Posted in Reviews

The month of July

Today I thought I’d review my first month taking this blog seriously. The month of July saw me organising a schedule for my posts and this is the third week in a row that I fulfill this schedule, which is an achievement. I have started the blog just over a year ago, full of ideas and enthusiasm. However, the last twelve months were not easy for me, with my parents’ health, my studies, trying to organise a wedding. It has been a little chaotic – to put it lightly.

So, this Summer started with my fun Hen do in the Algarve at the end of May. The weeks coming up to it saw me running like crazy, spending long periods at the library in the university, trying to cramp up the work of a whole semester into some four or five weeks, including a job and family and house commitments. There was no way I could have succeeded, and from the beginning, I was a fool to think I was in with the slightest of the chances. But, I guess I had to try and I gave it my best shot. At least I managed to complete my creative project and reflective commentary and I got part of my dissertation done. It is something! However, a moment of realisation came when I knew I would not be able to graduate this Summer with all the workload I still had to do and I thought I’d better go back and do it all over again. I won’t be able to repeat the modules I have completed again, but there is a chance I can go back to do the ones I have not submitted any work for and I have written to the course leaders to ask for that opportunity. I am still waiting to hear from them, but I’m hopeful!

Therefore, I decided to dedicate my time to the blog and make it the best I can. So in these last three weeks, I have posted three poems from my mental health collection; “Mask” on 17th July, “Guilt” on 24th July and “Grief” this week on 31st July. These three poems have been workshopped and edited many times and are very close to my heart because they refer to very personal and intimate experiences. I feel very proud for having shared them here on my blog and I hope that they can reach others who have gone through similar emotions and help them feel less isolated, this is the reason why I wrote them in the first place. So far I have mainly opened up about my struggles with mental health because recently that old friend has come to visit again. Pretty soon I hope I’ll start writing about how true friends, family, hope and will power have helped to come a long way since the moment it all started.

I also shared three different quotes with related photo collages. This is the fun part for me to find inspirational quotes and photos that relate to them. I wrote about the English language and I am finding it fun to explore a different word each week. I intend to explore more serious grammatical issues in the future, maybe when I am more settled into this new habit of writing regularly.

In these three weeks, I had a go at translating a Portuguese poem by Fernando Pessoa into English and I shared section one of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” last week. It was only a cheeky dip into two of my favourite and inspirational poets, more to follow on them.

In conclusion, I would say the month of July has been like a sneak preview of what’s to come. The posts have not been too long and the themes approached could have been developed in more depth, but that will come in due course, slowly but surely!

Thanks for reading xxx

 

Posted in Reviews

A poet is a feigner

Autopsychography

by Fernando Pessoa, translated by Richard Zenith

The poet is a feigner                                                                                                                       who is so good at his act                                                                                                                   he even feigns the pain                                                                                                                   of pain he feels in fact.

And those who read his words                                                                                                         Will feel in his writing                                                                                                                       neither of the pains he has                                                                                                             but just the one they’re missing.

And so around its track                                                                                                                      this thing called the heart winds,                                                                                                   a little clockwork train                                                                                                                     to entertain our minds.

‘Autopsychography’ is Portuguese Fernando Pessoa’s (1888-1935) most translated poem. I think the reason why it has been repeatedly translated is the fact that so many authors finding an echo in Pessoa’s words. A poet fakes his pains, even when the pain he portrays is the pain he indeed feels, and it’s all in the name of the creative process. When I write about my own emotions and feelings, there is always a creative process that alters the pain as it is described. Below is my working translation. Any authors with any thoughts on this?

Autopsychigraphy

The poet is an actor.                                                                                                                     He acts so sincerely,                                                                                                                       he even pretends it is pain,                                                                                                             the pain he feels truly.

And those who read his works,                                                                                                   in reading his pains can feel,                                                                                                           not the poet’s fake and real pains,                                                                                            but only the ones they never felt.

And so, entertaining the reason                                                                                                     rides this little clockwork toy,                                                                                                         that we call the heart,                                                                                                                       round and round on its track.

Thanks for stopping by xoxo

 

 

Posted in Recommendations, Reviews

Verbose

Last night I managed to make it to the live literature night Verbose and I am so glad I made it. It was a great experience, the room in Fallow Café was full and a few of us hand to stand in the back – yes, I was a little late because I was working until 7.30pm. Verbose happens on the fourth Monday of the month hosted by the lovely Sarah-Clare Conlon and presents three headliners each month, who share a link between them; this month that link was Urbane Publications and the headliners Lavinia Murray (aka FJ McQueen), James Silvester and David Gaffney.

Luckily, we arrived on time to hear David Gaffney reading from his latest novel All the Places I’ve Ever Lived, which I found very intriguing and now I can say that I am the proud owner of a signed copy, which I can not wait to start reading, as soon as I finish Another Country by James Baldwin. You can find more about the book, if you click on the title. They got me at: “All the Places I’ve ever Lived is part ghost story, part murder ballad, part crime thriller and explores the themes of outsiders and difference, with a dark edge. People say it has a Twin Peaks feel.” I’m so looking forward to read it and I will write a review here, for anyone that hasn’t made their mind up yet. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay for James Silvester, but Lavinia was truly entertaining and got the audience in stitches during her original presentation of her debut novel Out Damned Spot. This is another title for my Summer reading list. The Prague Ultimatum, by James Silvester sounds very relevant and is one that I will try and find out more about, it is to be released in April. Watch this space! If any of my lovely readers gets around to read any of these promising novels, please let me know what you thought of them.

But Verbose is not just about high profile published writers, there are also ten three minute open mic slots and some of the ones I had the pleasure to witness last night were brilliant. Maybe next time, I’ll get to perform too; who know?! If any of my lovely friends wish to join me next month, let me know. I will inform here what are the headlights for March, when the time comes. Until then, happy readings!all-the-places