Thursday, July 14, 2011

Meanwhile, The San Francisco Public Library

This series of illustrations via Rumpus comics is cool and adorable and fascinating. If you're not a librarian and have never used a library nor loved an illustration you can skip this. If you are, or have, or do, go ahead and click:



Posted via email from davidfcooper's posterous

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chinua Achebe's poem "Vultures"

“Vultures” by Chinua Achebe
In the greyness
and drizzle of one despondent
dawn unstirred by harbingers
of sunbreak a vulture
perching high on broken
bones of a dead tree
nestled close to his
mate his smooth
bashed-in head, a pebble
on a stem rooted in
a dump of gross
feathers, inclined affectionately
to hers. Yesterday they picked
the eyes of a swollen
corpse in a water-logged
trench and ate the
things in its bowel. Full
gorged they chose their roost
keeping the hollowed remnant
in easy range of cold
telescopic eyes...
indeed how love in other
ways so particular
will pick a corner
in that charnel-house
tidy it and coil up there, perhaps
even fall asleep - her face
turned to the wall!
...Thus the Commandant at Belsen
Camp going home for
the day with fumes of
human roast clinging
rebelliously to his hairy
nostrils will stop
at the wayside sweet-shop
and pick up a chocolate
for his tender offspring
waiting at home for Daddy's
Praise bounteous
providence if you will
that grants even an ogre
a tiny glow-worm
tenderness encapsulated
in icy caverns of a cruel
heart or else despair
for in the very germ
of that kindred love is
lodged the perpetuity
of evil.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Israeli poet Dahlia Ravikovitch's complete poetry now in paperback - New York NY


At the time of her death in 2005, Dahlia Ravikovitch was Israel's second best loved poet after Yehuda Amichai. She was also a commited peace activist, yet her readers included Israelis from all points on the political spectrum.
Two years ago a new translation of her complete poetry was published by New York publisher W.W. Norton, and last week a paperback edition ofHovering at a Low Altitude: The Complete Poetry of Dahlia Ravikovitch was released (perfect for poetry loving commuters). In my New York Journal of Books  review of the book I describe Ms. Ravikovitch's work as "sophisticated, intelligent, conscientious, and empathic," and Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld's translations as  "strong and moving English poems in their own right."
My review includes biographical background with references to her feminism, her political activism, her secularism, her mental health issues, and excerpts from her poems (had space allowed I would have included more).