All posts by pablomaljean

Time to say goodbye

This is the end. As Jorge Manrique said in his poems, everything has to pass in this life.

No se engañe nadie, no,
pensando que ha de durar
lo que espera
más que duró lo que vio,
pues que todo ha de pasar
por tal manera.

But let’s don’t do a world about this, ok? I hope that you have enjoyed reading my posts as well as I have enjoyed writing them. We weren’t alone in our first meeting though. We were with Bécquer, Lorca and the rest. We also admitted a new member in our club, saying Welcome Mr. Facebook. Then, we started to know each other better, that’s when we really knew David Ruiz: Naturally perfect. We were so amazed with him that we wanted to say to him O Captain! My Captain! But, the real goal of our meeting was to discover Precious web resources in poetry, and precious events, things that struck as Like a Rolling Nobel Prize.

Now that all of that is over I can say that I have discovered a world that I don’t want to forget. It has been difficult for me to write in English, the first posts above all. Trying to find the right language, the right tone, the precise words to describe the things I wanted… But I think I have done well. It was easier to understand and adapt to this blogworld with the guidance of the teacher on how to use hyperlinks and how to make you, readers, kept interested in what we were writing. But this isn’t the end of the way, the end of the camino!

“I’ll be back” like the Terminator said. But now, it’s time to say goodbye (yet another poem for you to now, this time in italian).

Like a Rolling Nobel Prize

This blog is about poetry. But, as we have stated before in many occasions, poetry must not be the classic sonnet in Alexandrine verse, or a fifteen century romance. We agree that lyrics or haikus are as well a form of poetry. For that reason, songwriters are in a way like poets. And, the singer, composer and songwriter that we are going to see today is definetly one of them. His name is Robert Alllen Zimmerman. ¿Don’t you know him? Oh well, you can also call him Bob Dylan.

bob-dylan-52fe6be6-hero

The reason why I’m writing about him is that he has won the Nobel Prize in Literature this year “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” There has been some controversy about him winning this prestigious award. Some people state that the Academy could have been impressed by a few lines of Dylan’s composition, but giving him the prize was excessive. In general, the public opinion and critics argue that, even that Dylan deserves recognition, the Nobel Prize seems going too far. However, some authorities defend him. The poet Billy Collins, for example, supports that Dylan is not only a songwriter, but also a poet, saying that his lyrics could also be interesting without music. Even the president of the US, Barak Obama:

Beyond the controversy, I wanted to point out the outstanding writing of this songwriter. Come on, tell me that this is not poetry:

BLOWING IN THE WIND

How many roads must a man walk down, before they call him a man
how many seas must a white dove sail, before she sleeps in the sand
how many times must the cannonballs fly, before they are forever banned
the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
the answer is blowing in the wind.
How many years must a mountain exist, before it is washed to the sea
how many years can some people exist, before they’re allowed to be free
how many times can a man turn his head, and pretend that he just doesn’t see
the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
the answer is blowing in the wind.
How many times must a man look up, before he can see the sky
How many years must one man have, before he can hear people cry
how many deaths will it take till he knows, that too many people have died
the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
the answer is blowing in the wind.

Sources: Wikipedia, ElPlural, The Nobel Prize website, This Day Live, Música.com and Metro Lyrics

Welcome, Mr. Facebook

We live in a world in which the word “success” practically rules every action we do in live. “7 Scientifically Proven Ways to Achieve Better Success in Life” or “The 4 Habits You Need to Be Successful”. The final goal of our studies and careers is this abstract state of success that everyone encourage us to pursuit. In addition, capitalism and globalization put you in a world-wide market in which you have to compete with the best people doing the same thing that you are doing, so poetry may appear as an odd, even anachronist way to obtain success in this constant competition. Poetry is not about a man writing down his thoughts to sell as much copies as he can, but more about expressing the troubles and realities that no other discipline can approach such as love and emotions in an artistic way.

 

Given the rise of these thoughts, it might be quite complicated to find someone that would care about this topic. In fact, since the middle of the 20th century, traditional poetry has decreased in its activity. But we can’t say that poetry is becoming dead. Au contaire! I’m here today to talk about the coverage of poetry in social media. My colleagues have discussed before other pages such as Twitter, Blogs, Buzzfeed or YouTube, so in this post I’m going to let you discover some more little sites but still very helpful to the art of poetry. Well, we are going to “expand” the traditional idea of poetry. Let’s consider music as a way of poetry, which in reality it is. Look at Bob Dylan and its recent Nobel Prize. There are lots of forums discussing the lyrics of songs, such as Song Meanings and All The Lyrics, that are encouraging people to go further than listening to a song, but to understanding, which is always done with a poem. Moving onto pure poetry, not sang one, some forums of writing can be found such as Wattpad and Micropoetry. These media give more opportunities to writers to be read, and to be commented. So, even if the commercialization of poetry has severely decrease, there are still some forms of it in the internet which contribute with some new features like easy feedback.

In general, social media has provided a speaker to poetry, it has taken it out of the old drawer in which this necessary and beautiful art was into. So thank you social media, I guess.

Bibliography: Acerca de la actualidad de la poesía

Image: Lit Drift

Must read: Daily Dot article about the renaissance of poetry in social media.

 

David Ruiz: Naturally perfect

Vocalist and guitarist of the band “La M.O.D.A.” or “La Maravillosa Orquesta Del Alcohol” (The Wonderful Orchestra of Alcohol), David Ruiz is a young poet of only 28 years old. He was born in Burgos and, from his words, he has always love writing. He spent a year in Dublin when he was studying that opened his mind in the music world. When he returned to Spain, he founded a band with some of his friends and since then, they have been more and more famous in the national framework. He is the writer of almost every song in the two albums that they have released until now, “¿Quién nos va a salvar?” and “La primavera del invierno”. Those songs and more poems are registered in the book that David has written, “Nubes Negras”, of which we are going to talk about in this post.

As we said before, David Ruiz is mainly a composer. For this reason, we could think that he can’t make very abstract song, because he risks of losing audience. However, he has been faithful to his normal writing, which has attracted listeners instead of repelling them. So yeah, he has a very abstract style, mixing figures that apparently make no sense together but that become quite harmonious. By his writing, he allows us to enter in his form of viewing the world and experiment the feelings that he gets from the situations he describes. He writes poems of melancholy, social criticism and courage. He also maintains that the world needs more love, but he presents the reality as it is, he is not going to hide something, even if it is not pleasant to watch. Here it is one of my favourite songs of the band:

Amoxicilina

No tengo fuerzas, para rendirme.
No tengo tiempo, para esperar.
No sé si habrá, algún camino.
O si algún día, podré llegar.
Gritar sin voz, por las calles vacías,
mientras quede una nota por tocar.
Las nubes negras, siempre me guían.
A un lugar al que llamar hogar.
He perdido con dos ases,
he soñado con volver.
El silencio no lo llenan,
los compases.
Voy a coger el 6 con destino a mi destino.
Voy a olvidar lo que he aprendido.
En cada kilómetro.
En cada latido.

I decided to talk about this young poet because he is from my hometown, but also because I love his songs, and what is a song if not a signed poem? He is not the best poet in history, but the way he writes is so personal and deep that you can live the reality that he is describing in an incredible vivid way, don’t you think so?

Here I let you some material that could interest you:

Continue reading David Ruiz: Naturally perfect

Precious web resources in poetry

So, in this post we are reviewing a couple of web pages that can help you if you want to go deeper in the topic of poetry. Although this blog already provides good information, we can’t go over the centuries and centuries of poetry that is behind us, as well as the large amount of it that is written right now. Therefore, following this schema of the past and the present, here are two web-pages that cover up this two periods in time, in terms of poetry:

A media voz: This is an original Spanish site, so you can read poems of all languages, but they will be traduced. In appearance, this web is the typical one that has an enormous variety of authors with their respective poems, which are presented in a very messy way I should point out. But apart from that, the real feature that strikes me about this is that you have the possibility to HEAR the poems. You can download the voice of specialists or people in this poetry world reciting your favourite poem. But, and this is what I think is the real pearl of the site, you can even hear the authors reciting their own poems! That I believe is a real strong resource that can bring closer the audience to the sentiment that the poet wants to transmit. Away from technicalities, it’s just great!

The Poetry Society: This one is in English, and covers up news, competitions and contemporary publications, so it focus on present poetry, in contrast with the other site. To define what The Poetry Society is, I haven’t found a better definition than their own:

“The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote “a more general recognition and appreciation of poetry”. Since then, it has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally. Today it has more than 4000 members worldwide and publishes the leading poetry magazine, The Poetry Review. With innovative education and commissioning programmes and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, The Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages. It runs the National Poetry Competition, one of the world’s longest-running and most prestigious prizes for an individual poem, and the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.”

So that’s basically all. I would give this web page a try because it’s pretty easy to use and very pleasant to the eye, apart from the obvious relevant content that it has.

O Captain! My Captain!

Oh Walt Whitman! This famous poem was popularised by the notorious film “Dead Poets Society”, in concrete by the literature teacher, Mr. Keating (Robin Williams). This first lines of the poem were a symbol in the film, but we desire to know more, not just the first verse. For that reason, today I’m giving an overview and analysis of the full poem, and of the life of its already mentioned author, Walt Whitman.

800px-walt_whitman_-_brady-handy_restored

Photograph taken by Brandy Handy

Walt Whitman (WW) was born in New York in 1819 and dead in New Jersey in 1892. He was a writer, a journalist and a poet between many more occupations. He still is one of the most influential writers in the U.S. and he is considered to be the father of the free verse. His more famous work is Leaves of Grass, published in 1855, where he included the poem that we are going to talk about.

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,

The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,

While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;

But O heart! heart! heart!

O the bleeding drops of red,

Where on the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;

Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,

For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,

For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;

Here Captain! dear father!

This arm beneath your head!

It is some dream that on the deck,

You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,

My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,

The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,

From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;

Exult O shores, and ring O bells!

But I with mournful tread,

Walk the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

This ode has constant metaphors, so we could even talk of an allegory. The Captain is Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. ex-president that freed the slaves. The whole poem has a solemn tone since Whitman complains and is hurt because of Lincoln’s death. And the ex-president is a Captain because the ship he is commanding is the United States. However, before the captain’s death (“My father does not feel my arm”), he has left the U.S. in a good situation (“The ship is anchor’d safe and sound”). WW is so bereaved that he repeats five times the word “heart”, to emphasize were does all the pain come from, also reiterating the tremendous pain of the author. Finally, this idea is confirmed by the repetition at the end of each strophe “Fallen cold and dead”.

I hope that now you understand better this little poem, and beginning by this one, start to give poetry the value that it has. Read you soon!

Source: http://www.brighthubeducation.com/

 http://www.wikipedia.org

 

Bécquer, Lorca and the rest

If we wanted to know about my connection with poetry, we would have to go back in time at least 10 years ago. My parents had encouraged me to read since I was a child. I read a lot by then: comics, little novels, stories; everything that I could understand. The first experience with poetry that I experienced was with the little poems for children that were written in our books. The author of these poems was Gloria Fuertes. She wrote about simple things as animals or clothes with a very easy vocabulary and rimes, so that the children could understand well the images. We read the poems in class and I remember that I loved the rhythm and the intonation that our teacher put when she read them.

pitupiturracolor

So basically that was the beginning of my relation with this topic. In superior courses we had to memorize poems (thing that I liked, in contrast with the people in my class). Finally, in recent years things have become more serious and we have studied different authors and their poems in class, what I think that was the key that opened my sensibility to this world. To be exact, it was two years ago, when I studied in France, when I realized without even knowing it that I loved poetry. We did deep analysis on poems, analysis which I didn’t like in that time; but from which I learned a lot and build in my head the bases of analyzing poetry.

In this past two years of college we have studied Spanish authors who now are my favorites, and which poems I’ve often learned by heart. And a friend of mine encouraged me to write some too, so my connection with poetry now seems to be passive and active, in reading and writing.

Finally, with this blog hope that I can transmit to you a little bit of this passion that I feel inside. I leave you with a poem of Antonio Machado which illustrates very well this first days at the University and the overcoming of the past (I’m sorry but it is in Spanish, and I feel that if I translate it I’m going to fail in choosing the right words).

Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino y nada más;
Caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace el camino,
y al volver la vista atrás
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante no hay camino
sino estelas en la mar.

Antonio Machado

Read you soon!

Pablo Maljean González

Bibliography:

  • wikipedia.org
  • pinterest.com (photo of the poem)
  • Antonio Machado’s poem comes from my memory!