PDA

View Full Version : Love At First Sight



LuckY
04-14-2005, 07:16 PM
What do you think of this beautiful poem?
"Love at First Sight"
Wislawa Szymborska

Both are convinced
that a sudden surge of emotion bound them together.
Beautiful is such a certainty,
but uncertainty is more beautiful.

They thought they didn't know each other,
that nothing had ever happened between them.
What of these streets, stairways, and corridors
where they could have met so long ago?

I would like to ask them
whether they can remember–-
Perhaps in a revolving door
face to face one day?
An "excuse me" in a crowd?
A "wrong number" on the phone?
-–But I know their answer:
No, they don't remember.

How surprised they would be
to learn that for a long time
chance had been playing with them.

Not yet wholly ready
to transform into destiny for them.
It approached them, then backed off,
stood in their way
then, suppressing a giggle,
jumped to the side.

There were signs and signals.
If indecipherable, what does it matter?
Perhaps three years ago
or even last Tuesday,
did a certain leaf fly
from one shoulder to the other?
Was something lost then picked up?
Who knows, perhaps a ball
found in the bushes during childhood?

There were doorknobs and doorbells
where, on the trace of a hand,
another hand was placed,
suitcases left beside each other in luggage,
and maybe the same dream a certain night,
forgotten upon waking.

But every new beginning
is only a continuation,
and the book of fate
is always open in the middle.

InvariantLoop
04-14-2005, 07:46 PM
I think its cofusing, i dont know, it got me confused. I have a poem too, what do you think about this.
Death
During the night
You see the light
Eyes shine; before me and before you
Beneath the sand, the blazing land
You meet Death, black hood on his head
Death shows respect he takes your hand
Death smiles, he swaths for miles
You're in his sight,He aims exact
Deep inside no lucky strike
One scythe alone
Your main bone is gone
And your soul is strong no more
Pure and clean no longer mean
Buried under deep within
The eternal castle of your dream
The realm of decay is like a huge bay
Your time capsule is a tomb
That will keep your bones so warm
Just in time all we will die
No fear, no cry, Death knows your line.

axon
04-14-2005, 08:23 PM
it is even more beautiful in its native language - Polish :D

BTW, Szymborska , received the nobel prize for literature in '96

here is her acceptance lecture - quite good:



Wislawa Szymborska – Nobel Lecture

Nobel Lecture, December 7, 1996


The Poet and the World

They say the first sentence in any speech is always the hardest. Well, that one's behind me, anyway. But I have a feeling that the sentences to come - the third, the sixth, the tenth, and so on, up to the final line - will be just as hard, since I'm supposed to talk about poetry. I've said very little on the subject, next to nothing, in fact. And whenever I have said anything, I've always had the sneaking suspicion that I'm not very good at it. This is why my lecture will be rather short. All imperfection is easier to tolerate if served up in small doses.

Contemporary poets are skeptical and suspicious even, or perhaps especially, about themselves. They publicly confess to being poets only reluctantly, as if they were a little ashamed of it. But in our clamorous times it's much easier to acknowledge your faults, at least if they're attractively packaged, than to recognize your own merits, since these are hidden deeper and you never quite believe in them yourself ... When filling in questionnaires or chatting with strangers, that is, when they can't avoid revealing their profession, poets prefer to use the general term "writer" or replace "poet" with the name of whatever job they do in addition to writing. Bureaucrats and bus passengers respond with a touch of incredulity and alarm when they find out that they're dealing with a poet. I suppose philosophers may meet with a similar reaction. Still, they're in a better position, since as often as not they can embellish their calling with some kind of scholarly title. Professor of philosophy - now that sounds much more respectable.

But there are no professors of poetry. This would mean, after all, that poetry is an occupation requiring specialized study, regular examinations, theoretical articles with bibliographies and footnotes attached, and finally, ceremoniously conferred diplomas. And this would mean, in turn, that it's not enough to cover pages with even the most exquisite poems in order to become a poet. The crucial element is some slip of paper bearing an official stamp. Let us recall that the pride of Russian poetry, the future Nobel Laureate Joseph Brodsky was once sentenced to internal exile precisely on such grounds. They called him "a parasite," because he lacked official certification granting him the right to be a poet ...

Several years ago, I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Brodsky in person. And I noticed that, of all the poets I've known, he was the only one who enjoyed calling himself a poet. He pronounced the word without inhibitions.

Just the opposite - he spoke it with defiant freedom. It seems to me that this must have been because he recalled the brutal humiliations he had experienced in his youth.

In more fortunate countries, where human dignity isn't assaulted so readily, poets yearn, of course, to be published, read, and understood, but they do little, if anything, to set themselves above the common herd and the daily grind. And yet it wasn't so long ago, in this century's first decades, that poets strove to shock us with their extravagant dress and eccentric behavior. But all this was merely for the sake of public display. The moment always came when poets had to close the doors behind them, strip off their mantles, fripperies, and other poetic paraphernalia, and confront - silently, patiently awaiting their own selves - the still white sheet of paper. For this is finally what really counts.

It's not accidental that film biographies of great scientists and artists are produced in droves. The more ambitious directors seek to reproduce convincingly the creative process that led to important scientific discoveries or the emergence of a masterpiece. And one can depict certain kinds of scientific labor with some success. Laboratories, sundry instruments, elaborate machinery brought to life: such scenes may hold the audience's interest for a while. And those moments of uncertainty - will the experiment, conducted for the thousandth time with some tiny modification, finally yield the desired result? - can be quite dramatic. Films about painters can be spectacular, as they go about recreating every stage of a famous painting's evolution, from the first penciled line to the final brush-stroke. Music swells in films about composers: the first bars of the melody that rings in the musician's ears finally emerge as a mature work in symphonic form. Of course this is all quite naive and doesn't explain the strange mental state popularly known as inspiration, but at least there's something to look at and listen to.

But poets are the worst. Their work is hopelessly unphotogenic. Someone sits at a table or lies on a sofa while staring motionless at a wall or ceiling. Once in a while this person writes down seven lines only to cross out one of them fifteen minutes later, and then another hour passes, during which nothing happens ... Who could stand to watch this kind of thing?

I've mentioned inspiration. Contemporary poets answer evasively when asked what it is, and if it actually exists. It's not that they've never known the blessing of this inner impulse. It's just not easy to explain something to someone else that you don't understand yourself.

When I'm asked about this on occasion, I hedge the question too. But my answer is this: inspiration is not the exclusive privilege of poets or artists generally. There is, has been, and will always be a certain group of people whom inspiration visits. It's made up of all those who've consciously chosen their calling and do their job with love and imagination. It may include doctors, teachers, gardeners - and I could list a hundred more professions. Their work becomes one continuous adventure as long as they manage to keep discovering new challenges in it. Difficulties and setbacks never quell their curiosity. A swarm of new questions emerges from every problem they solve. Whatever inspiration is, it's born from a continuous "I don't know."

There aren't many such people. Most of the earth's inhabitants work to get by. They work because they have to. They didn't pick this or that kind of job out of passion; the circumstances of their lives did the choosing for them. Loveless work, boring work, work valued only because others haven't got even that much, however loveless and boring - this is one of the harshest human miseries. And there's no sign that coming centuries will produce any changes for the better as far as this goes.

And so, though I may deny poets their monopoly on inspiration, I still place them in a select group of Fortune's darlings.

At this point, though, certain doubts may arise in my audience. All sorts of torturers, dictators, fanatics, and demagogues struggling for power by way of a few loudly shouted slogans also enjoy their jobs, and they too perform their duties with inventive fervor. Well, yes, but they "know." They know, and whatever they know is enough for them once and for all. They don't want to find out about anything else, since that might diminish their arguments' force. And any knowledge that doesn't lead to new questions quickly dies out: it fails to maintain the temperature required for sustaining life. In the most extreme cases, cases well known from ancient and modern history, it even poses a lethal threat to society.

This is why I value that little phrase "I don't know" so highly. It's small, but it flies on mighty wings. It expands our lives to include the spaces within us as well as those outer expanses in which our tiny Earth hangs suspended. If Isaac Newton had never said to himself "I don't know," the apples in his little orchard might have dropped to the ground like hailstones and at best he would have stooped to pick them up and gobble them with gusto. Had my compatriot Marie Sklodowska-Curie never said to herself "I don't know", she probably would have wound up teaching chemistry at some private high school for young ladies from good families, and would have ended her days performing this otherwise perfectly respectable job. But she kept on saying "I don't know," and these words led her, not just once but twice, to Stockholm, where restless, questing spirits are occasionally rewarded with the Nobel Prize.

Poets, if they're genuine, must also keep repeating "I don't know." Each poem marks an effort to answer this statement, but as soon as the final period hits the page, the poet begins to hesitate, starts to realize that this particular answer was pure makeshift that's absolutely inadequate to boot. So the poets keep on trying, and sooner or later the consecutive results of their self-dissatisfaction are clipped together with a giant paperclip by literary historians and called their "oeuvre" ...

I sometimes dream of situations that can't possibly come true. I audaciously imagine, for example, that I get a chance to chat with the Ecclesiastes, the author of that moving lament on the vanity of all human endeavors. I would bow very deeply before him, because he is, after all, one of the greatest poets, for me at least. That done, I would grab his hand. "'There's nothing new under the sun': that's what you wrote, Ecclesiastes. But you yourself were born new under the sun. And the poem you created is also new under the sun, since no one wrote it down before you. And all your readers are also new under the sun, since those who lived before you couldn't read your poem. And that cypress that you're sitting under hasn't been growing since the dawn of time. It came into being by way of another cypress similar to yours, but not exactly the same. And Ecclesiastes, I'd also like to ask you what new thing under the sun you're planning to work on now? A further supplement to the thoughts you've already expressed? Or maybe you're tempted to contradict some of them now? In your earlier work you mentioned joy - so what if it's fleeting? So maybe your new-under-the-sun poem will be about joy? Have you taken notes yet, do you have drafts? I doubt you'll say, 'I've written everything down, I've got nothing left to add.' There's no poet in the world who can say this, least of all a great poet like yourself."

The world - whatever we might think when terrified by its vastness and our own impotence, or embittered by its indifference to individual suffering, of people, animals, and perhaps even plants, for why are we so sure that plants feel no pain; whatever we might think of its expanses pierced by the rays of stars surrounded by planets we've just begun to discover, planets already dead? still dead? we just don't know; whatever we might think of this measureless theater to which we've got reserved tickets, but tickets whose lifespan is laughably short, bounded as it is by two arbitrary dates; whatever else we might think of this world - it is astonishing.

But "astonishing" is an epithet concealing a logical trap. We're astonished, after all, by things that deviate from some well-known and universally acknowledged norm, from an obviousness we've grown accustomed to. Now the point is, there is no such obvious world. Our astonishment exists per se and isn't based on comparison with something else.

Granted, in daily speech, where we don't stop to consider every word, we all use phrases like "the ordinary world," "ordinary life," "the ordinary course of events"... But in the language of poetry, where every word is weighed, nothing is usual or normal. Not a single stone and not a single cloud above it. Not a single day and not a single night after it. And above all, not a single existence, not anyone's existence in this world.

It looks like poets will always have their work cut out for them.

Translated from Polish by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh

Govtcheez
04-14-2005, 08:24 PM
Oh my god, Becky, look at her butt
It is so big
She looks like one of those rap guys girlfriends
Who understands those rap guys
They only talk to her because she looks like a total prostitute, ok?
I mean her butt
It's just so big
I can't believe it's so round
It's just out there
I mean, it's gross
Look, she's just so black

I like big butts and I can not lie
You other brothers can't deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waste
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung
Wanna pull up front
Cuz you notice that butt was stuffed
Deep in the jeans she's wearing
I'm hooked and I can't stop staring
Oh, baby I wanna get with ya
And take your picture
My homeboys tried to warn me
But with that butt you got
Me so horny
Ooh, rub all of that smooth skin
You say you wanna get in my Benz
Well use me, use me cuz you ain't that average groupy

I've seen them dancin'
The hell with romancin'
She sweat, wet, got it goin' like a turbo 'Vette

I'm tired of magazines
saying flat butt's the only thing
Take the average black man and ask him that
She gotta pack much back, so

Fellas (yeah), fellas (yeah)
Has your girlfriend got the butt (hell yeah)
Well shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it, shake that healthy butt
Baby got back

(LA face with Oakland booty)

I like'em round and big
And when I'm throwin' a gig
I just can't help myself
I'm actin like an animal
Now here's my scandal

I wanna get you home
And ugh, double ugh, ugh
I ain't talkin' bout Playboy
Cuz silicone parts were made for toys
I wannem real thick and juicy
So find that juicy double
Mixalot's in trouble
Beggin' for a piece of that bubble
So I'm lookin' at rock videos
Watchin' these bimbos walkin' like hoes
You can have them bimbos
I'll keep my women like Flo Jo
A word to the thick soul sistas
I wanna get with ya
I won't cus or hit ya
But I gotta be straight when I say I wanna ........
Til the break of dawn
Baby, I got it goin on
A lot of pimps won't like this song
Cuz them punks like to hit it and quit it
But I'd rather stay and play
Cuz I'm long and I'm strong
And I'm down to get the friction on

So ladies (yeah), ladies (yeah)
If you wanna role in my Mercedes (yeah)
Then turn around
Stick it out
Even white boys got to shout
Baby got back

(LA face with the Oakland booty)

Yeah baby
When it comes to females
Cosmo and got nothin to do with my selection
36-24-36
Only if she's 5'3"

So your girlfriend rolls a Honda
Playin' workout tapes by Fonda
But Fonda ain't got a motor in the back of her Honda
My anaconda don't want none unless you've got buns hon
You can do side bends or sit-ups, but please don't lose that butt
Some brothers wanna play that hard role
and tell you that the butt need to go
So they toss it and leave it
And I pull up quick to retrieve it
So Cosmo says you're fat
Well I ain't down with that
Cuz your waste is small and your curves are kickin'
And I'm thinkin' bout stickin'
To the beanpole dames in the magazines
You ain't it Miss Thang
Give me a sista I can't resist her
Red beans and rice didn't miss her
Some knucklehead tried to dis
Cuz his girls were on my list
He had game but he chose to hit 'em
And pulled up quick to get with 'em
So ladies if the butt is round
And you wanna triple X throw down
Dial 1-900-mixalot and kick them nasty thoughts
Baby got back

LuckY
04-14-2005, 08:47 PM
Thanks for supplying her acceptance lecture, axon. I wish I could read Polish just so I could read it the way it was meant to be.

Government, that poem is almost as beautiful. (You got a real good, hard laugh outta me!)

This is the poem that inspired the book that a really great Chinese movie called Turn Left, Turn Right is based on. Really worth checking out.

axon
04-14-2005, 09:01 PM
This is the poem that inspired the book that a really great Chinese movie called Turn Left, Turn Right is based on. Really worth checking out.


Lucky, this sentence makes little sense - can you elaborate on it a bit more clearly.

LuckY
04-14-2005, 09:20 PM
It makes little sense? Really? It seems pretty straightforward to me, but okay, here's a breakdown:
The poem inspired a guy to write a book.
A great Chinese movie called Turn Left, Turn Right is based on that book.
That movie is really worth checking out.

Good?

NoUse
04-14-2005, 09:24 PM
My beard grows down to my toes
I never wears no clothes
I wraps my hair around my bare
And down the road I goes

-NoUse

Dante Shamest
04-14-2005, 09:25 PM
A great Chinese movie called Turn Left, Turn Right is based on that book.

All of friends told me that movie was bad though.

axon
04-14-2005, 09:27 PM
It makes little sense? Really? It seems pretty straightforward to me, but okay, here's a breakdown:
The poem inspired a guy to write a book.
A great Chinese movie called Turn Left, Turn Right is based on that book.
That movie is really worth checking out.

Good?

does the book carry the same name?

LuckY
04-14-2005, 10:04 PM
All of friends told me that movie was bad though.
It definitely depends on how much of a romantic you are, but I absolutely love the flick.


does the book carry the same name?
I didn't know it, but yes, the book carries the same title and was authored by Jimmy Liao.