Category Archives: Poetry

Revista Hispánica Moderna

Clearly what I should read today: 68:1 (June 2015).

It has Nicholson on Moro, of course, but it is the issue as a whole that looks nice to me.

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Collage de Jean Sénac

Si tu viens un jour
je ferme les yeux
je laisse les yeux
je laisse le bleu
mordre

Tout lire

Mes mots, vertèbres transfigurées

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Xanadu IV

A damsel with a dulcimer

In a vision once I saw;
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ‘twould win me,

That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

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Xanadu III

Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;
And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
   The shadow of the dome of pleasure
   Floated midway on the waves;
   Where was heard the mingled measure
   From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

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T.S. Eliot and the Birth of the Modern Poet

With Christopher Ricks. This is really worth listening to.

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Reading Vallejo Against the Grain of Identity

I like my abstract better than anything longer I have written on this matter.

Taking as its point of departure not only the poetic subject in Vallejo as primordially fractured but the intimations in his prose works that like his contemporary J. L. Borges (“La nadería de la personalidad,” 1925) he eschewed the idea of a unified self, this presentation will interrogate the biographical paradigms that have often been brought to bear on readings of Vallejo. Despite advances in scholarship in recent years, such paradigms still inform much of his critical tradition. How have expectations that Vallejo’s work perform Peruvian, Indian, or other identities in particular ways hampered its reading? What is gained by insisting on his mestizo roots, or by declaring his poetry mestizo? What effect has the emphasis on the meagreness of his Parisian circumstances and his allegedly mournful and martyred character had on the interpretation of his poetry? I will argue that it is useful to formulate alternative views of Vallejo not for purposes of better elucidating his work but so as to lift the interpretive shadow the traditional view of his personality has cast over his texts.

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Xanadu II

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.

–S.T.C.

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