Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all
this fiddle.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one
discovers in
it after all, a place for the genuine.
Hands that can grasp, eyes
that can dilate, hair that can rise
if it must, these things are important not because a

high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because
they are
useful. When they become so derivative as to become
the same thing may be said for all of us, that we
do not admire what
we cannot understand: the bat
holding on upside down or in quest of something to

eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless wolf
a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a horse that
feels a
flea, the base-
ball fan, the statistician--
nor is it valid
to discriminate against 'business documents and

school-books'; all these phenomena are important. One must
make a distinction
however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the
result is not poetry,
nor till the poets among us can be
'literalists of
the imagination'--above
insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, 'imaginary gardens with real toads in them', shall
we have
it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,
the raw material of poetry in
all its rawness and
that which is on the other hand
genuine, you are interested in poetry.

Marianne Moore

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Marianne More reconstructed

I'm hard to disgust
but a pretentious poet can do it.

Make a fuss 
and be tedious.

I'm annoyed? 
Yes; am. 

Might verse not best confuse
itself with fate?

Tell me, tell me
where might there be a refuge for me
from egocentricity
and its propensity to bisect,
mi-state, misunderstand
and obliterate continuity?

After all, consolation of the metaphysical
can be profound.

Pacific yet passionate -
for if not both, how
could he be great?

 Poets, don't make a fuss.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Katherine Mansfield: Sleeping Together

Sleeping together... how tired you were...
How warm our room... how the firelight spread
On walls and ceiling and great white bed!
We spoke in whispers as children do,
And now it was I--and then it was you
Slept a moment, to wake--"My dear,
I'm not at all sleepy," one of us said....

Was it a thousand years ago?
I woke in your arms--you were sound asleep--
And heard the pattering sound of sheep.
Softly I slipped to the floor and crept
To the curtained window, then, while you slept,
I watched the sheep pass by in the snow.

O flock of thoughts with their shepherd Fear
Shivering, desolate, out in the cold,
That entered into my heart to fold!

A thousand years... was it yesterday
When we two children of far away,
Clinging close in the darkness, lay
Sleeping together?... How tired you were....

Katherine Mansfield

Monday, May 17, 2010


Oh, I can smile for you, and tilt my head,
And drink your rushing words with eager lips,
And paint my mouth for you a fragrant red,
And trace your brows with tutored finger-tips.
When you rehearse your list of loves to me,
Oh, I can laugh and marvel, rapturous-eyed.
And you laugh back, nor can you ever see
The thousand little deaths my heart has died.
And you believe, so well I know my part,
That I am gay as morning, light as snow,
And all the straining things within my heart
You'll never know.

Oh, I can laugh and listen, when we meet,
And you bring tales of fresh adventurings, -
Of ladies delicately indiscreet,
Of lingering hands, and gently whispered things.
And you are pleased with me, and strive anew
To sing me sagas of your late delights.
Thus do you want me - marveling, gay, and true,
Nor do you see my staring eyes of nights.
And when, in search of novelty, you stray,
Oh, I can kiss you blithely as you go....
And what goes on, my love, while you're away,
You'll never know.

Dorothy Parker

Sunday, May 16, 2010


1. Esta história incómoda do vulcão islandês já ultrapassou os limites há muito tempo. De que é que se está à espera para invadir a Islândia e restabelecer a democracia aérea?

2. Estou cansado de sentir remorsos quando como carne. Quando é que os cientistas põem à nossa disposição carne de frango, de vaca, de salmão ou de truta que não provenha de animais com olhos, boca, e sobretudo cérebro como nós? Desprovidos de consciência da sua própria existência, os novos animais também não teriam consciência da sua própria morte, não sofriam. E como há partes do corpo dos animais que nós não cozinhamos nem comemos poupava-se o tempo que esses órgãos inúteis demoram a formar-se.

3. É possível que os adeptos do Benfica acreditem sinceramente que ganharam qualquer coisa este ano (a Liga? que Liga? o que é isso? e passa-se nos túneis?). Mas são eles os únicos a fazer de conta que aceditam nisso.

4. Cada vez mais me parece que a maior parte dos livros de poemas e de ficção que se publicam e as orações que se murmuram nas igrejas nascem de necessidades e convicções semelhantes. As pessoas necessitam de acreditar e a fé é uma fecunda criadora de sentidos. Bla bla bla. Os fracos e os preguiçosos, que são a maioria, fogem da simplicidade e da complexidade do real e pôem a circular visões do mundo cheias de tolices. O universo comercial da literatura - que é o mais visível - é em grande parte uma confraria de gente sonâmbula, ambiciosa, meio cegueta, maneirista, arrogante e ignorante. O dandismo de pacotilha domina. Ter fé não é forçosamente um defeito. Mas devia haver limites para o abuso. O número de livros e autores para não ignorantes é raro.