It's getting late! Not wanting to miss a day, I will share some assorted borrowed words...
You may have fooled around with the Google search function that completes what you're typing with the most common searches. (A fun experiment: compare what pops up when you start typing, "how do you" versus "how does one" in the search bar.) I'm fascinated by the lists that come up, and what they're saying about us, partly because they are not random (they're determined by what people are most looking for), nor are they determined by any single consciousness. On a language level they're just fun, too, sometimes puns and word play come up (although no one is actually doing the "playing"!).
Here is one I wrote down from "How does one". This was from sometime in April, so you'll get something slightly different if you type "how does one" now....
If this were a poem, what would you call it?How does one become a saint
How does one become a vampire
How does one become a freemason
How does one get pinkeye
How does one determine aesthetic value
How does one man army work
How does one become a celebrity
How does one become a citizen of the US
How does one get HPV
How does one become a Supreme Court Justice
"One man army" is my favorite turn there! I also love "vampire" below "saint", and "aesthetic value" right below "pinkeye". There's something about the Surrealists' pleasure in the beauty of unlikely juxtaposition ("the chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella"). (Perhaps related, picking out images to put next to text has been reminding me of André Breton's Nadja, the odd, unnecessary, but also charming pictures sprinkled throughout the book...)
How does one become a saint?
Here's another, with "What's in a". It makes me giggle because "name" is first on the list, not surprisingly, and it makes me imagine what a Shakespearean poem would be with the next most popular terms:
What's in a Long Island iced tea? An iced tea by any other name would not get you so plastered...
Finally, on a more serious note, I have been following the dialogue on depression and suicide that has been going on through this blog, and I'm glad it's happening. It's a troubling and mysterious thing, it's something people don't like to talk about, beyond saying that it's terrible. There's nothing simple about it.
Jennifer Michael Hecht's exhortation, "don't kill yourself" always reminds me of the Carlos Drummond de Andrade poem with that title.
Here it is, the lovely translation from the Portuguese by Ms. Elizabeth Bishop (appears in The Complete Poems)
Don't Kill Yourself
Carlos, keep calm, love
is what you're seeing now:
today a kiss, tomorrow no kiss,
day after tomorrow's Sunday
and nobody knows what will happen
It's useless to resist
or to commit suicide
Don't kill yourself. Don't kill yourself!
Keep all of yourself for the nuptials
coming nobody knows when,
that is, if they ever come.
Love, Carlos, tellurian,
spent the night with you,
and now your insides are raising
an ineffable racket,
saints crossing themselves,
ads for a better soap,
a racket of which nobody
knows the why or the wherefore.
In the meantime you go on your way
You're the palm tree, you're the cry
nobody heard in the theatre
and all the lights went out.
Love in the dark, no, love
in the daylight, is always sad,
sad, Carlos, my boy,
but tell it to nobody,
nobody knows nor shall know.
I love how the poet's giving himself a talk in the poem. I used to think he was calling himself "love" in the first line (I think that's there, in a way), which appealed to me, calling yourself "love"... The palm tree in the last stanza seems to me a tropical version of Rilke's tree in the first Duino Elegy (this is from a translation by Edward Snow). The solitary tree that keeps you company in your solitude. Picking up after "Every angel is terrifying":
And so I check myself and swallow the luring call
of dark sobs. Alas, whom can we turn to
in our need? Not angels, not humans,
and the sly animals see at once
how little at home we are
in the interpreted world. That leaves us
some tree on a hillside, on which our eyes fasten
day after day; leaves us yesterday's street
and the coddled loyalty of an old habit
that liked it here, stayed on, and never left.
O and the night, the night, when the wind full of worldspace
gnaws at our faces--, for whom won't the night be there,
desired, gently disappointing, a hard rendezvous
for each toiling heart. Is it easier for lovers?
Ah, but they only use each other to hide what awaits them.