“Writing is a struggle against silence.”—Carlos Fuentes
Posts Tagged ‘Literature’
As you can see in the picture above, the predominant color is blue, as in the blue of the sky and the blue of the ocean. Color is one of the main elements in the composition of any decent photograph worthwhile placing your eye balls on, as well as pattern, tone, volume, shape, lines, and lighting among many others.
Blue is also a great topic to address in a brilliant poem such as “Blue” written by Robert L. Jones. Images and text can sometimes create powerful mental impressions. Good Day.
By Robert L. Jones
I have seen enough blue-green
for one day. My eyes are tired
of peering at the busy speckled lines
the lasered surface throws back.
Outside, the light falls
in jagged needles through raveled air.
The world is gray.
From up there, it’s blue,
the tiny water world, where life
climbed into the air and turned green,
maybe from envy that it’s not
somewhere else. It’s not easy, being
this way. It’s impossible to rest
with that great light going on
and off always in the same place,
knowing that it’s necessary,
unless you want to turn
white, in icy quiet,
against the black still motion
of the tattered specks of stars.
It’s enough to send you running
ragged, back to the sea.
Down there it’s blue, too,
the color of deep water
when at eighty feet there’s no bottom
and no sides to choose. Suspended,
up-ended, you have no sense
of proportion, lose perspective.
There’s only drifting with the flow,
until your bubbles rip a seam
upward showing you where
you have to go—back to the green,
and then the yellow and the red,
measured out in time for you
to find, until you reach
white, and you’ve got it all.
All is too much to see.
We must have shades.
The separation of the light
exists somewhere in particles,
torn into fragmentary bits to play,
scattered like the fall leaves,
but moving in waves—hello, goodbye—
on a collision course with white,
and black, and gray.
The green of life requires blue,
not too deep or too intense,
just a line of blue-green held in mind,
to knit tatters of shrouded days,
tint the darkness,
and relieve the time of glare.
Once in a while
you know where it belongs,
in the order of the sharp-edged
double bow I saw this morning,
cutting its way into gray memory
to even up the edges
of the ragged clouds.
Source: Poetry (January 2000)
Posted in Photography, tagged Don Quixote, Literature, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Panama, Photograph, Photography, Sancho Panza, Sculpture, Statues, Tourism, University of Panama, William Shakespeare on May 22, 2013 | 2 Comments »
His magnum literary work, Don Quixote, considered to be the first modern European novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written.
His influence on the Spanish language has been so great that the language is often called la lengua de Cervantes (“the language of Cervantes”). He was dubbed El Príncipe de los Ingenios (“The Prince of Wits”).
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra is to the Spanish language, what William Shakespeare is to the English language. Good Day.
Posted in Literature, Miscellaneous, tagged Athens, British Museum, Elgin's Marbles, George Gordon Byron, Greek Art, History, Literature, Parthenon, Poet, Sculptures, Thomas Bruce on March 27, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
The Elgin Marbles are a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures, inscriptions and architectural members that originally were part of the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens. Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin obtained a controversial permit from the Ottoman authorities to remove pieces from the Parthenon while serving as the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1799 to 1803.
From 1801 to 1812, Elgin’s agents removed about half of the surviving sculptures of the Parthenon, as well as architectural members and sculpture from the Propylaea and Erechtheum. The Marbles were transported by sea to Britain. In Britain, the acquisition of the collection was supported by some, while some critics compared Elgin’s actions to vandalism or looting.
Following a public debate in Parliament and subsequent exoneration of Elgin’s actions, the marbles were purchased by the British government in 1816 and placed on display in the British Museum, where they stand now on view in the purpose-built Duveen Gallery. The debate continues as to whether the Marbles should remain in the British Museum or be returned to Athens.
To contemn this act of artistic desecration, Lord George Gordon Byron, describes the vandalism of the Parthenon’s marbles in his literary work, Child Harold’s Pilgramage, in the following manner.
“But who, of all the plunderers of yon Fane
On high— where Pallas linger’d, loth to flee
The latest relic of her ancient reign—
The last, the worst, dull spoiler, who was he?
Blush, Caledonia! such thy son could be!
England! I joy no child he was of thine:
Thy free-born men should spare what once was free;
Yet they could violate each saddening shrine,
And hear these altars o’er the long-reluctant brine.”
”Cold is the heart, fair Greece! that looks on Thee,
Nor feels as Lovers o’er the dust they loved;
Dull is the eye that will not weep to see
Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines removed
By British hands, which it had best behoved
To guard those relics ne’er to be restored:—
Curst be the hour when from their isle they roved,
And once again thy hapless bosom gored,
And snatched thy shrinking Gods to Northern climes abhorred!”
George Gordon, Lord Byron’s epic poem, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, takes the hero through the Straits of Gibraltar and across the Mediterranean past Italy to Albania and Greece. It begins with Byron in Athens on the Acropolis, the sacred hill in the center of Athens, site of the Parthenon, temple of Athena, patron God of the city. In this poem Byron criticizes the taking of the Parthenon Frieze (The “Elgin Marbles”) to Britain.
I know not when, but at the end of the day, justice will prevail and the Parthenon’s marbles will once again embellish the most beautiful temple built in the history of Western civilization. Pericles will dance in his grave when this happens. Good Day.
“Running out the back door, wanting eyes and curly hair.
Searching for the shadows that somehow dance in the sunlight.
Looking for the breeze that will take me farther than my eyes can see.
The wind seem to know how to sing songs.
Whistling hymns through their branches and hum melodies with their leaves.
Every breath in Nature’s lungs is such a gift to me.
The more I dance in Nature’s arms, the more I crave to touch.
The way the brook steadies itself down the winding path.
Not knowing what is around each bend, it smiles and quickly passed.
I’ve watched the fields of grain bend in the wind storms and waltzes in the rain.
Felt the tickle of meadow grass slip slowly past my palm,
and dance along my fingertips, leaving traces of the dawn.
Swirls of white winter snow sweeping through the trees.
The cold cruising into the soul of life, and yet,
the sun still shines and the song birds still sing.
It’s been my greatest teacher, Nature, with her lessons on life.
People seem to come and go, no matter how hard you pray for them to stay.
Nature is my best friend. She’ll never run away.
The more I dance in Nature’s arms, the more I crave her touch.”
By: Kiesha Crowther
“We need a renaissance of wonder. We need to renew, in our hearts and in our souls, the deathless dream, the eternal poetry, the perennial sense that life is miracle and magic.”—E. Merrill Root
Posted in Literature, Miscellaneous, tagged Buildings, Cities, Growth, Herman Melville, Literature, Metropolis, Moby Dick, Prophet Jonah, Towers, Urban Development, Whales on February 10, 2013 | 4 Comments »
When I moved to my current home in July, 1980 the place was on the outskirts of the city, just over five miles from downtown. The area was sparsely populated and traffic to our house was almost nonexistent. The brief drive to work was less than fifteen minutes. Now it takes more than two hours to reach downtown Panama.
Thirty years later, the landscape has changed considerably. For the last two decades the city has been expanding rapidly and towers are sprouting like forest mushrooms.
We are currently experiencing every large city’s hallmarks; never-ending traffic, blaring ambulances and police cars sirens, and blaring car horns. The cacophony of the urban noises is definitely deafening to our ears. It will get worse as “progress” continues its path where we live. Gone are the days of quietness and serenity.
In a little more than three decades we have been devoured by the city. I have mixed feelings about urban development in Panama. On one hand hand, it’s good to have abundant jobs for construction workers, more taxes are streaming towards the public coffers, and the wheels of abundance are moving forward. That’s well and good.
On the other hand, you have bumper-to-bumper traffic, deafening noise pollution, and a glass, steel and cement jungle asphyxiating you. I’m increasingly feeling like the biblical prophet Jonah inside the belly of the whale.
“But God is everywhere; Tarshish he never reached. As we have seen, God came upon him in the whale, and swallowed him down to living gulfs of doom, and with swift slanting tore him along, ‘into the midst of the seas,’ where the eddying depths sucked him ten thousand fathoms down, and ‘the weeds were wrapped about his head,’ and all the watery world of woe bowled over him.
Yet even then beyond the reach of any plummet—’out of the belly of hell’—when the whale grounded upon the ocean’s utmost bones, even then, God heard the engulphed, repenting prophet when he cried. Then God spake unto the fish; and from the shuddering cold and blackness of the sea, the whale came breeching up towards the warm and pleasant sun, and all the delights of air and earth; and ‘vomited out Jonah upon the dry land;’ when the word of the Lord came a second time; and Jonah, bruised and beaten—his ears, like two sea-shells, still multitudinously murmuring of the ocean—Jonah did the Almighty’s bidding. And what was that, shipmates? To preach the Truth to the face of Falsehood! That was it!” (Moby Dick: or, The White Whale—Herman Melville)
As the saying goes, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” True, modernization is taking place in Panama City, but we are paying the high price of losing our innocence of peacefulness and quietness. The city is relentless in its indomitable growth. Good Day.
I didn’t believe in purple cows before reading Linda Leinen’s blog post about this strange animal. I thought it was only a literary illusion. “There are no purple cows”, I said to myself when I first read Linda’s post dubbed, “Purpose Cows on Parade” on her exquisite blog The Task at Hand.
Her well written piece of literary work started with a cute poem written by Gelett Burgess:
“I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one.
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.”
Then she went on and commented that it was possible to find a cow with that particular color if you looked hard enough at the pastures of Texas among Herefords, Angus and Guernseys cows.
‘Unlike Burgess, I never tired of ‘The Purple Cow’. I quoted it with abandon, and if my parents tired of my recitations, they never let on. As time passed, I became convinced that somewhere, in some verdant field among the Herefords, Angus and Guernseys, a Purple Cow was grazing. I intended to find it.”
She even wrote a witty poem about the possibility of finding the elusive purple cow somewhere on the verdant fields of Texas, or maybe beyond the great state with the lone star.
“I’ve not yet seen those Purple Cows,
but now I’ve grown more wise.
They won’t be hidden – not at all! -
if we open up our eyes.”
Then she commented again about the real existence of purple cows:
“I suppose to one degree or another we’re all Horatios – our vision imperfect, our grasp of the world’s wonders limited. Still, we may have the last laugh on Burgess. Just over the ridge, out of sight, flank-deep in fields of unimaginably rich grasses, they stand there among the Herefords, the Angus and the Guernseys – waiting to be discovered.”
I stopped and wondered. What if there are purple cows hidden somewhere and I haven’t seen them? Maybe I haven’t looked long and hard enough to find them. Maybe we have to believe more and doubt less, the way children do when they talk about flying dragons, or green little elves, or flying pigs and so forth.
I looked and looked and looked again. I started scrutinizing the cities and the back alleys. I scanned my neighborhood and examined the parks and empty lots, but purple cows were not to be seen. And then I started doubting. “Linda, perhaps there are no such things as purple cows.”
But I keep on looking—up, down, around and beyond. I looked towards my right and to my left, but the elusive purple cow was never to be found. Then, on Christmas Eve my search came to an end. At last my eyes saw a cow, but it was dressed in red. At last I found what I was looking for.
Yep, Linda you were right all along. If you look hard enough you will find purple or red cows waiting to be discovered. I’m not fabricating this story up. I have evidence to support my findings. Take a look at a snapshot of a red cow in Panama. Here we go.
Yep Linda, there are indeed purple cows on the green pastures of Texas and red cows on the grasslands of Panama. Everything is possible if you look long and hard enough for something. That’s how dreams come true. Good Day.
Snapshot of a sign in front of a store inside El Dorado Mall. The name “Lolita” reminded me of the famous novel by Vladimir Nabokov, written in English and published in 1955 in Paris and 1958 in New York. It was later translated by its Russian-native author into Russian. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
The novel is notable for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, middle-aged literature professor Humbert Humbert, is obsessed with the 12-year-old Dolores Haze, with whom he becomes sexually involved after he becomes her stepfather. His private nickname for Dolores is Lolita.
I streamed “Lolita”, the film by Stanley Kubrick, last week and it was a moral torture watching the act of perversion taking place before my very own eyes. I disliked the movie and its plot. However, this highly controversial novel is considered a classic of the English language.
After its publication, Lolita attained a classic status, becoming one of the best-known and most controversial examples of 20th century literature. The name “Lolita” has entered pop culture to describe a sexually precocious girl. The novel was adapted to film by Stanley Kubrick in 1962, and again in 1997 by Adrian Lyne. It has also been adapted several times for stage and has been the subject of two operas, two ballets, and an acclaimed but failed Broadway musical.
No doubt about it, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Good Day.