lunes, 13 de julio de 2015

"El Cuervo," as black in Spanish as in English

         There is a strangely dramatic mood to Edgar Allan Poe´s “The Raven.” It is midnight. The protagonist is reading. “Once upon a midnight dreary, as I pondered weak and weary over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, while I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door…”
           Who could be calling at this time of night? The knock comes again. He is possessed by a strange apprehension.
          Finally he gets up courage and opens the window. An elegant ebony black raven flies in. That sets off a dialogue that builds in terror and includes the man’s lament on the death of his beloved, Lenore.
     Alfred Hopkins will transform Poe´s poem into a solo performance Sunday August 16th at 6pm at the Damero theater, 506 Dean Funes street, Buenos Aires. Before the show spectators, poets or writers will be invited to read their own verses or those of their favorite authors.
At the conclusion of the event, Hopkins will announce this year´s theater workshop, which will get underway the following Saturday from 2:30 to 5pm at the Damero theater and will continue till the end of the year. We will be limbering up the expressive potential of body and creativity, working on poems and transforming experiences into dramatic skits.

The script is at In facebook: The Hopkins Theater in English Workshop/ yo tambien hago teatro con Alfred Hopkins / stage and screen. Mail:  Mail at the theater:

Hay algo esencialmente teatral en la poesía "El Cuervo" de Edgar Allan Poe. A media noche un hombre intenta consolar el sueño leyendo antiguas leyendas, cuando de repente escucha un sonido extraño. ¿Una visita a esta hora? ¿Un extraño? Le produce cierta aprensión, pero no presta mucha atención a hecho. Otra vez y es como si alguien estuviera tocando la puerta. De a poco se anima a investigar: abre la ventana y entra un elegante cuervo, más negro que la noche. De ahí en más la situación se complica por los intentos de diálogo entre el hombre y el cuervo, con el trasfondo de la muerte de la frágil amada del protagonista. 

El actor Alfred Hopkins transformará la poesía en un espectáculo unipersonal el Domingo 16 de agosto a las 18 horas en el Damero Teatro, Dean Funes 506, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires. Pero antes del espectáculo se convocará a los espectadores, poetas o escritores que así lo desean a subir al escenario y hacer lectura de versos propios o poesías de autor.

       Al finalizar el evento se anunciará el inicio de un taller de teatro en inglés, conducido por el Sr. Hopkins, que funcionará en la misma sala los sábados desde las 14:30 hasta las 17 horas, a partir del sábado 22. No hay requisitos previos, excepto un conocimiento mínimo de inglés hablado. Se trabajará en la liberación expresiva del cuerpo y la imaginación y juegos teatrales hasta fines de año. El tema: poesías y experiencias propias, enfatizando el trabajo del actor con la imagen.

     El texto y más información: En Facebook: yo también hago teatro con Alfred Hopkins / the Hopkins Theater in English Workshop. Mail: Mail del Damero Teatro:

martes, 7 de julio de 2015

"The Raven," by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
            Only this and nothing more.”

    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
            Nameless here for evermore.

    And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
    “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
            This it is and nothing more.”

    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
            Darkness there and nothing more.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
            Merely this and nothing more.

    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
    “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
      Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
            ’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
            Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
    For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
    Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
            With such name as “Nevermore.”

    But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
    Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
    Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
            Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

    Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
            Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

    But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
    Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
            Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

    This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
    This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
    On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
            She shall press, ah, nevermore!

    Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
    “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
    Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
    Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
    On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
    Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
    It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
    Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
            Shall be lifted—nevermore!

domingo, 5 de julio de 2015

The Raven wants to do theater!

       There is something strongly theatrical in Edgar A. Poe´s "The Raven," about a man sitting alone late at night "...while I ponered weak and weary over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore..." Poe´s "theory of composition" stresses the mood, the image, the effect that the author wants to create. Likewise, the actor must deal with the same elements. The mood conditions the body of the actor. Images are essential to bring to life what is expressed in the script. Suppose you are the man in Poe´s poem. You have to "see" him slumped over his books, "hear" the raven say "nevermore." 
        This year the theater workshop will begin with a performance of Poe´s dramatic poem--Sunday, August 9th at 6pm at the "El Damero" theater, Dean Funes 506, near the Spanish hospital in Buenos Aires. Before the performance we will invite spectators, poets, writers and those interested in participating in the theater workshop to read or recite their own poems or verses by authors.
        The workshop will get underway the following Saturday from 2:30 to 5 pm at the same theater, a wonderful playhouse with perfect acustics. An alternative schedule: Mondays from 7:30 to 10pm. We will work until the end of the year liberating body and voice from stiffness, thus preparing the way for entering into the fascinating world of creativity. We will be working on poems, short skits of our own creation or stories.
        If you are interested in participating in the workshop, contact us at
        Thank you!