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(..)
It's me, isn't that right? I'm what I knew. Acts came from me—this me?
I did not do those things; I only watched, watched myself act, react.
Emotion isn't really what I felt. Reasoning was quaintly
of use like a superficial tool. Living, one is so detached.
(..)


 Alice Notley, ‘Voices’, uit Certain Magical Acts

ports of refuge

Ms. [Krista] Tippett: [..] You speak of Tomas Tranströmer, Swedish poet who’s one of your “ports of refuge.” [..] you said something.. I'm always interested in how people describe what poetry works in us and of him you said the poems remember us and if we are perfectly still, give us a chance to catch sight of ourselves. Can you say a little bit about him — just, this person?

Mr. [Teju] Cole: I’m going to go back to a word I used earlier, which is how much help we need. We sometimes think of culture as something we go out there and consume. And this especially happens around clever people, smart people — “Have you read this? Did you check out that review? Do you know this poet? What about this other poet?” Blah blah blah. And we have these checkmarks — “I read 50 books last year” — and everybody wants to be smart and keep up. I find that I’m less and less interested in that, and more and more interested in what can help me and what can jolt me awake. Very often, what can jolt me awake is stuff that is written not for noonday but for the middle of the night. And that has to do with — again, with the concentration of energies in it.

Tomas Tranströmer, the Swedish poet, who died — can’t remember; maybe 2013 he died. He seemed to have unusual access to this membrane between this world and some other world that, as Paul Éluard said, is also in this one. Tranströmer, in his poetry, keeps slipping into that space.

In any case, I just found his work precisely the kind of thing I wanted to read in the silence of the middle of the night and feel myself escaping my body in a way that I become pure spirit, in a way. I remember when he won the Nobel Prize, which was in 2011. We live in an age of opinion, and people always have opinions, especially about things they know nothing about. So people who were hearing about Tranströmer for the first time that morning were very grandly opining that his collected works come to maybe 250 pages, that how could he possibly get the Nobel Prize for that slender body of work? — which, of course, was missing the fact that each of these pages was a searing of the consciousness that was only achieved at by great struggle. I think the best thing to compare him to is the great Japanese poets of haiku, like Kobayashi or Basho.

On Being met Teju Cole: Sitting Together in the Dark

//

quoi?

ada limón adrienne rich alejandro zambra aleksandar hemon ali smith alice notley alice oswald andré aciman andrea dworkin andrea wulf anna burns anne boyer anne brontë anne carson anne truitt anne vegter annie dillard antjie krog audre lorde ben lerner bhanu kapil carry van bruggen catherine lacey cees nooteboom charlotte brontë charlotte salomon chimamanda ngozi adichie chris kraus christa wolf claire messud claire vaye watkins clarice lispector deborah levy durga chew-bose elif batuman elizabeth strout emily brontë erwin mortier ester naomi perquin etty hillesum f. scott fitzgerald feminisme fernando pessoa han kang helen macdonald henri bergson hermione lee herta müller jan zwicky janet malcolm jean rhys jeanette winterson jenny offill jessa crispin joan didion joke j. hermsen josefine klougart kate zambreno katherine mansfield kathleen jamie katja petrowskaja krista tippett layli long soldier leonora carrington leslie jamison louise glück maggie nelson marcel proust maría gainza marie darrieussecq marie howe marja pruis mary oliver mary ruefle olivia laing patricia de martelaere paul celan paula modersohn-becker piet oudolf poëzie rachel cusk rainer maria rilke rebecca solnit robert macfarlane robert walser robin wall kimmerer sara ahmed sara maitland siri hustvedt stefan zweig sue lloyd-roberts susan sontag svetlana alexijevitsj sylvia plath ta-nehisi coates teju cole terry tempest williams tjitske jansen tomas tranströmer valeria luiselli virginia woolf vita sackville-west w.g. sebald yiyun li zadie smith

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