Friday, 3 July 2009

I am veiled even to myself

Nadie puede salvarme pues soy invisible aun para mí

que me llamo con tu voz. ¿En dónde estoy?

Estoy en un jardín.

Hay un jardín.

Alejandra Pizarnik

(Piedra Fundamental)

No one can save me because I am veiled even to myself,

I who calls me with your tongue: Where am I? I'm in a garden.

There is a garden.

(Fundamental Stone,
trans. Zachary Jean Chartkoff)


  1. He stopped me & said to me:

    All you have shown is your veil
    & all you have hidden is your veil
    & all you have inscribed is your veil
    & all you have effaced is your veil
    & all you have covered is also your veil.

    & He said to me:
    Your veil is your soul
    It is the veil of veils
    If you leave it, you leave the veils
    If you veil yourself with it
    All the veils will veil you.

    & He said to me:
    Leave your soul only through My light
    It will traverse the veil, My light
    Only then will you see how it veils
    & through what it veils.

    & He said to me:
    If your essence leaves you, every veil will follow it
    If your sojourn is inside a veil, it will reside there.

    tr. Pierre Joris

  2. perdre la face ou être soi-même lustration ton de la nuit ou les humains aime cette atmosphère de ce voilé.

  3. & He said to me:

    Man! You will not make a resting place inside My veil. .....

  4. it is such a wonderful poem. thank you, Michael. it is soothing to know that there are other gardens
    , in which there is a shelter of hope and light behind the veil...

  5. Allan, cette perpetuelle hesitation entre le cache et le visible, la nuit et le jour, oui, c'est tellement humain... merci de tout coeur.

  6. anon, yes, the last line of this poem. thank you for adding it. no resting place, no permanent oasis, no static absolute.

    i have found this explanation of the "mawqif" in an essay about nomadic poetics (i like this notion):

    "But if it is all flux, all nomad wandering, when & how to write. How not to stop & yet do the poem? At the beginning of this text I had referred to the poem as a poasis, an poem-oasis, i.e. a stop in the moving along the nomad line-of-flight. Recently the Tunisian poet Abdelwahab Meddeb brought my attention to a term used by the 10C Sufi poet Niffari who introduced the concept of "mawqif" (plural: mawâqif) — into his poetics in order to define what the poem is: The mawqif is the pause, the stop-over, the rest, the stay of the wanderer between two moments of movement, two runs, two sites, two places, two states. Writes Meddeb: "It enjoys a rest, raises itself upright; between two durations it scrutinizes briefly the instant when from its height it confronts the vision or the word exteriorizing itself."

  7. salut Roxana :)

    Comme tu le sait j'aime beaucoup ton travail, en noir et blanc...en couleurs...les poems...mais ce que j'aime et adore le plus chez toi, sait ta sensibilité artistique à fleur de peau.

    Merci M.

  8. definitely a simple fact for anybody. Not suprising! :p

  9. Mysterious half hidden woman, the veil sets the imagination in motion, the imagination feeds on dreams, dreams from the inner source of light, water, mystery...

    There is quite a considerable debate going on in France these days about veils, including the most complete of veils, the burqa... and as to whether or not some women choose to wear them of their own free will, of if they are forced or pressured to in one way or another...

  10. the veiled vestal:

  11. This is searingly beautiful.

  12. Those words are gorgeous, R. And so terribly sad, though true for so many people - men and women.

  13. your ability to photograph and perfectly match the pictures with words and poems constantly astounds me.

    the stories that they tell always seem personal to me and my experience, something I generally only feel about great novels or poetry.

  14. Belo!!!!!Roxana, continuas a conseguir imagens belíssimas em articulação com textos e palavras com sentimentos fortes.
    Imagem excelente...

  15. Whenever I come here, my first reaction is always a prolonged moment of breath held hard and a faster pulse and a flooding of wonder --- and I want to hold my own thoughts at a distance, so that I can let your images, your words, live their life in me as long as possible, long enough that they are part of my blood, until I will wake some morning and remember that this beautiful veiled woman was a dream of my own, a suddenly remembered image from a former life.... If an artist can ask for more than that, I don't know what it might be....

  16. Salut, Marc., ca fait longtemps :-) merci de suivre ce que je fais, je vois que tu n'as pas oublie mes archives anciennes, quelle surprise :-)
    tes commentaires sont toujours precieux pour moi.

  17. Peter, not surprising? haha, i see, the mystery the mystery of all veils :-)

  18. Owen, how beautifully you put it: imagination feeds on dreams - on what is not exposed, yes, on the hidden, the vague... unfortunately we live in a time which has forgotten this, at least in our western civilization.
    but the problems related to the actual, real veil, not the metaphorical one, yes, they are very big and controversial. i am aware of the situation in France, as well.

  19. Manuela, thank you... can something be aching and soothing at the same time?

  20. Prospero, i am delighted to hear that. thank you for coming back on the Bridge, i am touched!

  21. SZ, hi again :-)
    yes, Alejandra is a great, a fabulous poet who speaks as if for me, right into me also. i am glad you found it so.

  22. oh, Sorlil, what a kind thing to say - kind and overwhelming for me, i don't even know what to say. a grateful 'thank you', from all my heart.

  23. Adelino, thank you so much, i am so glad you like what i do - and also, perhaps i am wrong, but i see a certai similarity between this b&w here and your 'Marcas do tempo' series, there is mystery and nostalgy there as well, even if they are expressed without a human presence. but it is only the human consciousness which can perceive the mark of time inscribed in the earth.

  24. Zuma :-) is this a rhetorical question, implying that i am easy to read? or the expression of a wish? :-)

  25. "If an artist can ask for more than that, I don't know what it might be"


    and whenever i read the words you find to describe my posts, James, there is a moment of breath held hard and a faster pulse and a flooding of wonder that you are really speaking about me, and i am not dreaming. it is not even that i 'ask' for something when i let this Bridge float, in the sense that i expect something, perhaps real artists have certain expectations regarding the public response, i don't know, they must have, i imagine - do you have such expectations when it comes to your poems? - on the contrary, i am genuinely amazed that something like this is possible, that somebody comes and tells me about an image of mine becoming part of his dream world. indeed, it is beyond my comprehension that this can really be. humble and grateful.

  26. no I mean through your pictures. a little bit of your soul every time? (and now, because of your redoubtable productivity, we have quite a few thousand fragments to piece make sense of, if any sense is possible at all)

  27. "The camera is much more than a recording apparatus; it is a medium via which messages reach us from another world that is not ours and that brings us to the heart of a great secret."
    Orson Welles

  28. of course, Zuma, this is what i meant as well (jokingly also) : if i am that easy to read through my posts, or if this is your wish, that it be so. i don't know about myself unveiled in my images: i have never known what to think of this, of how/and whether the photograph gets 'expressed' through his images - other than through the choice of themes, i mean. and about my texts hmmm. i have some topics i write about again and again, but it would be wrong to read them as a kind of 'diary'. they reflect my moods and my obsessions, that's true, however.

    so i think it is only up to the reader/viewer to imagine the pieces and construct whatever they want with them, if they like to play that game :-)

  29. Michael, thank you for this quote, it is exactly what i feel, but then you know it so well :-)

    yet that world which is not ours is only one side of the glass: aren't there messages that reach us from within as well, when we are symbiotic with that medium?

  30. Roxana, very good - good emotion!!

  31. thank you, Inga, i am glad you find it so!