About Flavia Rocha Loures - Poeta

Flavia Rocha Loures is an environmental attorney from Brazil, working since 2005 at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), in Washington-DC. Her first book compiles the poems written over the last 20 years, depicting the various stages of her life in rhymes. Flavia Rocha Loures é advogada ambientalista, trabalhando desde 2005 no Fundo Mundial para a Natureza (WWF), em Washington-DC. Seu primeiro livro, publicado em 2010, compila os poemas escritos ao longo dos últimos 20 anos, narrando as várias etapas de sua vida em versos.

“Elegy” by Leonard Cohen

Cohen in colors

julian peters comics

A watercolour illustration inspired by “Elegy,” the opening poem in Leonard Cohen’s very first poetry collection, Let Us Compare Mythologies, from 1956.Elegy

Elegy

Do not look for him
In brittle mountain streams:
They are too cold for any god;
And do not examine the angry rivers
For shreds of his soft body
Or turn the shore stones for his blood;
But in the warm salt ocean
He is descending through cliffs
Of slow green water
And the hovering coloured fish
Kiss his snow-bruised body
And build their secret nests
In his fluttering winding-sheet.

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“To Hell and Back” Illustrations

Words & images… beautifully combined here.

julian peters comics

To Hell and Back: An Anthology of Dante’s Inferno in English Translation was published a few days ago by John Benjamins (Amsterdam). Edited by  Tim Smith and Marco Sonzogni, the book runs through all 34 cantos of the Inferno twice, from I to XXXIV, and then in reverse order from XXXIV to I, with each of these 68 cantos culled from a different English translation of Dante’s masterpiece, ranging in date from the late eighteenth century to the present: https://benjamins.com/#catalog/books/z.212/main

At the very centre of the book, between the two Canto XXXIVs, are two illustrations by yours truly, illustrating scenes from that final section:

In the last canto of Dante’s Inferno, the Florentine poet arrives at the center of the final circle of Hell, where he lays eyes on Lucifer himself. Here Hell has literally frozen over, and the Devil is described as encased up to his waist in ice…

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The Power and Importance of Compassion in Literature

There’s a line in one of my poems that goes: “Dearth of compassion inflicting the Earth…” In moments of crisis, it’s hard to find humanity, but it’s there… it’ll always be… hidden or lost as it may seem at times.

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I’ve been thinking about compassion lately. It’s impossible not to, with everything that’s going on in our world. Terrorist attacks, increased racial tensions, insensitivity toward other minority groups, and the most vitriolic U.S. presidential election I can remember (notice the timing of this post, fellow Americans?)… From a social perspective, 2016 has been a bleak year, and I’m deeply worried about where we as a society are heading.

But let’s not discuss politics. Instead, let’s focus on a topic that I think many of us will agree on: the power of compassion in literature. By compassion, I mean moments when characters show kindness, mercy, and similar qualities. These actions can draw us closer to those characters, move us to tears, and make those stories all the more memorable. And during these turbulent times in our world, finding – and writing – stories that demonstrate compassion may be more important than ever.

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Tupelo 30/30 Project – Day 23 –Celebrating the Birth of a Lioness

The year is 2015. She turns 40 next month. Soon after, I turn 37. And, for this long, we have been best friends.

My sister is a warrior, a brave beautiful lioness. She is also a loyal daughter, and the mom of the sweetest, wildest and most untamable of cubs.

She is a healer of both body and soul, compassionate and attentive, even when all else in life fails to make sense.

Lately, she has been questioning her faith, but prefers not to talk about it. At all costs, she avoids worrying our parents.

Having lived through half her life, as she says, she wonders about what she has achieved. Let us recap, sis, shall we?

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You have mastered the rare ability to love unconditionally those around you… and we are devoted to you for it.

Sly and svelte, you have come out of life’s battles victorious; surely scarred, but ever stronger and more stunning.

With grace and dignity, you have created order where entropy would have otherwise prevailed.

To me, you have been an exemplary fortress, a loyal and patient shoulder and ear, an inspiration for many verses.

You have raised a spirited amorous kitten… an angel who has bestowed upon us a collection of delightful memories.

You have kept a home for him every step of the way. As your world seemed to crumble, the walls of love and care around him have always withstood.

Now I see you worried and overworked, maybe lonely at times, frustrated with that which you cannot control… but this too shall pass.

You are a survivor and a champion… no matter how huge the obstacle, how rough the path, how hectic the days.

At your darkest hours, remember all that. Hold on to the lioness inside, to her enduring strength to hurt and hunt in the wilderness.

Remember, too, that sometimes she will need to roar and run free. She may even feel like scratching and biting every once in a while.

And she requires her own time and space to rejoice in nature, to yawn and nap… to purr, stretch out and lie lazily in the sun.

Sis, you are perfect… with all your feline imperfections. Happy birthday!

Leonard Cohen (1934-2016), Kenneth Koch, and the Island of Hydra

Leonard…

Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets

                   

Very sad news broke last night that the legendary songwriter, singer, and writer Leonard Cohen had passed away at 82.  Cohen began his career as a daring young Canadian poet and novelist, before switching to writing and performing music in the 1960s.  Not surprisingly, he is considered one of the most literary figures in popular music history.

It may be surprising, however, to hear that Cohen had a close tie to the New York School of poets, but he did, thanks to his friendship with Kenneth Koch.  Cohen and Koch fortuitously crossed paths on the Greek island of Hydra in the early 1960s, when it was a bohemian enclave of ex-pat writers and artists, and the two became good friends. At the time, Cohen was a poet and not yet a rock star, and Koch watched his later rise to fame with some surprise…

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