By Don Paterson
During this textual content Don Paterson has used the paintings of the overdue, nice Spanish poet Antonio Machado (1875-1939) to create a non secular portrait which lies someplace among translation and imitation, displaying Machado to have a shockingly smooth philosophical bent.
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I'm out of here. Paradoxes (i) Just as the lover's sky is bluest the poet's muse is his alone; the dead verse and its readership have lives and muses of their own. The poem we think we have made up may still turn out to be our truest. (ii) Only in our sorrows do we live within the heart of consciousness, the lie. ' Poem I want neither glory nor that, in the memory of men, my songs survive; but still ... those subtle worlds, those weightless mother-of-pearl soap-bubbles of mine ... I just love the way they set off, all tarted up in sunburst and scarlet, hover low in the blue sky, quiver, then suddenly pop Poetry In the same way that the mindless diamond keeps one spark of the planet's early fires trapped forever in its net of ice, it's not love's later heat that poetry holds, but the atom of the love that drew it forth from the silence: so if the bright coal of his love begins to smoulder, the poet hears his voice suddenly forced, like a bar-room singer's - boastful with his own huge feeling, or drowned by violins; but if it yields a steadier light, he knows the pure verse, when it finally comes, will sound like a mountain spring, anonymous and serene.
I suppose it matters in this short, troublesome affair whether we're slaves or free; but, if we're all bound for the sea, it's all the same in the end. God, these country backwaters! All our idle notes and glosses soon show up for what they are: the yawns of Solomon ... no, more like Ecclesiastes: a solitude of solitudes, vanity of vanities ... · .. The rain's slacking off. Umbrella, hat, gaberdine, galoshes ... Right. I'm out of here. Paradoxes (i) Just as the lover's sky is bluest the poet's muse is his alone; the dead verse and its readership have lives and muses of their own.
Aha. Here we go. New books. I open one by Unamuno the pride and joy of our Spanish revival no, renaissance, to hell with it ... This country dominie has always carried the torch for you, Rector of Salamanca. This philosophy of yours you call dilettantish, just a balancing act Don Miguel, it's mine too. It's water from the true source, a downpour, then a burn, a cataract, always alive, always fugitive ... it's poetry, a real thing of the heart. But can we really build on it? There's no foundation in the spirit or the wind no anchorage, no anchor; only the work - our rowing or sailing towards the shoreless ocean ...
The Eyes (Faber poetry) by Don Paterson