Friday, April 30, 2010

Neruda 's Poetry Sonnet LXXXI And now your mine - Julia Roberts

This is the last of my April is Poetry Month  posts. If you have not read the previous posts to celebrate poetry month and previous blogs relating Pablo Neruda's great poetry go here to catch up.. I think I could probably feature a exceptional poem by this great poet every week for a good long time. And I just might.  (just kidding, not every week, but maybe once in a while wouldn't hurt.

Today I want to share with you Sonnet LXXXI written by Pablo Neruda, featured in a You Tube narrated by Julia Roberts & Andy Garcia.

And now you're mine. Rest with your dream in my dream.
Love and pain and work should all sleep, now.
The night turns on its invisible wheels,
and you are pure beside me as a sleeping amber.

No one else, Love, will sleep in my dreams. You will go,
we will go together, over the waters of time.
No one else will travel through the shadows with me,
only you, evergreen, ever sun, ever moon.

Your hands have already opened their delicate fists
and let their soft drifting signs drop away; your eyes closed like two gray
wings, and I move

after, following the folding water you carry, that carries
me away. The night, the world, the wind spin out their destiny.
Without you, I am your dream, only that, and that is all.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Neruda's Canto General: Canto XII from The Heights of Macchu Picchu

This week I would like to highlight the Canto General- quite a different piece composed by Pablo Neruda. If you missed my previous posts on the April is Poetry Month Neruda series go here to catch up. Neruda is known for his romantic poetry, but I think it is fair to say he was an all time material presence through the various types of poetry he wrote- not just in the sensual and romantic. Canto General is Pablo Neruda's tenth book of poems. It was first published in Mexico in 1950, by Talleres Gráficos de la Nación. Neruda began to compose it in 1938.

From Wiki:
"Canto General" ("General Song") consists of 15 sections, 231 poems, and more than 15,000 lines. This work attempts to be a history or encyclopedia of the whole continent of Hispanic America.

Neruda certainly had an ambitious objective to cover as an epic poem, the history of Hispanic America and its people.  He did it so well that the Canto General was intoned by several musicians and is probably better known as the oratorio (sort of like an opera) for two voices, mixed choir and orchestra by Mikis Theodorakis based on the epic poem.  Theodorakis was known for his scores in the films Zorba the Greek (1964), Z (1969), and Serpico (1973).

The15 Sections of the Canto General:
* First Canto. A Lamp on Earth
* Second Canto. The Heights of Macchu Picchu
* Third Canto. The Conquistadores
* Fourth Canto. The Liberators
* Fifth Canto. The Sand Betrayed
* Sixth Canto. America, I Do Not Invoke Your Name in Vain
* Seventh Canto. Canto General of Chile
* Eighth Canto. The Earth’s Name is Juan
* Ninth Canto. Let the Woodcutter Awaken
* Tenth Canto. The Fugitive
* Eleventh Canto. The Flower of Punitaqui
* Twelfth Canto. The Rivers of Song
* Thirteenth Canto. New Year’s Chorale for the Country in Darkness
* Fourteenth Canto. The Great Ocean
* Fifteenth Canto. I Am
1. ^ According to "Canto General English/Title" search of The Library of Congress

The Heights of Macchu Picchu is a long, complex spiritual poem. Split into 12 sections, each is written in dense surreal images. 
Go here for the BBC's h2g2 summary and explanation of the the poem The Heights Of Macchu Picchu.

Canto XII from The Heights of Macchu Picchu

Arise to birth with me, my brother.
Give me your hand out of the depths
sown by your sorrows.
You will not return from these stone fastnesses.
You will not emerge from subterranean time.
Your rasping voice will not come back,
nor your pierced eyes rise from their sockets.

Look at me from the depths of the earth,
tiller of fields, weaver, reticent shepherd,
groom of totemic guanacos,
mason high on your treacherous scaffolding,
iceman of Andean tears,
jeweler with crushed fingers,
farmer anxious among his seedlings,
potter wasted among his clays--
bring to the cup of this new life
your ancient buried sorrows.
Show me your blood and your furrow;
say to me: here I was scourged
because a gem was dull or because the earth
failed to give up in time its tithe of corn or stone.
Point out to me the rock on which you stumbled,
the wood they used to crucify your body.
Strike the old flints
to kindle ancient lamps, light up the whips
glued to your wounds throughout the centuries
and light the axes gleaming with your blood.

I come to speak for your dead mouths.

Throughout the earth
let dead lips congregate,
out of the depths spin this long night to me
as if I rode at anchor here with you.

And tell me everything, tell chain by chain,
and link by link, and step by step;
sharpen the knives you kept hidden away,
thrust them into my breast, into my hands,
like a torrent of sunbursts,
an Amazon of buried jaguars,
and leave me cry: hours, days and years,
blind ages, stellar centuries.

And give me silence, give me water, hope.

Give me the struggle, the iron, the volcanoes.

Let bodies cling like magnets to my body.

Come quickly to my veins and to my mouth.

Speak through my speech, and through my blood.

Pablo Neruda

The following is a video of a famous intonation of America Insurecta from Canto General. From a concert in Belgium in 1981. Petros Pandis is the male singer who first interpreted this composition together with Maria Farantouri

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

2010 Toronto's One Book - Austin Clarke's Novel More

OK, April is poetry month and I have been writing about poetry all month and you are probably quite ready for something different.  I have been remiss - there is more to April than poetry month.  In Toronto we also have in April the annual Keep Toronto Reading event organized by the Toronto Public Library.

All month there have been events promoting reading held at the local library branches.  There have been book discussions, storytelling tours, exhibits and performances to promote reading in this city.  The biggest part of the Toronto Reads Month is the Toronto One Book and everybody is reading the One Book.  This year the winning book that all of Toronto is reading is Austin Clarke's novel titled More.

From the Toronto Library Website:

A haunting tale of hope and redemption

Although she has been in Toronto for 30 years, former Barbadian Idora Morrison – the central figure in More - is in crisis, in a dream-like state for four days in her basement apartment.
Abandoned by "that man" Bertram, her former husband; sick with worry over her missing teenage son, BJ; but supported (if conflicted) by her two churches, the West Indian community and her white friend, Josephine, Idora struggles.
Austin Clarke’s capable and evocative writing draws one easily into Idora’s world, a world of complicated race relations, contradictory emotions and mixed messages.

There are a lot of resources available to supplement the novel and bring it to life and you can go here to check those things out.  From looking through the material, which includes a map of the places in Toronto that Idora frequents and a digital excerpt with audio of actor Trey Anthony reading from the novel, it looks like a good read.   I heard Austin Clarke read a passage from his novel on CBC Radio one morning and that was enough to convince me I needed to read it.

For those of you who don't know him, Austin Clarke is a well known Toronto Novelist, Essayist and Freelance Journalist with the CBC.   From Wiki:
In 1998, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. He won the Giller Prize for The Polished Hoe in 2002, as well as the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 2003.

Sadly, I am behind on my reading but intend on getting caught up on this one and have it on my must read list.

The thing that I enjoy the most about the Toronto Reads is one selection criteria which is that the City of Toronto is the setting for the chosen book.  Of course, one always has a soft spot for one's own home town.  It is so nice to recognize all the places mentioned a novel. That does make it extra special.

I somehow missed the Toronto Reads book last year (hmm another book for my must read list), but did read the 2008 novel and enjoyed it immensely. 

Here is where I wrote about the Toronto Reads 2008 Book Winner.   That year the chosen book was Consolation by Michael Redhill.  A highly recommended read - whether you are from Toronto or not.

I found this You Tube Video regarding the 2009 Winner. The interesting thing about the 2009 Winner is that it was a book of poetry. 

2009 Toronto One Book Winner
Loyalty Management by Glen Downie

I have on my to blog about list  (I do seem to have an awful lot of lists, eh?)  the 2010 Canada Reads CBC Competition.  This year's winner, Nikolski, by Nicolas Dickner, is on my book pile ready to tuck into.  Come to think about it there are far too many books on my ready to tuck into pile.  I need to find some time to put my feet up and read.  But isn't that what summer is for  - sitting on your balcony or patio and reading?  Bring on Summer!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I have a thing for Tom Waits

It is Poetry Month - as I have reminded you countless times in this last while. I am sure you are now tired about hearing from me about Pablo Neruda, so I am going to change directions and cover both evocative poetry and tremendous music in one fell swoop.  I refer to the poetic lyricist, vocalist and fantastic musician Tom Waits.

Tom Waits is a Californian singer-songwriter best known for his experimental music that incorporates rock and blues with pre-rock and folk. Though not exactly a well known icon, he still has a cult following. Two of his works--Bone Machine and Mule Variations received Grammy Awards in 1992 and 1999 respectively. He has been a performing musician since the early 70s and has ventured not infrequently into acting for TV and Stage. He also is known for his compositions written for various productions in the television and movie industry. He has put out 21 albums since 1973.

There is something about his bourbon soaked, gravel lined voice that just pulls at my heart strings - or maybe it is his poetic lyrics. From his Wiki:
Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car."

Lately I have developed a real thing for his music. At the moment my favourite is Jersey Girl, made popular by The Boss - Bruce Springsteen. I have my iPhone set to wake me to the sound of this song. It slowly pulls in out of my slumber and delivers a warm fuzzy before reality rudely intrudes. His wife of many years was born in Jersey and he wrote it for her. Have a listen, between his voice and the words he pulls emotion from the heart for sure. Everybody needs to be with their Jersey Girl (or Boy)...

Cause tonight I'm going to be with you ... with your baby on a Saturday night

Jersey Girl by Tom Waits

Got no time for the corner boys,
Down in the street makin' all that noise,
Don't want no whores on eighth avenue,
Cause tonight i'm gonna be with you.

'cause tonight i'm gonna take that ride,
Across the river to the jersey side,
Take my baby to the carnival,
And i'll take you all on the rides.

Down the shore everything's alright,
You're with your baby on a saturday night,
Don't you know that all my dreams come true,
When i'm walkin' down the street with you,
Sing sha la la la la la sha la la la.

You know she thrills me with all her charms,
When i'm wrapped up in my baby's arms,
My little angel gives me everything,
I know someday that she'll wear my ring.

So don't bother me cause i got no time,
I'm on my way to see that girl of mine,
Nothin' else matters in this whole wide world,
When you're in love with a jersey girl,
Sing sha la la la la la la.

And i call your name, i can't sleep at night,
Sha la la la la la la.

Tom has a wide body of work which includes some great lyric poetry. Another in this category is 9th and Hennepin. From the Wiki entry on Rain Dogs, the album which contains this piece:
Rain Dogs includes a spoken word piece entitled "9th and Hennepin," concerning the inhabitants of 9th Street and Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In interview Waits described the inspiration for its lyrics, admitting that while the street itself is in Minneapolis, most of the imagery is from New York.  In that interview he recalled the memory he drew upon to write 9th and Hennepin.
It's just that I was on 9th and Hennepin years ago in the middle of a pimp war, and 9th and Hennepin always stuck in my mind.   There's trouble at 9th and Hennepin." To this day I'm sure there continues to be trouble at 9th and Hennepin. At this donut shop. They were playing "Our Day Will Come" by Dinah Washington when these three 12-year-old pimps came in in chinchilla coats armed with knives and, uh, forks and spoons and ladles and they started throwing them out in the streets. Which was answered by live ammunition over their heads into our booth. And I knew "Our Day Was Here." I remember the names of all the donuts: cherry twist, lime rickey. But mostly I was thinking of the guy going back to Philadelphia from Manhattan on the Metroliner with The New York Times, looking out the window in New York as he pulls out of the station, imagining all the terrible things he doesn't have to be a part of.

Ninth and Hennepin by Tom Waits

Well it's Ninth and Hennepin

All the doughnuts have names that sound like prostitutes

And the moon's teeth marks are on the sky

Like a tarp thrown all over this

And the broken umbrellas like dead birds

And the steam comes out of the grill

Like the whole goddamn town's ready to blow...

And the bricks are all scarred with jailhouse tattoos

And everyone is behaving like dogs

And the horses are coming down Violin Road

And Dutch is dead on his feet

And all the rooms they smell like diesel

And you take on the dreams of the ones who have slept here

And I'm lost in the window, and I hide in the stairway

And I hang in the curtain, and I sleep in your hat...

And no one brings anything small into a bar around here

They all started out with bad directions

And the girl behind the counter has a tattooed tear

One for every year he's away, she said

Such a crumbling beauty, ah

There's nothing wrong with her that a hundred dollars won't fix

She has that razor sadness that only gets worse

With the clang and the thunder of the Southern Pacific going by

And the clock ticks out like a dripping faucet

til you're full of rag water and bitters and blue ruin

And you spill out over the side to anyone who will listen...

And I've seen it all, I've seen it all

Through the yellow windows of the evening train...

Go to Song Facts to see what others have read into these lyrics.

This last selection is a delightful and humorous piece of lyric poetry

The Piano has been Drinking by Tom Waits

The piano has been drinking
My necktie's asleep
The combo went back to New York, and left me all alone
The jukebox has to take a leak
Have you noticed that the carpet needs a haircut?
And the spotlight looks just like a prison break
And the telephone's out of cigarettes
As usual the balcony's on the make
And the piano has been drinking, heavily
The piano has been drinking
And he's on the hard stuff tonight

The piano has been drinking
And you can't find your waitress
Even with the Geiger counter
And I guarantee you that she will hate you
From the bottom of her glass
And all of your friends remind you
That you just can't get served without her
The piano has been drinking

The piano has been drinking
And the lightman's blind in one eye
And he can't see out of the other
And the piano-tuner's got a hearing aid
And he showed up with his mother
And the piano has been drinking
Without fear of contradiction I say
The piano has been drinking

Our Father who art in ?
Hallowed by thy glass
Thy kindom come, thy will be done
On Earth as it is in the lounges
Give us this day our daily splash
Forgive us our hangovers
As we forgive all those who continue to hangover against us
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver from evil and someone you must all ride home

Because the piano has been drinking
And he's your friend not mine
Because the piano has been drinking
And he's not my responsibility

The bouncer is this Sumo wrestler
Kinda cream puff casper milk toast
And the owner is just a mental midget
With the I.Q. of a fencepost
I'm going down, hang onto me, I'm going down
Watch me skate across an acre of linoleum
I know I can do it, I'm in total control
And the piano has been drinking
And he's embarassing me
The piano has been drinking, he raided his mini bar

The piano has been drinking
And the bar stools are all on fire
And all the newspapers were just fooling
And the ash-trays have retired
And I've got a feeling that the piano has been drinking
It's just a hunch
The piano has been drinking and he's going to lose his lunch
And the piano has been drinking
Not me, not me, The piano has been drinking not me

On my Christmas List:
I have on my Wish List his 54-song three-disc box set of rarities, unreleased tracks, and brand-new compositions called Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards.  It was released in November 2006. The three discs are subdivided relating to their content: "Brawlers" features Waits's more upbeat rock and blues songs; "Bawlers," his ballads and love songs; and "Bastards", songs that fit in neither category, including a number of spoken-word tracks.

The album is notable for containing a number of covers of songs by other artists, including The Ramones ("The Return of Jackie and Judy" and "Danny Says"), Daniel Johnston ("King Kong"), Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht ("What Keeps Mankind Alive"), and Leadbelly ("Ain't Goin' Down to the Well" and "Goodnight Irene"), as well as renditions of works by poets and authors admired by Waits, such as Charles Bukowski and Jack Kerouac and a previously released duet with Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse entitled "Dog Door".

From the Wiki covering the Orphans Album:
It ranked #2 on Metacritic's Top 30 albums of 2006,[7] just behind Savane by Ali Farka Toure, and was nominated for the 2006 Shortlist Music Prize and the 2007 Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
The album was certified Gold by the RIAA for shipping over 500,000 copies in the United States and sold over one million copies worldwide making it his best selling album to date.[8]

If you are a Tom Waits fan (or just want to see and hear more) go to JP's blog The Selvedge Yard and his post "The Piano's Been Drinking |  Tom Waits, Your Inner Drunk" 
This post features all sorts of Tom Waits pictures and some interesting comments left by fans.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Neruda's Poetry: Sonnet XVII - Patch Adams

This is the forth of my April is Poetry Month Neruda posts. If you have not read the previous posts to celebrate poetry month and previous blogs relating Pablo Neruda's great poetry go here to catch up. He is just my most favourite poet.

My selection for this week is another one of his better known love poems.  You might remember it if you saw the film Patch Adams, starring Robin Williams.  Throughout the movie Patch recites Pablo Neruda's Sonnet XVII to Corinne. He finishes the last two stanzas at her gravesite. 

I was able to find a video of the Patch Adams scene at the gravesite.

I like the simplicity of this poem and the statement it makes.  The line "so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close" makes a beautiful statement about how deep the bonds of love can be.     

For other thoughts about this poem by a poetry blogger who writes A Blog To Pass The Time, go to  There are a few reader comments providing their analysis of the poem.

Sonnet XVII Put To Music
Following  is a very easy going laid back musical rendition of the poem set to a modern melody.   It is appropriate to the poem because the lyric expresses a love that is so natural and easy it just is there without any reasoning or questioning. Listening to this video makes me feel like I am being held tight and will be in love forever.

Brett Macias sings Sonnet XVII
Music by Brett Macias
Based on the Sonnet by Pablo Neurda

Sonnet XVII (100 Love Sonnets, 1960)

I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Life Can't Get Much Better than this... 2008 VW EOS LUX

OK, so it could - still one or maybe 2 things missing... but in the meantime things are pretty good...

For those of you who came in response to a google search for a review of my new EOS - jump to the last section of this blog, taking time to look at the photos I have included of my car if you want the bottom line - everyone else - grab a cuppa coffee, pull your laptop with you onto a comfy chair and read on...

As mentioned in my blog from earlier in the week, I have been doing my taxes and that has been keeping me pretty busy.  Well, that is just about all done now.    My accountant has finished the first pass on my company's books for the previous year and my personal taxes are ready to mail - and on both counts things are in good shape.  So I should, in the weeks to come, have more time for blogging, well except for  one new  distraction - my new car.  I picked it up on Tuesday night and am just enjoying it so much I will have a hard time doing anything but driving it around.

I got to go on  a mini road trip this weekend as I drove up to my Collingwood Shangri-La on Friday night for the weekend.  For those of you who have not been keeping up on my blog you can read more about my getaway on the shores of Georgian Bay in previous blogs here. 
Aside from the 2 hour drive there and back and the 3 hour tour of the Georgian Triangle I took on Saturday, I got to know and love the car a lot.  It is comfortable and it practically drives itself - at the ready to perk up and zoom ahead when you tap the gas.

Backtracking, let me give you the story of my urge to be topless  and how fate dealt me the tiny push to get a new car and how I lucked into this one.  I was not planning on buying a new car this spring - so that in itself is a story worth telling.  But first - a little history.

Life After A Minivan

I have been dreaming about buying a convertible for quite a few years and when I bought my last car - a 2003 Toyota Echo, I was in very different circumstances.  I was trading down my large Sienna,  which was needed to schlep my family of 5 kids down to their father's house every other weekend, for a smaller vehicle.  At the time, my eldest was at College and living with my X in the City (easier to both get to College and also to go clubbing when you live in the City of Toronto Beaches area instead of the outer reaches of the GTA in Caledon countryside where I was) and my other teens all had lives of their own with part time jobs and close friends which meant they seldom wanted to go to their Father's house for a weekend.  They were also learning to drive and I thought a smaller newer car was just what we needed.  I was not yet re-established in my IT career at that point and was teaching part time at Sheridan College and doing what I could to make ends meet.  I did not have a big budget.

When I finally landed a full year contract at CIBC in the spring of 2004, I decided it was time to replace the Sienna with something nearly new which would do for these interim years when I would not be the only driver and my new teenage drivers would presumably be bringing me tales to explain the dents and bumps which would inevitably appear.  That was 2004 and I ended up with the most basic and no feature Echo I could have found.

Since then I have learned emulate cruise control with extra attention to my foot, lean over and wind shut the passenger side window while flying down the highway and to be patient when I lose speed as I go up the Niagara Escarpment hills on the road to Colllingwood.  A fast car the Echo was not.

My daughter's first Car Accident

The event which put the wheels in motion toward my getting a new car occurred over a month ago when my daughter Laura had a bit of a fender bender with my Echo.  My Son Eric had been home visiting and Laura was going to take him over to their father's house to spend the night.  It was rainy and she had to stop suddenly and rear ended someone else.  No one was hurt and the other car suffered no real damage, however the Echo had sheet metal damage to both front quarter panels, hood, front grill headlights and bumper.  In my mind it was a certainty that it would be written off particularly when the estimate of repair was in the $4,000 plus range (it actually cost over $6500 to fix it). 

I decided to start shopping around for my convertible. At that point my fate was sealed.  By the time the insurance company said they would fix it I had my heart set on a new one.  I decided to go ahead and buy a new car any way - heck I had had the other one for 6 years and it owed me nothing and the now (mostly) adult children were out of the house..--well except the one who had the fender bender and she is promising to go out to forage for herself again in a couple of months.

In all honesty I had been wondering if this year should be the year I would get my new car and I had been eyeing the VW EOS since the first year that model had hit the show rooms.  Let's get this straight though, I am not a car person - if you asked me what kind of a car so and so drove I might be able to tell you the colour and whether it was a car, truck or SUV but that said - I do have this dream about owning a convertible.

Why a Convertible and Why an EOS? 

Don't you just love the curved lines on that baby?  

But I digress...There was a 6 year period of my life when I hung out with a guy who drove a late model Mustang Convertible.  He had two cars and the convertible was his summer vehicle.  We had such a great time driving with the top down and I learned to love driving with the wind singing in my ears and caressing my hair.  After he and I broke up in 2001, I realized that maybe I couldn't have him but I could have a convertible car of my own some day.  I have been biding my time for nearly a decade now waiting for the stars to align so I could get my convertible. 

Jumping back even further in my life, when my children's father and I first met he was driving a CJ6 soft top Jeep.  We drove around lots with the top off both off road and on road and did a few long road trips with the jeep as well.  When I got pregnant with my first we traded the jeep in for something which would be easier for a pregnant lady to get in and out of and with a hard top to provide better winter comfort and less road noise for those long trips - not to mention making it easier to manage the baby car seat with occupant I missed driving exposed to the big outdoors and the elements.  At that time I made a promise to myself that there would be a convertible in my future at some point.

The VW EOS  caught my eye when it first came out (late 2006 model year 2007) and it seemed to offer the best of all worlds:
  • the carefree top down experience of a convertible along with the practicality of a hard top roof for our Canadian winters, deployable at the push of a button
  • a more affordable price that the equivalent BMW or other high end manufacturer who offers a hard top.
  • a good compromise in size and form - it is sporty but it is no sports car - it will seat 4. Lacking great comfort in the back seat for a multi hour road trip but good enough for quick trip across town for the occasions I have some adult children in the car.
  • from all accounts the engineering of this German vehicle was consistent with the other offerings from its family.   I had driven a Jetta years ago with a great deal of satisfaction and that experience stayed with me.
Little did I know that I would end up owning such a car, but that it would be even better than I thought.  My first thought as I drove it out of the lot - this is much, much better than a VW!

I was sold when I saw the following Video Review.

How did I come to find MY EOS?

My car search started at my local VW dealer but after trading a few emails and realizing that a new EOS would run me way more than I wanted to spend and that the sales person I was dealing with was finding it a challenge to locate a resale from the dealer network he had access to, I turned to the internet. 

After typing into google "VW EOS for sale Toronto" I found a "previously  owned car dealer" advertising one and the next morning the salesman from Parkway Autotrade called and asked if I would like to come out and test drive the one he had.  Sadly, by the time I got out there someone else had test driven it and had decided to buy it - so no test drive for me.  Truth was that after searching I concluded that there were very few on the resale market and it would be difficult for me to find one for sale in the Toronto area.

I was discouraged, but not for long.  I happened to have gone to a motor vehicle reseller who not only was registered in Ontario (a must for me to minimize risk) but one who also acted as a broker, searching and shipping in cars "found to order".  Although disappointed that I did not get to test drive the car I went to see (I got to sit in it while Vince negotiated with the purchaser) , Vince Leluzzi, who also talks about his service on the local talk radio every month went thought the service he offered as described in his web site  "We find your car.  He assured me that he could find me a low mileage, gently used EOS guaranteed accident free somewhere in North America and he could manage all the details of shipping it to Canada and getting it certified.  And he did that right in front of my eyes and for a price way less than I was led to believe by the VW dealer salesman that I would end up paying.

Three weeks later, last Tuesday, I was picking up my new car!  It had been turned in under the "lemon law" act and as a consequence of attempts to repair and finally replace the megatronic unit - an expensive major repair.  Given that it was still under factory warranty, and that the unit had been eventually replaced I would go ahead with the purchase.   I also have to note that if this car was sold in Ontario the owner would not be allowed to exchange the car for a new one given any number of warranty covered repairs.

A New Owner's Review of the 2008 VW EOS
I won't say that my life has changed now that I have my new car - but certainly the hours spent in the car are infinitely more enjoyable than they were driving the Echo.  (I know, you are thinking dah!)...

The Bottom Line:

-From a woman's point of view:
  • The car I ended up buying was shipped from Florida.  It was graded a condition of 4.7 out of 5.0 - and for sure it looks, smells and seems new to me.  It only had 30,000 KM on it and as it turned out came with an extended 10 year extended factory warranty which the previous owner had purchased.
  • A few of my favourite features: automatic everything - the exact opposite of the Echo!  It has automatic sensor driven window wipers, headlights that automatically turn on at dusk and swivel into the corner as you turn your steering wheel, heated leather seats which adjust 12 ways to Sunday, all sorts of great information displays, a 6 CD changer radio with Sirius satellite radio and an iPhone/iPod input for music and the list goes on.
  • Best of all, the 200 hp turbo charged engine which really moves when you touch the gas.  It sure is a pleasure to drive.
  • I haven't found a way for it to make my coffee - but it wouldn't surprise me that I just missed that section in the owner's manual
-From a man's point of view:
  • I must admit I had the car several days before I felt the urge to look under the hood (didn't seem to be an important thing to do as I would never need to do anything there except fill the wiper fluid and check the oil).  For you guys who like to see such things I have included a photo. Pretty tidy, eh? 
  • I have it from a real good authority that the rims actually contribute substantially to the look of the car.  I maintain this must be a man thing.  I have also included a picture of the rims, just in case you would like to venture a comment on the rims - apparently they are as classy (or even more classy if that is possible) than the rest of the car..  

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Poetry of Neruda: Walking around and Ode to Clothes

This week's Neruda poem is an interesting piece, quite different to the others I have selected  previously.  If you missed my previous posts on the April is Poetry Month Neruda series go here to catch up.  I like Neruda the romantic, but to say that he wrote romantic poetry would be to deny the other equally stunning and important types of poetry he wrote.

Walking Around can be interpreted a few ways.  Poetry is like that because when we each read a poem we bring to the table our background, experiences and mood and we are allowed to read into the poem what ever we like. Poetry speaks to each of us in its own way amplifying that upon which our psyche needs to focus and allowing us to interpret it in our own context.

Upon initial read, this poem might bring to mind the the exhausting amount of random memories and ideas we all carry with us even while doing the most mundane tasks.  In my interpretation it is also about continuing on through the exhausting pace of modern life.  This line brings out my zen interpretation:
I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes,
my rage, forgetting everything,

My thought: Amid some a whole lot of stuff going on around me, I stroll along serenely and let everything wash over me.

One might think that Neruda's wrote this poem while exiled from his home country during the communist takeover there. It could echo his frustration and isolation from having been ejected from his home country and set on a wanderers path from country to country as he tried to find a way back home.  

Actually, Pablo Neruda wrote this poem when he was consul of Chile in India and at that time, the British controlled India.  Some suggest that he is using surrealism to exaggerate the poverty and death he sees.  They interpret the line, I don't want to continue as a root and a tomb, differently, reasoning that a root is underground, oblivious to the events taking place above the earth as is a tomb. They believe this line means that he does not want to live in ignorance. 

That is the fun about poetry - we can take from them what we will and use them to make sense of the world around us or to explore our feelings about a topic in any way we wish.

On that note, let me next introduce this tremendous video I found to accompany the poem Walking Around.  I am not so thrilled with the visuals, although you might find it less kitch than I,  but I am absolutely blown away with the audio ... the wonderful interpretation of the verse and made all the more an audio treat by the accompanying jazz piano and occasional horn.

Walking Around
It so happens I am sick of being a man.
And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and movie
dried up, waterproof, like a swan made of felt
steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes.

The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse
The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool.
The only thing I want is to see no more stores, no gardens,
no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators.

It so happens that I am sick of my feet and my nails
and my hair and my shadow.
It so happens I am sick of being a man.

Still it would be marvelous
to terrify a law clerk with a cut lily,
or kill a nun with a blow on the ear.
It would be great
to go through the streets with a green knife
letting out yells until I died of the cold.

I don't want to go on being a root in the dark,
insecure, stretched out, shivering with sleep,
going on down, into the moist guts of the earth,
taking in and thinking, eating every day.

I don't want so much misery.
I don't want to go on as a root and a tomb,
alone under the ground, a warehouse with corpses,
half frozen, dying of grief.

That's why Monday, when it sees me coming
with my convict face, blazes up like gasoline,
and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel,
and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward the

And it pushes me into certain corners, into some moist
into hospitals where the bones fly out the window,
into shoeshops that smell like vinegar,
and certain streets hideous as cracks in the skin.

There are sulphur-colored birds, and hideous intestines
hanging over the doors of houses that I hate,
and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot,
there are mirrors
that ought to have wept from shame and terror,
there are umbrellas everywhere, and venoms, and umbilical

I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes,
my rage, forgetting everything,
I walk by, going through office buildings and orthopedic
and courtyards with washing hanging from the line:
underwear, towels and shirts from which slow
dirty tears are falling.

Translated by Robert Bly

Ode to Clothes

I couldn't find a video reading of the following poem but I was so struck by it that I had to include it in this post as an "easter egg" (OK, so Easter was last week and I am late).  It is amazing to me how the man can write an ode so full of love, reverence, tenderness and even passion with words describing his clothes and the relationship he has with them.  He is able, through the use of very concrete and simple phrases use the ordinary things we do with and around our clothes and create an image of symbolic allegory to a  loving relationship with a real person.

But then, that is just my interpretation and of course he may well just be writing about his clothes.  Somehow I think not.

Ode to Clothes

Every morning you wait,
clothes, over a chair,
to fill yourself with
my vanity, my love,
my hope, my body.
risen from sleep,
I relinquish the water,
enter your sleeves,
my legs look for
the hollows of your legs,
and so embraced
by your indefatigable faithfulness
I rise, to tread the grass,
enter poetry,
consider through the windows,
the things,
the men, the women,
the deeds and the fights
go on forming me,
go on making me face things
working my hands,
opening my eyes,
using my mouth,
and so,
I too go forming you,
extending your elbows,
snapping your threads,
and so your life expands
in the image of my life.
In the wind
you billow and snap
as if you were my soul,
at bad times
you cling
to my bones,
vacant, for the night,
darkness, sleep
populate with their phantoms
your wings and mine.
I wonder
if one day
a bullet
from the enemy
will leave you stained with my blood
and then
you will die with me
or one day
not quite
so dramatic
but simple,
you will fall ill,
with me,
grow old
with me, with my body
and joined
we will enter
the earth.
Because of this
each day
I greet you
with reverence and then
you embrace me and I forget you,
because we are one
and we will go on
facing the wind, in the night,
the streets or the fight,
a single body,
one day, one day, some day, still.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tax Time and a New Car

Sorry my friends, going to have to skip a meaningful post today, I just have too much on the cooker. Not to sound like I am whining, but it is 5:00 a.m. and I have been awake for 30 minutes - got to get into work early today. Most days these days I have been arriving at 7:00 and often don't leave until 7:00 at night.  Work is particularly stressful and I am not a happy camper about this 10-12 hours of my day, mainly because I get home to brain dead to do much of anything.

Aside from this I have been diligently working on my income tax and business bookkeeping in this last week in preparation for the end of April deadline.   It seems my accountant found some errors in my record keeping and I will need to file an amended T4.  I knew that big fat refund check I had calculated I was due was too good to be true!  I am thinking I should hire a book keeper - I just can't seem to get my business books properly attended to.  :(

But most importantly - tonight I am leaving work at 4:00 and going to pick up my new car! I need to write a full blog around the story of my new car - and I promise that next - maybe even tonight when I can actually post some real pictures but for now I will leave you with the following:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

More Fantastic Music by Alejandra Ribera

If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know how much I like the music of our local up and coming musical star Alejandra Ribera.  Go here to read other blogs I have written about her fabulous concerts here in Toronto as a regular at the Cameron House last year and the sold out performances at Hugh's Room this year.

This week a new video was posted which was recorded at Alejandra Ribera's concert at Hugh's Room in January. It is a fantastic rendition of the well known Spanish torch song Piensa en Mi.  This famous song was composed by the Mexican composer Agustín Lara.  Alejandra sings the lyrics with such passion that I had to find an English language translation to see why she sings it with such heartfelt sorrow.

According to a recent Facebook entry, she is heading to Spain to work on some new songs.  I wish her all the best and can't wait to enjoy the fruits of her labour when she returns.

"Piensa en mi"
English Translation

Think about me
If you have a deep wave of pain
Think of me
If you feel like you're going to cry
Think of me

You know that I worship your divine image
Your childlike mouth
Taught me to sin

Think of me
When you kiss
And when you cry
Think also of me

If you want
Take my life away from me
I don't want it for anything
It's useless to me
Without you

When you kiss
And when you cry
Think also of me

If you want
Take my life away from me
I don't want it for anything
It's useless to me
Without you

"Piensa en mi" lyrics:

Si tienes un hondo pesar
piensa en mi
si tienes ganas de llorar
piensa en mi
ya vez que venero
tu imagen divina
tu parvula boca
que siendo tan niña
me enseño a pecar.

Piensa en mi
cuando beses
cuando llores
tambien piensa en mi
cuando quieras quitarme la vida
no la quiero, para nada
para nada me sirve sin ti.

Piensa en mi
cuando beses
cuando llores
tambien piensa en mi
cuando quieras quitarme la vida
no la quiero, para nada
para nada me sirve sin ti.

Poetry by Pablo Neruda - Sonnet XI

This is the second of my April is Poetry Month Neruda posts. If you have not read the previous posts to celebrate poetry month and previous blogs relating Pablo Neruda's great poetry go here to catch up. He is just my most favourite poet.

Pablo Neruda was a kind of King Midas. Everything he touched turned to poetry, says Gabriel García Márquez, who also considers the Chilean Nobel laureate "the greatest poet of the twentieth century, in any language." [The Fragrance of Guava, 1983].

This week's Neruda piece titled Sonnet XI is, unlike last week's piece,  is from a later collection titled 100 Love Sonnets, which was dedicated to his 3rd wife Matilde Urrutia, the love of his life.  He produced this collection of love poems over a 3 year period when they began living together some 10 years after they met.  They lived together for the last 18 years of his life.

Sonnet XI is known by it's first line: "I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair".   The poem shows off Neruda's mastery with symbolism.  In it he uses an image from nature, a wild puma hunting and craving his prey and musing on the enjoyment of the eating to come. The image is symbolic of his passionate yearning and earthy love for Matilde. I am charmed by the sensuality of this poem.

Neruda's great strength was both his ability to pull symbolism from nature and also to give the reader a poetic window into the senses that the scenes he painted evoked.  For instance, a line from the Sonnet below - "sniffing the twilight"  is a wonderful image which takes  from nature and blends the concrete with the ethereal.

The video below is from one of 25 video poems in Four Seasons Productions newly released Moving Poetry Series.  The poem is recited in its native Spanish by Carlos Alfaro and includes English subtitles translated from Spanish by Stephen Tapscott.  There are some wonderful nature scenes in the video.  To learn more about the series go here to

I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the colour of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Urban Prankster Network and Improv Everywhere - Bringing Smiles to Everyone

Urban Prankster is a website which publicizes  pranks, hacks, participatory art, flash mobs, and other creative endeavors that take place in public places in cities across the world.  The site is hosted by Charlie Todd.  Charlie Todd also organizes the group Improv Everywhere, which according to it's web site:
Improv Everywhere causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 100 missions involving tens of thousands of undercover agents. The group is based in New York City.

I tripped upon the Urban Prankster site some time ago and noticed it again last week as April Fool's Day brought with it a new prank.

Last week's prank aside, Improv Everywhere has organized some pretty incredible events. You can go here for links to their more than 100 "Missions".

My favourite is the "Frozen Grand Central Station".  It is well worth watching the Video if you could use a good belly laugh.   I would have loved to be there when this one happened.  Watch the maintenance worker who is trying to drive his runabout through the mob.  You can hear him shout into his cell phone, "They are all frozen, I need help!".   I could watch this video ten times and still fall off my chair laughing! 

If you liked that one, go here to see the World's biggest freeze mob which was held in Paris on March 10, 2008.
In this video about 3,000 people froze for 5 minutes

Central Station Antwerp (Belgium)
For another "feel good" video go here and see an incredible staging of a performance of A Sound of Music at the Grand Central Station in Antwerp in Belgium.  It was a promotional stunt for a Belgian television program, they were looking for someone to play the leading role, in the musical "The Sound of Music". I love watching the faces of the lucky folks who happened to be there when this took place - particularly the grey haired old lady who is beaming from ear to ear. 

April Fool's Day Prank 2010
This event, staged in New York last week, was a spoof on the annual "No Pants Subway Ride" event which is another organized prank held annually on January 10th in Cities around the world.

In the Jan 10th event,  organizers send volunteers into the subway to get on a car to take off their pants whilst they ride to their destination, which causes a bit of a stir and a lot of smirks. (Go here to see the No Pants Ride Toronto or here to choose another location to view the antics).

The event of last week extended that to a lark which involved going without both pants and underwear - or did it?  It was April's Fools Day after all.  You be the judge of what is happening as you watch the video - I will fill you in on the secret in my next blog.  When you view this video do focus on the bystanders not the naked bottoms (Don't worry the bits are blurred out - as indicated in the Video it is "Faked for April Fool's Day" )... Some of the looks and reactions of the other subway riders are priceless!

If you haven't had enough - here are a few more which are entertaining:
Ninja Mob here.
Break dancing pregnant ladies here.

If you have enjoyed the videos and are curious to get involved - either as a participant or as a bystander who "happens" to be in the neighbourhood of an event - there are Improv Everywhere groups in most major cities.

In Toronto we have Improv In Toronto, which is based on the Improv Everywhere group and like Improv Everywhere (from NY), they try to shake up people's day by pulling pranks that are totally random or out of the ordinary.  I have June 5th marked on my calendar and am planning to be around for the 4th annual subway dance party!  Should be a hoot!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Haiku, Senyru and the WHY of Poetry

Fluid energy
A chorus line steps in time
Highway headlights stream

I wrote this haiku (no I stand corrected - it is a senryu - a haiku is about nature, a senryu is about people, places or things) as I was preparing for my poetry month blog series.  As I often do, I woke early but lazed in bed last weekend as daybreak arrived.  I was watching the constant stream of headlights which traced an arc from the east to the west as the cars travelled along the Gardiner Expressway and past my view.  The sight was very energizing and beautiful.  As they say, I was "moved" to write a poem.  The haiku style, with its short lines and burst of thought seemed right. 

I enjoy writing poetry - trying to find the right words to express a thought or emotion is fun.  I also enjoy a bit of a puzzle and a challenge, so verses with a prescribed form and a need to pay attention to the rhythm and sound is for me an entertaining exercise.

But writing poetry is hard work, much easier is the reading of a great poem written by one of the thousands of wonderful poets that have lived on this planet.

It is poetry month and so for this month, I am letting my poetic side rule.  I am reading poetry, I am writing poetry and I am basking in the joy that poetry brings to me.

There are lots of sorts of poetry and just like art it ranges from the very creative, clever and/or calming to the primitive, simplistic and/or jarring. Like art, it is created to express and/or to evoke an emotion.   Poetry should sit right up beside music and art and along side other creative writing forms but today our society, I think, has short shifted poetry and poets.  I think poets got much more respect in times gone by.  So I do my bit in April to focus on poetry and give thanks to poets.

Poetry is food for the soul.  For those of you who perhaps have not dipped into the well of great poetry that exists today, I urge you to set aside some time to explore the great wealth of poetry we have in our trove chest.   There is truly a style and theme to suit any palate.  You can steer clear of love poems if you are macho man or Mr. Red Neck Al.  If you are Mommy dearest there are lots of children's poetry you can read with your little one.  If you are an aging hippy, there are lots of poems out there leaning to the left.  There are poems marking events, if you are a history buff and poems honouring famous places if you are into geography.  In short: no excuse!  Read a poem in honour of poetry month.  Go Here to find a starter list of Twenty Examples of Why You Should Enjoy Poetry.

To have a poem mailed to your each day in the month of may go here.

I started this post with a haiku I wrote, but what I want to focus on is not my feeble attempts at this craft but other works of great poetry and today I will blog about the Japanese styles of haiku, senryu and renku.

According to Wiki
a haiku is a form of Japanese poetry, consisting of 17 moras (or on), in three metrical phrases of 5, 7, and 5 moras respectively. Haiku typically contain a kigo, or seasonal reference, and a kireji or verbal caesura(or cutting word).

Go here to know more about the senryu

So a haiku/senryu are very simple things with a very small amount of content - what can you say in 17 sylables?  Want to try your hand?  Go here for some help.   I am not a person of few words.  I would have a hard time if my poems were limited to this form.

The renku (meaning linked verses)  also called haikai norenga is a all that is haiku/senryu and more.  This is a type of Japanese poetry which consists of a string of linked alternating 17/14 syllable verses  which are produced collaboratively. There are other requirements for this style of poetry, but basically that is it in a nutshell.

I found a great renku on the internet titled Purple Petals.  This is a thirty-six stanza haikai, known as a kasen, which is the most popular form of renku. Go here to read more about renku on wiki.

As explained here the opening lines of a renku start the progression of linked verses which are produced collaboratively.  The Purple Petals renku was produced by 3 poets over a period of months remotely via mail. 

The first verse, the opening stanza, (known as the hokku) is a place of honor and is usually reserved for the renku master. In this instance, the authors gave that honor to Jack Kerouac's haiku.  (I am also working on a blog focusing on Jack Kerouac for next month so stay tuned for more on him then).

Haiku by Jack Kerouac
Morning Sun --
        the purple petals
four have fallen

And so the stage is set for the next 35 linked verses.

By linked it is meant that there is a line repeated from one stanza to the next. There are rules which govern how the lines are repeated and I looked at the explanation long enough to decide not to explain it.  But it is nice because the repetition does not become monotonous or chorus like.  I like the way this poem meanders through topics chained by that one repeating part of the previous and it ends up a bit remenicient of the game "Chinese whispers" because the original thoughts  - the haiku by Jack Kerouac are long gone and what ends up bears no relationship to the begining.

The last stanza:

           snow plow fills in
what I just shoveled out
          North Country Zen exercise
deep amber of oversteeped tea
these shorter days so very similar

Go here to read the the complete poem "Purple Petals" by Pat Nolan, Keith Abbott, Maureen Owen, Michael Sowl

The site,  Jack Magazine,  (as in Jack Kerouac) which includes this poem is a great one for literature related to Beat GenerationIt contains a nice collection of poems of all styles from folks of this era here.  From the site's editorial comments:
JACK Magazine, founded and edited by Mary Sands and Michael Rothenberg, is an offshoot of Beat Generation News and an arc to the Big Bridge. It's where the parameters of the Beat Generation are redefined and expanded to embrace a creative movement that goes beyond personality wedged in temporal categories and public relations concepts. JACK will ponder emanations and movements in modern literature and art that have been operating and vital since before the turn of the 20th century but eclipsed by the "Beat movement," such as Post-Apocalyptic Romanticism, Psychedelic Shamanism, Green-Pea Soupism and Biannual Surrealism, Cannabis Mumbo Gumbo, Burroughsian Utopianism, San Francisco Renaissance Poetry, Modern Urban Thoreauism and Forest Beatnikism, Black Mountain Poetry, and Language School Poetry—all creative phenomena that inform, as well as are informed by, what is popularly known as "Beat."

I couldn't resist re-tweeting that in its entirety.  But don't get me started - Beat Generation Literature is a whole different kettle of fish and that is for next month.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Poetry by Pablo Neruda 20 Poems of Despair - Poem XV

I have written about Pablo Neruda and his poetry in blogs several times this year.  I am entranced by his poetry - he simply is my most favourite poet.    Go here to read my previous blog which talks about Neruda the man and his life.   Go here to read about Luciana Souza and her music - she has included some of Neruda's poems set to music on her album

I have to confess, I did splurge and purchase several books of poetry by Neruda.  The most exquisite of the lot is titled "Intimacies" and features paintings by Mary Heebner to accompany the translations by Alastair Reid.  Best of all is the insights into his poetry gained from reading the translators introductions and notes relating to various poems.  The Spanish and English language translations are presented side by side. Maybe one day I will be able to appreciate the originals in Spanish.

I have also now a copy of the 1994 Italian language romantic comedy film "Il Postino The Postman", From Wiki:
The film tells a fictional story in which the real life Chilean poet Pablo Neruda forms a relationship with a simple postman who learns to love poetry.
I haven't watched it yet.  I am saving it to watch with a special someone who might appreciate poetry and won't mind watching a dated romantic comedy.  Some day maybe I will meet that person - or I will just get impatient and watch it by myself.  LOL

I have have ordered a copy of the companion music CD which Miramax published "The Postman (Il Postino): Music From The Miramax Motion Picture", which besides the film's score, composed by Luis Enríquez Bacalov, includes Neruda's poems recited by Sting, Miranda Richardson, Wesley Snipes, Ralph Fiennes, Ethan Hawke, Rufus Sewell, Glenn Close, Samuel L. Jackson, Andy Garcia, Willem Dafoe, Madonna, Vincent Perez, and Julia Roberts. It is on a back order list at Amazon and I have been waiting impatiently to hear that it is on its way.  The resellers are asking upwards of $95 for the CD, so I guess I just have to wait until the record company gets enough demand to produce another run.

In my Valentine's Blog  (here) I featured one of the Poems from this CD recited by  Andy Garcia, "Tonight I can Write the Saddest Lines".

That is a long lead in to my blog today.

Today is April the 1st,  the first day of Poetry Month.

For the month of April I am going to include one of Neruda's poems each week.  

Neruda wrote thousands of poems in his lifetime only some of which are love poems. When you read about his life and his loves it is clear that his love of Matilde Urrutia was the most intense and long lived love. Neruda met Matilde, a Chilean singer, when she was hired in 1949 to care for him after a serious bout of phlebitis. They began an affair that would, years later, culminate in marriage.

His collection, 20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair was published in 1924 when Neruda was just in his 20s. Clearly he was a man of deep emotion and a master with words from a young age. Over 34 years later, 100 Love Sonnets, dedicated to Matilde Urrutia, was published. He began living with her in 1955 after separating from his wife of 18 years. Eventually they married (she was his 3rd wife) and lived together, deeply in love until his death in 1973.  The 100 Sonnets shine in their simplicity, earthiness and sensuality.  Reading those sonnets one can understand the depth of  love, passion and and also affection he had for Matilde.

Today's poem is one from the CD which is recited by Glenn Close.  It is Poem XV from Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair.

I very much enjoy reading the poem - the words he chooses are so grounded and simple.   This sonnet conveys a a different aspect of love -an emotion like quiet  embers on a fire,  confident, patience and acceptance, ready to flare up with passion when called for.    Listening to this particulr recitation makes me appreciate his words even more.  It is well suited with Glenn's calm voice projecting so much love in each of the lines, expectant and secure, even in the stillness of the day, even when love is far away. 

My favourite part:
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not reach you
Let me come to be still in your silence
And let me talk to you with your silence
That is bright as a lamp
Deep love can exist in silent happiness - in love even in silence and at a distance.

 Glenn Close reads the poem 'I Like For You To Be Still' by Pablo Neruda:

I like for you to be still
It is as though you are absent
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not touch you
It seems as though your eyes had flown away
And it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth
As all things are filled with my soul
You emerge from the things
Filled with my soul
You are like my soul
A butterfly of dream
And you are like the word: Melancholy

I like for you to be still
And you seem far away
It sounds as though you are lamenting
A butterfly cooing like a dove
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not reach you
Let me come to be still in your silence
And let me talk to you with your silence
That is bright as a lamp
Simple, as a ring
You are like the night
With its stillness and constellations
Your silence is that of a star
As remote and candid

I like for you to be still
It is as though you are absent
Distant and full of sorrow
So you would've died
One word then, One smile is enough
And I'm happy;
Happy that it's not true

The image above is Dese'Rae Stage's tattoo from
The Tattooed Poets Project  Go here to read more about Tattoo Poets
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