segunda-feira, 10 de outubro de 2011

Thoreau's journal, July 18, 1851

It is a test question affecting the youth of a person,—Have you knowledge of the morning? Do you sympathize with that season of nature? Are you abroad early, brushing the dews aside? If the sun rises on you slumbering, if you do not hear the morning cock-crow, if you do not witness the blushes of Aurora, if you are not acquainted with Venus as the morning star, what relation have you to wisdom and purity? You have then forgotten your Creator in the days of your youth! Your shutters were darkened till noon! You rose with a sick headache! In the morning sing, as do the birds. What of those birds which should slumber on their perches till the sun was a hour high? What kind of fowl would they be and new kinds of bats and owls, hedge sparrows or larks? then took a dish of tea or hot coffee before they began to sing?

domingo, 12 de junho de 2011

Tantas e tais veleidades

E tudo mais serei
Para que seja leve
Meu passo
Em vosso caminho.


Dizeis que tenho vaidades.
E que no vosso entender
Mulheres de pouca idade
Que não se queiram perder

É preciso que não tenham
Tantas e tais veleidades.

Senhor, se a mim me acrescento
Flores e renda, cetins,
Se solto o cabelo ao vento
É bem por vós, não por mim.

Tenho dois olhos contentes
E a boca fresca e rosada.
E a vaidade só consente
Vaidades, se desejada.

E além de vós
Não desejo nada.

(Hilda Hilst, Trovas de muito amor para um amado senhor)

sábado, 7 de maio de 2011

Aimez quand on vous aime

Inhumaines qui, sans merci,
vous raillez de nostre souci,

Aimez quand on vous aime.

Ingrats qui ne vous doutez pas
des rêves éclos sur vos pas,

Sachez, ô cruelles Beautés,
que les jours d'aimer sont comptés.

Sachez, amoureux inconstants,
que le bien d'aimer n'a qu'un temps.

Un même destin nous poursuit.
Et notre folie est la même:

C'est celle d'aimer qui nous fuit,
c'est celle de fuir qui nous aime!

(Armand Silvestre)

Desumanos que, sem misericórdia,
Zombam de nossas preocupações,

Amai quando vos amarem.

Ingratos, não duvidem
dos sonhos que surgem dos seus passos,

Sabei, ó belezas cruéis,
que os dias de amar são contados

Sabei, amantes inconstantes,
que o bem do amor vem uma vez só!

Um mesmo destino nos aguarda
e nossa loucura é a mesma:

É amar aqueles que de nós fogem
É fugir daqueles que nos amam.

quinta-feira, 5 de maio de 2011


Las alamedas se van,
pero dejan su reflejo.

Las alamedas se van.
pero nos dejan el viento.

El viento está amortajado
a lo largo bajo el cielo.

Pero ha dejado flotando
sobre los ríos sus ecos.

El mundo de las luciérnagas
ha invadido mis recuerdos.

Y un corazón diminuto
me va brotando en los dedos.

(Federico Garcia Lorca)

quarta-feira, 4 de maio de 2011

Talk Fahrenheit

O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud --
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to be wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed.

Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says "I burn."
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.

It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keats' Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.

(Robert Frost)

sábado, 9 de abril de 2011

Passages from Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks

The knowledge of past times and of the places on the earth is both an ornament and nutriment to the human mind.


Avoid studies of which the result dies with the worker.


Learning acquired in youth arrests the evil of old age; and if you understand that old age has wisdom for its food, you will so conduct yourself in youth that your old age will not lack for nourishment.


As a day well spent procures a happy sleep, so a life well employed procures a happy death.


Just as food eaten without caring for it is turned into loathsome nourishment, so study without a taste for it spoils memory, by retaining nothing which it has taken in.


Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than with the imagination being awake?

sexta-feira, 1 de abril de 2011

With music, feasting and fun

W.H. Auden, Loneliness:

Gate-crashing ghost, aggressive
invisible visitor,
tactless gooseberry, spoiling
my tête-à-tête with myself,
blackmailing brute, behaving
as if the house were your own,
so viciously pursuing
your victim from room to room,
monotonously nagging,
ungenerous jabberer,
dirty devil, befouling
fair fancies, making the mind
a quagmire of disquiet,
weakening my will to work,
shadow without shape or sex,
excluding consolation,
blotting out Nature's beauties,
grey mist between me and God,
pestilent problem that won't
be put on the black-burner,
hard it is to endure you.

Routine is the one technique
I know of that enables
your host to ignore you now:
while typing business letters,
laying the table for one,
gobbling a thoughtless luncheon,
I briefly forget you're there,
but am safe from your haunting
only when soundly asleep.

History counsels patience:
tyrants come, like plagues, but none
can rule the roost for ever.
Indeed, your totter is near,
your days numbered: to-morrow
Chester, my chum, will return.
Then you'll be through: in no time
he'll throw you out neck-and-crop.
We'll merry-make your cadence
with music, feasting and fun.

sexta-feira, 25 de março de 2011

of three things one to crave

Were I a king I could command content.
Were I obscure, unknown should be my cares.
And were I dead, no thoughts should me torment,
Nor words, nor wrongs, nor loves, nor hopes, nor fears.
A doubtful choice, of three things one to crave,
A kingdom, or a cottage, or a grave.

(Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. 1550-1604)

domingo, 13 de março de 2011


Here. The other songs, specially my favorites "Es steht ein' Lind" and "Dort in den Weiden steht ein Haus", are also worth listening to : )

Och Mod'r, ich well en Ding han!
Wat för en Ding, ming Hetzenskind?
En Ding, en Ding!

Wells de dann e Pöppchen han?
Nä Moder, nä! Ehr sitt kein gode Moder.
Ehr könnt dat Ding nit rode!
Wat dat Kind för'n Ding well han,
Och Mod'r, ich well en Ding han!
Wat för en Ding, ming Hetzenskind?
En Ding, en Ding!

Wells de dann e Ringelchen han?
Nä, Moder, nä! Ehr sitt kein gode Moder.
Ehr könnt dat Ding nit rode!
Wat dat Kind för'n Ding well han.
Och Mod'r, ich well en Ding han!
Wat för en Ding, ming Hetzenskind?
En Ding, en Ding!

Wells de dann e Kleidchen han?
Nä Moder, nä! Ehr sitt kein gode Moder.
Ehr könnt dat Ding nit rode!
Wat dat Kind för'n Ding well han.
Och Mod'r, ich well en Ding han!
Wot för en Ding, ming Hetzenskind?
En Ding, en Ding!

Wells de dann ene Mann han?
Jo, Moder, Jo! Ehr sitt en gode Moder.
Ehr künnt dat Ding wahl rode
wat dat Kind för'n Ding well han!

sábado, 29 de janeiro de 2011

When the self is a nonentity

Who would, for preference,
be a bard in an oral culture,
obliged at drunken feasts to improvise a eulogy
of some beefy illiterate burner,
giver of rings, or depend for bread on the moods of a
Baroque Prince, expected,
like his dwarf, to amuse? After all, it's rather a privilege
amid the affluent traffic
to serve this unpopular art which cannot be turned into
background noise for study
or hung as a status trophy by rising executives,
cannot be "done" like Venice
or abridged like Tolstoy, but stubbornly still insists upon
being read or ignored: our handful
of clients at least can rune.

Our forerunners might envy us
our remnant still able to listen:
as Nietzsche said they would, the plebs have got steadily
denser, the optimates
quicker still on the uptake.

We're not musicians: to stink of Poetry
is unbecoming, and never
to be dull shows a lack of taste. Even a limerick
ought to be something a man of
honor, awaiting death from cancer or a firing squad,
could read without contempt: (at
that frontier I wouldn't dare speak to anyone
in either a prophet's bellow
or a diplomat's whisper).

Seeing you know our mystery
from the inside and therefore
how much, in our lonely dens, we need the companionship
of our good dead, to give us
comfort on dowly days when the self is a nonentity
dumped on a mound of nothing,
to break the spell of our self-enchantment when lip-smacking
imps of mawk and hooey
write with us what they will, you won't think me imposing if
I ask you to stay at my elbow
until cocktail time: dear Shade, for your elegy
I should have been able to manage
something more like you than this egocentric monologue,
but accept it for friendship's sake.

(W.H. Auden)

sábado, 15 de janeiro de 2011

A love of idleness

Liev Tolstoi, War and Peace - Book Seven, Chapter 1:

The Bible legend tells us that the absence of labor—idleness—was a condition of the first man's blessedness before the Fall. Fallen man has retained a love of idleness, but the curse weighs on the race not only because we have to seek our bread in the sweat of our brows, but because our moral nature is such that we cannot be both idle and at ease. An inner voice tells us we are in the wrong if we are idle. If man could find a state in which he felt that though idle he was fulfilling his duty, he would have found one of the conditions of man's primitive blessedness.