Literature, Poetry, Uncategorized

Contemporary Galician Poets – A Poetry Review Supplement

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Translating a literary work is not a precise science, less so when the translator is working on a collection of poems, and even less so again if it involves a non-mainstream language. Jonathan Dunne might have done an excellent job (who am I to judge?) but the poems themselves were often-times too abstract for my liking. However, there were still a few within the pages of this slim volume which I found deserving enough to be bookmarked. Here is one of them.


Dialogue With The Eastern Trees

 

I also spoke to the eastern trees,

perfumed in a fervent breeze,

scattering down in secret

gardens: I shan’t see you until, far away,

after many years, the nostalgia

of having been abundant for someone

who under you greedily held

onto me, but putting limits

on the night’s caresses, gives me back

the caterpillars crossing tracks,

the cheeks stolen from a pool

crammed full of fish, sinuous

colours which even then referred me

to a more ancient, dazzling time

I had to forget: I shan’t see you

tremble until the immature days

of the agony of mists, ardent

friends who may still breathe

seeing the sea defiled by the opaque

eyes of those who are adrift.

They haven’t stopped replying.

 

Xavier Rodríguez Baixeras Tarragona, 1945


Click here for a complete PDF of: Contemporary Galician Poets

 

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Literature, Uncategorized

Marina – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

If 5 stars is a reflection of excellence, than I won’t go beyond two for Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s, Marina. What really irked me about this book is that the author “over-wrote” his descriptions, forcing creative comparisons for the most mundane of actions. This is evidenced by the innumerable “like” sentences which populate the novel – he was crawling like a spider, the music flowed through the garden like a high tide. I found it so annoying.

The story itself, supposedly belonging to the horror genre, was a bit too far-fetched to convince any of my hairs to stand on end. There are also scenes which reminded me of those zombie movies where no matter how fast one runs to escape from them, the slow-moving zombies (its in their nature) always appear to be just one step behind. The implausibilities, too, I found annoying.



 

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Literature, Uncategorized

The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd


I must start by apologizing to Sue Monk Kidd, the author of The Secret Life of Bees. That I picked her book to be my next read was neither due to the familiarity of the title nor the writer’s name but rather to the paucity of the selection I had available at the time. To be frank, I had serious doubts about a book which had the portraits of five women on the front cover and bees in title.

However, turning cliché into reality, it was truly a case of not judging a book by its cover – a storyline which made me turn the pages as fast as my eyes could read the words on them, insightful and poetic descriptions, bee epigraphs buzzing with interesting facts.

Having read only one of her novels doesn’t qualify me as a fan but I have clicked “like” on her Facebook page and I also added The Invention of Wings to my bookdepository.com wish list. Let’s see where this literary trail will lead to!

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Literature, Poetry, Uncategorized

Out of Danger – James Fenton

A slim volume which can easily be read in a day but which, for no particular reason, took me three. James Fenton’s “Out of Danger” has, as with most poetry collections, a few poems which are in the read, reread, and will read again category, such as “Jerusalem”, “Hinterhof” and “Tiananmen”. Others, however, just left me wondering what he was going on about. If I were to shovel beneath the superficial layer of (to me) meaningless lines, I’d possibly discover a rich vein of meaningful thoughts; an effort I’m not ready to expend because there are more interesting things waiting to be read on the bookshelves. Meanwhile, enjoy the poet himself with a reading of Jerusalem.

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Geocaching, Uncategorized

If in Sicily for Valentine’s …

…. go in search of a Maltese geocache, the Linguaglossa Heart. Here’s a full description.


 A lovely walk between Linguaglossa and Castiglione di Sicilia along a former railway line.

Linguaglossa is a place we love because it is where we spent our honeymoon in 2014. This year we decided to revisit this charming town for our first anniversary and thought it appropriate to place our first ever cache within its precincts.

The cache is located along a former railway line which used to lead from Linguaglossa to Castiglione di Sicilia. A few years ago it was converted into a walking/cycling trail and though somewhat neglected, it makes for a pleasant walk along (and through, thanks to a number of tunnels) the surrounding mountains. Our cache is located after the first tunnel. Looking to one’s right, there are splendid views of Linguaglossa and the smoking Etna.

It is suggested that you carry on with the walk all the way to Castiglione but bear in mind that you’ll also have to walk it back. Beyond our cache, you will find a gated tunnel. Worry not because it is easily opened; the idea is to keep the cows from wandering in rather than keep strollers out!

What have we put into our small cache? An origami heart (handmade by the magrelinha), a plastic leaf, a used train ticket (Circumetnea line), a €10 voucher that can be used in one of the casinos in Malta and log book. No pencil, so please bring your own. Upload of photos will be appreciated.

Enjoy the geocache but please respect the environment!


Further details at http://www.geocaching.com 

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