Today in my online course on Adult Learning, my professor posted that in some ways, learning requires dissonance (too comfortable, we aren't motivated to learn; too uncomfortable and it's too overwhelming to learn). Into my head popped a line from a poem by Alejandra Pizarnik, that reminded me of dissonance:
"...the distance between thirst and the hand that reaches for the glass."
Huh? Where did that come from?
Years ago I worked as a typesetter and there was a man named Frank Graziano in town, working on his Ph.D. He published interesting profiles of poets, including Pizarnik, whose works I don't think had previously been translated into English. His profiles typically included the poet's work, as well as letters, images, and scholarly commentary.
Well, I typeset a couple of his books. (The other was a profile of American poet James Wright. The introduction was written -- over and over and over again, I might add, right up until the publication deadline -- by Robert Bly). I guess when you type something it gets tucked into a little drawer in your head, which must have been where that snippet of Pizarnik came from. Frank must have noticed I was really into her poetry, so he gave me a copy of the book.
Thinking of Frank and Alejandra, I Googled and found that he is now a professor, and still writing -- most recently this book called Cultures of Devotion: Folk Saints of Spanish America. Wow! There is an accompanying website chock full of images of popular saints and their devotees (doing what devotees do...devoting?) Check out the website:
I love the colors and the clothing. I can almost hear the sounds and smell the smells in these images. And it's good to know Frank is still in love with his work.