Marcus Cumberlege: “Sun”


Pours at daybreak like wet gold
From a trove of its own finding
Under the stones of our hill

The trees are saturated
It spills over all the grass
Flooding towards the cottage

Puts enough light
For the whole of Ireland
Into a green glade

Cities rust in the shade.

* * * *

Discovered a collection by Marcus Cumberlege in the main house of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre when self was doing an artists residency there, last May.

The poem above is from Cumberlege’s second collection, Firelines. She called Stairway Books in Galway and they had one used copy, which they mailed to her.

From the artists bio:

Marcus Cumberlege, born in 1938, has also lived and worked in Peru, France and England. In 1972 he moved to Bruges in Belgium, where he lives with his Flemish wife.

Firelines is his second collection. “These poems were begun in 1970 – 1972 when he lived on the west coast of Ireland.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday 18 January 2015

“Two great talkers will not travel far together.”

—  Spanish proverb

Quoted in Quotable Traveler by Larry Habegger, p. L3 of the San Francisco Chronicle (18 January 2015)

The Story “Rufino” (from MAYOR OF THE ROSES, Self’s 2nd Collection)

Towards the end, he couldn’t wear any clothes. They had to cover him in banana leaves.

It was in July he died — I couldn’t believe it. A voice on the phone told me.

“Rufino died na.” It was my mother speaking. Naturally, she had to be the one to break the news.

I was staying in a friend’s house in the Santa Cruz Mountains. In the mornings, fog blanketed the hills. We heard the mournful mooing of invisible cows. One or another of us would look east, toward where we heard Neil Young had his ranch, wondering whether we’d catch a glimpse of his pink Cadillac that day.

*     *     *     *     *

Mayor of the Roses was published by Miami University Press in 2005. The press was known as publishers of the American Poetry Series. Self’s collection was the first book of fiction that Miami University Press ever published.

Heartfelt thanks to Brian Ascalon Roley for bringing the manuscript to the attention of the press and Keith Tuma.

The collection’s been taught at Bates College (Maine), Pampanga Agricultural College (Magalang, Philippines), Skyline College, and Stanford University.

One story, “Lenox Hill, December 1991,” was in the syllabus of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, in a course on Ethics and Medicine.

Pablo Neruda: “Loves, The City” (Amores: La Ciudad)

from Intimismos: Poemas de Amor (Each poem is accompanied by a beautiful painting by Mary Heebner)

Self bought her copy from Small World Books in Venice Beach, last November. The translation is by Alastair Reid. The excerpt below is from the poem “Loves: The City” (Amores: La Ciudad)

I think now that my poetry began (Pienso que se fundo mi poesia)
not in solitude but in a body, (no solo en soledad sino en un cuerpo)
another’s body, in a skin of moonlight, (y en otro cuerpo, a plena piel de luna)
in the abundant kisses of the earth. (y con todos los besos de la tierra.)

*     *     *     *

Here’s a link to another translation of Neruda by Alastair Reid:  Isla Negra.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


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