Photo (and Poetry) Blog

That Is No Country For Old Men

That is no country for old men


That is no country for old men. The young

In one another's arms, birds in the trees,

— Those dying generations — at their song,

The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,

Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long

Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.

Caught in that sensual music all neglect

Monuments of unageing intellect.


An aged man is but a paltry thing,

A tattered coat upon a stick, unless

Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing

For every tatter in its mortal dress,

Nor is there singing school but studying

Monuments of its own magnificence;

And therefore I have sailed the seas and come

To the holy city of Byzantium.

W. B. Yeats, Sailing to Byzantium

Haiku Tuesday: The Autumn Tempest

The Autumn Tempest

How the autumn storm roars,

Blowing along even wild boars!

by Basho

Translation by Asataro Miyamori

Now All The Truth Is Out

Now all the truth is out

Now all the truth is out,

Be secret and take defeat

From any brazen throat,

For how can you compete,

Being honor bred, with one

Who were it proved he lies

Were neither shamed in his own

Nor in his neighbors' eyes;

Bred to a harder thing

Than Triumph, turn away

And like a laughing string

Whereon mad fingers play

Amid a place of stone,

Be secret and exult,

Because of all things known

That is most difficult.

W. B. Yeats, To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing

You Do Not Have To Be Good

You Do Not Have To Be Good

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body 

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

Mary Oliver

Walk Through Walls

Marina Abramovic

I’ve just finished reading Marina Abramovic’s memoir, Walking Through Walls, and I was blown away, even though I’m not much fan of performace art. The books is ghost written, but you can clearly hear her voice throughout the whole book - well done indeed. It's fascinating reading; her whole life is a performance, she lives the art. She says somewhere in the book that art shouldn’t be seen as something isolated, holly and separated from life; art should be a natural part of life. And she lives by that.

After attending Susan Sontag’s funeral in Paris (who very few people attended), she made detailed plans for her own funeral because  she wanted that funeral to be her last piece of art. I hope not to see it any time soon (she’s 72 years old).

All in all, very inspirational. Read it! 

And talking about artist and biographies, here come a few more I’ve also found inspirational.

Frida Kahlo

Hayden Herrera, Frida: The Biography of Frida Kahlo

Another artist who lived her art. Her life, her hourse, her clothes - art, pure art. Hayden Herrera is an art historian, and it greatly benefits the book. A great read.

Keith Richards

Keith Richards  (yes, he of the Rolling Stones) - Life. I didn’t have any expectations; I didn’t know what to expect; and I loved it. He lived the rock and roll life, and now he’s telling us about it in a very personal, funny and honest way. Absolutely fascinating.

Patti Smith

And last but not least, Patti Smith’s Just Kids. One of my all times favorite books in which she remembers her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the late sixties and seventies in her unique, lyrical style.

Patti Smith 2011

I met Patti Smith in 2011, when she came to Stockholm to receive the Swedish Polar Music Prize.

I met her as in ”I queued for several hours in the rain so she can sign my book”. I was so star struck that I couldn’t say a word when my turn came, I just looked at her in awe; she understood and gave me a warm smile.

Patti Smith 2011 2

The line outside NK, the department store where the signing took place. 

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