The Copper Cauldron (Eight O’Clock)

macbeth-marion-cotillard

VOICE 1: Eight O’clock. (One to the final stroke.) Fumes rise from the sorceress’ cauldron as ravished Medea passionately stirs wasted love with desires unlawful and unfulfilled. A myriad witches hover around the room talking indistinctly. Muses are nowhere to be found.

VOICE 2: A cup of simple wine (preferably Spanish).
A bucket of blood vainly spilt,
seasoned with original unsullied pain
from days of old
when magic
filled
the air.

MEDEA: A whole bucket? Really…?

LADY MACBETH: Cannot complain there, you’ve got plenty of that…

MEDEA: Indeed my dear. Indeed. I don’t complain about my lot as others love to do… But was there magic in your days? Hmmm… Cannot seem to remember…
Must be getting old!

LADY MACBETH (aside): Is this what life is made of?

MEDEA (gets her glasses from a table): Lets see… What else do we need? Yes, here!
Tears of a unicorn…
Some hippogriff hair…
Seriously! Who writes these recipes? How in God’s name am I supposed to get hippogriff hair?
Continue reading “The Copper Cauldron (Eight O’Clock)”

The Modern vs. The Cybele

 A Sketch for a Modern Love Poem – Tadeus Rozewicz

And yet whiteness
can be best described by greyness
a bird by a stone
sunflowers
in December
love poems of old
used to be descriptions of flesh
they described this and that
for instance eyelashes

and yet redness
should be described
by greyness
the sun by rain
the poppies in November
the lips at night

the most palpable
description of bread
is that of hunger
there is in it
a humid porous core
a warm inside
sunflowers at night
the breasts the belly the thighs of Cybele

a transparent
source-like description of water
is that of thirst
of ash
of desert
it provokes a mirage
clouds and trees
enter a mirror of water
lack hunger
absence
of flesh
is a description of love
in a modern love poem

Translated from the Polish by Czeslaw Milosz

Continue reading “The Modern vs. The Cybele”

What’s wrong with Ford Madox Ford’s Catholics?

parade's_endSome time ago, more than 2 years ago in fact, I wrote a bit on Leonora Ashburham, one of the characters of Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier. I noticed, then, she had much in common with Lady Julia Flyte of Brideshead Revisited—at least regarding her Catholic faith. Both characters are examples of very modern (and adulterous) women who seem not to care much about their religion, yet who insist on educating their children as Catholics, as if that was the only thing with some value they could pass on to them. While I was reading Ford’s tetralogy Parade’s End I thought that this over simplistic description could also be applied to Sylvia, Christopher Tietjens’s wife. Yet, despite the similarities, I think there is something different, and quite sinister, in the case of Sylvia. Continue reading “What’s wrong with Ford Madox Ford’s Catholics?”

Mary Stuart, Tragedy, Heroes, and also something about Lars von Trier

YoungMaryStuartSome weeks ago I had a very nice conversation with an extremely intelligent and well-read person who happens to be my advisor (and who is not a reader of this blog). During our talk I got carried away and was distracted for a minute… it was then when I made a terrible mistake. We were discussing a passage of a poem I’m working on at the moment and I claimed, somehow casually, that the situation described was “tragic”. If you study literature you know you cannot say things things like “tragic” lightly in front of a faculty member. The same runs true for words such as “comic”, “objective”, or “real”. I mean you can say whatever you want, but you have to be ready to bear the consequences, like leaving his/her office with a very long reading list. In my case the list included The Death of Tragedy of George Steiner. Continue reading “Mary Stuart, Tragedy, Heroes, and also something about Lars von Trier”

Using marked as an nvalt wiki viewer

screenYes! This is not a literary post, but for some people it might be interesting… If you don’t know what markdown is then probably this is not for you, or it might be a chance to investigate. Since I discovered markdown I try to write almost everything using it. Nvalt for my notes and Ulysses for longer texts

Now with the new marked update it is possible to use it as a viewer of a nvalt wiki (both applications are written by the awesome Brett Terpstra). I use nvalt to keep all the notes of the books and articles I read, my reading lists, ideas, etc… Its super fast search is great for quickly getting to the note I’m looking for. The only problem is that the nvalt previewer is not that nice yet… marked is a much better tool for that task. Continue reading “Using marked as an nvalt wiki viewer”

A Letter to Mr. David Mitchell

180px-BlackSwanGreenDear Mr. Mitchell,

I must apologise for posting this letter in my blog. I know I should have send it to you directly, yet I was unable to find your email or your physical address in county Cork—I suppose you live there because that’s what Wikipedia states. It may not be a very reliable source, but it is the only one I have…

The purpose of the letter is twofold… well truly it is threefold. In first place it gives me an excuse to stop thinking for some minutes about allusion in The Waste Land, the theory of metaphor of Ricoeur, and other somniferous topics that I’m forced to deal with in order to finish my MA dissertation… But let me go to the ones that concern your books. Continue reading “A Letter to Mr. David Mitchell”