Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tonight at 7:30 -- Town Hall -- All the Odes --- Ilan Stavans

If you are in bicycling distance of Seattle -- or car or cow path -- don't miss an evening of Pablo Neruda at Seattle's beautiful Town Hall. Ilan Stavans has translated (almost) All the Odes, 823 pages worth. Another way to think of an ode is as a praise poem, a prayer to the dailiness of this life.  Ode to the Sea Gull begins like this:

To the sea gull
high above
the pine woods
of the coast,
on the wind
the sibilant syllable
of my ode.

Sail,
bright boat,
winged banner,
in my verse,
stitch,
body of silver,
your emblem
across the shirt
of the icy firmament,
oh, aviator,
gentle
serenade of flight,
snow arrow, serene
ship in the transparent storm

           Pablo Neruda, translated by Margaret Sayers Peden

This is certainly a wonderful way to begin 2014 --- Ilan Stavans is only in town for a short time. He resides in Amherst, Massachusetts and is visiting the University of Washington as well as Temple Beth Am.

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