quarta-feira, 28 de janeiro de 2015

and then a plank, in reason, broke

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading - treading - till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through -

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum -
Kept beating - beating - till I thought
My mind was going numb -

 And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space - began to toll,

 As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here -

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down -
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing - then -

(Emily Dickinson)

domingo, 25 de janeiro de 2015

Ode on Melancholy

No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
       Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss'd
       By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
               Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
       Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
               Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;
       For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
               And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall
       Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
       And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
       Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
               Or on the wealth of globed peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
       Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
               And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die;
       And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
       Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
       Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
               Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
       Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine;
His soul shalt taste the sadness of her might,
               And be among her cloudy trophies hung.


(John Keats)

La belle dame sans merci

'O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
 Alone and palely loitering?
 The sedge is wither'd from the lake,
 And no birds sing.

'O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
 So haggard and so woe-begone?
 The squirrel's granary is full,
 And the harvest 's done.

 'I see a lily on thy brow
With anguish moist and fever dew;
 And on thy cheeks a fading rose
 Fast withereth too.'

 'I met a lady in the meads,
 Full beautiful—a faery's child,
 Her hair was long, her foot was light,
 And her eyes were wild.

 'I made a garland for her head,
 And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
 She look'd at me as she did love,
 And made sweet moan.

 'I set her on my pacing steed
 And nothing else saw all day long,
 For sideways would she lean, and sing
 A faery's song.

'She found me roots of relish sweet,
 And honey wild and manna dew,
 And sure in language strange she said,
 "I love thee true!"

'She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she wept and sigh'd fill sore;
And there I shut her wild, wild eyes
With kisses four.

'And there she lullèd me asleep,
 And there I dream'd—Ah! woe betide!
 The latest dream I ever dream'd
 On the cold hill's side.

'I saw pale kings and princes too,
 Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
 They cried—"La belle Dame sans Merci
Hath thee in thrall!"

 'I saw their starved lips in the gloam
 With horrid warning gapèd wide,
 And I awoke and found me here,
 On the cold hill's side.

'And this is why I sojourn here
 Alone and palely loitering,
 Though the sedge is wither'd from the lake,
And no birds sing.'


(John Keats)

quinta-feira, 6 de fevereiro de 2014

Tantas quimeras e idéias estranhas

"Retirei-me há tempos para minhas terras, resolvido, na medida do possível, a não me preocupar com nada, a não ser o repouso, e viver na solidão os dias que me restam. Parecia-me que não podia dar maior satisfação a meu espírito senão a ociosidade, para que se concentrasse em si mesmo, à contade; o que esperava pudesse ocorrer, porquanto, com o tempo, adquirira mais peso e maturidade. Mas percebo que "na ociosidade o espírito se dispersa em mil pensamentos diversos", e ao contrário do que imaginava, caracolando como um cavalo em liberdade, cria ele preocupações cem vezes maiores do que quando tinha um alvo preciso fora de si mesmo. E engendra tantas quimeras e idéias estranhas, sem ordem nem propósito, que para perceber-lhe melhor a inépcia e o absurdo, as vou consignando por escrito, na esperança de, com o correr do tempo, lhe infundir vergonha."

(Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, "Ensaios". Livro I, Capítulo VIII: "Da ociosidade")

sexta-feira, 9 de agosto de 2013

XVI

Devo viver entre os homens
Se sou mais pêlo, mais dor
Menos garra e menos carne humana?
e não tendo armadura
E tendo quase muito de cordeiro
E quase nada de mão que empunha a faca
Devo continuar a caminhada?

Devo continuar a te dizer palavras
Se a poesia apodrece
Entre as ruínas da Casa que é a tua alma?
Ai, Luz que permanece no meu corpo e cara:
Como foi que desaprendi de ser humana?


(Hilda Hilst)

segunda-feira, 10 de junho de 2013

Força é mudares de vida

Não sabemos como era a cabeça, que falta,
De pupilas amadurecidas, porém
O torso arde ainda como um candelabro e tem,
Só que meio apagada, a luz do olhar, que salta

E brilha. Se não fosse assim, a curva rara
Do peito não deslumbraria, nem achar
Caminho poderia um sorriso e baixar
Da anca suave ao centro onde o sexo se alteara.

Não fosse assim, seria essa estátua uma mera
Pedra, um desfigurado mármore, e nem já
Resplandecera mais como pele de fera.

Seus limites não tranporia desmedida
Como uma estrela; pois ali ponto não há
Que não te mire. Força é mudares de vida.


(Rainer Maria Rilke, beautifully translated by Manuel Bandeira)

sexta-feira, 29 de março de 2013

Ornamental knowledge

"Oho, now I know what you are. You are an advocate of Useful Knowledge."
"Certainly."
"You say that a man's first job is to earn a living, and that the first task of education is to equip him for that job?"
"Of course."
"Well, allow me to introduce myself to you as an advocate of Ornamental Knowledge. You like the mind to be a neat machine, equipped to work efficiently, if narrowly, and with no extra bits or useless parts. I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt. Shake the machine and it goes out of order; shake the dustbin and it adjusts itself beautifully to its new position."

 (Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost. Source.)