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miércoles, 1 de enero de 2014


Jonathan Williams 

(8 marzo 1929 hasta 16 marzo 2008, EE.UU.) fue un poeta, editor, ensayista y fotógrafo. Se le conoce como el fundador de The Jargon Society, que ha publicado poesía, narrativa experimental, fotografía y arte popular desde 1951.


Jubilant Thicket: New and Selected Poems ( Copper Canyon Press, 2005)
An Ear in Bartram's Tree: Selected Poems 1957-1967 ( Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1969)


fue en un
salón de baile en leadville
colorado en 1883 donde
oscar wilde vio un
cartel que le pareció
la única crítica
de arte razonable
que había encontrado
decía por favor no
disparen al pianista
hace lo que puede


cuando el momento de relax
sea el momento oportuno
pulverice 5 tabletas de cialis
entre los huevos revueltos
cierre todas las puertas
baje todas las cortinas
póngase un calzoncillo calvinista
envíenos un informe


llamé a mi viejo
profesor de la universidad
en st. albans y le pregunté
como estaba
dijo bien no puedo
ver y no puedo
oir y voy tropezando
como sileno pero
lo que importa es que
todavía puedo acabar
y todavía puedo
hacer que otros acaben
eso es lo que importa
y que más se puede
decir a eso


sin duda el mejor faux-epitaphe
pour son sepulchre jamás
escrito es el de john
cheever que dice yo
nunca defraudé a una puta
y nunca me la dieron
por el culo

Jubilant Thicket, New & Selected poems (2005)
versión Patricio Grinberg

A Vulnerary 

for Robert Duncan 

one comes to language from afar, the ear
fears for its sound-barriers—

but one “comes”; the language “comes” for
The Beckoning Fair One

plant you now, dig you
later, the plaint stirs winter

air in a hornet’s nest
over the water makes a
solid, six-sided music…

a few utterly quiet scenes, things
are very far away—“form
is emptiness”

comely, comely, love trembles

and the sweet-shrub

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Jonathan Williams, "A Vulnerary" from Jubilant Thicket: New & Selected Poems. Copyright © 2005 by Jonathan Williams. 

On Cowee Ridge

December 13, 1993 

John Gordon Boyd
died on the birthday
of three remarkable, and remarkably different, writers:
Heinrich Heine, Kenneth Patchen, Ross McDonald

John, too, was just as remarkable, blessed with an inherent “graciousness”
and with extraordinary eyes & ears…

I think of two texts
on the grievous occasion of his death:

“Religion does not help me.
The faith that others give to what is unseen,
I give to what I can touch, and look at.
My Gods dwell in temples
made with hands.”
  — Oscar Wilde, in De Profundis

and two lines in Rainier Maria Rilke,
John’s favorite poet,
that say it all…

Was tun Sie, Gott,
Wenn ich bin stürbe?

“What will you do,
God, when I am dead?”

Jonathan Williams, "On Cowee Ridge" from Jubilant Thicket: New & Selected Poems. Copyright © 2005 by Jonathan Williams.  Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.

Source: Jubilant Thicket: New & Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2005)

Symphony No.3, in D Minor

Thousands lavishing, thousands starving;        
intrigues, war, flatteries, envyings,      
hypocrisies, lying vanities, hollow amusements,         
exhaustion, dissipation, death—and giddiness         
and laughter, from the first scene to the last.        
—Samuel Palmer, 1858 

I. Pan Awakes: Summer Marches In

               spring rain
               “drives his victims
               out to the animals
               with whom they become
               as one”—

               pain and paeans,
               hung in the mouth,

               to be sung

               II. What the Flowers in the Meadow Tell Me

               June 6, 1857, Thoreau in his Journal:

               A year is made up of a certain series
               and number of sensations and thoughts
               which have their language in nature…

               Now I am ice, now
               I am sorrel.

               Or, Clare, 1840, Epping Forest:

               I found the poems in the fields
               And only wrote them down


               The book I love is everywhere
               And not in idle words

               John, claritas tell us the words are not idle,
               the syllables are able
               to turn plantains into quatrains,
              tune raceme to cyme, panicle and umbel to
              form corollas in light clusters of tones…

               Sam Palmer hit it:
               “Milton, by one epithet
               draws an oak of the largest girth I ever saw,
               ‘Pine and monumental oak’:
               I have just been trying to draw a large one in
               Lullingstone; but the poet’s tree is huger than
               any in the park.”

               Muse in a meadow, compose in
               a mind!

               III. What the Animals in the Forest Tell Me

               Harris’s Sparrow—

               103 species seen
               by the Georgia Ornithological Society
               in Rabun Gap,

               including Harris’s Sparrow, with its
               black crown, face, and bib encircling
               a pink bill

               It was, I think, the third sighting
               in Georgia, and I should have been there
               instead of reading Clare, listening to
               catbirds and worrying about
               Turdus migratorious that flew
               directly into the Volkswagen and
               bounced into a ditch

               Friend Robin, I cannot figure it, if I’d
               been going 40 you might be
               whistling in some grass.

               10 tepid people got 10 stale letters
               one day earlier,
               I cannot be happy
               about that.

               IV. What the Night Tells Me

               the dark drones on
               in the southern wheat fields
               and the hop flowers
               open before the sun’s

               the end
               is ripeness, the wind
               and the dawn says

               YES! it says

               V. What the Morning Bells Tell Me

               Sounds, and sweet aires
               that give delight
               and hurt not—

               that, let
               bear us

               VI. What Love Tells Me

               Anton Bruckner counts the 877th leaf
               on a linden tree in the countryside near Wien
               and prays:

               Dear God, Sweet Jesus,
               Save Us, Save Us…

               the Light in the Grass,
               the Wind on the Hill,

               are in my head,
               the world cannot be heard

               Leaves obliterate
               my  heart,

               we touch each other
               far apart…

               Let us count
               the Darkness

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Jonathan Williams, "Symphony No. 3, In D Minor" from Jubilant Thicket: New & Selected Poems. Copyright © 2005 by Jonathan Williams.  Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.

Source: Jubilant Thicket: New & Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2005)

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