colombia

Spanish Prayer

A simple and stunning poem by the Colombian poetess Maria Mercedez Carranza. My clumsy translation is below: Prayer No more dawns or fashions, no more light, no more tasks, no more instants. Just dirt, dirt in the eyes, between the mouth and the ears; dirt upon the crushed chests; dirt inside the dry womb; dirt […]

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A Mutis woman

Alvaro Mutis, one of Colombia’s most beloved writers, died today at age 90. A surprising number of media outlets are reporting the news and recalling Maqroll, the sailor that Mutis wrote to life. But, he created another memorable seaman, Captain Jon Iturri, who plays the hero in The Tramp Steamer’s Last Port of Call, one of the […]

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God or the assassin

Last night, I threw a friend a baby shower. In thanks she brought me the complete works of Colombian poet Maria Mercedez Carranza, the South American nation’s most well-known female poet. Carranza’s work is modern, powerful, succinct. The only thing that keeps me distant from her writing is the fact that she killed herself in […]

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Frencher than the Tour de France

Here in Colombia, we have Tour de France fever. 23-year old Nairo Quintana won second place. The best showing by a Colombian ever. The sight of over a hundred, neon-wearing cyclists circling historic Paris during the Tour’s final stage was exciting but also uncanny. It reminded me of poet Charles Baudelaire running into a swan while […]

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Mishima weather

  The weather today in Bogotá, Colombia reminded me of Yukio Mishima writing about sailors and the sea. So, here is a beautifully nostalgic passage from his book The Sailor who Fell from Grace with the Sea and a picture of Bogotá’s overhanging sky. Related articles Barb on on The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the […]

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