Category Archives: poetry

Impressions of Portugal, Last Day in Lisbon

King José I, Praça do Comércio

King José I, Praça do Comércio

On our last day in Portugal, there was much to do: purchasing gifts for family and friends and a pilgrimage to the Café-Restaurante Martinho da Arcada. The café is another favorite Pessoa haunt, with a table reserved for him in perpetuity. As the café was in the Praça do Comércio, we decided to end our Portuguese journey where most tourists would have begun, in the Lisboa Story Center. Continue reading

Innisfree Garden in June

06IMG_0055May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time
—C. P. Cavafy, Ithaka

for Barbara Asch

No matter how many visits one makes, Innisfree Garden is always a harbor seen for the first time. Here are a few photographs from June 9 & 10. Continue reading

Visionary Magic on a Heroic Scale

Ebbets FieldThursday, May 19, 2016, marked the premiere of Dylan Mattingly’s monumental work for piano, Achilles Dreams of Ebbets Field. Three years ago or thereabouts, the vital, fearless pianist Kathleen Supové invited Mattingly to compose a work for piano—anything he wanted, of any length. Could Supové, or even Mattingly himself, outsized dreamer though he is, have predicted just how big it would become? Continue reading

Impressions of Portugal, Belém

Padrão dos Descobrimentos (western profile)

Padrão dos Descobrimentos (western profile)

Illustrious Gama, whom the waves obey’d,
And whose dread sword the fate of empire sway’d.
—Luís de Camões (from Os Lusíadas)

The Museu Coleção Berardo, described as “the main museum for modern and contemporary art in Portugal,” lured us to spend a day in the Lisbon parish of Belém. The Museu is housed in the vast Centro Cultural De Belém (Belém Cultural Center or CCB), which was “erected as a showpiece for Portugal’s 1992 presidency of the European Union.” [Time Out Lisbon, p. 98] Continue reading

Impressions of Portugal, The Chiado

01 Pessoa and Me IMG_0378_edited-1The child that laughs in the street,
The song one hears by chance,
The absurd picture, the naked statue,
Kindness without any limit –

All this exceeds the logic
Imposed on things by reason,
And it all has something of love,
Even if this love can’t speak.

Fernando Pessoa, 4 October 1934

A nice thing about settling in for a few days in one location is the chance to poke around at leisure in the neighborhood, which for us was The Chiado in Lisbon. I hadn’t connected all the dots beforehand, so a sense of serendipity accompanied our realization that the Café A Brasileira—a well-known Fernando Pessoa haunt—was nearby. Continue reading