LitBirthdays July 30, 2010

Brave New LitBirthdays

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Friday July 30

Barbara Kopple (b. 1946) – U.S. documentary filmmaker – American Dream1990 Barbara Kopple

Read Barbara Kopple’s biography here and here

Read an interview with Barbara Kopple

Watch Barbara Kopple talk about making her
1976 Academy Award winning documentary
Harlan County, U.S.A.

See Barbara Kopple accept the Best Documentary Academy Award
(from Lillian Hellman) for Harlan County, USA


Salvador Novo Salvador Novo (b. 1904) – Mexican poet, playwright – Nuevo amor y otras poesias

La poesía

Para escribir poemas, / To write poems,
para ser un poeta de vida apasionada y romántica / To be a poet living a passionate and romantic life
cuyos libros están en las manos de todos / whose books are in everyone’s hands
y de quien hacen libros y publican retratos los periódicos, / about whom they write articles and publish books,
es necesario decir las cosas que leo, / it is necessary to speak of things that I read,
esas del corazón, de la mujer y del paisaje, / matters of the heart, of women, and of the land,
del amor fracasado y de la vida dolorosa, / of broken love and sorrowful life,
en versos perfectamente medidos, / in poetry perfectly measured,
sin asonancias en el mismo verso, / without assonance in the same verse,
con metáforas nuevas y brillantes. / with new and brilliant metaphors.

La música del verso embriaga / The music of verse intoxicates
y si uno sabe referir rotundamente su inspiración / and if you can roundly express your inspiration
arrancará las lágrimas del auditorio, / tears will be plucked from the audience,
le comunicará sus emociones recónditas / concealed emotions will be conveyed
y será coronada en certámenes y concursos. / and you will be crowned in competitions and contests.

Yo puedo hacer versos perfectos, / I am able to make perfect verses.
medirlos y evitar sus asonancias, / measured and avoiding assonance,
poemas que conmuevan a quien los lea / poems that move whoever reads them
y que les haga exclamar: ¡Qué niño tan inteligente! / that make them exclaim: What an intelligent boy!

Yo les diré entonces / I will then tell them
que los he escrito desde que tenía once años: / that I have written since I was 11 years old:
No he decirle nunca / I am not saying anything
que no he hecho sino darles la clase que he aprendido /or doing anything except give them the type of thing I have learned
de todos los poetas. / from all other poets.

Tendré una habilidad de histrión / I would have a talent for theater
para hacerles creer que me conmueve lo que a ellos. / to make them all believe I am moved by what moves them.

Pero en mi lecho, solo, dulcemente, / But in my bed, alone, quiet,
sin recuerdos, sin voz, / without praise, without noise,
siento que la poesía no ha salido de mí. / I feel that poetry has never come out of me.

Listen to Salvador Novos poems (in Spanish)

Read some English translations of Salvador Novo poems here

See the July 30, 2009 LitBirthdays
for more about Salvador Novo


Listen to the July 30, 2010 LitBirthdays podcast – Salvador Novo

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