Lisa Corva

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First kiss.

Friday, 29 April 2011 @10:09

"I stood quite still while Toofat was kissing me – it didn’t take long – and I was doing a lot of things all at once: thinking "This is me, being kissed"; remembering Thomas Hardy; noticing the tree with the lights and the green grass outside the windows; listening to the music from the house; smelling the honeysuckle; thinking that I must fix every bit of it in my mind forever".
(Diana Athill)

Why Thomas Hardy? Because the young girl from Athill’s short story gave – or better, was given – her first kiss back in the the ‘40s, expecting she wouldn’t feel anything special, because in a Thomas Hardy book she had read that "first kisses are always disappointing"…
Diana Athill, born in 1917, was a famous british literary editor; she worked with Naipaul, Philip Roth, Mordecai Richler, Simone de Beauvoir. She wrote as well, mostly memoirs: the last part of her autobiography, "Somewhere towards the end", became a bestseller. But today’s sentence is an excerpt from her collection of short stories published by Persephone Books.

The reason why.

Friday, 22 April 2011 @08:28

"In the winter of 1972, R and I broke up, or should I say he broke up with me. His reasons were vague, but the gist was that he had a secret self, a cowardly, despicable self he could never show me, and that he needed to go away like a sick animal until he could improve this self and bring it up to a standard he judged deserving of company."

(Nicole Krauss)

But I never understood why you left.

Nicole Krauss’s new book, "Great house", is all about a writing desk: and the stories hidden in the drawers, stories of love and loss, from Manhattan to London, to Budapest in the 30’s. Stories we can find in old drawers... Love, loss, yes; and unsolved misteries: like the mystery of why we break up. Why love, sometimes, does not last.


I meant skies all empty aching blue. I meant you.

Friday, 15 April 2011 @07:44

"I said perhaps Patagonia, and pictured
a peninsula, wide enough
for a couple of ladderback chairs
to wobble on a high tide. I thought
of us in a breathless cold, facing a horizon
round as a coin…
When I spoke of Patagonia, I meant
skies all empty aching blue. I meant
years. I meant all of them with you."

(Kate Clanchy)

I meant you.

Kate Clanchy, writer and poet, was born in Glasgow in 1965. The empty skies aching blue are what we all wish for: new horizons, and love.


Bright Star.

Friday, 8 April 2011 @08:03

"I shall kiss your name and mine where your lips have been – Lips! Why should a poor prisoner as I am talk about such things".

(John Keats)

No more letters, no more ink, no more paper to touch and kiss. But I’ll keep your words in my cell phone, feel their lucky vibrations in my pocket. Love.

This is what John Keats wrote to Fanny Browne, the girl he loved and could not marry – a letter that was recently sold at an auction in London for 96.000 pounds. And yes, the british poet was a prisoner: a prisoner of tubercolosis. An illness that kept him away from her, that eventually killed him in Roma, in 1821. He was only 24 years old. Their tragic, poetic, over-romantic love was the inspiration for Jane Campion’s beautiful movie, "Bright Star". And isn’t love always a bright star?

Dis mon coeur, dis-moi.

Friday, 1 April 2011 @08:20

"Tu es bien caché mon coeur
Là dans ton coin
Personne ne te voit
Bien sûr tu bats
Mais on ne t’atteint pas

Dis mon coeur dis-moi
La terreur
Les bérets
Les tanks
Tout ça ne t’atteint pas
Bien sûr il y a les bâlles
Mais mon coeur
Tu crois
Tu crois aux hors-la-loi
Leur sang coule en toi
Il brûle, il brûle
Comme le feu de la flamme
Et tes larmes mon coeur
Sont indignes de toi
Tu devrais bondir
Au lieu de pleurer"

(Nadia Guendouz)

Pleure pas, mon coeur.

Nadia Guendouz wrote this poem at the end of the '50s, in Algeria: but couldn't it apply to Libya today, Yemen, Syria? The title is "Les hors-la-loi": the outlaws.

Lisa Corva

Yes, I write. Yes, I believe in the magic of words. That’s why you’ll find me here, every Friday: Lisa “globish”!

I believe in the magic of words, and I believe Piazza Unità in Trieste, where I was born, is the most romantic square in the world. (And yes, it’s in Italy, proudly facing the sea). I love roses in every form. And, of course, I do love my blog, expecially now that I can carry it around on my iPhone.