Saturday, February 18, 2012

Today's poem from Poem-A-Day is from Ezra Pound:

Come My Cantilations
by Ezra Pound

Come my cantilations,
Let us dump our hatreds into one bunch and be done with them,
Hot sun, clear water, fresh wind,
Let me be free of pavements,
Let me be free of the printers.
Let come beautiful people
Wearing raw silk of good colour,
Let come the graceful speakers,
Let come the ready of wit,
Let come the gay of manner, the insolent and the exulting.
We speak of burnished lakes,
And of dry air, as clear as metal.
The first thing I did upon reading the poem was to Google "Cantilations."
Cantillation is the ritual chanting of readings from the Hebrew Bible in synagogue services. The chants are written and notated in accordance with the special signs or marks printed in the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible (or Tanakh) to complement the letters and vowel points.
Ezra Pound at the time he wrote the poem was part of the Imagist Movement concerned with intense precision and condensation.  It seems that here Pound bemoans the "...shallowness of village life..." I like the poem because it speaks to me about the lifelessness of city life when we should be enjoying nature.  What better place to do that on Mexico's beaches with their "Hot sun, clear water, fresh wind,..." Don't forget the food and conversation, leisure and sound of the surf as we fall asleep at night.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Baltimore Sun has a recent article about the eight most unromantic places to visit. One is the Mummy Museum in Guanajuato:

                                          ( Daniel Jayo / Associated Press )

At this museum in central Mexico, you'll find over 100 mummies exhumed from a Guanajuato cemetery between 1870 and 1958. In 1870, a local law required families to pay a tax to ensure that their deceased loved ones stayed buried. The penalty for not paying was disinterment.