Saturday, June 30, 2012

JED2


The sea of love is a sea that has no shore.
There, you can only give up your soul.

                                                  Háfiz


Tu m’as assuré de ton amour
et qu’il résisterait à toutes les
tempêtes  si vraiment nous
sommes assez bons pour
le mériter. Reconnaissant,
dans mon étonnement  je
t’ai répondu que je serais
heureux si cela se passait
comme tu le dis.  Puis,
pendant vingt-quatre
heures tu es disparue : pas
un mot, aucun signe de vie.
Inquiet, je me suis abandonné
à des pensées où la douleur
menaçait, avec son visage sombre.
mes rêves, mes espoirs, mon bonheur.

Tu m’as enlevé à la solitude.
Tu m’as promis l’amour
et je t’ai cru, naïvement.
Maintenant, seul dans la ville
monotone, je paie le prix  de
ma folle passion. Plus tard,
c’est probable, tu reviendras.
Et tu seras étonnée de mon
étonnement, de mon incapacité
à croire que tu m’es dévouée.
Je demanderai des excuses ou
pour la première fois je me
plaindrai. Je te dirai peut-être
que l’amour a des obligations
et que le silence est, dans
l’absence, son pire ennemi.
Mais me comprendras-tu, toute
excitée que tu es à l’idée du
grand voyage qui t’emmènera
dans un pays lointain que tu aimes?
Je ne peux même pas, dans mon
amour pour toi, rivaliser avec
une ville. Je l’accepte, car je
n’ignore pas que les villes sont
éternelles, que les pierres de
leurs maisons, leurs arbres,
leurs larges avenues et leur
monuments nous survivront.
Mais toi, tu es faite de la même
chair que moi. Et tu n’en tiens
pas compte quand tu me
laisses sans tes paroles
dans la ville déserte où je
laisse passer le temps avant
d’aller à ta rencontre.

(Joseph Edward Soice)





Friday, June 29, 2012

JED


Je ne t’enverrai pas des mots d’amour.
Que pourrais-je inventer encore, après
tout ce que les grands poètes ont
déjà dit ? Tu ne serais pas surprise.

Forcé au silence, je souffre. Dans mon
cœur, dans mon corps, l’amour de toi
s’intensifie. Je l’observe de loin, je
retiens mon souffle. Il a un visage,
il a des yeux, je regarde son sourire.
Il m’habite, j’apprendrai à le connaître.

Je t’ai attendu sans savoir si tu viendrais.
Tu es venue, je m’en suis réjoui. Pourquoi
ai-je pris si longtemps à comprendre? Je
frémis à l’idée d’avoir manqué ton arrivée.
Je marche rêveur dans la ville.

Je ne peux pas parler d’amour, les mots me
manquent. Ceux qui sont venus avant moi les
ont tous pris. Mais dans mon cœur, loin des
paroles, ton amour ne cesse de fleurir.

(Joseph Edward Soice)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

O amor dos poetas




Uma vez, já não sei quando, li um poema de
amor de um poeta português. Era o poema de
um rapaz de agora, com as qualidades dos rapazes
de agora que frequentaram a universidade e tiraram
um curso de letras. Ele escrevia nos jornais umas coisas
sobre a poesia dos outros poetas. Eu achava-lhe piada:
tudo o que ele escrevia nascia de uma profunda irritação,
coisa infantil e que inspirava ternura. Entendi o que ele
queria: queria que todos escrevessem como ele e os seus
amigos e mestres poéticos (outros rapazes, mais velhos,
que eu também tinha  conhecido na universidade e de que
me lembrava vagamente). No poema de amor que eu li um
rapaz beijava uma rapariga. E enquanto a beijava e as veias
da boca lhe estremeciam de desejo o jovem amante pensava
em mares distantes cheios de perigos, pensava em temíveis
corsários. Não percebi por que razão beijar a rapariga
levava o rapaz apaixonado a pensar em corsários, em
cenas violentas com espadas e canhões. Mas é verdade
que nenhum amor, nem mesmo o amor de um poeta
português perdido em Lisboa nos seus pensamentos
confusos, é uma aventura sem perigo. O poeta, expulso de
si mesmo e da realidade que o rodeava, viu corsários no
pacífico Tejo, que nem sequer, como se sabe, é o mar ainda
- porque o mar, para quem não tenha o espírito perturbado
pelo amor, só começa lá mais abaixo. Já não me lembro
de outros pormenores do poema. Mas da cena do beijo, 
do fantasma de Errol Flynn e dos corsários em mares 
distantes e cheios de perigos nunca me esqueci. Se a gente 
quiser ( e mesmo quando não queremos) tudo se relaciona 
com tudo: basta ter alguma cultura literária, imaginação, 
capacidade de juntar palavras de coisas que em princípio 
não costumam aparecer juntas. Uma metáfora não passa 
disso, afinal. E a dizer a verdade nem sequer é preciso 
ter frequentado  a universidade e ter tirado um curso de 
letras para perceber isso. Os poetas e os críticos de poesia 
são muitas vezes gente alucinada.  Vêem o que ninguém vê, 
pensam o que ninguém pensa, dizem coisas que não têm 
muito sentido. E são teimosos e irascíveis: querem que todos 
escrevam poemas como eles os escrevem e que pensem acerca 
da vida aquilo que eles pensam. Nalguns casos o sentido 
enigmático da comparação ou da metáfora revela-se depois 
e é esplendoroso; noutros nunca se revela ou quando se revela 
a gente percebe que o poema foi apenas um momento de desvario 
ou estupidez que aconteceu ao aspirante a poeta. Vem tudo a dar 
no mesmo. Só as palavras dos sábios verdadeiros se salvam do 
esquecimento imediato. E os sábios e os génios são, como se sabe,
apenas uma excepção na monotonia da maior parte das existências. 
Mas como dizia Celan:  aconcheguem as palavras do poeta no caixão 
ao lado do seu coração quando ele morrer; ele só as disse porque
elas lhe eram  necessárias para suportar a existência. O corpo
dos corsários era lançado ao mar ou caía nele varado pelas espadas
ou pelas balas. O destino do poeta é menos heróico, aparentemente:
há-de morrer na cama, a recitar provavelmente o último verso do
poema que escreveu quando recordava a rapariga que uma noite,
à beira do Tejo, amou como nunca tinha amado ninguém.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Against the "Acordo Ortográfico" - Please share!


Statement from the Portuguese PEN Centre on the so-called “Acordo Ortográfico/AO 90 [Orthographic Agreement”] from 1990

by Pen Clube Portugues on Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 9:59am ·



The so-called “Orthographic Agreement” for the Portuguese language, signed in 1990 by the seven Portuguese-speaking countries (Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, San Tome and Principe, Cape Verde), has not yet been ratified by all, due to the recognition of basic, structural and specific problems and critic aspects of all kinds.

To speak an “essential unity of Portuguese language”, with the same orthographic rules, is the aim of the “Agreement”. That is not possible, because syntactic, lexical and semantic differences remain untouched. The linguistic variants of Portuguese language are numerous in all countries. The basic critics stress the inapplicability of such a document because the changes that were introduced were not scientifically correct; they produced an artificial language that can only be implemented through computer programs, because it does not follow the natural evolution of the language. The radical changes in the European variant of the Portuguese mean a real erasure of so-called “mute” consonants (most “p” and “c”, which open the vowels and also display the Greek and Latin common roots and word family), affecting the most used words. A complete chaos is established since different writings and accent variations are accepted.
The so-called second Amendment Protocol of 2004 was ratified in May of 2008 by the Portuguese Parliament, by the majority of the deputies, due to party discipline, against the opinion of language experts and specialists in Linguistics and against the language sensibility of a considerable majority of the Portuguese population. According to that Amendment, it would be enough that only 3 countries, less than a half of the 8 countries of Portuguese official language (with East Timor as a new independent country), would be enough to ratify the Agreement in order to enforce it.
Since the beginning of 2012 all official documents of the Portuguese government are supposed to be written in that grapholect, which also affects the school programs and has been adopted by a considerable number of publications and publishing houses.

The Portuguese PEN Centre has carried out an enquiry among its members with following questions: 1. Which aspects do you consider positive and negative in the Agreement? 2. Do you intend to follow this Agreement in your texts or do you intend to keep writing in European Portuguese? 3. Do you think that PEN should take any initiative regarding this issue? In this case, which one? 4. If you wish, you may write further remarks on issues which you may consider important.
Almost all the answers to this inquiry have brought sharp critics to the Orthographic Agreement, strengthening the opinion of all Board members about its inutility and the damaging effects, which are now experienced everywhere. In the spirit of PEN, of the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee and the Girona Manifest, the Portuguese PEN Board calls upon the support of International PEN to its actions with the goal of implementing the discussion about the measures to be taken, in order to use all legal means to revoke that unhappy treaty, which does not respect the language diversity and autonomy of Euro-Afro-Asiatic Portuguese.

4.6.2012

The Board of Portuguese PEN Centre:

Teresa Salema (President), Maria do Sameiro Barroso (Vice-President), Maria João Cantinho (Secretary), Manuel de Queiroz (Treasurer), Vítor Oliveira Jorge, Helena Barbas, João David Pinto Correia

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ovid: On fidelity


I don't ask you to be faithful - you're beautiful, after all -
but just that I be spared the pain of knowing.
I make no stringent demands that you should really be chaste,
but only that you try to cover up.
If a girl can claim to be pure, it's the same as being pure:
it's only admitted vice that makes for scandal.
What madness, to confess by day what's wrapped in night,
and what you've done in secret, openly tell!
The hooker, about to bed some Roman off the street
still locks her door first, keeping out the crowd:
will you yourself then make your sins notorious,
accusing and prosecuting your own crime?
Be wise, and learn at least to imitate chaste girls,
and let me believe you're good, though you are not.
Do what you do, but simply deny you ever did:
there's nothing wrong with public modesty.
There is a proper place for looseness: fill it up
with all voluptuousness, and banish shame;
but when you're done there, then put off all playfulness
and leave your indiscretions in your bed.
There, don't be ashamed to lay your gown aside
and press your thigh against a pressing thigh;
there take and give deep kisses with your crimson lips;
let love contrive a thousand ways of passion;
there let delighted words and moans come ceaselessly,
and make the mattress quiver with playful motion.
But put on with your clothes a face that's all discretion,
and let Shame disavow your shocking deeds.
Trick everyone, trick me: leave me in ignorance;
let me enjoy the life of a happy fool.
Why must I see so often notes received - and sent?
Why must I see two imprints on your bed,
or your hair disarrayed much more than sleep could do?
Why must I notice love bites on your neck?
You all but flaunt your indiscretions in my face.
Think of me, if not of your reputation.
I lose my mind, I die, when you confess you've sinned;
I break out in cold sweat from hand to foot;
I love you then, and hate you - in vain, since I must love you;
I wish then I were dead - and you were too!
I won't investigate or check whatever you try
to hide: I will be thankful to be deceived.
But even if I catch you in the very act
and look on your disgrace with my own eyes,
deny that I have seen what I have clearly seen,
and my eyes will agree with what you claim.
You'll win an easy prize from a man who wants to lose,
only remember to say, 'I didn't do it.'
Since you can gain your victory with one short phrase,
win on account of your judge, if not your case.

- translated from the Latin by Jon Corelis 


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Letter of J. E. Soice to another non identified woman


My dear, my own

Why did you start calling me in the morning, before you go to the university? I was supposed to be sleeping but I was not. Yes, I was very happy to see you when you just got out of bed, your eyes shining, your face clean and fresh, your young red lips smiling. So childish and still you are not a child anymore. I loved your red sweater. I thought: she is beautiful as a rose at dawn in the garden. And you were giving me for nothing, unexpectedly, the pleasure of seeing you so early in the day? Lucky me.

Your tenderness made me feel alive and curious again about what’s going on in the outside world, which frequently bores me. You were brushing your teeth and you were a bit late for your Wittgenstein’s class. Still, you wanted to say me good-morning before you left to the streets. I thought: I can enjoy gazing at her face in the morning the same as if she had slept with me in my bed. Wasn’t it a special present you made to me? I was happy and so proud of you (or was it proud of me? what did I do to deserve your sympathy?).

And now I can’t sleep.  It’s past midnight and I can’t sleep. Before I met you I was sleeping very well. But some weeks ago you told me that you love me. I didn’t believe you then. I still don’t believe you now. What do you know about love? You are too young, your ideas still need to be corrected by the painful experiences that relationship always bring with them. Your heart is a well of naive and touching generosity and I cannot fail to appreciate it and yes, I am grateful. But your head is full of wrong impressions and expectations about the world and about people.

I wish I could protect you from the wickedness that is threatening you in the journey of your life. But I know that you are on your own and that no one but you can take care of it.  

Sometimes I ask myself if I should believe you anyway. Love is inspiring and tempting, it promises us the unknown and so many good things in it. We cannot anticipate what can happen when we are in love. Is there anything I learned in life that I didn’t first learn through love? I mean: through love’s pleasures and illusions, through love’s pains and disappointments?

When I first thought about being loved by an inexperienced and innocent girl like you I smiled. That you are taking a class on Wittgenstein helped maybe to get us closer. Thanks to that I could imagine you more settled than you certainly are and forget for a while that your impulsiveness puts you and me at risk. Your words are indeed very touching. Your enthusiasm is charming. Your idea of love is not yet corrupted by disenchantment, by betrayal, by deception. Could it be, however, that just because of your lack of experience you knew more about love than I ever was able to learn? I can’t figure it.

How is it then that having decided not to believe you I can’t sleep? And why am I so nervous, why am I so anxious lately? Is it because I want to love you but am aware that if I started to love you I would be very unhappy? Am I already in love with you and unhappy or anticipating unhappiness? I hope that my questions are just a brief symptom of my confusion.

Understand me: I am too old for you. If I started loving you I wouldn’t have the time to love you as you deserve to be loved. I wouldn’t have the time and most probably I don’t have the energy either. Your body is young and beautiful, your flesh is burning with lust; my body is old and not so pleasant to look at anymore. There are so many young boys around who would be so happy to have you. You could easily have one of them if you wanted. And, to be honest, I don’t know for how long I would be able to sustain my interest in you, or to be more precise, in your body. Does love get us closer to the deep truth of life, to life in its plenitude of meaning? Soon or later you would not fail to be disappointed with me. You would look at me at your side, you would think that our relationship doesn’t make sense and you would feel very unhappy. You would leave me because you may love my soul but you can’t love my body. And because you are a very sensitive girl you would be in pain because of me.

No, I can’t believe in your love and I can’t love you. Sure, I may love you in my own way, that is, I can love deeply and tenderly the person you are. I think I already do. But no, I will not take the risk of being ridiculous and unhappy because I fell in love with you and am dying to enjoy the pleasures of your intimacy.

We all know that if someone falls in love with us and we are not in love with that person...  it’s a burden. It’s a burden too when we stop loving someone who keeps believing that she loves us (maybe she does and maybe her love, feeling the danger of the ending, suddenly awoke from a monotonous sleep; only it is too late). Knowing that, how would I dare to fall in love with you, risking being a burden in your life from the beginning? No, there is no way, my darling, my own. I will never fall in love with you. And I can’t believe in your love either.

If love was free of concerns. If we could love someone without ever stopping to enjoy it, if love did not bring with time disappointment, pain, boredom, how good would it be? Love without pain would be something like a delicious chocolate cake with no cholesterol. But when it comes to love you can be sure that soon or later you will pay for all the enjoyment and for all the great excitement and for all the pleasures you were allowed to experience all the way through it. You will pay for each of your smiles, for each of your moments of ecstasy. Yes, it may be true that it is better to be in pain than to live a boring life of solitude. I know that, but right now I am looking at the problem from another perspective; let’s proceed with method and explore one facet after the other without getting things mixed up. The topic is far from being an easy one.

Why are you telling me that you love me anyway? I haven’t seen you for more than a week now and when you talked to me lately in skype you seemed always busy and in a hurry to go someplace.  I am not complaining. I am just trying to make you aware of your contradictory words. If you loved me as you say you do you would wish to talk to me every day, you would also complain when you don’t find me. That’s what people do. I don’t know what you have been busy with this last week but I guess that you have been perfectly happy without talking to me. You don’t (or wouldn’t) even mind not being loved, do you? Or maybe you are so sure of me, so convinced that I love you that you don’t see any reason to worry. Is that so? Oh, my darling, if things and life were so easy. They are not, I can promise you.  

One day I will maybe spend some time with you, it’s not impossible. I have to think about it, give me some time. I may very well take a train, a boat or a plane and visit you. I will be careful not to expect too much from you, though. I will in no way take the risk of being a burden to your busy life. To say it shortly: I will be cautious; you will be part of the reason for my trip but I will have other important reasons to travel to the city where you spend your days at the moment; that way I will not be dependent on your smiles, on your dazzling eyes, on your uncertain and baffling love. If you had promised to have lunch or dinner with me, for example, and suddenly called back to say that you had an emergency and were unable to join me I wouldn’t like to be taken by surprise. Anyway I always have with me a book and a notebook. If, as it might happen, you failed to join me after having promised that you would come, I could easily comfort me reading and writing - and forget about you.

I am writing all these things and thinking at the same time that I should in no way be afraid of loving you. Am I that afraid? I don’t really know. I would like to have a more clear idea of what kind of love would be our love, your love for me and my love for you. In fact, I have to confess, I adore you. Since that day in the public garden in your city (I was enjoying the calm of the afternoon sitting on the lawn under the big trees and you came to me and asked where I was from and what I was doing) you didn’t stop surprising and impressing me.  You are a miracle, are you aware of that? Besides being beautiful as a little bird you are generous, you are mature for your age, you are intelligent – and you love opera. There is something in your personality that I cannot identify and make clear that seduces me and sometimes leaves me breathless. Every time you say that you love me, every time you say “mi amor”, you make me smile, I forget all the miseries of my life. You are so dangerously and innocently crazy. Even if I don’t believe in your love, it feels good to hear you say the kind words. I have been so lonely, you know. Maybe you are a present of the gods who do not want to see me so sad, so lost in life. Maybe it’s their way of convincing me that life after all makes sense and is worth to be lived and praised, who knows? The problem is that I don’t believe in gods, so, I have to do without them.

Sincerely yours ( I mean it).


Joseph 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Killers - Bones

-Ingrid's ink-: Show off

-Ingrid's ink-: Show off: Another illustration in VG today. This one was easy, it's about people who like to brag. And I had so many people in mind when I was looki...