Akhmatova

December 16, 2009

I am not one of those who left the land.

We are the peope without tears – straighter than you, and more proud.

But I am one of those who has left his land, passing over equator and time zones too many for comfort, away from friend and family and even comfortable foe, if there were such a thing for me, and now reside on the Eastern coast of a very foreign and yet familiar land. I make tracks here like grooves in rock ground by glaciers, like kettle lakes spun by whirlpools under ice by mere water as happened a few metres down the street at the top of the hill a few thousand years ago. And where again day by day I spin my own circles and wear my own track.
Akhmatova, trapped by her own loyalty and love affair with her language was alone, sharply isolated, kept in a dark room in winter, face illuminated by the rays of a distant fireplace as she concentrated on her craft. Not knowing Russian I have to read in translation, but I can see the patterns of syllables in the original her mind at work, and catch a glimpse of the workings of her mind. A distant glimpse.

Buying Poetry

December 15, 2009

So I finally bought Elizabeth Bishop’s Complete Poems. Because of the perfection of The Moose. And One Art. And Poems of Akhmatova, who I came across in a concert given by a friend, which led to my own poetic effort to describe the concert. Maybe more of which later.