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Where text meets image. Where the visual intersects the literary. Often posting 1st drafts and editing in (almost) real time.

Tag: Russian poetry

Elsewhere, the Poetry of Marina Tsvetaeva

In corridors

of

a shadow-mansion,

once well-known,

obsidian-animals

summon an alchemical star.

Elsewhere, the poetry of Marina Tsvetaeva

chanting subterranean architecture of poetry.

The haystack-man

within my obsidian-heart

longs for the once well-known

song of the silver bird.

Elsewhere, the poetry of Marina Tsvetaeva

chanting original colour wheel of poetry.

Oceanic echoes

vibrate between stalactites.

The silver bird chants subterranean poetry

perched

upon an enormous iron wheel.

Elsewhere, the poetry of Marina Tsvetaeva

chanting physiology of poetry.

Nimble obsidian-animals climb

a half-visible clock-tower

buried in night-coloured shadow.

Elsewhere, the poetry of Marina Tsvetaeva

chanting geological formations of poetry.

Obsidian-animals,

pulsing hearts moist as roots,

prowl the corridors.

A vase tips

dried flowers scatter across a night-coloured carpet.

The seahorse-ghost of my cubistic, star-like obsidian heart

envelops the buried clock-tower.

Elsewhere, the poetry of Marina Tsvetaeva

chanting vast agriculture of poetry.

Haystack-man nimble as a shadow-animal

swims within buoyant

star-like dimensions,

climbs an enormous staircase

enters an unlocked door.

His feet rise above tar-night shadow

skipping iike a child.

Elsewhere, the poetry of Marina Tsvetaeva

chanting the infinite mansions of poetry.

I wrote a short poem this morning in homage to Marina Tsvetaeva. The poem was spontaneous. A lifetime entered that quicksilver moment. I have revisited the poem and edited.

Wherever you are Marina, I accept your verdict.

Last night I read selections from Marina Tsvetaeva’s Art in the Light of Conscience: Eight Essays on Poetry (translated by Angela Livingstone).

‘Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941) was one of the four great Russian poets of the 20th century, along with Akhmatova, Mandelstam and Pasternak.’ 

‘For me, there are no essays on poetry as unique, as profound, as passionate, as inspiring as these. “Art, a series of answers for which there are no questions,” Tsvetaeva brilliantly asserts, and then goes on to ask questions we didn’t know existed until she offered them to us, and answers to some of poetry’s most enduring mysteries.’

– C.K. Williams 

String Theory

I introduced the poetry project to the high school class. A boy, who seemed to be the class leader, didn’t see the point of it. I told him to knock on his desk. I said, “What did you touch?” He said, “Wood.” I said, “According to physicists at the University of Moscow exploring String Theory you just touched an elementary particle existing in 11 dimensions. Physicists at the University of Moscow exploring String Theory are now aware that elementary particles communicate with each other. Great poetry has come from Russian poets aware of scientific discoveries made at the University of Moscow.” He said, “Okay, I write.”

From Meme-Noir, my 2019 book of autobiographical vignettes. I bluffed my way through a possible rebellion. I remember the students reading aloud what they wrote. It was all very real. They followed his lead and he made it work. Somewhere he must be close to 30.

I am Goya by Andrei Andreyevich Vosnesensky

I am Goya
of the bare field, by the enemy’s beak gouged
till the craters of my eyes gape
I am grief

I am the tongue
of war, the embers of cities
on the snows of the year 1941
I am hunger

I am the gullet
of a woman hanged whose body like a bell
tolled over a blank square
I am Goya

O grapes of wrath!
I have hurled westward
the ashes of the uninvited guest!
and hammered stars into the unforgetting sky – like nails

I am Goya

Translated by Stanley Kunitz in Antiworlds

Vosnesensky recites I am Goya in Russian accompanied by an image of Goya:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcGwdfsTDas&feature=emb_rel_end

I received a book on the Spanish artist Goya – the biography by Robert Hughes – for Christmas. It’s in the queue. I’m finishing a book on Picasso set in Paris in the early 1900s. He’s working on Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and in competition with Matisse. The author, Miles J. Unger, puts a  fair amount of detail into Picasso’s Spanish youth and trips home.

During the first lockdown I watched many (contemporary) Russian TV (episodic) programs about WW2. Some incorporated archival footage. Vosnesensky, born in Moscow, was 8 or 9 during the Nazi invasion, encirclement, and Battle of Moscow.

 

 

 

I am Goya by Andrey Voznesensky

pushing
I am Goya
of the bare field, by the enemy’s beak gouged
till the craters of my eyes gape
I am grief

duodark

I am the tongue
of war, the embers of cities
on the snows of the year 1941
I am hunger

inkcomposer

I am the gullet
of a woman hanged whose body like a bell
tolled over a blank square
I am Goya

flare

O grapes of wrath!
I have hurled westward
the ashes of the uninvited guest!
and hammered stars into the unforgetting sky – like nails
I am Goya

moscowgoya1

Translated by Stanley Kunitz