Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Yesterday's Portraits

This is my baby sister M in her Brown Period.

Even though the world has come to such a pass, with greed, horrors and repression and stupidity everywhere, I continue to think that art is important in the life of humankind. I am so glad now to have these slides of several of my little sister's finger-painting sessions. They were photographed by my mother, who always provided art supplies.

I just got myself a bilingual edition of the poems of Pablo Neruda. Beautiful stuff! We are so lucky to have it. I love being able to look at the Spanish on the facing pages, even if I have only the barest acquaintance with any but the English language. The poem below was written many years ago, but you will notice that we still haven't gotten the lamentable remuneration part right.

The Unknown One

I want to measure how much I do not know
and this is how I arrive
casually, I knock, they open, I enter and see
yesterday's portraits on the walls, 
the dining room of the woman and the man,
the chairs, the beds, the salt-cellars,
only then do I understand
that there they do not know me.
I leave and know not which streets I walk,
nor how many men that street devours,
how many poor and tantalizing women,
working people of all races
and lamentable remuneration.

Pablo Neruda, translated by Alastair Reid

Pablo Nerdua; Selected Poems, Houghton Mifflin, 1990, page 473.

No comments:

Post a Comment