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.

miércoles, 14 de marzo de 2012

Bennie Lee Sinclair, una aventura en tierra inexplorada

Ltbks ms"I write because of the incurable disease 'cacoethis scribindi' -- the insatiable urge to write...To me, writing is a continuous adventure in uncharted land. Sometimes the terrain is gently rolling, the going easy. Sometimes there are mountains to climb an crevices to avoid. Sometimes there are murky swamps and bogs. I start out with an idea, the hull, perhaps, of a poem or story. It usually takes a long time to get where I'm going, since there are no paths. i have no compass but a good intuitive eye for geography, a sense of direction honed by years of study and exploration: a mission."

Sur del Estado de Carolina del laureado de poeta: Bennie Lee Sinclair
At the time of her death in 2000, Bennie Lee Sinclair was the Poet Laureate of South Carolina. Her third book of poems, Lord of Springs, won the Appalachian Writers Association Book of the Year Award for 1990. Her other awards included a Stephen Vincent Benet Narrative Poem Award, a Best American Short Stories citation, and a South Carolina Writers Award.
Her first novel, The Lynching, was published in 1991. The novel is based on the story of Willie Earl, who was lynched in Greenville County, South Carolina, in 1947.
Bennie Lee Sinclair lived and worked at her home Wildernesse, in the South Carolina mountains near Cleveland.

Going Blind

First, footnotes slide like tears
from the page. Next, the smaller creatures—
birds, mice—disappear. Then, most amazing,
friends’ faces; a loved one’s hands.

In the back of the eye, blood
collects, a dark shadow. Hospital, pain . . .
What does it matter, Eliot’s bank’s address,
a scurrying blur, tanager’s flame?

Yet, last, anything worth a try:
surgeon’s knife, laser’s beam, a Gypsy’s
casting of cards, palms;
even prayer.

—Copyright 1992 Bennie Lee Sinclair 

A photo of Bennie Lee Sinclair taken years ago by her husband, Don Lewis. reflected her love and understanding for the little simple things-the things that often have the greatest meanings. Her poems' subjects included the local Goat Man and her observation of a poor family's home that she watched over time as it was slowly consumed in their fireplace for heat. Her work was strongly influenced by her love for Wildernesse, the 135 acre wildlife and plant sanctuary where she and her husband, Don Lewis, lived and created their art. She took care of the abandoned and injured animals in the area and loved her pet foxes. She won many literary awards and her book of poetry, Lord of Springs, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Bennie Lee Sinclair
1939 - 2000 
Bennie Lee Sinclair

Like her distant relative Johnny Appleseed, poet Bennie Lee Sinclair was a lover of nature and the outdoors. For 16 years, Bennie and her husband Don lived in a cabin they built in the rural area of Little Chicago, South Carolina. Bennie dedicated a book of poetry entitled Little Chicago Suite to the people of the town. Of the area she said, "A lot of old coots and codgers hung around at the crossroads. They had a sense of humor I could appreciate. At the same time they always cared if someone was in trouble."

In 1976, Bennie and her husband moved from their cabin to the even more remote, hilly countryside of Cleveland, South Carolina. There, they often had only the woods, hills and wildlife for company. The house was surrounded by 127 acres of unspoiled wilderness. Bennie was known to take care of wild, injured or abandoned animals around the area. But the solitude never bothered Bennie. She had always lived in the country and that was where she found the inspiration for her poetry. Bennie Lee Sinclair's book Lord of Springs was nominated for one of the highest honors in writing, the Pulitzer Prize. Other books by Bennie include The Arrowhead Scholar, The Endangered, Little Chicago Suite and a novel, The Lynching.

In 1986, after a lifetime of teaching and writing poetry in South Carolina, Bennie was named poet laureate of South Carolina for life by Governor Dick Riley. Bennie took great pride in being "a poet of the people." Like the poets laureate that preceded her, Bennie worked to make poetry more popular in South Carolina schools. Much of her poetry is set in South Carolina - always a good background for a poet laureate of the state. 

Despite her growing health problems, Bennie was invited to present a poem at the inauguration of Governor Jim Hodges. On an otherwise calm day, a wild wind came and blew the poem "South Carolina 1999" out of her hands. Without fail, she delivered her poem from memory and the inauguration continued. Of Bennie's illness at a relatively young age she explained, "Life has dealt me blows you can only deal with with poetry." 

"Landmark" is a poem from The Endangered. The poem was inspired by an actual event in Bennie's life. She explained the poem as, "a poem about the poor... There was a big old house and every day in the winter they would go out and take down one section and burn it. I had this vision...of what would happen when they finally burned it."


Last winter,
here was a house 
where the poor lived: 

weather was everywhere - 
under the blankets, 
under the plates and cups; 
under the stack of firewood 
after the last tree was cut 
out of the yard; under the table 
dismembered for kindling, 
and under the chair-snow 

settle everywhere 
on the porch
as it was dismantled, and room by room 
until the stove stood alone 

and, taking nothing with them,
the family moved on.

Text copyright 1992 (c) by Bennie Lee Sinclair
Photo of Bennie Lee Sinclair by Don Lewis 


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