Fun_People Archive
10 Dec
LIT BITS V3 #345

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 100 16:39:18 -0800
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Subject: LIT BITS V3 #345

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Excerpted-from: LITERARY CALENDAR V3 #345

Today is Monday, 11 December 2000; on this day,

190 years ago (1810),

     Romantic poet Alfred de Musset, whom Heinrich Heine will one day
     characterize as "a young man with a promising past," is born in Paris.

125 years ago (1875),

     Robert Louis Stevenson complains of Robert Brownings prolific output:
     "He floods acres of paper with brackets and inverted commas."

82 years ago (1918),

     Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is born in Kislovodsk in the Caucasus Mountains.

64 years ago (1936),

     Elizabeth Bowen, writing in the _Spectator_, remarks of Aldous Huxley:
     "He is at once the truly clever person and the stupid person's idea
     of the clever person."

16 years ago (1984),

     1977 Nobel Prize-winner and Francisco Franco banned poet, Vicente
     Aleixandre dies. His haunting poetry was little known to younger
     generations before he won the Nobel Prize, but has slowly been brought
     to a wider audience.

Today's poem:

                The Body and the Soul

     But it is sadder than that, much, much sadder.
     Sad as a branch letting its fruit fall for no one.
     Sadder, much sadder. Like the mist
     the dead fruit breathes out from the ground.
     Like that hand that rises from corpse lying in state
     and merely wants to touch the lamps,
     the grieving smile, the night speechless and velvet.
     Luminous night above the corpse stretched out without its soul.
     The soul outside, soul outside the body, swooping
     with such delicacy over the shape sad and abandoned.
     Soul of soft mist, held floating
     above its former lover, the defenseless and pale
     body, which grows colder as the night goes on,
     it remains silent, alone, empty in a gentle way.

     Soul of love that watches and hesitates
     to free itself, but finally leaves, gentle and cold.

     (Translated by Robert Bly)

                                          Vicente Aleixandre

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