collected poems

in which the blogger collects poetry


Bruno Schulz's Stories

Bruno Schulz’s stories and essay in PDF


Brief Histories of Everyday Objects

Small histories of small things.


“Each age, it is found, must write its own books; or rather, each generation for the next succeeding.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

(Source: writingquotes)


Russian Poetry: From the Ends to the Beginnings

A bilingual anthology of Russian verse


I Like The Fact That You’re Not Made About Me

by Marina Tsvetaeva

I like the fact that you’re not mad about me,
I like the fact that I’m not mad for you,
And that the globe of planet earth is grounded
And will not drift away beneath our shoes.
I like the fact that I can laugh here loudly,
Not play with words, feel unashamed and loose
And never flush with stifling waves above me
When we brush sleeves, and not need an excuse.

I like the fact that you don’t feel ashamed
As you, before my eyes, embrace another,
I like the fact that I will not be damned
To hell for kissing someone else with ardor,
That you would never use my tender name
In vain, that in the silence of the church’s towers,
We’ll never get to hear the sweet refrain
Of hallelujahs sung somewhere above us.

With both, my heart and hand, I thank you proudly
For everything, - although you hardly knew
You loved me so: and for my sleeping soundly,
And for the lack of twilight rendezvous,
No moonlit walks with both your arms around me,
No sun above our heads or skies of blue,
For never feeling - sadly! - mad about me,
For me not feeling - sadly! - mad for you.


How to compose a successful critical commentary

4 steps by Daniel Dennett

  1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.
  2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
  3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.
  4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

“But Danilow, in all likelihood, had never read Crime and Punishment, whereas the critic, as a professional reader, reads and reads until he encounters himself. That’s where his career takes off. The point is that characters do not, of course, turn into people, but people often turn into characters, that is they serve as material for people who invent people.”

— Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, “Someone Else’s Theme.” (via batarde)

(via russkayaliteratura)


In Praise of My Sister

by Wisława Szymborska

My sister doesn’t write poems,
and it’s unlikely that she’ll suddenly start writing poems.
She takes after her mother, who didn’t write poems,
and also her father, who likewise didn’t write poems.
I feel safe beneath my sister’s roof:
my sister’s husband would rather die than write poems.
And, even though this is starting to sound as repetitive as Peter Piper,
the truth is, none of my relatives write poems.

My sister’s desk drawers don’t hold old poems,
and her handbag doesn’t hold new ones,
When my sister asks me over for lunch,
I know she doesn’t want to read me her poems.
Her soups are delicious without ulterior motives.
Her coffee doesn’t spill on manuscripts.

There are many families in which nobody writes poems,
but once it starts up it’s hard to quarantine.
Sometimes poetry cascades down through the generations,
creating fatal whirlpools where family love may founder.

My sister has tackled oral prose with some success,
but her entire written opus consists of postcards from vacations
whose text is only the same promise every year:
when she gets back, she’ll have
so much
much to tell.


From Twilight of the Idols:

What alone can our teaching be? – That no one gives a man his qualities, neither God, nor society, nor his parents and ancestors, nor he himself (the latter absurd idea here put aside has been taught as “intelligible freedom” by Kant, perhaps also by Plato). No one is responsible for existing at all, for being formed so and so, for being placed under those circumstances and in this environment. His own destiny cannot be disentangled from the destiny of all else in past and future. He is not the result of a special purpose, a will, or an aim, the attempt is not here made to reach an “ideal of man,” an “ideal of happiness,” or an “ideal of morality;” – it is absurd to try to shunt off man’s nature towards some goal. We have invented the notion of a “goal:” in reality a goal is lacking … We are necessary, we are part of destiny, we belong to the whole, we exist in the whole,–there is nothing which could judge, measure, compare, or condemn our being, for that would be to judge, measure, compare, and condemn the whole … But there is nothing outside the whole! – This only is the grand emancipation: that no one be made responsible any longer, that the mode of being be not traced back to a causa prima, that the world be not regarded as a unity, either as sensorium or as “spirit;” – it is only thereby that the innocence of becoming is again restored … The concept of “God” has hitherto been the greatest objection to existence … We deny God, we deny responsibility by denying God: it is only thereby that we save the world.

- Friedrich Nietzsche