It was a March evening in Havana and still hot at 6 pm. I was on my way to my apartment in the central neighborhood of Vedado on a street called Zapata.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, “things you can do” books were sprouting like weeds.
It’s the cruellest month: lilacs, dead land, spring rain…you know how it goes. For several reasons this April has seemed particularly dismal to me, not in small part due to an car accident that occurred earlier, in March.
I was out all day with friends playing basketball and eating Ethiopian food, and I also managed my fantasy baseball teams and watched My So-Called Life.
Although our lives cannot occur except in an historical context, many contemporary lyrics are written as though only personal history matters. It’s a great joy to encounter a poem grounded in history as thoroughly as Elizabeth Bishop’s “Brazil: January 1, 1502”, particularly one that begins with a cymbal crash, the seeming non sequitur or unusual plural.