Sunday, October 15, 2006


We also read Fernando Pessoa's "Autopsychographia" (translated by Edwin Honig) and the first verse of Shailendra's "Mera Joota Hai Japani" ("My shoes are Japanese"), from the 1955 film "Shree 420," directed by Raj Kapoor.

Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa was born in 1888 in Lisbon, Portugal, and died in 1935. He invented numerous "heteronyms" or pseudonyms, under which he wrote most of his poems.

Read the Wikipedia entry on Pessoa, which includes a translation of the first stanza of "Autopsychographia," here.

Shailendra was born in 1923 in Rawalpindi in what is now Pakistan. He moved to Bombay in 1947. An active participant in the freedom struggle, Shailendra wrote many anthemic poems, which ultimately drew the attention of the young film director, Raj Kapoor, who persuaded Shailendra to write lyrics for some of the songs in his films.

You can hear the song online here, and read about the film here and here.

"Autopsychographia," "Meera Joota Hai Japani," and Nicanor Parra's "The Individual's Soliloquy" (see post below) all offer different approaches to "identity," which we discussed in length during Friday's workshop.

Our assignment for the coming week is to write our own satirical poem (or other piece) taking identity as our subject, or our "object of satire."

As you finish these pieces, feel free to e-mail them to me at garypsullivan at gmail dot com if you would like me to post them on this blog under your name. This is purely optional! If you want, you can save your writing to discuss in class.

Meanwhile, please feel free to visit the links in this post and the post previous.


Anonymous lydia (workshopper? workshopee?) said...

thanks for your hard work, gary, in putting together such a thorough and culturally diverse site containing many links and sources for satire...

7:30 AM  

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