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“Dissolute behavior in a coat and tie is always more amply forgiven.”

- Theodore Bouloukos

For many of us our introduction to the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda came through the pink book of 100 Love Sonnets translated by Stephen Tapscott.  I discovered Neruda at the same time my own romance blossomed with the one who would become my wife. I noticed that Tapscott’s translation glossed over words and expressions, often rearranging words and images to construct his idea of poetic, so my wife and I began our own translations. This is the opening sonnet. I’ve also included the original Spanish as well as the recent translation by Gustavo Escobedo whose “100 Love Sonnets” is far superior to Tapscott.

I.

Matilde, the name of a plant or a rock or a wine,
which is born of the earth, and enduring;
a word in whose growth the dawn breaks,
In that name sail ships of wood
surrounded by the swarms of blue fire;

those letters are water to the river,
which overcome my barren heart.
hidden as a tunnel’s door,
speaking with the sweetness of the earth!

O invade me with your mouth,
search me, if you wish, with your midnight eyes,
but in your name let me navigate, let me rest.

-tr. by Bethany and Remy Wilkins

Sonnet 1

Matilde, a name for a plant, stone or wine,
for some enduring thing born of the earth.
The light of lemons comes from this word’s spring,
and bursts forth with this word’s summer.

Wooden ships swiftly sail about this name
surrounded by swarms of sea-blue fire,
and those letters are the waters of a river
spilling, pouring into my burnt-out heart.

O name discovered behind unruly ivy
like the door to a secret tunnel
leading to the scent of the world!

Oh, invade me with your scalding mouth,
Peer into me, if you wish, with your nocturnal eyes,
but let me sail and sleep… in your name.

-tr. Stephen Tapscott

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“As soon as histories are properly told there is no more need of romances.”
– Walt Whitman

The fine folks at NPR are streaming the new album of Josh Ritter

: So Runs the World Away.

Do your ears a solid and go listen to it.

Robert Browning : My Last Duchess

Browning

That’s my last duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. She’s not.
She was too flirtatious, so I had her killed.
Now I want to marry your master’s daughter.

-Aaron Belz

[also from Belz and even more funny is this poem : Chariots]

Six Billion Well Spent

[See more amazing things here.]

Dashonance : da shuh nanse : (noun) The variability of meaning dependent on the placement of en-dashes in compound adjectives.

Follow me on the Twittah

  • My wife hates it when I eat chips in bed, which is a ridiculous thing to get upset over. I mean, I hate how many chips get all over the bed. 1 month ago
  • HYPOTHETICAL QUESTION: Say you have a pic of your wife in a red "I Heart Cans" cap flashing a gang sign. Could you post it on the internet? 2 months ago
  • Really bummed cause I got a ticket. Asked the cop if he spoke Police-Latin. Upyay. 2 months ago
  • Wife just said that I should "exfoliate my eyebrows". She's flirting, right? That's the kinky stuff, right? 2 months ago
  • FACT: (Shhhh, the word really is pronounced "lysdexic") 2 months ago

The Novel I’m Now Reading

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