Today is May Day. Celebrated around the world, esp. by Rob. So, Happy Day to one and all.
Before the links, a poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz – the poet who more than anyone speaks for the workers of Pakistan against the dictators – translated by Agha Shahid Ali. I was gonna translate a poem of his on May Day myself but I forgot the book at work and I am going out so, this found treasure must suffice. And a few, random links after.
A Prison Evening by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Each star a rung,
night comes down the spiral staircase of the evening.
The breeze passes by so very close
as if someone just happened to speak of love.
In the courtyard,
the trees are absorbed refugees
embroidering maps of return on the sky.
On the roof, the moon – lovingly, generously -
is turning the stars into a dust of sheen.
From every corner, dark-green shadows,
in ripples, come towards me.
At any moment they may break over me,
like the waves of pain each time I remember
this separation from my lover.
This thought keeps consoling me:
though tyrants may command that lamps be smashed
in rooms where lovers are destined to meet,
they cannot snuff out the moon, so today,
nor tomorrow, no tyranny will succeed,
no poison of torture make me bitter,
if just one evening in prison
can be so strangely sweet,
if just one moment anywhere on this earth.
- Hasselhoff wins International Star of the Year in India because “his shows, including Knight Rider, are among the most popular on Indian TV.” Is that world a ‘flat’ or ‘depressed’ one, Mr. Friedman?
- This is an old review by Bernard Porter from the LRB but let me bring it to your attention [again?]. “Half a century later, a ërevisionistí historian like Ferguson, seeking to rehabilitate the empire after a decent interval, could still blithely ignore the whole affair.”I am starting to like this guy.
- Jonathan Lethem takes on the Big K. in the NYT. I suggest reading it with a Kafka T-shirt.
- The Muslims may vote against Tony. I haven’t really been following the election. It may actually be a long time before I care about any election.
- My husband said, ëYou canít get more obscure than Pakistan.í I think that sentence needs my love in a later post. [thanks to f. nadia].