Image by NilookaD; Pickingflowers
How much stays unseen when some eye on us gazes–
A sub-text may run under clear-sounding phrases
And sighs of delight or expressions of sorrow
May differ in meaning from poses they borrow.
We lie on the grass, watch the sunlight which spreads,
But what are the thoughts that go round in our heads?
We meet. Stroll along in the garden’s deep shade,
But what is our purpose? What plans have we made?
Our time throbs and shakes with the problems of ages,
But man and his soul are a book of sealed pages!
At sight we are simple. No need for much guessing,
But what are our feelings? Extatic? Depressing?
We lunch in cheap restaurants without star rating
But maybe a triumph we are celebrating!
And perhaps it’s not transport that gives us a ride,
But invisible wings, which don’t show from outside.
Translated by Eva Strauss
From: Soviet Literature, 1979; ISSN-0202-1870
A few more lines from the poetry collection, Light of the Hearth
By Ivan Savelyev | Translated by Walter May.
From your first song until your farewell song
There stretches in between a long stern road.
Here trickling like a ringing springtime stream,
And there like some broad-bosomed river it flows.
And in its waters, deep and pure and clear,
Like sand-bank islands, failures will sink and cease,
And out will blaze above the shining space
The lighthouse beams of mighty victories.
For all your previous disappointed hopes,
For all your losses, and for all distress,
They will light up for you your entire road–
Remember, and observe, and go ahead!
And may be here’s the wonder of constancy,
The marvel of loyalty which does not die out,–
That to your dream you’ll go, and not lose heart,
And not for even a moment will you doubt.
And maybe in such action lies our goal,
And even the primary purpose
Of life, let’s say:
To discover in your self an exalted song,
And not to betray it then in any way.
English Translation © Raduga Publications 1987
Today I’m sharing with you a few selected lines from
Auguries of Innocence by William Blake
Here’s the beginning :
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
Its a long poem. You have to pause and wonder about each line and it would be worth it.
Here’s some more lines:
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born.
Every Morn & every Night
Some are Born to sweet Delight.
Some ar Born to sweet Delight,
Some are born to Endless Night.
You can read the entire poem, Auguries of Innocence at PoemHunter.com. Don’t forget to check out other Blake poems as well.
From “Food for Thought” By Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo (Phra Suddhidhammaransi Gambhiramedhacariya) translated from the Thai byThanissaro Bhikkhu
August 4, 1957
Most of us tend to concern ourselves only with short, small, and narrow things. For instance, we think that there isn’t much to human life — we’re born and then we die — so we pay attention only to our stomachs and appetites. There’s hardly anyone who thinks further than that, who thinks out past death. This is why we’re short-sighted and don’t think of developing any goodness or virtues within ourselves, because we don’t see the truth and the extremely important benefits we’ll gain from these things in the future.
Actually, the affairs of each person are really long and drawn out, and not at all short. If they were short, we’d all know where we came from and how we got where we are. The same would hold true for the future: If our affairs were really a short story, we’d know where we’re going and what we’ll be after death.
You can read the rest of Taking the Long View at accesstoinsight.org.
Oil lamp with flowers
I visited a friend’s home over the weekend for the three months religious ceremonies after the death of her husband. He was 40 years old.
During the ‘bana’ ceremony, the priest compared the life of a person to that of a burning oil lamp.
The lamp can go out because the wick burns out; or else because it runs out of oil. Or it will go out because of a natural cause like rain or the wind.
In the same way, a peson’s life can end due to three key reasons.
Firstly because, like the oil in the lamp, his time on earth simply runs out. So his life ends.
Secondly, he could die because of the effects of karma he commited in past lives and also gathered in this lifetime. While good deeds may cancel out bad karma, you cannot entirely avoid the effects of bad things you do.
Thirdly, a person can die of an accident or an illness; just as a lamp may go off because of the wind or the rain.
If our life can be flushed out so easily, shouldn’t we live our lives while trying our best to improve our minds? This after all is the way to shorten the cycle of birth and death. What other way to ensure avoiding death, than through avoiding future births?
Think about it.