Ocean Rain

Listening to the re-released version of Echo & the Bunnymen's masterpiece LP Ocean Rain tonight. Recently purchased Bonnie "Prince" Billy's new live album Summer in the Southeast.
Hoping to take advantage of a few days off to finish reading Zadie Smith's On Beauty, which I'm half-way through. I think she's produced a wonderful novel this time, honing her gaze on Boston's faux-liberal racism. I also intend to read Sergio Pitol's El viaje (Anagrama, 2001), which Rafael Castillo Zapata reviewed in Verbigracia when it first came out.

I've got a stack of Op-Eds and columns I hope to translate into English here over the next few weeks. Working on translating a few sections from Rafael Cadenas's 1960 book Los cuadernos del destierro. I will post those next month at my Antología blog. That will bring my initial cycle of translations from Venezuelan poets to a pause, as I dedicate my time to a longer translation project that's still in preliminary stages at the moment. If this project does proceed, I will be ecstatic because it involves the work of a poet I've admired for a long time.

I first listened to Ocean Rain in the fall of 1986, during my first months at boarding school outside Boston. Along with Meat is Murder, The Queen is Dead, Murmur and Low-life, that album sustained me amidst loneliness, but more importantly it initiated me into the pleasures of poetry. A sustained passion for the effect of music on the body ("When it hits you feel no pain").

As Joanna Newsom's sharp voice registers:

"And all that I want, and all that I need,
and all that I've got is scattered like seed.
And all that I knew is moving away from me."

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