Category Archives: BOOKS

quotation: Of all the bewildering things about a new country, the absence of human landmarks is one of the most depressing and disheartening. Willa Cather (1873-1947)


Of all the bewildering things about a new country, the absence of human landmarks is one of the most depressing and disheartening.

Willa Cather (1873-1947) Discuss

quotation: George Eliot (1819-1880)


There is a sort of jealousy which needs very little fire; it is hardly a passion, but a blight bred in the cloudy, damp despondency of uneasy egoism.

George Eliot (1819-1880) Discuss

quotation: Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)


Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Discuss

quotation: Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose—a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye. Mary Shelle


Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose—a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.

Mary Shelley (1797-1851) Discuss

FRANKENSTEIN – Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – Unabridged Audiobook 1831 Edition – FabAudioBooks

quotation: Jane Austen


 One may be continually abusive without saying any thing just; but one cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty.

Jane Austen (1775-1817) Discuss

quotation: Agatha Christie


Who is there who has not felt a sudden startled pang at reliving an old experience or feeling an old emotion?

Agatha Christie (1890-1976) Discuss

Gotham City: DC Comics’ Batman character


 

Gotham City

Gotham City is a fictional city that is best known as the home of DC Comics’ Batman character. Gotham is known to be architecturally modeled after New York City, but with exaggerated elements and styles. Gotham also sometimes serves as a nickname for New York, and was first popularized as such by the author Washington Irving. What is Arkham Asylum? More… Discuss

Published on Apr 4, 2015

Cartoon Movie Batman works desperately to find a bomb planted by the Joker while Amanda Waller hires her newly formed Suicide Squad to break into Arkham Asylum to recover vital information stolen by the Riddler.
Best Cartoon Movies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE_eF…

 

Music with a voice, †’Adoramus te, Christe’ (Palestrina / Rosselli) †, great compositions/performances


†Adoramus te, Christe (Palestrina / Rosselli)

today’s birthday: Charlotte Brontë (1816)


Charlotte Brontë (1816)

The eldest of the three famous Brontë sisters whose novels have become standards of English literature, Charlotte Brontë is best known for penning Jane Eyre, the story of a governess who falls passionately in love with her employer. Ranked among the great English novels, it addresses women’s need for both love and independence. Considered the most professional of the sisters, Charlotte endeavored to achieve financial success from the family’s literary efforts. What were her other novels? More… Discuss

The Murders in the Rue Morgue (FULL Audiobook)


The Murders in the Rue Morgue (FULL Audiobook)

20th April, 1841: First detective story (Edgar Allen Poe’s “Murders in Rue Morgue”) is published. — ✍ Bibliophilia (@Libroantiguo)


quotation: Herman Melville


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.Herman Melville (1819-1891) Discuss

Science of Breath, by Yogi Ramacharaka, pseud. William Atkinson, [1904], at sacred-texts.com



Science of Breath, by Yogi Ramacharaka, pseud. William Atkinson, [1904], at sacred-texts.com


p. 8

Chapter II

“BREATH IS LIFE”

Life is absolutely dependent upon the act of breathing. “Breath is Life.”

Differ as they may upon details of theory and terminology, the Oriental and the Occidental agree upon these fundamental principles.

To breathe is to live, and without breath there is no life. Not only are the higher animals dependent upon breath for life and health, but even the lower forms of animal life must breathe to live, and plant life is likewise dependent upon the air for continued existence. The infant draws in a long, deep breath, retains it for a moment to extract from it its life-giving properties, and then exhales it in a long wail, and lo! its life upon earth has begun. The old man gives a faint gasp, ceases to breathe, and life is over. From the first faint breath of the infant to the last gasp of the dying man, it is one long story of continued breathing. Life is but a series of breaths.

Breathing may be considered the most important of all of the functions of the body, for, indeed, all the other functions depend upon it. Man may exist some time without eating; a shorter time without drinking; but without breathing his existence may be measured by a few minutes.

And not only is Man dependent upon Breath for life, but he is largely dependent upon correct habits of breathing for continued vitality and freedom from disease. An intelligent control of our breathing power will lengthen our days upon earth by giving us increased vitality and powers of resistance, and, on the

p. 9

other hand, unintelligent and careless breathing will tend to shorten our days, by decreasing our vitality and laying us open to disease.

Man in his normal state had no need of instruction in breathing. Like the lower animal and the child, he breathed naturally and properly, as nature intended him to do, but civilization has changed him in this and other respects. He has contracted improper methods and attitudes of walking, standing and sitting, which have robbed him of his birthright of natural and correct breathing. He has paid a high price for civilization. The savage, to-day, breathes naturally, unless he has been contaminated by the habits of civilized man.

The percentage of civilized men who breathe correctly is quite small, and the result is shown in contracted chests and stooping shoulders, and the terrible increase in diseases of the respiratory organs, including that dread monster, Consumption, “the white scourge.” Eminent authorities have stated that one generation of correct breathers would regenerate the race, and disease would be so rare as to be looked upon as a curiosity. Whether looked at from the standpoint of the Oriental or Occidental, the connection between correct breathing and health is readily seen and explained.

The Occidental teachings show that the physical health depends very materially upon correct breathing. The Oriental teachers not only admit that their Occidental brothers are right, but say that in addition to the physical benefit derived from correct habits of breathing, Man’s mental power, happiness, self-control, clear-sightedness, morals, and even his spiritual growth may be increased by an understanding of the

p. 10

“Science of Breath.” Whole schools of Oriental Philosophy have been founded upon this science, and this knowledge when grasped by the Western races, and by them put to the practical use which is their strong point, will work wonders among them. The theory of the East, wedded to the practice of the West, will produce worthy offspring.

This work will take up the Yogi “Science of Breath,” which includes not only all that is known to the Western physiologist and hygienist, but the occult side of the subject as well. It not only points out the way to physical health along the lines of what Western scientists have termed “deep breathing,” etc., but also goes into the less known phases of the subject, and shows how the Hindu Yogi controls his body, increasing his mental capacity, and develops the spiritual side of his nature by the “Science of Breath.”

The Yogi practices exercises by which he attains control of his body, and is enabled to send to any organ or part an increased flow of vital force or “prana,” thereby strengthening and invigorating the part or organ. He knows all that his Western scientific brother knows about the physiological effect of correct breathing, but he also knows that the air contains more than oxygen and hydrogen and nitrogen, and that something more is accomplished than the mere oxygenating of the blood. He knows something about “prana,” of which his Western brother is ignorant, and he is fully aware of the nature and manner of handling that great principle of energy, and is fully informed as to its effect upon the human body and mind. He knows that by rhythmical breathing one may bring himself into harmonious vibration with

p. 11

nature, and aid in the unfoldment of his latent powers. He knows that by controlled breathing he may not only cure disease in himself and others, but also practically do away with fear and worry and the baser emotions.

To teach these things is the object of this work. We will give in a few chapters concise explanation and instructions, which might be extended into volumes. We hope to awaken the minds of the Western world to the value of the Yogi “Science of Breath.”

One: Rabindranath Tagore – Gitanjali (a moving introduction by W.B. Yeats, a must read)


‘1
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life.
This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.
At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.
Thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine. Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill.
17

Rabindranath Tagore – Gitanjali (a moving introduction by W.B. Yeats, a must read)


Sacred-texts  Hinduism  Tagore


The Gitanjali or `song offerings’ by Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941), Nobel prize for literature 1913, with an introduction by William B. Yeats (1865–1939), Nobel prize for literature 1923. First published in 1913.

This work is in public domain according to the Berne convention since January 1st 1992.


RABINDRANATH TAGORE

GITANJALI

Song Offerings
A collection of prose translations
made by the author from
the original Bengali
With an introduction by
W. B. YEATS
to WILLIAM ROTHENSTEIN


INTRODUCTIONIA few days ago I said to a distinguished Bengali doctor of medicine, I know no German, yet if a translation of a German poet had moved me, I would go to the British Museum and find books in English that would tell me something of his life, and of the history of his thought. But though these prose translations from Rabindranath Tagore have stirred my blood as nothing has for years, I shall not know anything of his life, and of the movements of thought that have made them possible, if some Indian traveller will not tell me.' It seemed to him natural that I should be moved, for he said,I read Rabindranath every day, to read one line of his is to forget all the troubles of the world.’ I said, An Englishman living in London in the reign of Richard the Second had he been shown translations from Petrarch or from Dante, would have found no books to answer his questions, but would have questioned some Florentine banker or Lombard merchant as I question you. For all I know, so abundant and simple is this poetry, the new renaissance has been born in your country and I shall never know of it except by hearsay.' He answered,We have other poets, but none that are his equal; we call this the epoch of Rabindranath. No poet seems to me as famous in Europe as he is among us. He is as great in music as in poetry, and his songs are sung from the west of India into Burma wherever Bengali is spoken. He was already famous at nineteen when he wrote his first novel; and plays when he was but little older, are still played in Calcutta. I so much admire the completeness of his life; when he was very young he wrote much of natural objects, he would sit all day in his garden; from his twenty-fifth year or so to his thirty-fifth perhaps, when he had a great sorrow, he wrote the most beautiful love poetry in our language'; and then he said with deep emotion, words can never express what I owed at seventeen to his love poetry. After that his art grew deeper, it became religious and philosophical; all the inspiration of mankind are in his hymns. He is the first among our saints who has not refused to live, but has spoken out of Life itself, and that is why we give him our love.' I may have changed his well-chosen words in my memory but not his thought.A little while ago he was to read divine service in one of our churches—we of the Brahma Samaj use your word `church’ in English—it was the largest in Calcutta and not only was it crowded, but the streets were all but impassable because of the people.’

Other Indians came to see me and their reverence for this man sounded strange in our world, where we hide great and little things under the same veil of obvious comedy and half-serious depreciation. When we were making the cathedrals had we a like reverence for our great men? Every morning at three---I know, for I have seen it'---one said to me,he sits immovable in contemplation, and for two hours does not awake from his reverie upon the nature of God. His father, the Maha Rishi, would sometimes sit there all through the next day; once, upon a river, he fell into contemplation because of the beauty of the landscape, and the rowers waited for eight hours before they could continue their journey.’ He then told me of Mr. Tagore’s family and how for generations great men have come out of its cradles. Today,' he said,there are Gogonendranath and Abanindranath Tagore, who are artists; and Dwijendranath, Rabindranath’s brother, who is a great philosopher. The squirrels come from the boughs and climb on to his knees and the birds alight upon his hands.’ I notice in these men’s thought a sense of visible beauty and meaning as though they held that doctrine of Nietzsche that we must not believe in the moral or intellectual beauty which does not sooner or later impress itself upon physical things. I said, In the East you know how to keep a family illustrious. The other day the curator of a museum pointed out to me a little dark-skinned man who was arranging their Chinese prints and said, ``That is the hereditary connoisseur of the Mikado, he is the fourteenth of his family to hold the post.'' 'He answered,When Rabindranath was a boy he had all round him in his home literature and music.’ I thought of the abundance, of the simplicity of the poems, and said, In your country is there much propagandist writing, much criticism? We have to do so much, especially in my own country, that our minds gradually cease to be creative, and yet we cannot help it. If our life was not a continual warfare, we would not have taste, we would not know what is good, we would not find hearers and readers. Four-fifths of our energy is spent in the quarrel with bad taste, whether in our own minds or in the minds of others.'I understand,’ he replied, `we too have our propagandist writing. In the villages they recite long mythological poems adapted from the Sanskrit in the Middle Ages, and they often insert passages telling the people that they must do their duties.’


II
I have carried the manuscript of these translations about with me for days, reading it in railway trains, or on the top of omnibuses and in restaurants, and I have often had to close it lest some stranger would see how much it moved me. These lyrics—which are in the original, my Indians tell me, full of subtlety of rhythm, of untranslatable delicacies of colour, of metrical invention—display in their thought a world I have dreamed of all my live long. The work of a supreme culture, they yet appear as much the growth of the common soil as the grass and the rushes. A tradition, where poetry and religion are the same thing, has passed through the centuries, gathering from learned and unlearned metaphor and emotion, and carried back again to the multitude the thought of the scholar and of the noble. If the civilization of Bengal remains unbroken, if that common mind which—as one divines—runs through all, is not, as with us, broken into a dozen minds that know nothing of each other, something even of what is most subtle in these verses will have come, in a few generations, to the beggar on the roads. When there was but one mind in England, Chaucer wrote his Troilus and Cressida, and thought he had written to be read, or to be read out—for our time was coming on apace—he was sung by minstrels for a while. Rabindranath Tagore, like Chaucer’s forerunners, writes music for his words, and one understands at every moment that he is so abundant, so spontaneous, so daring in his passion, so full of surprise, because he is doing something which has never seemed strange, unnatural, or in need of defence. These verses will not lie in little well-printed books upon ladies’ tables, who turn the pages with indolent hands that they may sigh over a life without meaning, which is yet all they can know of life, or be carried by students at the university to be laid aside when the work of life begins, but, as the generations pass, travellers will hum them on the highway and men rowing upon the rivers. Lovers, while they await one another, shall find, in murmuring them, this love of God a magic gulf wherein their own more bitter passion may bathe and renew its youth. At every moment the heart of this poet flows outward to these without derogation or condescension, for it has known that they will understand; and it has filled itself with the circumstance of their lives. The traveller in the read-brown clothes that he wears that dust may not show upon him, the girl searching in her bed for the petals fallen from the wreath of her royal lover, the servant or the bride awaiting the master’s home-coming in the empty house, are images of the heart turning to God. Flowers and rivers, the blowing of conch shells, the heavy rain of the Indian July, or the moods of that heart in union or in separation; and a man sitting in a boat upon a river playing lute, like one of those figures full of mysterious meaning in a Chinese picture, is God Himself. A whole people, a whole civilization, immeasurably strange to us, seems to have been taken up into this imagination; and yet we are not moved because of its strangeness, but because we have met our own image, as though we had walked in Rossetti’s willow wood, or heard, perhaps for the first time in literature, our voice as in a dream.

Since the Renaissance the writing of European saints—however familiar their metaphor and the general structure of their thought—has ceased to hold our attention. We know that we must at last forsake the world, and we are accustomed in moments of weariness or exaltation to consider a voluntary forsaking; but how can we, who have read so much poetry, seen so many paintings, listened to so much music, where the cry of the flesh and the cry of the soul seems one, forsake it harshly and rudely? What have we in common with St. Bernard covering his eyes that they may not dwell upon the beauty of the lakes of Switzerland, or with the violent rhetoric of the Book of Revelations? We would, if we might, find, as in this book, words full of courtesy. I have got my leave. Bid me farewell, my brothers! I bow to you all and take my departure. Here I give back the keys of my door---and I give up all claims to my house. I only ask for last kind words from you. We were neighbours for long, but I received more than I could give. Now the day has dawned and the lamp that lit my dark corner is out. A summons has come and I am ready for my journey.' And it is our own mood, when it is furthest froma Kempis or John of the Cross, that cries, And because I love this life, I know I shall love death as well.' Yet it is not only in our thoughts of the parting that this book fathoms all. We had not known that we loved God, hardly it may be that we believed in Him; yet looking backward upon our life we discover, in our exploration of the pathways of woods, in our delight in the lonely places of hills, in that mysterious claim that we have made, unavailingly on the woman that we have loved, the emotion that created this insidious sweetness.Entering my heart unbidden even as one of the common crowd, unknown to me, my king, thou didst press the signet of eternity upon many a fleeting moment.’ This is no longer the sanctity of the cell and of the scourge; being but a lifting up, as it were, into a greater intensity of the mood of the painter, painting the dust and the sunlight, and we go for a like voice to St. Francis and to William Blake who have seemed so alien in our violent history.


III

We write long books where no page perhaps has any quality to make writing a pleasure, being confident in some general design, just as we fight and make money and fill our heads with politics—all dull things in the doing—while Mr. Tagore, like the Indian civilization itself, has been content to discover the soul and surrender himself to its spontaneity. He often seems to contrast life with that of those who have loved more after our fashion, and have more seeming weight in the world, and always humbly as though he were only sure his way is best for him: Men going home glance at me and smile and fill me with shame. I sit like a beggar maid, drawing my skirt over my face, and when they ask me, what it is I want, I drop my eyes and answer them not.' At another time, remembering how his life had once a different shape, he will say,Many an hour I have spent in the strife of the good and the evil, but now it is the pleasure of my playmate of the empty days to draw my heart on to him; and I know not why this sudden call to what useless inconsequence.’ An innocence, a simplicity that one does not find elsewhere in literature makes the birds and the leaves seem as near to him as they are near to children, and the changes of the seasons great events as before our thoughts had arisen between them and us. At times I wonder if he has it from the literature of Bengal or from religion, and at other times, remembering the birds alighting on his brother’s hands, I find pleasure in thinking it hereditary, a mystery that was growing through the centuries like the courtesy of a Tristan or a Pelanore. Indeed, when he is speaking of children, so much a part of himself this quality seems, one is not certain that he is not also speaking of the saints, `They build their houses with sand and they play with empty shells. With withered leaves they weave their boats and smilingly float them on the vast deep. Children have their play on the seashore of worlds. They know not how to swim, they know not how to cast nets. Pearl fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in their ships, while children gather pebbles and scatter them again. They seek not for hidden treasures, they know not how to cast nets.’

W.B. YEATS September 1912

GITANJALI


1
Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life.

This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.

At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.

Thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine. Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill.


When thou commandest me to sing it seems that my heart would break with pride; and I look to thy face, and tears come to my eyes.

All that is harsh and dissonant in my life melts into one sweet harmony—and my adoration spreads wings like a glad bird on its flight across the sea.

I know thou takest pleasure in my singing. I know that only as a singer I come before thy presence.

I touch by the edge of the far-spreading wing of my song thy feet which I could never aspire to reach.

Drunk with the joy of singing I forget myself and call thee friend who art my lord.


Continue reading

quotation: Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis. Ralph Waldo Emerson (listening to two audiobooks here at EUZICASA)


Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Discuss

 

Free Audiobook: Ralph Waldo Emerson Self Reliance

quotation:, Argument, as usually managed, is the worst sort of conversation., Jonathan Swift


Argument, as usually managed, is the worst sort of conversation.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) Discuss

Fifty Three-(‘Beautiful is thy wristlet,…’), Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali (from Collection of Indian Poems)


53
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Beautiful is thy wristlet, decked with stars and cunningly wrought in myriad-coloured jewels. But more beautiful to me thy sword with its curve of lightning like the outspread wings of the divine bird of Vishnu, perfectly poised in the angry red light of the sunset.
It quivers like the one last response of life in ecstasy of pain at the final stroke of death; it shines like the pure flame of being burning up earthly sense with one fierce flash.
Beautiful is thy wristlet, decked with starry gems; but thy sword, O lord of thunder, is wrought with uttermost beauty, terrible to behold or to think of.

Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali
(from Collection of Indian Poems)

Lazybones by Pablo Neruda (Selected Poems) (‘They will continue wandering,…I have no wish to change my planet…’)


Lazybones by Pablo Neruda

They will continue wandering,
these things of steel among the stars,
and weary men will still go up
to brutalize the placid moon.
There, they will found their pharmacies.

In this time of the swollen grape,
the wine begins to come to life
between the sea and the mountain ranges.

In Chile now, cherries are dancing,
the dark mysterious girls are singing,
and in guitars, water is shining.
The sun is touching every door
and making wonder of the wheat.

The first wine is pink in colour,
is sweet with the sweetness of a child,
the second wine is able-bodied,
strong like the voice of a sailor,
the third wine is a topaz, is
a poppy and a fire in one.

My house has both the sea and the earth,
my woman has great eyes
the colour of wild hazelnut,
when night comes down, the sea
puts on a dress of white and green,
and later the moon in the spindrift foam
dreams like a sea-green girl.

I have no wish to change my planet.

[A.R.]
379

quotation: Always desire to learn something useful. Sophocles (496 BC-406 BC)


Always desire to learn something useful.

Sophocles (496 BC-406 BC) Discuss

quotation: ‘…Any coward can fight a battle when he’s sure of winning, but…’ George Eliot


Any coward can fight a battle when he’s sure of winning, but give me the man who has pluck to fight when he’s sure of losing.

George Eliot (1819-1880) Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language Published (1755)


Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language Published (1755)

Written by literary scholar Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language was the first comprehensive English lexicographical work ever undertaken and is among the most influential dictionaries in the history of the English language. Remarkably, Johnson completed the work nearly single-handedly over a period of nine years. Unlike most modern lexicographers, he introduced humor into a number of his more than 42,000 definitions. What are some examples? More… Discuss

quotation: “Look now how mortals are blaming the gods,…”) Homer (900 BC-800 BC)


Look now how mortals are blaming the gods, for they say that evils come from us, but in fact they themselves have woes beyond their share because of their own follies.

Homer (900 BC-800 BC) Discuss

today’s birthday: Tom Clancy (1947)


Tom Clancy (1947)

Before beginning his writing career, American novelist Tom Clancy worked as an insurance agent. His first novel was the hit The Hunt for Red October, one of the defining works of the “techno-thriller” genre—suspenseful narratives in which military technology and espionage play a prominent part. He has 17 other bestsellers to his name, including Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, the latter the bestselling novel of the 1980s. What are some of his nonfiction titles? More… Discuss

quotation: All virtue is summed up in dealing justly. Aristotle


All virtue is summed up in dealing justly.

Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) Discuss

today’s birthday: Christopher Smart (1722)


Christopher Smart (1722)

A Cambridge graduate, Smart settled in London and pursued a literary career—writing poetry, editing a humorous magazine, and producing plays. His two best known works are A Song to David, an inspirational piece rife with superb imagery, and Jubilate Agno, an idiosyncratic and often anthologized paean to his cat, Jeoffry, that only survives in fragments. Both were written while he was confined in an asylum for a religious mania. What unconventional pseudonym did he sometimes use? More… Discuss

The Little Mermaid


The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid is a fairy tale by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid who is willing to give up everything to gain the love of a prince and an eternal soul. The story has been adapted into numerous films, TV series, an opera, and a ballet. Who served as the model for the famed Little Mermaid statue that sits on a rock in the Copenhagen harbor? More… Discuss

quotation: None love the messenger who brings bad news. Sophocles (496 BC-406 BC)


I well believe it, to unwilling ears; None love the messenger who brings bad news.

Sophocles (496 BC-406 BC) Discuss

quotation: When writing about transcendental issues, be transcendentally clear. Rene Descartes


When writing about transcendental issues, be transcendentally clear.Rene Descartes (1596-1650) Discuss

Pablo Neruda – Always (…’I am not jealous of what came before me.’…)


Pablo Neruda – Always

I am not jealous
of what came before me.
Come with a man
on your shoulders,
come with a hundred men in your hair,
come with a thousand men between your breasts and your feet,
come like a river
full of drowned men
which flows down to the wild sea,
to the eternal surf, to Time!

Bring them all
to where I am waiting for you;
we shall always be alone,
we shall always be you and I
alone on earth
to start our life!
********************************************

forever poems: HOUSE Poem by Pablo Neruda (…’and stone I was, stone shall be, and for this caress this stone which has not died for me’…)


House Poem by Pablo Neruda

Perhaps this is the house in which I lived
when neither I, nor earth, existed,
 when everything was moon, or stone, or shadow,
 with the still light unborn.
This stone could then have been
 my house, my windows, or my eyes.
This granite rose recalls
 something that lived in me, or I in it,
a cave, a universe of dreams inside the skull:
 cup or castle, boat or birth.
I touch the rock’s tenacious thrust,
its bulwark pounded in the brine
and I know that flaws of mine subsisted here,
wrinkled substances that surfaced
from the depths into my soul,
and stone I was, stone shall be, and for this
caress this stone which has not died for me:
it’s what I was, and shall be – the tranquility
of struggle stretched beyond the brink of time.

The Dictators Poem by Pablo Neruda


poet Pablo Neruda

The Dictators Poem by Pablo Neruda

An odor has remained among the sugarcane:
a mixture of blood and body, a penetrating
petal that brings nausea.
Between the coconut palms the graves are full
of ruined bones, of speechless death-rattles.
The delicate dictator is talking
with top hats, gold braid, and collars.
The tiny palace gleams like a watch
and the rapid laughs with gloves on
cross the corridors at times
and join the dead voices
and the blue mouths freshly buried.
The weeping cannot be seen, like a plant
whose seeds fall endlessly on the earth,
whose large blind leaves grow even without light.
Hatred has grown scale on scale,
blow on blow, in the ghastly water of the swamp,
with a snout full of ooze and silence

quotation: Virginia Woolf


One likes people much better when they’re battered down by a prodigious siege of misfortune than when they triumph.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) Discuss

quotation: In her face excuse Came prologue, and apology too prompt. John Milton


In her face excuse

Came prologue, and apology too prompt.

John Milton (1608-1674) Discuss

quotation: If man had created man, he would be ashamed of his performance. Mark Twain


If man had created man, he would be ashamed of his performance.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) Discuss

quotation: Very few of us are what we seem. Agatha Christie (audiobook_Evil Under the Sun Reading by David Suchet)


Very few of us are what we seem.

Agatha Christie (1890-1976) Discuss

 

You can select audiobooks to listen to, of movies available on YouTubeLet’s listen to the “Evil under the Sun”:

Evil Under The Sun Audiobook Full By Agatha Christie

today’s birthday: Antoine Galland (1646)


Antoine Galland (1646)

Antoine Galland was a French scholar famed as the first European translator of The Thousand and One Nights. After translating The Tale of Sindbad the Sailor into French in 1701, he embarked on a translation of a 14th-century Syrian manuscript of the tales, filling 12 volumes. Still, mystery surrounds the origins of some of the most famous tales. No Arabic manuscripts of Aladdin and Ali Baba pre-date Galland’s translations, leading some scholars to conclude what? More… Discuss

quotation: Charlotte Bronte


There’s no use in weeping,

Though we are condemned to part:

There’s such a thing as keeping

A remembrance in one’s heart…

Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) Discuss

quotation: And come he slow, or come he fast, It is but death who comes at last. Sir Walter Scott


And come he slow, or come he fast,

It is but death who comes at last.

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) Discuss

quotation: Agatha Christie


It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.

Agatha Christie (1890-1976) Discuss

today’s birthday: René Descartes (1596)


René Descartes (1596)

René Descartes was a French mathematician, scientist, and philosopher who is considered the father of modern philosophy. Aiming to apply the rigor of mathematics to all fields of human knowledge, Descartes discards the authoritarian system of the scholastics and begins with universal doubt. His methodology was a major influence in the transition from medieval science and philosophy to the modern era. What is thought to be the meaning of his most famous statement, “Cogito ergo sum”? More… Discuss

quotation: If you would grow great and stately, You must try to walk sedately. Robert Louis Stevenson


If you would grow great and stately,

You must try to walk sedately.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) Discuss

quotation: One man’s ways may be as good as another’s, but we all like our own best. Jane Austen


One man’s waysmay be as good as another’s, but we all like our own best.Jane Austen (1775-1817) Discuss

today’s holiday: Teachers’ Day in the Czech Republic (birthday of Jan Amos Komensky)


Teachers’ Day in the Czech Republic

March 28 is the birthday of Jan Amos Komensky (or John Comenius; 1592-1670), a noted educational reformer and theologian in the former Czechoslovakia. Komensky was the first person to write an illustrated textbook for children, used for teaching Latin words; he was also a proponent of compulsory education. It has been traditional for children to honor him on Teachers’ Day, or Komensky Day, by bringing flowers and gifts to their teachers. The day is also observed with lectures, music, and educational activities. More… Discuss

happy birthday Gorky — “The Devil” a LibriVox audiobooks


Maxim Gorky — The Devil {audiobook}

today’s birthday: Maxim Gorky (1868)


Maxim Gorky (1868)

Maxim Gorky was the pseudonym of Aleksey Maximovich Pyeshkov, a Russian writer considered the father of Soviet literature and the founder of the doctrine of socialist realism. Gorky’s works include Mother, which became the prototype of the revolutionary novel, and his final, unfinished work—often considered his masterpiece—The Life of Klim Samgin, a panoramic, four-volume novel of Russian social conditions from 1880 to 1917. Who carried Gorky’s casket at his funeral? More… Discuss

quotation: The more thou stir it, the worse it will be. Miguel de Cervantes


The more thou stir it, the worse it will be.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) Discuss

quotation: Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. Jane Austen


Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.

Jane Austen (1775-1817) Discuss

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – The Gulag Archipelago – AudioBook – Part 1-7 playlist


Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – The Gulag Archipelago – AudioBook – Part 1-7 playlist

Gulag


Gulag

The Gulag was a system of forced-labor prison camps in the USSR, from the Russian acronym for the Main Directorate of Corrective Labor Camps, a department of the Soviet secret police. It was first established under Lenin during the early Bolshevik years and ultimately included 476 camp complexes. The system reached its peak after 1928 under Stalin, who used it to maintain the Soviet state by keeping its populace in a state of terror. Whose book publicized the gulag system to the Western world? More… Discuss