Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous, By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,– Richard iii

Posts tagged “Literature

To Beck wherever you are

There was cold sunlight outside the window. He wondered if he would die. You could die just the same on a sunny day.

James Joyce — A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man » Chapter 1


A Winter’s Night Poem

Silvia Plath — 1963

The Colonel

Carolyn Forche, Miami Book Fair International,...

Image via Wikipedia


The Colonel

by Carolyn Forché

WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD is true. I was in his house. His wife carried
a tray of coffee and sugar. His daughter filed her nails, his son went
out for the night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol on the
cushion beside him. The moon swung bare on its black cord over
the house. On the television was a cop show. It was in English.
Broken bottles were embedded in the walls around the house to
scoop the kneecaps from a man’s legs or cut his hands to lace. On
the windows there were gratings like those in liquor stores. We had
dinner, rack of lamb, good wine, a gold bell was on the table for
calling the maid. The maid brought green mangoes, salt, a type of
bread. I was asked how I enjoyed the country. There was a brief
commercial in Spanish. His wife took everything away. There was
some talk then of how difficult it had become to govern. The parrot
said hello on the terrace. The colonel told it to shut up, and pushed
himself from the table. My friend said to me with his eyes: say
nothing. The colonel returned with a sack used to bring groceries
home. He spilled many human ears on the table. They were like
dried peach halves. There is no other way to say this. He took one
of them in his hands, shook it in our faces, dropped it into a water
glass. It came alive there. I am tired of fooling around he said. As
for the rights of anyone, tell your people they can go fuck them-
selves. He swept the ears to the floor with his arm and held the last
of his wine in the air. Something for your poetry, no? he said. Some
of the ears on the floor caught this scrap of his voice. Some of the
ears on the floor were pressed to the ground.
May 1978



By Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by Charles Vess

Where there is a will there is a way

From the biography: Fredrick Douglass

by Booker T. Washington

[…] He finally determined to propose to his owner, Master Thomas Auld, that he be allowed to have his own time. In other words, he would agree to pay him so much a week, and all in excess of that sum he would keep as his own. This proposition merely angered Mr. Auld, who accused young Douglass of scheming to run away, and threatened him with severe punishment, if he ever mentioned such a thing again. But Douglass had too much at stake to give up. He made the same proposition to Master Hugh Auld and it was accepted. By the terms of this agreement young Douglass was to be allowed all of his time, and to make his own contracts and collect his own wages; while in return for these privileges, he was to pay his master three dollars each week, board and clothe himself, and buy his own tools.

This was a pretty hard bargain, but it meant his first step toward freedom, so he entered upon it cheerfully. […]

What is else not to be overcome?

All is not lost–the unconquerable will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?

John Milton —Paradise Lost

A little Joyce everyday: A flower given to my daughter

A Flower Given to My Daughter

Frail the white rose and frail are
Her hands that gave
Whose soul is sere and paler
Than time’s wan wave.

Rosefrail and fair — yet frailest
A wonder wild
In gentle eyes thou veilest,
My blueveined child.

James Joyce