Thursday, November 29, 2007

Duende & The City of Demons

Ladies and gentlemen: I have raised three arches, and with clumsy hand I have placed in them the Muse, the Angel and the Duende.

The Muse keeps silent; she may wear the tunic of little folds, or great cow-eyes gazing towards Pompeii, or the monstrous, four-featured nose with which her great painter, Picasso, has painted her. The Angel may be stirring the hair of Antonello da Messina, the tunic of Lippi, and the violin of Masolino or Rousseau.

But the Duende - where is the Duende ? Through the empty arch enters a mental air blowing insistently over the heads of the dead, seeking new landscapes and unfamiliar accents; an air bearing the odor of child's spittle, crushed grass, and the veil of Medusa announcing the unending baptism of all newly-created things.

-Federico Garcia Lorca, The Duende: Theory and Divertissement (1930)


It is just such an opening that Czeslaw Milosz alludes to in his poem "Ars Poetcia?" Describing the writer as a person who must be willing to be inhabited by a "diamonion," the poet asks, "What reasonable man would like to be inhabited by a city of demons?"

-Jane Hirschfield, "Writing and the Threshold Life," in Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, p.202


Blogger Mark Granier said...


Galleons like water flies darken the harbour.
Gull cries, hammerings, pulleys and cranes. Workers,
too small for the eye, are lost in the inner distance
of craft: bright clink of iron on stone, the plumb line
steadying, the helix turned, the roof raised

out of the picture, out of his working hands.

(from The Sky Road, Salmon 2007)

5:27 AM  

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