différence & répétition


“Maybe someday we’ll find refuge in true reality. In the meantime, can I just say how opposed I am to all of this?”

– Alejandra Pizarnik, trans. Yvette Siegert

“His soul melted into the landscape, strange to his eyes, of the Eastern world.”

Can Xue, The Last Lover, trans. Annelise Finegan Wasmoen


“Where there is desire, there is a wilderness.”

– Can Xue, The Last Lover, trans. Annelise Finegan Wasmoen

“… ability to quote Housman’s discreetly homoerotic verses are among the minor accomplishments of the shape-shifting, deranged narrator of Nabokov’s Pale Fire.

– Peter Davidson, The Idea of North

“For they’ve been to the Lakes, and the Torrible Zone,
And the hills of the Chankly Bore!”

– Edward Lear, “The Jumblies”


These are the depictions of the most intense meteor storm in recorded history – the Leonid meteor storm of 1833. The Leonid meteor shower is annually active in the month of November, and it occurs when the Earth passes through the debris left by the comet Tempel-Tuttle. While the typical rates are about 10 to 15 meteors per hour, the storm of 1833 is speculated to have been over 100,000 meteors per hour, frightening people half to death.
Here’s how Agnes Clerke, an astronomer witnessing the event, described it:  “On the night of November 12-13, 1833, a tempest of falling stars broke over the Earth… The sky was scored in every direction with shining tracks and illuminated with majestic fireballs. At Boston, the frequency of meteors was estimated to be about half that of flakes of snow in an average snowstorm.” (x)

“With a glad heart I will go now
To ride the horses of the roaring sea:”

The Waking of Angantyr

H.I.F. Biber: Rosary Sonata X (The Crucifixion)

performed by [the fabuous] Maya Homburger and the Camerata Kilkenny

“They retained their wooden souls, and the curve of their backs had the enigmatic shape of growth itself and remained a part of the decaying forest.”

– Tove Jansson, The Summer Book, trans. Thomas Teal

“When I, therefore, demand of them that they be people who paint, they want only to be painters.”

Witold Gombrowicz, Diary, trans. Lillian Vallee 


“I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which “Escape” is now so often used: a tone for which the uses of the word outside literary criticism give no warrant at all. In what the misusers are fond of calling Real Life, Escape is evidently as a rule very practical, and may even be heroic. In real life it is difficult to blame it, unless it fails; in criticism it would seem to be the worse the better it succeeds. Evidently we are faced by a misuse of words, and also by a confusion of thought. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls? The world outside has not become less real because the prisoner cannot see it. In using escape in this way the critics have chosen the wrong word, and, what is more, they are confusing, not always by sincere error, the Escape of the Prisoner with the Flight of the Deserter.”

– J.R.R. Tolkien, “On Fairy Stories”

Q: What’s the first poem you wrote that you knew was good?
A: Still waiting for this moment.

Q: Which poet has influenced your work the most?
A: Homer.

Q: Have you ever published a poem you now prefer never saw the light of day?
A: Yes many.

Q: What’s your favourite first line of any poem?
A: “Another way to use a large heart is to grind it.” (MFK Fisher, “How To Cook a Wolf,” actually a recipe not a poem.)

– Anne Carson in interview +

“That weavers in particular, together with scholars and writers with whom they have much in common, tended to suffer from melancholy and all the evils associated with it, is understandable given the nature of their work, which forced them to sit bent over, day after day, straining to keep their eye on the complex patterns they created. It is difficult to imagine the depths of despair into which those can be driven who, even after the end of the working day, are engrossed in their intricate designs and who are pursued, into their dreams, by the feeling that they have got hold of the wrong thread.”

– W.G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn,trans. Michael Hulse

“— and it soars over me like a dynasty of suns.”

– Alejandra Pizarnik, “In a Copy of Les Chants de Maldoror,” trans. Yvette Siegert