Demasiados nombres.

Se enreda el lunes con el martes
y la semana con el año:
no se puede cortar el tiempo
con tus tijeras fatigadas,
y todos los nombres del día
los borra el agua de la noche.

Nadie puede llamarse Pedro,
ninguna es Rosa ni María,
todos somos polvo o arena,
todos somos lluvia en la lluvia.
Me han hablado de Venezuelas,
de Paraguayes y de Chiles,
no sé de lo que están hablando:
conozco la piel de la tierra
y sé que no tiene apellido.

Cuando viví con las raíces
me gustaron más que las flores,
y cuando hablé con una piedra
sonaba como una campana.

Es tan larga la primavera
que dura todo el invierno:
el tiempo perdió los zapatos:
un año tiene cuatro siglos.

Cuando duermo todas las noches,
cómo me llamo o no me llamo?
Y cuando me despierto quién soy
si no era yo cuando dormía?

Esto quiere decir que apenas
desembarcamos en la vida,
que venimos recién naciendo,
que no nos llenemos la boca
con tantos nombres inseguros,
con tantas etiquetas tristes,
con tantas letras rimbombantes,
con tanto tuyo y tanto mío,
con tanta firma en los papeles.

Yo pienso confundir las cosas,
unirlas y recién nacerlas,
entreverarlas, desvestirlas,
hasta que la luz del mundo
tenga la unidad del océano,
una integridad generosa,
una fragancia crepitante.

Pablo Neruda.

Marte y Venus según Dorothy Parker.

MEN

They hail you as their morning star
Because you are the way you are.
If you return the sentiment,
They’ll try to make you different;
And once they have you, safe and sound,
They want to change you all around.
Your moods and ways they put a curse on;
They’d make of you another person.
They cannot let you go your gait;
They influence and educate
They’d alter all that they admired.
They make me sick, they make me tired.

ON BEING A WOMAN

Why is it, when I am in Rome,
I’d give an eye to be at home,
But when on native earth I be,
My soul is sick for Italy?

And why with you, my love, my lord,
Am I spectaculary bored,
Yet do you up and leave me- then
I scream to have you back again?

Vejez.

«Crabbit Old Woman»

What do you see, what do you see?
Are you thinking, when you look at me-
A crabbit old woman, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with far-away eyes,
Who dribbles her food and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice,
I do wish you’d try.
Who seems not to notice the things that you do
And forever is loosing a stocking or shoe.
Who, unresisting or not; lets you do as you will
With bathing and feeding the long day is fill.
Is that what you’re thinking,
Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes,
nurse, you’re looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am as I sit here so still!
As I rise at your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of 10 with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters, who loved one another-
A young girl of 16 with wings on her feet,
Dreaming that soon now a lover she’ll meet,
A bride soon at 20- my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.
At 25 now I have young of my own
Who need me to build a secure happy home;
A woman of 30, my young now grow fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last;
At 40, my young sons have grown and are gone,
But my man’s beside me to see I don’t mourn;
At 50 once more babies play around my knee,
Again we know children, my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead,
I look at the future, I shudder with dread,
For my young are all rearing young of their own.
And I think of the years and the love that I’ve known;
I’m an old woman now and nature is cruel-
Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body is crumbled, grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone where I once had a heart,
But inside this old carcass, a young girl still dwells,
And now and again my battered heart swells,
I remember the joy, I remember the pain,
And I’m loving and living life over again.
I think of the years all too few- gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last-
So open your eyes, nurse, open and see,
Not a crabbit old woman, look closer-
See Me.

Phyilis McCormack (atribuido)

Ruta Europea de Cementerios.

El 19 de abril se tenía previsto presentar ante el Consejo de Orientación Europeo la Ruta de Cementerios Europea. Debido al volcán islandés, la cita se ha aplazado hasta el 3 de mayo.

Desde aquí quiero mandar todo mi apoyo a los organizadores (A.S.C.E.) de este proyecto.

Considero que los cementerios esconden magníficas obras de escultura, todo un mundo de simbología, poesía, botánica e historias fascinantes. Si la gente hace cola para ver las pirámides de Egipto, ¿por qué se asustan ante una tumba entonces?

Aunque mi experiencia se reduce más a la ciudad de Londres, ésto ha sido más que suficiente para constatar la importancia de dicha ruta. Gracias a la labor desinteresada de cientos de londinenses, hoy en día podemos disfrutar de los cementerios victorianos conocidos como «The Seven Magnificent», o incluso encontrarnos con necrópolis sefardíes (parte importante de nuestro pasado y herencia cultural).

Podéis encontrar más información en este grupo de facebook o visitar el fantástico blog de los encantadores Tony y Esther pinchando aquí.

Infamia.

On 24 April 1895, while Wilde was in Holloway prison awaiting trial, the entire contents of his house in Tite Street, Chelsea were sold at the demand of his creditors. The Marquess of Queensberry, whom Wilde had unsuccesfully prosecuted for libel, had been awarded £600 legal costs, and it was his insistence on payment that led to the sale of Wilde’s goods.

Wilde’s effects were ‘sold by Auction, by Mr. Bullock, on the premises at one o’clock’. The cover of the sale catalogue advertised the choicest items on offer-‘portraits of celebrities’, Carlyle’s writing table’, ‘Old Blue and white China’ and a ‘library of valuable books’. Wilde had accumulated this collection of books since his adolescence, transporting the volumes between the various bachelor residences he occupied before he settled at 16 Tite Street in 1885 with his wife. There, he had set out the books on the shelves of his luxurious ground-floor library.

At the auction, Wilde’s ‘House Beautiful’ was plundered by a frenzied crowd of curiosity hunters who had come in search of mementoes of the ‘monster’. After his arrest on 5 April, on charges of ‘sodomy’ and ‘gross indecency’, Wilde had become the most notorious figure in England. During the sale, the white front door of No.16 was left open, giving the jostling crowds access to the house and licence to loot it. People pushed each other in a frantic attempt to help themselves to the finest items< some forced the locks on the rooms that had been shut up. A scuffle b roke out between a group of people and a number of Wilde's friends. The police were called in to quell the disturbance. Inside the library, just to the right of the house's entrance, the auctioneer's men took Wilde's books down from the shelves, then carted them out to the auctioneer. The sale was conducted right in front of the library window. Members of the public crowded the room, eyeing bargains and perhaps pocketing volumes that caught their aye. Piles of letters and manuscripts, that had been emptied out of Wilde's mahogany desk before it was carried outside, were strewn across the floor. Bidders pored over them, and riffled through Wilde's books, in a prurient search fro references to his 'crimes'. Wilde's large cast of the bust of Hermes, the greek God of liars and thieves, looked on at the mayhem from the corner of the room. In front of the house there was a pandemonium. The auctioneer was surrounded by a sea of bidders, comprised, in the main, of antique dealers and second-hand-book dealers who had come in search of bargains. They were not dissapointed. They had the opportunity of acquiring private letters and manuscripts, even though the public sale of these was illegal: they also had the chance of picking up Wilde's beautiful furniture and books at knock-down prices. The books were hastily bundled together and sold as job lots. Lot 114 consisted of 'about' one hundred unidentified French novels. Extremely personal items were auctioned off, such as first editions of Wilde's works that he had inbscribed to his wife and two sons. Wilde especially lamented the loss of his sumptuous éditions de luxe, and the ‘collection of presentation volumes’ he had received from ‘almost every poet of my time’. He also deeply regretted the dispersal of the ‘beautiful bound editions of his father’s and mother’s works’, and the ‘wonderful array’ of ‘book prizes’ that had been awarded to him as a student.

The volumes were sold for a song. The first lots fetched derisory sums, the last next to nothing. The hundred or so French novels that comprised lot 114 (which must have cost Wilde around five shillings each) went for the grand total of 35 shillings. Twenty-five beautifully bound volumes of the classics were knocked down at the price of an ordinary Victorian novel. The auctioneers’ men grouped the books indiscriminately, with little consideration of their value. Unique poresentation copies of Wilde’s own work were sold along with volumes on angling.

A surviving copy of this catalogue, which lists some of Wilde’s books, and which was annotated by a bidder, suggests that Wilde’s library contained around two thousand volumes, along with numerous magazines, periodicals, scrapbooks, photograph albums and parcels of manuscripts. The entire collection was sold for about £130-roughly the same as Wilde’s expenditure on food, drink, cabs and hotel rooms.

Most of the books went the way of a large paper edition of Wilde’s fairy tale collection The Happy Prince and Other Tales [1888], which bearss the inscription of the book dealer ‘H. Parsons of Brompton Road’. Parsons acquired it as part of lot 53, which included eight other extremely rare editions of Wilde’s works. He paid £8 and doubtless sold them on for at least five times the price.

Wilde hoped that his friends would buy some of the books on his behalf, but it is highly unlikely that they were able to out bid the dealers. A few did, however, manage to acquire certain volumes for him, when the dealers put them on the open market. One friend bought several books which he came across by chance in a shop on Chelsea’s Queen Road, with the intention of restoring them to their former owner. Other acquaintances, horrified by the idea that Wilde’s cherished volumes (some of them were adorned with extremely personal inscriptions) were being displayed in booksellers’ windows, purchased and eventually returned them to Wilde.

The overwhelming majority of the books were bought from dealers by individuals with no conection to Wilde, and, in time, sold on again to be scattered throughout the world. Wilde’s Tite Street library, which had taken over thirty years to build, was destroyed in a single afternoon.

When Wilde learned the fate of his books he was inconsolable.

Oscar’s Books. A journey around the library of Oscar Wilde, Thomas Wright.

Igual es que yo soy muy sensible para según qué cosas. Mi amiga Cristina me ha refrescado la memoria sobre este desastre de proporciones gigantescas.