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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My favorite kitchen appliance

My favorite kitchen appliance:  time

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Contra Pessoa y Aristóteles: el poeta no es un fingidor

Si hago una declaración de amor, por ejemplo,

¿qué sentido tiene decir que estoy "imitando"

la declaración de amor de un sujeto ficticio?

Ni siquiera es una paradoja concluir

que yo, poeta en carne y hueso,

soy más real que ese amante irreal que supuestamente imito.

Monday, July 24, 2017

La sed

Se me dirá que el lenguaje es insuficiente para comunicar la experiencia mística

De acuerdo, pero ¿el lenguaje acaso sirve para transmitir la frescura de un vaso de agua?

y si no, la experiencia mística no sería caso excepcional sino un ejemplo más

de la insuficiencia lingüística para cualquier experiencia

en cuyo caso se puede concluir que el lenguaje no está encargado

de transmitir experiencia alguna

That's not its job


Tuesday, June 13, 2017


I'm going to be out for a while: my daughter's graduation this weekend and then a month in Argentina.  I have plenty of time to post from there, but I just want to take a break just because I don't want to be on the internet at all except for my teaching.  I'll read your comments in my email but I won't answer them on the blog.

I'll be back on the blog by late July.


I found this encyclopedia of literary translation.  The list of authors provides a kind of approximation of the corpus someone (like me) would study. A few major omissions: Teresa de Ávila, Luis de León, Garcilaso de la Vega,  The romancero.  Pedro Salinas.


I bought this notebook to keep track of what I was reading. Of course, the act of keeping track of this changes the activity being tracked, since it makes me more likely to read and finish books.

Bee Webs

Bees weave webs of silk
trapping unwary sailors
"drunk and asleep."
Oh, you thought it was spiders

trapping unwarranted sailors
with salt in their veins?
Oh, you thought it was spiral
but the staircase was a straight shot down.

With saltpetre in their veins
they shat on virtue,
but the strums were straight thoughts.
Thus the gods of flamenco decreed.

They shat on virtual lawns,
bees warning of webelo stirs.
Thus goons of Flanders repealed,
drunk in their boots.