Tag Archives: poets

Was Pablo Neruda Poisoned After the Coup?

I remember walking into a coffee shop on Cape Cod in September 1973 when I learned about the right-wing coup in Chile. There was no doubt in my mind, no doubt in the minds of any of the morning habitués there, that Richard Nixon and the CIA were involved in some way. When I heard later that Pablo Neruda had died not long after his friend, President Salvador Allende, I knew the poet had to have died of a broken heart. I was 18, and though I would have denied it then, I was an incurable romantic about Neruda and Chile’s fragile, Communist-led democracy. Continue reading

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Imtiaz Dharker’s Blessing: “Voice Of A Kindly God”

The voice of Imtiaz Dharker, lyrical, precise and earthy, came to me between sleep and waking. That’s the liminal state in which I listen to the BBC at three in the morning. The poet was being interviewd on a BBC program called Heart and Soul. Dharker describes herself as a “cultural mongrel” – “a Scottish Muslim Calvinist, brought up in a Lahori household in Glasgow.” Now she lives in London and Mumbai. In the interview she says that religion is “a misuse of the name of God” and poetry is a moment “when everything else falls away” [listen now]. Dharker recites poems from her latest book, Leaving Fingerprints (including “Spire” and xxx) as well as “Blessing” (which has been required reading in U.K. schools for over a decade ).

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When Borges Signed David Franks’ Heart

In an NPR commentary, Andrei Codrescu remembers his friend David Franks, who died recently at age 61. This story stands out for its grand gesture and deaconal justice: At a reception for the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, David asked … Continue reading

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