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Odysseus, however, is protected for having swallowed the drug moly.

50 Must-Read Poetry Collections of 12222

Cardona, however, is under the influence. Hence, desire is less truthful than the concretion of a goddess. Between reality and non-reality the image. Poetry resides there. And the greatest of poets. And the loneliest of poets too: 'And I remain alone and amazed. Because, as the poet confesses, he believes in magic, sees masks and pulp, bites into the stem, and cannot explain the glamor of drums and the jungle.

He created the goddess he can't ignore anymore, and so, back turned against friend and slave he, 'No one', alone awaits the 'revelation'. The poet is a foreigner in a foreign land, with the 'ageless power of volcanoes' and a 'thirst for adventure', 'having to abolish Death'. Follow individual poems such as 'Ibiza' with its verse: 'this land has made me a prisoner', a masterpiece , 'From the Euxine Sea' 'Inhospitable city Yet I will follow your narrow path'.

For is this not what translation is? Offering illumination from the unknown for me the daub. In the truest Shakespearean tradition of using the oxymoron to forge new synaptic pathways, Cardona offers implacable, sublime juxtapositions of language which defy categorization. It is a rare pleasure in the world of poetry to read such an expert and devoted translation.

With its roots firmly planted in classical mythology, Birnam Wood leaps into the air time and time again and absorbs itself thoroughly in the mystery of returning to earth. The fractures of the Spanish Civil War and the volcanic dispersal of Spanish genius as Fascism gripped Madrid has now, almost all of it, passed into the dismal history of Western Europe. Cardona was one of the last survivors, a witness of history, a heroic, unbowed Spanish soul.

His peripatetic life in the service of the United Nations, a life that followed academic training in Nancy, Geneva and Barcelona, became a kind of metaphor of the mid-Twentieth century.

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The gesture ennobles them. Now it is available in the English language as Birnam Wood , a dual-language edition, published by the indefatigable Salmon Poetry on the windswept Irish Cliffs of Moher. But it is not one dimensional: the highly educated Cardona has many, many stories to tell the reader.

Circe, too, like love or home, is eagle, chalice, time and olive tree. And with little I hold my vigil. Distance Counts sometimes as little as time. The vigil against Fascism was so long, and so physically and morally expensive, that time and distance became interchangeable. It was not the sun or daughters of the sun who made beasts of mankind.


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The force and intensity of the verse here is beautifully captured by the daughter-translator who has left everything said and nothing unsaid from the intense originals. No need to depart so alone.. These poems are the smaller diamonds in a sparkling collection, a book that quivers and shines like lacquer-work in direct sunlight.

The whole enterprise here, the genius of the father and his undaunted Classicism, the fidelity and skill of the daughter-translator, makes for a rare and beautiful event in world poetry. Rebel beggars and free slaves. I traded my peace for the knife. Perhaps in this way, Circe is compared to a living paradise.

This feels like a timeless statement on humanity, despite being written by a twentieth-century poet. Overall, this was very interesting read with a classical and timeless feel. You are like earth, like the island. I prefer it this way, because love Is that language or fire or scattered Universe in vine everywhere. Lo que se debe a alguien no es do uno.


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  4. Inhospitable city. Seafaring love with no other horizon or banner than the debris of shipwrecks fluttering like a torchlight.


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    Enomorado mar sin otro horizonte y estandarte que el resto de naufragios palpitando como una luz de antorchas. The wait smells of Moorish courtyard and the night of guitars and my heart wakes like a wounded bull. English is limited in rhyming words but the translator has substituted part-rhymes and sound-patternings in their place. Full marks to Salmon Poetry for including both the original and translation on facing pages so both can be read alongside each other; costs often make this prohibitive.

    Its bold, declarative tone, elevated content, mystical moments, contemplation, and fire show through in Spanish and now English. Especially memorable are the 20 poems to Circe.

    Some Literary Criticism quotes

    The oracle We had taken a seat next to the Sphinx alone on the cliff. We evoked the shipwreck of those days time winged with caresses and trumpet sounds the unbridled frenzy of dawns that will never recur lost footprints in the snow and sleep. Intact memory of merlons ablaze now ashes incandescent combustion and the howl of the hound that in our procession would remain petrified on the shore ultimate sacrifice or agony of a yawning world.

    From silence to music. From wishing to demanding; wanting, to achieving. This book of 94 pages, Birnam Wood , actually an anthology of sets has, obviously, elegies, odes, sonnets and masterful talent. And there are pieces that stay with you, in truth.

    And among the many poems is one that was written in Paris, in And, most of the time, stays. There is a mystery I should keep secret. So, the overture of Latinate vowels ascends. Hope is your name, because a name Has meanings only love Knows. And, so the daughter of the Master Spanish poet translates. Each line put down, hard won, and so deliberated with all of the full adjudicative sympathy of the science, by both. Enamoured I kiss your bronze skin burnished by the sun. There is this to consider, but there is also the voice of honeyed experience. These opening four lines are taken from the very first poem Circe II, one out of a whole cycle of poems devoted to the Homeric muse, who kept Odysseus from Penelope for several years, while turning his poor sailing companions into pigs by her magic.

    Hence, the reference to Baudelaire. Despite Walton's effort to praise Herbert's holiness and enviable commitment to church service, he stops just short of demonstrating that Herbert became a priest largely out of frustration and impatience. Walton's analysis discounts the fact that well before the mid s Herbert was preparing himself for a career in the church and believed that secular advancement was not necessarily antithetical to holy living.

    In a letter to John Danvers, dated 18 March , he mentions his plans for a spiritual vocation as a long-acknowledged fact, not an agonizing crisis: "You know, Sir, how I am now setting foot into Divinity, to lay the platform of my future life. These two men bolstered Herbert's hope that secular and sacred interests could be fruitfully reconciled: Bacon was lord chancellor and translator of Certain Psalmes , dedicated to Herbert; and Williams was a holy bishop and a formidable power broker and patron at court and for a time Herbert's greatest benefactor. Walton is right to note that after many early successes Herbert's chances for advancement began to falter.

    His highly placed friends died Ludovick Stuart, second Duke of Lennox, in and James Hamilton, second Marquis of Hamilton, in or tumbled as a result of political infighting.

    “Poems are spells”

    Bacon's fall into disgrace after going to trial for accepting bribes may have taught Herbert a great deal about the vagaries of power and the difficulty of reconciling morality and public greatness; and Williams went into retreat after losing battles with first Buckingham and then Laud. His stepfather and his good friend Ferrar struggled in vain to save one of their pet projects and investments, the Virginia Company, formed to both colonize the New World and help spread the Gospel.

    After the king dissolved the corporation, Ferrar removed himself to a life of devotion at Little Gidding, while Danvers, much more volatile and angry, intensified both his gardening at his house in Chelsea and his political agitating. Two decades later he was actively fighting against Charles I and ultimately became one of the regicides, directly responsible for the king's execution. The power and reputation of some of Herbert's influential friends and family members were thus certainly being challenged and weakened at this time, but Walton drastically oversimplifies Herbert's character by identifying thwarted ambition as his primary motivation in moving closer to the priesthood.

    Although we cannot know for sure, it is just as likely that Herbert was deeply influenced by firsthand experience of the world of business, political intrigue, and court maneuvering and discovered not so much that it did not offer him a place as that it did not suit him.