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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

John Berger - Kerchief

In the morning
folded with its wild flowers 
washed and ironed
it takes up little space in the drawer. 

Shaking it open 
she ties it round her head. 

In the evening she pulls it off 
and lets it fall 
still knotted to the floor. 

On a cotton scarf 
among printed flowers 
a working day 
has written its dream. 

To Tell A Story

“Somebody dies,” says John Berger. “It’s not just a question of tact that one then says, well, perhaps it is possible to tell that story,” but “it’s because, after that death, one can read that life. The life becomes readable.” His interlocutor, a certain Susan Sontag, interjects: “A person who dies at 37 is not the same as a person who dies at 77.” True, he replies, “but it can be somebody who dies at 90. The life becomes readable to the storyteller, to the writer. Then she or he can begin to write.” Berger, the consummate storyteller as well as thinker about stories, left behind these and millions of other memorable words, spoken and written, when he passed away at age 90 himself.

Once In a Poem

Poems, even when narrative, do not resemble stories. All stories are about battles, of one kind or another, which end in victory and defeat. Everything moves towards the end, when the outcome will be known.

Poems, regardless of any outcome, cross the battlefields, tending the wounded, listening to the wild monologues of the triumphant or the fearful. They bring a kind of peace. Not by anaesthesia or easy reassurance, but by recognition and the promise that what has been experienced cannot disappear as if it had never been. Yet the promise is not of a monument. (Who, still on a battlefield, wants monuments?) The promise is that language has acknowldeged, has given shelter, to the experience which demanded, which cried out.

 

in "and our faces, my heart, brief as photos" de John Berger