Archive for November, 2008

Annecy – France, originally uploaded by F.lopes´s Album.

“Alfredo: Once upon a time, a king gave a feast. And there came the most beautiful princesses of the realm. Now, a soldier, who was standing guard, saw the king’s daughter go by. She was the most beautiful one, and he immediately fell in love with her. But what could a poor soldier do when it came to the daughter of the king? Well, finally, one day, he managed to meet her, and he told her that he could no longer live without her.

The princess was so impressed by his strong feelings that she said to the soldier: “If you can wait 100 days and 100 nights under my balcony, then at the end of it, I shall be yours.” Damn! The soldier immediately went there and waited one day. And two days. And ten. And then twenty. And every evening, the princess looked out of her window, but he never moved. During rain, during wind, during snow, he was always there. The bird shat on his head, and the bees stung him, but he didn’t budge. After ninety nights, he had become all dried up, all white, and the tears streamed from his eyes. He couldn’t hold them back. He no longer had the strength to sleep. All that time, the princess watched him. And on the 99th night, the soldier stood up, took his chair, and went away.

Salvatore: [later in the film, Toto gives Alfredo his interpretation] … In one more night, the princess would have been his. But she also could not possibly have kept her promise. And it would have been terrible. He would have died. This way, however, at least for 99 days, he was living under the illusion that she was there, waiting for him.”

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“He stood still in the middle of the roadway, his heart clamouring against his bosom in a tumult. A young woman dressed in a long pink gown laid her hand on his arm to detain him and gazed into his face. She said gaily:

—Good night, Willie dear!

Her room was warm and lightsome. A huge doll sat with her legs apart in the copious easy-chair beside the bed. He tried to bid his tongue speak that he might seem at ease, watching her as she undid her gown, noting the proud conscious movements of her perfumed head.
As he stood silent in the middle of the room she came over to him and embraced him gaily and gravely. Her round arms held him firmly to her and he, seeing her face lifted to him in serious calm and feeling the warm calm rise and fall of her breast, all but burst into hysterical weeping. Tears of joy and relief shone in his delighted eyes and his lips parted though they would not speak.
She passed her tinkling hand through his hair, calling him a little rascal.

—Give me a kiss, she said.

His lips would not bend to kiss her. He wanted to be held firmly in her arms, to be caressed slowly, slowly, slowly. In her arms he felt that he had suddenly become strong and fearless and sure of himself. But his lips would not bend to kiss her.

With a sudden movement she bowed his head and joined her lips to his and he read the meaning of her movements in her frank uplifted eyes. It was too much for him. He closed his eyes, surrendering himself to her, body and mind, conscious of nothing in the world but the dark pressure of her softly parting lips. They pressed upon his brain as upon his lips as though they were the vehicle of a vague speech; and between them he felt an unknown and timid pressure, darker than the swoon of sin, softer than sound or odour.”

-complete text here

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12 roses for Balqis

Black and blue, originally uploaded by lant_70.

1.I knew that she would be killed
and she knew that I would be killed
both prophecies came true
she fell, like a butterfly, beneath the rubble of (the Age of
and I fell … between the fangs of an age
that devoured poems
the eyes of women and the rose of freedom

2.I knew that she would be killed
she was beautiful in an age that was ugly
pure in an age that was contaminated
noble in the age of hoodlums
She was a rare pearl
amidst the piles of artificial pearls
a unique woman amidst the stacks of artificial women

3. I knew that she would be killed
because her eyes were clear as two emerald rivers

and her hair was long as a mawwal of Baghdad
the nerves of this homeland
cannot bear the density of green
cannot bear the sight of a million palm trees
gathering in Balqis’s eyes.

4. I knew that she would be killed
for the compass of her pride was greater than the compass of the
Peninsula Her heritage did not permit her
to live in the age of decadence
her luminary nature
did not permit her to live in the dark

5. In the intensity of her pride
she believed that the earth was too small for her
so she packed her suitcases
and withdrew on tiptoes without telling a soul…

6.She was not afraid that the homeland would kill her
but she was afraid that the homeland
would kill itself

7. Like a cloud laden with poetry
she rained over my notebooks
wine…honey…and sparrows
red rubies
and sprinkled across my feelings
sails…and birds
and jasmine moons
After her departure
the age of thirst began
the age of water came to an end

8. I always felt that she was leaving
In her eyes, there were always sails
being made for departure
airplanes crouching on her lashes
preparing to take off..
In her hand bag-ever since I married her –
there was a passport… and an airplane ticket
visas to enter countries she had never visited
When I used to ask her
And why do you have all these documents in your handbag?
She would answer:
because I have a date with a rainbow

9. After they handed me her handbag
which they found under the rubble
and I saw her passport
the airplane ticket
the entry visas
I knew that I had not married Balquis Al-Rawi
but had married a rainbow…

10. When a beautiful women dies
the earth loses its balance
the moon declares mourning for a hundred years
and poetry becomes unemployed

11. Balqis Al-Rawi
Balqis Al-Rawi
Balqis Al-Rawi
I used to love the cadence of her name
hold on to its ring
I used to fear attaching my name to it
in case I muddied the waters of the lake
and disfigured the beauty of the symphony

12. It was not for this woman to live any longer
not did she wish to live any longer
she is akin to the candles and lanterns and like the poetic moment she
needs to explode before the last line……

-Nizar Qabbani

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A Prayer

Come, give, yield all your strength to me!
From far a low word breathes on the breaking brain
Its cruel calm, submission’s misery,
Gentling her awe as to a soul predestined.
Cease, silent love! My doom!

Blind me with your dark nearness, O have mercy, beloved enemy of my will!
I dare not withstand the cold touch that I dread.
Draw from me still
My slow life! Bend deeper on me, threatening head,
Proud by my downfall, remembering, pitying
Him who is, him who was!

Together, folded by the night, they lay on earth. I hear
From far her low word breathe on my breaking brain.
Come! I yield. Bend deeper upon me! I am here.
Subduer, do not leave me! Only joy, only anguish,
Take me, save me, soothe me, O spare me!

-James Joyce

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somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look will easily unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

– E.E. Cummings

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