Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How to Disappear From a Poem

One of the possible (and exciting) ways to exit  a poem is to faint – poetically speaking.

Since I haven’t come across too many such ‘disappearances’ that keep me up late at night, I tend to remember the following few.

They actually did cause me to lose sleep - because of their beauty.

In the third and fifth Cantos of the Inferno, Dante uses the fainting spell as a means to end a poem and as a transition to the next Canto. In both instances, fainting occurs at the very end of the respective poems.

The fainting spell in the third Canto is somewhat surprising, apparently triggered by an external element: out of the melancholic land a wind comes forth from which a carmine light springs out, which causes the poet’s alter ego to faint and fall as a man overpowered by a deep slumber.

Here is the quote from the Oxford World' Classics translation:

"From which there came a flash of carmine light
That left me utterly insensible;

And I fell, as man who falls asleep."

The fainting in the fifth Canto appears to be caused by a wave of empathy, which moves the author/narrator into a sudden fall, almost an apparent death. 

Here is the quote from the same book: 

"The other shed such tears, that, out of pity,
I felt myself diminish, as if I were dying, 

And fell down, as a dead body falls."

Another fainting spell that I sometimes think of is the one induced against a backdrop of redolent teabags.

It occurs towards the ending of a baroque poem “The Secret Garden” by Rita Dove.

“I was sick, fainting in the smell of teabags”.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Empire of the Echo - A Poem

Were not perfection Your measure,
there would be fear
piled upon us like a gallery of rocks,
doubts tunneling under, shifting avidly
into crevices of songs.

Poetry, Your Rarefied Majesty,
I kneel before you.

Without You we would feel
the unspeakable pain -

the echo that never returns,
the song launched in an imperial void.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Picto-poems" - A Virtual Exhibition of Art and Poetry from January 14th, to February 28th, 2010

Invitation to "Picto-poems", an on-line exhibition of original-art and poetry.

Here is the brochure in English: 

The exhibition is currently in French, but let me know if you like the concept, as we would be able to present an English version.

Creative Commons License
Original artwork by Tatiana is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Germany License.
Based on a work at

Friday, January 08, 2010

Venice - I

Wisps of grey air gliding across the canal,
swept in by wings a-flutter
and rarefied echoes of bells
expanding, sifting the day
until its iridescent light becomes
a tossing of white coins into the air,
a gift for those
who beg the alms of sight.

This hollow, overbearing feeling of perfection,
strewn over waters and invisible domes 
was this the wisdom of your beauty
or just the intimation of your tone? 

Venice - III - The Weathervane of Fortune

Across from the Lion of St. Mark,
lulled by the mosaic of the canal,
turns the weathervane of Luck.

The claw of force
versus the idling fate.

Whose side should I take?
Whose eloquence should I deny?

Venice - II - Dome

The violin tightly gathered in your fist,
- your other hand fumbling for my wrist,
all is ice and our lips
call out the melody of Styx.

It had been love at first sight,
or worse, at the first syllable of a verse
uttered in the dark.

I whisper your name
and my mask sears my heart.

A painted tear adorns the night.

Venice - IV - Paw

There we stood in the drizzle of trefoil, key-like petals of arches
touching our skin,
our shirts wet with magnificence.

Please, Sir,
I can take no more, for fear I crumble
under the oval grace,
for fear I’m crushed
by the Lion’s shade.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

High Grounds - A Picto-poem

Here is the link to the Picto-poems web site 

The picture in this image is an original painting that belongs to Tatiana. 
Details of the painting can be found on the web site Artwork by Tatiana.

Creative Commons License
Original artwork by Tatiana is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Germany License.
Based on a work at

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