El tema central de este Blog es LA FILOSOFÍA DE LA CABAÑA y/o EL REGRESO A LA NATURALEZA o sobre la construcción de un "paradiso perduto" y encontrar un lugar en él. La experiencia de la quietud silenciosa en la contemplación y la conexión entre el corazón y la tierra. La cabaña como objeto y método de pensamiento. Una cabaña para aprender a vivir de nuevo, y como ejemplo de que otras maneras de vivir son posibles sobre la tierra.

martes, 17 de enero de 2012

BILL HOLM: "El corazón se puede llenar en cualquier lugar del mundo"

"The Heart Can Be Filled Anywhere On Earth" 

(...) Bill Holm was a poet and essayist who lived in China, Iceland and traveled all over the world. Still, he always returned to his hometown of Minneota, Minnesota, a small town that loomed large in his imagination. Bill Holm died on Feb. 25th, 2009 at the age of 65 after a long and distinguished career, writing over a dozen books.
Holm believed deeply in the wisdom music has to offer. He once wrote, "Maybe Americans should make it our national habit to begin every day with a half-hour of Bach. It couldn't hurt us in either our private or public lives." (...)

Bill Holm (poet)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bill Holm (August 25, 1943 – February 25, 2009) was an American poet, essayist, memoirist, and musician.
Holm was born on a farm north of Minneota, Minnesota in 1943 and attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota where he graduated in 1965. Later, he attended the University of Kansas. He was Professor Emeritus of English at Southwest Minnesota State University, where he taught classes on poetry and literature until his retirement in 2007.
Holm was named the McKnight Distinguished Artist of the Year in 2008. This award celebrates artists who have left a significant imprint on the culture of Minnesota. He was the grandson of Icelandic immigrants and spent part of every year at his second home in Hofsós, Iceland.
Holm died February 25, 2009, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at 65 years of age.

"The weather was terrible in Iceland for most of the summer, mountains and sea shrouded in cold dense fog for a solid month, but I didn't mind. After the annual writer's week (which began with a howling blizzard on May 22), I hibernated at the table and finished the better part of two books. The Writers' Week crew this year were spirited and good humored but I was hot to scribble. One, a medium-sized essay on cabins, done for a Minnesota Historical Society Press picture book (Cabins) will come out in Spring; the Windows of Brimnes, my reflections on what the world and the 21st Century look like from out little northern perch, has one almost nothing else: "Partita #6 in E Minor", Liszt's transcription of the organ "Fuge in B minor", all 1.5 Sinfonias, Brahms' left hand version of the "Chaconne." Joyful, inexhaustible, stuff it braces the mind for the assaults of daily idiocy and violence. I recommend a half hour a day of Bach for the entire human race. Might save us."

Excerpt from Bill's 2006 Holiday Letter
(...) In “The Window of Brimnes: An American in Iceland” (Milkweed Editions, 217 pages, $22), the poet Bill Holm tells of his life, several months a year, in a semi-isolated cabin on a fjord in northern Iceland. He describes a sere, crystalline landscape that would seem otherworldly if not for the humanity somehow radiating from his prose, an oblique infusion that is the work of an artist. Although Holm sadly decries what he sees as Iceland's sale of its “only real patrimony – the emptiness and wisdom of nature” to aluminum companies, he is in bitter despair about the state of our union. The near-circumpolar retreat provides emptiness, all right, but it is Holm himself who comes up with the wisdom.
“So I come here to this spare place in the summer, and sometimes in the winter when its spareness is magnified by snow and darkness,” he writes. “After a while, the United States is just too much: too much religion and not enough gods, too much news and not enough wisdom, too many weapons of mass destruction – or for that matter, private destruction (why search so far away when they live right under our noses?), too much entertainment and not enough beauty, too much electricity and not enough light ... too many books and not enough readers. ... And the worst excess of all: too many wars, too much misery and brutality – reflected as much in our eyes as in those of our enemies. So I come here to this spare place. A little thinning and pruning is a good anodyne for the soul. We see more clearly when the noise is less, the objects fewer.”
Holm writes prose that seems to have honed the font: Words on the page actually seem more sharply etched. The clarity is bracing, shocking, a jolt of literary frisson. Much like contemplating an Icelandic fjord for hours, days, weeks on end, I (so far have to) imagine. (...) 

En el extremo noroeste de Islandia, a unos 40 kilómetros al sur del Círculo Polar Ártico, Hofsos encuentra en la costa oriental de la Skagafjord.
In the northwestern corner of Iceland, about 40 miles south of the Arctic Circle, Hofsos lies on the eastern shore of the Skagafjord.
Foto Minnpost por Nick Hayes

(...) Holm had spent every summer there since 1998 when he bought "Brimnes," a cottage in the town's center. There he wrote "The Windows of Brimnes: An American in Iceland" (2007). (...) 

(...) I had always thought of Bill as "the man from Minneota, Minnesota," the quintessential voice of our small towns and prairie. He was that, of course. He was also our lost Icelander in Minnesota. A fourth-generation Icelandic American, Bill had a build that reminded you of mythical heroes in ancient Icelandic sagas and a heart that brought him to tears the day he took possession of his house in Hofsos. (...)

(...) In the northwestern corner of Iceland, about 40 miles south of the Arctic Circle, Hofsos lies on the eastern shore of the Skagafjord, where the Hof River meets the sea and the fjord pulls your eyes northward to gaze at islands celebrated in thousand year old sagas and the vista of the Artic Ocean. 

The town puts its population at about 200. You suspect, however, that the population of Hofsos, like all of rural Iceland, is leaking and flowing toward Reykjavik. Globalization has retired Hofsos' days as a fishing village. 
Today, the main activity in Hofsos revolves around the Icelandic Emigration Center. It serves as a research, genealogy and education center for the history of the immigration of the 20, 000 Icelanders (out of a population of 85, 000) from 1870 to 1910. Most ended up in Minnesota or a day's drive from Minnesota in Wisconsin, North Dakota or Manitoba. (...)

Casa de Bill Holm, en el centro de Hofsos, Islandia.
Bill Holm's cottage in the center of Hofsos, Iceland. 
Minnpost photo by Nick Hayes

La ventana principal de Brimnes con vistas al fiordo.
The main window in Brimnes overlooking the fjord. MinnPost photo by Nick Hayes

"Your place on this planet," Bill wrote in "The Windows of Brimnes," "is where (among other things) the light feels right to you."

(...) The light inside Brimnes is right. When I first stepped inside the cottage and approached the main window overlooking the fjord, the oblique, pastel Arctic light told me that this truly was Bill's place. (...)
(By NICK HAYES http://www.minnpost.com/nickhayes/2011/08/30/31201/remembering_bill_holm_and_a_journey_to_icelan)


Like Zorba, he will have to live to be a thousand years old to finish reading the pile of books that cram his TV and computer-free house, and to travel to the strange places that have roused his curiosity.
Bill Holm was born in 1943 on a farm north of Minneota, Minnesota, He continues to live in Minneota half the year while he teaches at Southwest State University in Marshall. He spends his summers at his little house on a northern Iceland fjord where he writes, practices the piano, and waits for the first dark after three months of daylight. He is the author of nine books, both poetry and essays. 
His most recent prose book is Eccentric Islands (Milkweed Editions, 2000).
He is working on a new prose book: The Windows of Brimnes, a long essay on what the United States and the last forty years of his own life look like when viewed from the windows of his house just south of the Arctic Circle. The view is not cheerful these days.


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