Poetry Mixtape II

Soneto XVII / Pablo Neruda
“I think it’s beautiful to be bilingual and I think it opens up so much more to you. It’s a whole other world, a whole other experience.”

Nick and the Candlestick / Sylvia Plath
“Up until that point, I think my sense of poetry was that it was always this grandiose—for lack of a better term—highfalutin, not very real way of using language. I looked at this stuff and I could not believe it. It was lightyears beyond anything else I’d ever read. It was powerful, it was rough, it was bitter, it was caustic. It was, at the same time, really urgent about a need for love. And I was amazed that here’s a woman who was from a very well-heeled New England existence and the stuff that she wrote really spoke to me: a man, a Jamaican immigrant. I mean, you could hardly get two people in the world more distant in terms of social, economic, intellectual and religious realities. But she spoke to me.”

The Lost Pilot / James Tate
“I was very close to my dad. I knew my dad and I wasn’t a baby when he died, like in this case. For James Tate, his dad was somebody he never had a chance to know, and you really get that from reading his poem. You see his disappointment and his sadness from never having known this person.”

At the Fishhouses / Elizabeth Bishop
“I have a real admiration for Elizabeth Bishop’s method of paying attention to small, domestic, really tiny details. It’s a preference of mine to look carefully at things and try to understand things the way they are.”

Ay, Ay, Ay de la Grifa Negra / Julia de Burgos
“”Ay, Ay, Ay de la Grifa Negra” is a poem that I get in contact probably seven years ago, and it was so meaningful for me at that point, in terms of my evolution here in Connecticut and the direction that the poem gives us in terms of the evolution of the Puerto Rican population from slavery to what we are right now, the Puerto Rican. It is the perfect description of who we are and as a black Puerto Rican woman I feel that that is myself—that poem is part of me.”

06.06.16 by Richard Blanco