

stirs up events both important and un-,

turns my eyes to overlooked views,

peoples them with my dead.

In her stories I’m always younger.

Which is nice, but why always the same story.

Every mirror holds different news for me.

She gets angry when I shrug my shoulders.

And takes revenge by hauling out old errors,

weighty, but easily forgotten.

Looks into my eyes, checks my reaction.

Then comforts me, it could be worse.

She wants me to live only for her and with her.

Ideally in a dark, locked room,

but my plans still feature today’s sun,

clouds in progress, ongoing roads.

At times I get fed up with her.

I suggest a separation. From now to eternity.

Then she smiles at me with pity,

since she knows it would be the end of me too.

via The New York Review of Books.

The late Wislawa Szymborska was a Polish poet who won the 1996 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Click on Miracle Fair and A Word on Statistics for two of her other poems and more links.

Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments for writing

February 26, 2012
  • 1.  Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  • 2.  Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.”
  • 3.  Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  • 4.  Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  • 5.  When you can’t create you can work.
  • 6.  Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  • 7.  Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  • 8.  Don’t be a draught-horse!  Work with pleasure only.
  • 9.  Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day.  Concentrate.  Narrow down. Exclude.
  • 10.  Forget the books you want to write.  Think only of the book you are writing.
  • 11.  Write first and always.  Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

Click on Lists of Note for more lists.

Click on The Reality of Henry Miller for an appreciation of Henry Miller by Kenneth Rexroth.

Click on Henry Miller wiki for his Wikipedia biography.

Click on Kurt Vonnegut’s eight rules for writing fiction for another writer’s rules.

Miracle Fair by Wislawa Szymborska

February 3, 2012

The commonplace miracle:

that so many common miracles take place.

The usual miracles:

invisible dogs barking

in the dead of night.

One of many miracles:

a small and airy cloud

is able to upstage the massive moon.

Several miracles in one:

an alder is reflected in the water

and is reversed from left to right

and grows from crown to root

and never hits bottom

though the water isn’t deep.

A run-of-the-mill miracle:

winds mild to moderate

turning gusty in storms.

A miracle in the first place:

cows will be cows.

Next but not least:

just this cherry orchard

from just this cherry pit.

A miracle minus top hat and tails:

fluttering white doves.

A miracle (what else can you call it):

the sun rose today at three fourteen a.m.

and will set tonight at one past eight.

A miracle that’s lost on us:

the hand actually has fewer than six fingers

but still it’s got more than four.

A miracle, just take a look around:

the inescapable earth.

An extra miracle, extra and ordinary:

the unthinkable

can be thought.

~ Wislawa Szymborska ~

Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature for 1996, died Wednesday.

Click on Wislawa Szymborska: Nobel-prize winning poet dies at 88 for her obituary in the Los Angeles Times.

Click on Wislawa Szymborska spoke the inner thoughts of many people for a memoir in the Chicago Tribune.

Click on A Word on Statistics for one of her other poems.

Click on Wislawa Szymborska – Poetry for her listing on the Nobel Prize home page.