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Tag Archives: poetry

Why and how to blog

I constantly see blogs talking about how many viewers they have or how many clicks they got on a certain post or day. I also see the number of likes and comments they get and sometimes it amazes me. Then I come to my humble blog and see my single-digit comments and likes and my double-digit views and you know what? I love it!

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to interact with more people through my blog, of course. But it’s so much fun when I see that someone liked or commented on what I wrote/posted that I don’t really care how many people did it. Most people will read a blog post and move on, not even leaving their mark in here. And it’s okay. Maybe they didn’t like what I said, maybe it didn’t matter to them as much, or maybe it did.

Maybe, just maybe, what they saw here, be it a post, a video, a review, did make an impression, did make them think. And that, to me, is more important than whether or not they say something to me. I guess that’s the reason why I have this blog, as a way to communicate with people I don’t yet know, and I like it. No, scratch that, I love it!

I’m now thinking of a poem I love by Emily Dickinson that I already talked about way back when I first started this blog. I guess, to me, if I can reach one person, only one, it won’t be in vain. We can’t change the whole world, but we can (and should) try. And the way to do that is by reaching one person and doing one small thing.

Here’s a video by Vi Hart that talks about reaching people and how to do it. I think it has the message I’m trying to convey. Don’t stress over the numbers of views/comments/likes. Do what you want to do because that is the message you want to send. And if you reach one person, great! That means you’re doing it right.

 

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Don’t go far off

Don’t go far off, not even for a day, because —
because — I don’t know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.

Don’t leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don’t leave me for a second, my dearest,

because in that moment you’ll have gone so far
I’ll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?

-Pablo Neruda

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Books Keep Me Alive, Poetry

 

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Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

-W.H. Auden

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2012 in Books Keep Me Alive, Poetry

 

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Sonnet of Fidelity

Sonnet of Fidelity
(Vinícius de Moraes)

In all to my love I’ll be devoted
First, and with such zeal, and always, and so much
That even when faced with the greatest beauty
By love will be more enchanted my thoughts.

I want to live it in every idle moment
And in its praise I’ll spread my song
And laugh my laughter and shed my tears
Over its sorrows or its happiness.

And thus, when later on I may be sought
Perhaps by death, the anguish of the living
Perhaps by loneliness, the end of all who love

I’ll be able to say of love (that once I had):
Be not immortal, since it is flame
But be infinite while it lasts.

Soneto de Fidelidade
(Vinícius de Moraes)

De tudo ao meu amor serei atento
Antes, e com tal zelo, e sempre, e tanto
Que mesmo em face do maior encanto
Dele se encante mais meu pensamento.

Quero vivê-lo em cada vão momento
E em seu louvor hei de espalhar meu canto
E rir meu riso e derramar meu pranto
Ao seu pesar ou seu contentamento

E assim, quando mais tarde me procure
Quem sabe a morte, angústia de quem vive
Quem sabe a solidão, fim de quem ama

Eu possa me dizer do amor (que tive):
Que não seja imortal, posto que é chama
Mas que seja infinito enquanto dure.

 

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Dialectics, by Vinícius de Moraes

Dialectics
(Vinícius de Moraes)

It is evident that life is good
And happiness, the only indescribable emotion
It is evident that I find you beautiful
In you I praise the love of simple things
It is evident that I love you
And I have everything to be happy

But it so happens that I am sad…

Dialética
(Vinícius de Moraes)

É claro que a vida é boa
E a alegria, a única indizível emoção
É claro que te acho linda
Em ti bendigo o amor das coisas simples
É claro que te amo
E tenho tudo para ser feliz

Mas acontece que eu sou triste…

 

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I Shall Not Live In Vain

by Emily Dickinson

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain:
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

 
 

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Freed Birds

Sometimes I think people don’t realize how rude or even offensive their comments can be. I’m all for freedom of speech, but insulting someone? Why? What good does that do to you? Does it make you feel better about yourself if the other is inferior to you, is that it? I don’t get it.

Today I saw someone insulting someone’s work, someone they don’t even know. I often see things like that, people insulting others because of their choices, either personal choices or work-related ones. I know, you’re entitled to your opinion and all, and you want to use the internet to express that. It’s all fine. But just think about how you’re saying it, how you’re wording your thoughts. Think about how that person would feel reading what you just wrote. Think about how you would feel if someone were to do the same to you. Put yourself in that person’s shoes. In fact, it’s well known that we should never judge someone till we have walked at least a mile in their shoes. At least then you’d know they are far away and shoeless, so you have an advantage right there.

Now, jokes aside, I, for example, grew up in the backstage area of theaters, and was even in a few plays myself, and I do know that it takes a whole team to put together a play. It’s not the work of one single individual, and sometimes it does not work as you’re expecting it to. Sometimes, as an actor, you do your best but it’s not enough. You have to follow what the director tells you to and the directions on your script, and you may not agree with it all, but you do your best. And sometimes your best is just not enough. But you do it anyway. I don’t know one actor who was not, at some point or another, disappointed or even embarrassed to do something. But they did it anyway, because that’s their job, and because not all are pretty flowers and sometimes we have to do something unpleasant in order to get to where we want to get. No job is perfect. No one is perfect. And we don’t always make the right choices, at least under someone else’s eyes.

But what I think people people don’t realize is that a blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword. Words hurt. A lot. And unless you have no flaws yourself, do not go throwing rocks at someone else, because you, too, live in a glass house.

I’ve recently got a new tattoo inspired by a poem I memorized when I was a child by a Brazilian poet named Helena Kolody. She’s no longer alive, but she was when I was a child and she lived in the same city I lived in. The poem goes like this:

Pássaros Libertos

Palavras são pássaros.

Voaram!

Não nos pertencem mais.

Helena Kolody

And here’s the translated poem:

Freed Birds

Words are birds.

Flew away!

Do not belong to us anymore.

– Helena Kolody (translated by Carol Vidal)

I always liked this poem. It reminds me of how powerful our words can be and how powerless we are after we let them go, after we free them, after we give them life. Our words, once spoken, can’t be taken back.

Choose your words carefully, because they can come back to bite you in the ass one day.

 

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