Sunday, April 15, 2012

What I've bought on my sort-of vacation

1) White dress shirts and black dress socks. I'll bridge the considerable fleshy lacuna between them with charcoal-gray suit pants, as the social functions for which I purchased the shirts and socks call for business attire.

2) A book of poems by Tomas Tranströmer, random browsing through which suggests that Swedes, contrary to their reputation, suffer just as passionately as your garden-variety Greek, Italian, Irishman, or biblical prophet, though they may do so more quietly. Here's one stanza (translated by Joanna Bankier) that hit home, and not just because of my recent clothes shopping:
"In the middle of life it happens that death comes
 and takes your measurements. This visit
 is forgotten and life goes on. But the suit is
 sewn in the silence."
3) Yasmina Khadra's memoir L'écrivain. I've wanted to read this since I read an excerpt in which this Algerian author resident in France (he writes the Brahim Llob crime novels, among other books) explains why he writes in French rather than his native language:
"I wanted to write. In Russian, Chinese, Arabic. But to write! At the beginning, I wrote in Arabic. My Arabic teacher ridiculed me, whereas my French teacher encouraged me."
4) A book of maxims and reflections by La Rochefoucauld. Expect this blog to become more pithy, witty, and jaded under its influence. And expect me to try to sneak one of the maxims into the blog, uncredited, in the next year.

© Peter Rozovsky 2012

Labels: , , , ,

4 Comments:

Anonymous solo said...

In the middle of life it happens that death comes
and takes your measurements. This visit
is forgotten and life goes on. But the suit is
sewn in the silence


In my experience, happily second-hand so far, death visits just once and it departs with more than just your measurements.

Reading Tranströmer's poetical claptrap one can hardly be surprised that poetry has become irrelevant to the vast majority of people.

It is a commonplace that middle aged people have intimations of mortality that they didn't have when they were younger. Your Swedish poet simply repeats this commonplace and uses a particularly stupid metaphor to do so.

Expect this blog to become more pithy, witty, and jaded under its influence. And expect me to try to sneak one of the maxims into the blog, uncredited, in the next year

Just don't expect to get away it, buster.

Ah, but is it really possible that DBB might become pithier and wittier than it already is? What a difficult task you have set yourself, Peter.

April 15, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Perhaps you'd feel differently if, like me, you had just bought two suits and were awaiting delivery.

Pithier? Yes, I can become so. I do go on sometimes, don't I?

April 16, 2012  
Anonymous solo said...

Pithier? Yes, I can become so. I do go on sometimes, don't I?

You do go on? Quite the contrary, Peter. I've never noticed any post of yours that labours a point. Short and sweet would be a better description.

I'm always amazed at how bad so many blogs are. DBB would be a good model for any aspiring blogger to follow.

As for poetry, I'm a little to literal-minded to ever take it seriously. When it comes to poets, Swedish or otherwise, my motto is: shoot first and ask questions later.

April 16, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I'm a bad reader of poetry. That's why I take the stuff in small bits that veer close to my own experience or else stray far, far from it.

April 16, 2012  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home