Li Ti’s Advice - Harry Martinson

If you own two coppers, said Li-Ti on a journey,
buy one loaf of bread and one blossom.
The bread is there to fill you
The blossom you buy is to tell you
that life is worth the living.

—-

By Harry Martinson
From Gräsen i Thule, 1958
Translated by Stephen Klass

Autobiography - Jaroslav Seifert

Sometimes
when she would talk about herself
my mother would say:
My life was sad and quiet,
I always walked on tip-toe.
But if I got a little angry
and stamped my foot
the cups, which had been my mother’s,
would tinkle on the dresser
and make me laugh.

At the moment of my birth, so I am told,
a butterfly flew in by the window
and settled on my mother’s bed,
but that same moment a dog howled in the yard.
My mother thought
it a bad omen.

My life of course has not been quite
as peaceful as hers.
But even when I gaze upon our present days
with wistfulness
as if at empty picture frames
and all I see is a dusty wall,
still it has been so beautiful.

There are many moments
I cannot forget,
moments like radiant flowers
in all possible colours and hues,
evenings filled with fragrance
like purple grapes
hidden in the leaves of darkness.

With passion I read poetry
and loved music
and blundered, ever surprised,
from beauty to beauty.
But when I first saw
the picture of a woman nude
I began to believe in miracles.

My life unrolled swiftly.
It was too short
for my vast longings,
which had no bounds.
Before I knew it
my life’s end was drawing near.

Death soon will kick open my door
and enter.
With startled terror I’ll catch my breath
and forget to breathe again.

May I not be denied the time
once more to kiss the hands
of the one who patiently and in step with me
walked on and on and on
and who loved most of all.

Autobiography" from The Poetry of Jaroslav Seifert
Translated from the Czech by Ewald Osers

"Art" by Herman Melville

In placid hours well-pleased we dream 
Of many a brave unbodied scheme. 
But form to lend, pulsed life create, 
What unlike things must meet and mate: 
A flame to melt—a wind to freeze; 
Sad patience—joyous energies; 
Humility—yet pride and scorn; 
Instinct and study; love and hate; 
Audacity—reverence. These must mate, 
And fuse with Jacob’s mystic heart, 
To wrestle with the angel—Art.

image

Carp ascending a waterfall
ca. 1926
Ohara Koson, (Japanese, 1877 - 1945) 
Taisho or Showa era
Ceiling of the Hafez Mausoleum

Ceiling of the Hafez Mausoleum

"Two Turtles" - Shibata Zeshin (Japanese, 1807-1891)

"Two Turtles" - Shibata Zeshin (Japanese, 1807-1891)

 ”The Angel of the Annunciation”, c. 1653. Carlo Dolci (1616-1686), Italian.

 ”The Angel of the Annunciation”, c. 1653. Carlo Dolci (1616-1686), Italian.

Singer and Sarinda Player: attributed to Sahib Ram (active reign of Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, 1778–1803).Description: “This large drawing of two musicians is likely a preparatory study for a mural in the Jaipur palace that showed the raslila, a mythic episode from the life of Krishna where he replicates himself so that he can dance with his beloved Radha and all the gopis (female cowherds). The story is related to the concept of bhakti, or devotional love for the divine form of Krishna, in which all can participate. Sahib Ram’s patron, Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, is said to have performed the raslila dressed as Krishna, with his wives and courtesans playing the cowherds.”Ragamala: Picturing Sound

Singer and Sarinda Player: attributed to Sahib Ram (active reign of Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, 1778–1803).

Description: “This large drawing of two musicians is likely a preparatory study for a mural in the Jaipur palace that showed the raslila, a mythic episode from the life of Krishna where he replicates himself so that he can dance with his beloved Radha and all the gopis (female cowherds). The story is related to the concept of bhakti, or devotional love for the divine form of Krishna, in which all can participate. Sahib Ram’s patron, Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, is said to have performed the raslila dressed as Krishna, with his wives and courtesans playing the cowherds.”

Ragamala: Picturing Sound