pablo neruda – ode and burgeonings (1952)


The taste of your mouth and the color of your skin,
skin, mouth, fruit of these swift days,
tell me, were they always beside you
through years and journeys and moons and suns
and earth and weeping and rain and joy
or is it only now that
they come from your roots,
only as water brings to the dry earth
burgeonings that it did not know,
or as to the lips of the forgotten jug
the taste of the earth rises in the water?

I don’t know, don’t tell me, you don’t know.
Nobody knows these things.
But bringing all my senses close
to the light of your skin, you disappear,
you melt like the acid
aroma of a fruit
and the heat of a road,
and the smell of corn being stripped,
the honeysuckle of the pure afternoon,
the names of the dusty earth,
the infinite perfume of our country:
magnolia and thicket, blood and flour,
the gallop of horses,
the village’s dusty moon,
newborn bread:
ah from your skin everything comes back to my mouth,
comes back to my heart, comes back to my body,
and with you I become again
the earth that you are:
you are deep spring in me:
in you I know again how I am born.


Years of yours that I should have felt
growing near me like clusters
until you had seen how the sun and the earth
had destined you for my hands of stone,
until grape by grape you had made
the wine sing in my veins.
The wind or the horse
swerving were able
to make me pass through your childhood,
you have seen the same sky each day,
the same dark winter mud,
the endless branching of the plum trees
and their dark-purple sweetness.
Only a few miles of night,
the drenched distances
of the country dawn,
a handful of earth separated us, the transparent
that we did not cross, so that life,
afterward, could put all
the seas and the earth
between us, and we could come together
in spite of space,
step by step seeking each other,
from one ocean to another,
until I saw that the sky was aflame
and your hair was flying in the light
and you came to my kisses with the fire
of an unchained meteor
and as you melted in my blood, the sweetness
of the wild plum
of our childhood I received in my mouth,
and I clutched you to my breast as
if I were regaining earth and life.


My wild girl, we have had
to regain time
and march backward, in the distance
of our lives, kiss after kiss,
gathering from one place what we gave
without joy, discovering in another
the secret road
that gradually brought your feet close to mine,
and so beneath my mouth
you see again the unfulfilled plant
of your life putting out its roots
toward my heart that was waiting for you.
And one by one the nights
between our separated cities
are joined to the night that unites us.
The light of each day,
its flame or its repose,
they deliver to us, taking them from time,
and so our treasure
is disinterred in shadow or light,
and so our kisses kiss life:
all love is enclosed in our love:
all thirst ends in our embrace.
Here we are at last face to face,
we have met,
we have lost nothing.
We have felt each other lip to lip,
we have changed a thousand times
between us death and life,
all that we were bringing
like dead medals
we threw to the bottom of the sea,
all that we learned
was of no use to us:
we begin again,
we end again
death and life.
And here we survive,
pure, with the purity that we created,
broader than the earth that could not lead us astray,
eternal as the fire that will burn
as long as life endures.

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i’ll be your mirror

The Velvet Underground & Nico – I’ll Be Your Mirror (acetate version), recorded 25/04/1966 at Scepter Studios, New York.

(An acetate is a very fragile disc, cut prior to the cutting of the master disc used for mass production of records, used in the same way as a proof in photography.)

the art of the impersonator – photos by cindy sherman

“I feel I’m anonymous in my work. When I look at the pictures, I never see myself; they aren’t self-portraits. Sometimes I disappear.”

 “Cindy Sherman has explored different kinds of photography, but she has become one of the most lauded artists of her generation for her photographs of her impersonations. Since she arrived on the scene, in a 1980 exhibition, when she was in her mid-twenties, she has come before her own camera in the guise of hundreds of characters, and as an impersonator—which in her case means being a creator of people, and sometimes people-like creatures, who we encounter only in a single photograph—she has been remarkably inventive. Especially as a portrayer of types of people, whether someone who appears to be a perky suburbanite in town for a matinee, or a woman in a sweatshirt who seems both tired and bristling, or a club singer belting out a note, Sherman—who is now, at fifty-eight, the subject of a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art—has shown herself as well to be a witty and shrewd social observer. And the sheer human spectacle of someone continually transforming herself into one person after another has proved riveting.”

“…Her various accessories and props are appealingly economical and rudimentary, and, given that her art is based on deception, one could say that her large photographs, which sometimes come with transparently cheesy frames, are meant to have the appearance of fake paintings. During much of the 1990s, she also experimented, in pictures she herself was not in, with close cropping and artificial, theatrical color and lighting. But none of this quite erased the way that her pictures in general, and certainly those in which she appears front and center in some disguise, often had the disembodied presence of blown-up shots from one kind of movie or another.”

“…The end result of Sherman’s many approaches is a roller coaster of discontent, at times recalling Otto Dix, at other moments Carol Burnett. Sherman can be reproachful and quietly barbed, or merely leaden and gloomy, or showily horrifying, or buoyantly nasty. The works that held me longest were of her strivers and her patronesses. They bring together the poles of Sherman’s thinking: her feeling for contemporary life and for the monstrous. We see people who, carefully but excessively made up, have turned their faces into masks. This can be said of her clowns as well, but they are so fully masked that we have little sense (as we have little sense with actual, professional clowns) of the person underneath the makeup.”

“More crucially, clowns, whether threatening or sad, are so familiar a theme that it is hard to put much stock in Sherman’s versions, which add little to the lore. With her overly avid women and her lionesses of the social scene, however, we feel we look, in each picture, at three people. There is Sherman herself, who, with her fair hair, pale eyebrows, and somewhat pointed features, resembles women in Memling portraits. Then there is her subject, who is clearly hidden behind a protective armor.”

“…Sherman isn’t the first artist to come before the camera in a series of disguises or impersonations. Surely no artist, though, has used the notion as a premise for an entire career, and it creates for her audience a rare sense of intimacy with her and suspense about where she will go next. We seem to look at someone who has indentured her very person for the sake of her art. We can believe we are in this strange lifelong adventure with her, and, especially if we are her age or older, we wonder a little apprehensively how she will handle the issue of aging.”“…On the most literal level, though, we look at someone who has a gift for impersonation. Born in New Jersey and raised on Long Island, Sherman went to Buffalo State College in the early 1970s with the idea of becoming a painter. But she had been disguising herself as different people since childhood. There is a photo of her in the Modern’s catalog around age twelve in which, standing on a suburban street along with a friend who is also in masquerade, she appears convincingly as a little old lady. In college she was exposed to conceptual art, which, already supplanting painting as the field that art students wanted to work in, enabled her to see that she could build on her feeling for impersonation.”read the whole article here