Archives for posts with tag: Latin America

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Cueva de las Manos
by Lorraine Caputo

I.
Beneath a deep indigo sky
we travail a road through dry landscape
hard grasses, spiked shrubs tipped with frost,
brooks skimmed with ice fracturing
in the late dawn palely painting the clouds
magenta, gold, orchid,
distant polychrome mountains
fleetingly alpenglowed,
the morning star yet bright,
the creamy near-full moon already set
beyond a long plateau, beyond a field where
birds flock, solitary beings in the loneliness of this
Patagonian valley carved by ancient glaciers,
the rising sun yet tinting the pastel heaven,
shadows pooling in the deep folds of the earth,
ochre, bittersweet,
green, taupe.

II.
We now cut across a more eastern plain
molded & scraped by glacial fingers

Grazing herds of tawny & white
guanaco against the tawny landscape
in the tawny light of morn

Down into the steep-walled canyon
tawny, white, faded purple,
eroded crags towering into the celestine sky

III.
On the time-smoothed walls of a shallow cave,
beneath rock overhangs,
guanaco heavy with child gather around a
creamy full moon, millennia-old hands,
ochre, burgundy
bittersweet, cream
touch the stone

hands of a people
long gone … long forgotten
in the loneliness
of this Patagonian earth

CREDIT: “Cueva de las Manos” first appeared in the Zimbabwe-US journal Munyori Literary Journal (18 April 2014) and was reprinted in the author’s chapbook, Notes from the Patagonia (Chicago: dancing girl press, 2017).

PHOTO: “Hands at the Cuevas de las Manos upon Río Pinturas, near the town of Perito Moreno in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina” (Mariano, 2005).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this poem, “Cueva de las Manos,” during my visit to that site. It is the major Aónikenk indigenous archaeological site in all the Patagonia, on either side of the modern-day border (Chile-Argentina), and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cueva de las Manos is in the Cañadón del Río Pinturas, just off Argentina’s Ruta 40. (Find my coverage of it at this link in the guidebook I wrote about Argentina – Viva Travel Guides – Argentina, 2011).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lorraine Caputo is a documentary poet, translator, and travel writer. Her work appears in over 180 journals in Canada, the US, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa, as well as in 12 chapbooks of poetry – including Caribbean Nights (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), Notes from the Patagonia (dancing girl press, 2017), and On Galápagos Shores (dancing girl press, 2019). She also pens travel pieces, with stories appearing in the anthologies Drive: Women’s True Stories from the Open Road (Seal Press, 2002) and Far-Flung and Foreign (Lowestoft Chronicle Press, 2012), and travel articles and guidebooks. In March 2011, the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada honored her verse. She has done over 200 literary readings, from Alaska to the Patagonia, and journeys through Latin America, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth. You may follow her Latin America Wander travels on Facebook and at latinamericawander.wordpresscom.

PHOTO: The author with a mico friend in Colombia’s Amazon jungle.

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In the Winter 1981 issue of The Paris Review, Nobel Prize winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez discusses inspiration. (Read the entire interview at The Paris Review.) Here are some excerpts:

I can only work in surroundings that are familiar and have already been warmed up with my work. I cannot write in hotels or borrowed rooms or on borrowed typewriters. This creates problems because when I travel I can’t work…You hope for inspiration whatever the circumstances…

I’m convinced that there is a special state of mind in which you can write with great ease and things just flow. All the pretexts—such as the one where you can only write at home—disappear. That moment and that state of mind seem to come when you have found the right theme and the right ways of treating it. And it has to be something you really like, too, because there is no worse job than doing something you don’t like…

Inspiration is when you find the right theme, one which you really like; that makes the work much easier. Intuition, which is also fundamental to writing fiction, is a special quality which helps you to decipher what is real without needing scientific knowledge, or any other special kind of learning…For a novelist, intuition is essential. Basically it’s contrary to intellectualism, which is probably the thing that I detest most in the world—in the sense that the real world is turned into a kind of immovable theory. Intuition has the advantage that either it is, or it isn’t. You don’t struggle to try to put a round peg into a square hole.

Illustration: Gabriel Garcia Marquez by Margarita Karol, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

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BIRD
By Pablo Neruda

It was passed from one bird to another,

the whole gift of the day.

The day went from flute to flute,

went dressed in vegetation,

in flights which opened a tunnel

through the wind would pass

to where birds were breaking open

the dense blue air –
and there, night came in.


 
When I returned from so many journeys,

I stayed suspended and green

between sun and geography –
I saw how wings worked,

how perfumes are transmitted

by feathery telegraph,

and from above I saw the path,

the springs and the roof tiles,

the fishermen at their trades,

the trousers of the foam;

I saw it all from my green sky.

I had no more alphabet

than the swallows in their courses,

the tiny, shining water

of the small bird on fire

which dances out of the pollen.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pablo Neruda (1904 – 1973) was the pen name of the Chilean poet, diplomat, and politician Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after Czech poet Jan Neruda. In 1971, Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature. (Read more aboutPablo Neruda at wikipedia.org.)

Photo: “My Dreams Are Flying Away” by Marysia

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In the Winter 1981 issue of The Paris Review, Nobel Prize winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez discusses inspiration. (Read the entire interview at The Paris Review.) Here are some excerpts:

I can only work in surroundings that are familiar and have already been warmed up with my work. I cannot write in hotels or borrowed rooms or on borrowed typewriters. This creates problems because when I travel I can’t work…You hope for inspiration whatever the circumstances…

I’m convinced that there is a special state of mind in which you can write with great ease and things just flow. All the pretexts—such as the one where you can only write at home—disappear. That moment and that state of mind seem to come when you have found the right theme and the right ways of treating it. And it has to be something you really like, too, because there is no worse job than doing something you don’t like…

Inspiration is when you find the right theme, one which you really like; that makes the work much easier. Intuition, which is also fundamental to writing fiction, is a special quality which helps you to decipher what is real without needing scientific knowledge, or any other special kind of learning…For a novelist, intuition is essential. Basically it’s contrary to intellectualism, which is probably the thing that I detest most in the world—in the sense that the real world is turned into a kind of immovable theory. Intuition has the advantage that either it is, or it isn’t. You don’t struggle to try to put a round peg into a square hole.

 Illustration: Gabriel Garcia Marquez by Margarita Karol, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

Image
BIRD
By Pablo Neruda

It was passed from one bird to another,

the whole gift of the day.

The day went from flute to flute,

went dressed in vegetation,

in flights which opened a tunnel

through the wind would pass

to where birds were breaking open

the dense blue air –
and there, night came in.


 
When I returned from so many journeys,

I stayed suspended and green

between sun and geography –
I saw how wings worked,

how perfumes are transmitted

by feathery telegraph,

and from above I saw the path,

the springs and the roof tiles,

the fishermen at their trades,

the trousers of the foam;

I saw it all from my green sky.

I had no more alphabet

than the swallows in their courses,

the tiny, shining water

of the small bird on fire

which dances out of the pollen.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pablo Neruda (1904 – 1973) was the pen name of the Chilean poet, diplomat, and politician Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after Czech poet Jan Neruda. In 1971, Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature. (Read more about Pablo Neruda at wikipedia.org.)

Photo: “My Dreams Are Flying Away” by Marysia