Thursday, June 30, 2011

tudo em vão

-- para o "Vovô" Ashley

o velho olha para trás,
até ver o jovem
que olha para frente
até se ver velho
antes e depois do seu tempo.

que diabo é esse

anjo que caiu?
o homen sonhou com asas
e ao criá-las, subiu

um deus aos céus – adeus!

e no espelho dos seus olhos,

o reflexo da reflexão:
nos olhos do espelho
se reflete tudo em vão …

Copyright © 2005 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Peanut Butter & Jelly + Bloody Mary

Samuel Ashley Brown, college professor, writer, and scholar, died from natural causes on June 24, 2011, at Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Community, Columbia, SC. Born in Louisville, Kentucky on December 19, 1923, to the late Samuel Ashley and Martha Mabel Brown, he was preceded in death by his brother, Robert Holburn Brown, and niece, Carol Brown Wildt.
                He received his BA at the University of Louisville in 1945 and his MA at Vanderbilt University in 1946, where he later received his PhD in 1958. In between his graduate degrees he did graduate studies in historiography at Yale University, 1950-51, and taught as an Instructor in English at Washington and Lee, 1946-53, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, 1956-59. From 1959 he taught at the University of South Carolina, Columbia SC, where he was a Full Professor of English and Comparative Literature from 1972 until his retirement in 1996. He was also a two-time Fulbright Lecturer in American Literature at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in 1964-65 and 1971-72.
                Known to everyone as Ashley, he lectured widely in Brazil, England, and the U.S. on such modern writers as Mario de Andrade, Elizabeth Bishop, T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Robert Frost, Caroline Gordon, Ernest Hemingway, Vinicius de Moraes, Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, John Crowe Ransom, Wallace Stevens, Allen Tate, and Peter Taylor.  He also published extensively on many of these authors and others in leading literary journals, including Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review, which he helped to found in 1950 while teaching at the college, The Southern Humanities Review, The Southern Review, and The Virginia Quarterly Review, among others. He personally knew many of these same writers, especially Elizabeth Bishop and Flannery O’Connor, and carried on extensive correspondence with them.
                He is survived by his brother Franklin R. Brown and sister-in-law Carolyn Brown, one niece and two nephews, and several great nieces and one great nephew. Also by his adopted son Celso Lemos de Oliveira, his wife Bernadette, and their children Laura and Marco.
                As his longtime friend (since 1952) and then colleague John L. Kimmey commented recently after reading what he deservedly called Ashley’s “remarkable resumé”: “He always prided himself in being not a specialist but a generalist, sort of like his hero Montaigne.” He and Ashley collaborated on seven anthologies, and perhaps John’s last comments on Ashley are the ones that Ashley himself might want to be remembered by: “So much more to say about him. One of my favorites is his telling me once what he liked for lunch, a peanut butter sandwich and a Bloody Mary. An original.”
                He will be buried in Louisville, Kentucky in the family plot.
Plans for a memorial will be announced at a later date.

-- Dr. George Geckle

Monday, June 06, 2011

Flowers of Poetry …

"How poetry is related to music through prosody, the roots of which go deeper into the human soul than any classical theory indicates"

"Why any poet who does not know exactly how many rhymes each word has is incapable of expressing any idea whatever"

"That the poetic phrase can imitate (and in this, poetry is like the art of music and the science of mathematics) a horizontal line, an ascending or descending vertical line; that it can rise straight up to heaven without losing its breath, or fall straight down to hell with the velocity of any weight; that it can follow a spiral, describe a parabola, or can zigzag, making a series of superimposed angles"

"That poetry is like the arts of painting, cooking, and cosmetics in its ability to express every sensation of sweetness or bitterness, of beatitude or horror, by coupling a certain noun with a certain adjective, in analogy or contrast"

(Charles Baudelaire, "Preface to the Flowers." Trans. J.M.)

love & life

love looked life
in the eye

and said:


life stabbed love

in the heart

and said:


nothing …

Copyright © 2011 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira