Absent Place — an April Day —

[a weekly compilation of random things] [Spring slowly breaking through the heavy blanket of cold – birds back – the first greens sprouting on the branches – dandelions spreading over in the sidewalks’ cracks – and cherry trees raving wild with blossom. Easter has welcomed us quietly – during the night – with a thin layer…

The taste of the fog was at the back of their throats

Dear Elizabeth, Do you know this feeling we have when we quite unexpectedly understand why a particular book is a classic? When we understand what it means; when we suddenly get to know what it feels like. Have you ever felt it? When a book draws from a tradition it so thoroughly understands that it…

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor (née Coles; 3 July 1912 – 19 November 1975) was a British writer. She attended The Abbey School in Reading. She then worked as a governess, tutor, and librarian. She was a friend of the writer Ivy Compton-Burnett, of the novelist and critic Robert Liddell, and of the writer Elizabeth Jane Howard. Elizabeth Taylor died of cancer. Books Novels At…

I dig into the heart a well of salt

“I dig into the heart a well of salt, so as to give drink to the traveler I was. I let the wind drag with it the endless caravan of illusions. And I say: let everything drown into the fat of the mornings, let everything hush up… And let a tongue of fire strike the…

Al Berto

Al Berto (Alberto Raposo Pidwell Tavares, January 11, 1948 – June 13, 1997) was a Portuguese poet. Born in Coimbra, he moved to Brussels in 1967, where he studied painting at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et des Arts Visuels.  In1975, he returned to Portugal, and opened a bookstore and a publishing house. In 1988, he received…

Home is a place in the mind

Dear Maeve, If your novella The Visitor (2000, originally written in the 1940’s) had a face, it would be one of a trapped animal, diverted from its burrow, silently showing its teeth to its predator. A strange and moveable mask that would convey a mixture of fear, loneliness, and ferocious anger. The story opens with…

Maeve Brennan

Maeve Brennan (January 6, 1917 – November 1, 1993) was an Irish writer and journalist. Born in Dublin, she moved to the United States, in 1934, when her father became the first Irish ambassador in Washington. She attended the Sisters of Providence Catholic school in Washington, Immaculata Seminary, and graduated with a degree in English from the…

A still light in the middle of the whirlwind

“There are men opening their hands like books Intense surfaces without noise – the springs On smooth rock, in the unforeseen desert Silence is warm. It is quiet of an attentive Clarity. They open it – the dew Not always crossed by light It is always in the morning that the currents Open the writings…

Daniel Faria

Daniel Augusto da Cunha Faria (10/04/1971 – 09/06/1999) was a Portuguese poet and Catholic theologian. He graduated in Theology and then took a degree in Portuguese Studies at the Universidade do Porto. He was a novice at the Benedictine Monastery of Singeverga near Porto, Portugal. Poems There are men opening their hands like books (tr. Juliana Brina)…

A liquid pane touched on all sides,

Between by Rosmarie Waldrop I´m not quite at home on either side of the Atlantic I´m not irritated the fish kept me a home makes you forget unaware where you are unless you think you´d like to be some place I can´t think I´d like to be some other place places are much the same…

Rosmarie Waldrop

Rosmarie Waldrop was born in Kitzingen, Germany, in 1935. She emigrated to the United States in 1958. She is a poet, novelist, essayist and co-editor of Burning Deck Press. She studied literature, art history and musicology at the University of Würzburg and later at the University of Freiburg and the University of Aix-Marseille. After emigrating…

From now on I shall only wear white,

Dear Nuala, Sometimes I feel that your novel Miss Emily (2015) is haunted by the ghost of something – a bird? – it distractedly let slip out of its realm of possibilities. It centers around the relationship between the 19th-century American poet Emily Dickinson and a fictional Irish housemaid named Ada Concannon. The story is set…