Commentaries

Toward a poetry and poetics of the Americas (11): from the Popol Vuh (Mayan)

Translation from the Mayan by Dennis Tedlock

 

this is the beginning of the ancient word,

here in this place called k’iche’

 

Here we shall inscribe,

               we shall implant the Ancient Word,

Sylvia Plath's 'The Bell Jar'

The Bell Jar (Faber & Faber)
The Bell Jar (Faber & Faber)

Sylvia Plath spent the summer of 1953 in New York working for Mademoiselle magazine. In the first sentence of The Bell Jar, Esther Greenwood, Plath’s narrator, tells us “I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” Esther’s inability to know — to know what she was doing and whether her life was worth it — is contextualized by the executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Stanley Cavell (1926–2018)

Cavell at home, April 9, 2014. © Charles Bernstein

I met Stanley Cavell almost fifty years ago and he and his work have been constant companions since that time. I am grateful for his friendship and that of Cathleen Cavell, over all these years.

Heriberto Yépez: What Are the United States and Why Are There So Many of Them (Work in Progress)

Originally published in S/N New World Poetics, a publication edited by Charles Bernstein and Eduardo Espina. Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved.

We cover our girlish faces. We are the war.

“In the absence of a licit space for the captive female’s desire, it too, becomes engulfed as crime.” Saidiya V. Hartman, Scenes of Subjection