Articles tagged "Music"


Ascending Scales

The first thing I learned in piano class was how to press Do. Since it’s the first note, you use your first finger. When I pressed the key, Do let out a weak doooooh. I pressed it again so I wouldn’t…...

Music in a Baghdad Alley

No matter where you settle or wander That first melody is yours At every arrival and departure Its living face will meet you at the entrance that remains If you walk and the opposing wind is in your face…...

From the Archives: Poetry, Sex, and Rap

April is National Poetry Month, and our theme this month is sex, so we're going back to our November 2005 South Korean issue for a tale that fits both: Lee Gi-ho's "Earnie." The story of a young…...

Mukhtar

When my mother asked me to spend the summer in her brothers’ house in the south, I employed every sophistry of my sixteen years—an age when only a mother pays attention to your budding philosophy…...

film icon A Terrifying Vision of Emily Dickinson From Poland

While Words without Borders normally bring you Polish literature translated into English, I can't resist sharing this absolutely terrifying and intense musical version of Emily Dickinson's poem…...

Power of the Powerless

    Chinese rock star Cui Jian begins his song "The 90s" with the line: "Words are not precise already—can't express this world clearly." And in the clarity of that expression, he voices…...

Counterpoint

Aria The woman with the pencil leaned over the table to read a pocket score of the Goldberg Variations. The pencil was made of special black wood. It had a heavy silver cap that concealed a pencil sharpener.…...

The Man in the Travel Trailer

"Impossible" must be eliminated from our vocabularies! —Napoleon Bonaparte Professor Pizier lives in a trailer. In order to be prepared, as he says. He's set for his getaway. His bags are packed.…...

Music, Maestro Berenson, and Yours Truly

Father cultivated in us an appreciation for classical music from an early age, playing Bach fugues, Mozart sonatas, and Chopin nocturnes on his old wind-up Victrola with a steel needle and humming arias…...

The Communist of Montmartre

In April 1935, the Paris Central of the Communist Party found itself in an acutely embarrassing dilemma. Moscow had asked them to bring one representative from each ethnic group oppressed by French imperialism…...

The Jazz Corner

A moment after midnight every night jazz begins to soak the Jazz Corner like new wine like village wine A moment after midnight every night a woman descends a dark staircase to sing Brazil or balconies…...

Nocturne

The ad in the "male seeking male" section said: I'm so alone. Roberto. (91) 3077670. and was in among others listing predictable obscenities and a series of oral necessities. Page 43. At the top. Above…...

A Classical Education

On a flight to Budapest I was sitting next to a very young girl who immediately won me over with her green eyes and blonde pigtails. Her mother was also blonde and green-eyed and sunk in Brigitte, a sort…...

Scale and Stairs

If you climbed up the back stairs to the church a piano stood like a sad black animal in a corner of the nave. The child reflected in the black sheen of the piano opened the cover and cautiously began…...

Only Connect

"Only connect," E.M. Forster famously advised novelistsóand this is the governing principle of the International Writing Program, which brings the writers of the world to the University of Iowa…...

Electric Africa

Brian Eno once famously remarked that the problem with computers is that there isn't enough Africa in them. I kind of think that it's the opposite: they're bringing the ideals of Africa. After…...

An Interview with Hisham Matar

Concern. I think that was what I craved. A warm and steady and unchangeable concern. In a time of blood and tears, in a Libya full of bruise-checkered and urine-stained men, urgent with want and longing…...

“‘la vie,’ Edith Piaf sings

"La vie," Edith Piaf sings, "La vie, la vie," seize the moment . . . And this voice is eternally right and there's no threat of it being buried in oblivion. "La vie," she sings, where "La" is the article…...

Dragonfly

for Dr. Carvalho if from these stones one announced what creates silence: here, close by, [ . . . ] this would open, like a wound you would have to plunge into --Paul Celan, "The Power of Light" A fluid…...

Fantasy in Black and White

Fantasy in Black and White I'm lying on my sickbed a smoking cigarette between my fingers I drink a glass of whiskey and soda while I listen to a Duke Ellington CD His heart has died a supernatural…...

Rababa

With the arrival of the first signs of spring at the end of the second month of the year, on the third day after the rains had stopped, the rababa1 appeared at the military checkpoint, and what is meant…...

Cons: Cat

A cat jumped through the window. Jumped right on to the piano. And played on it, amazed: Whenever I jump, the piano sings. I was in the next room and I thought a spirit played. But then it was struck and…...

Attempting to Live Inside Federico García Lorca’s “Poema del Cante Jondo” for a While

1 I'm convinced that some languages, languages we neither speak nor understand, are familiar to the ear. For myself, the romance and Semitic languages, the languages of the Mediterranean and the Middle…...

To Offer My Heart

The thundering chords of the Ninth Symphony filled a room where the only tapestries were crowded shelves of books and where music mingled with the sound of waves slapping against the terrace. Marcelo Monteroni's…...

Two Poems

Blackberries She pricks blood from a bush, eyes as bright as time to come that casts no shadow on her years. If memory serves me right, she says, a year after her return, the blackberries are nowhere as…...

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