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Of politics and poetry

Well, here I am, rolling up my sleeves as I get ready to make my first LJ post (after finally finishing my information page).  Lord only knows what this entry is going to look like when I'm done, or how it's going to read -- I'm operating at the moment on 5 hours sleep in the last 48, and way too many cups of coffee.  Oh, and did I mention, I'm doing this at work.  I never felt the need of a computer at home until now, but it's clear I'm going to have to rethink that very soon.

Politics:

A topic, like religion, that I usually stay silent on.  In this forum, though, that self-censorship is going to be turned off.  Readers may like or dislike what I have to say, but if I'm not honest here, why bother to post in the first place?

So, the election.  I just checked the CNN headlines and saw that Kerry has conceded (when I left for work at 6 a.m., that hadn't happened yet).  It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that this was how it would play out, but that doesn't make it any less painful, and at the moment I feel physically ill.  I'm a liberal from a very blue state (California), and it's sobering, and a little frightening, to realize that I can't talk to more than half the people in the country.  What I see as the mistakes, deceptions, and encroachments on individual liberties that have taken place in the last 4 years apparently look like a security blanket and a glass of warm milk from a red-state perspective.  We seem to be moving in the direction of an Orwellian future that just took 20 years longer than expected to get here.  What happens now?

 

Poetry:  

rileyc said, "When you see this, post a bit of poetry in your own journal."  So now that I can, I will.  These three poems were written by the Greek poet C.P. Cavafy, and translated by Rae Dalven.

For those people most likely to read this post, the first two poems are here for obvious reasons (Note to Aline -- see "FAR OFF" -- Tom not only read Sappho, but he read Cavafy as well).  The third poem is by way of a thank you toalinewrites for all of the lovely LJ posts about her country house.

 

"FAR OFF"

I should like to relate this memory . . .                                                                                                but it is so faded now . . . scarcely anything is left --                                                                   because it lies far off, in the years of my early manhood.

A skin as if made of jasmine . . .                                                                                                       that night in August -- was it August? -- that night . . .                                                                           I can just barely remember the eyes; they were, I think, blue . . .                                                         Ah yes, blue; a sapphire blue.

 

"TO REMAIN"

It must have been one o'clock in the morning,                                                                                     or half past one.

                         In a corner of the tavern;                                                                                       behind the wooden partition.                                                                                                         Aside from the two of us the shop was completely deserted.                                                               A kerosene lamp scarcely lighted it.                                                                                            Dozing, at the doorway, the waiter dead for sleep.

No one would have seen us. But already                                                                                           we had excited ourselves so much,                                                                                                   that we became unfit for precautions.

Our clothes were half opened -- they were not many                                                                          for a divine month of July was scorching hot.

Enjoyment of the flesh between                                                                                                         our half-opened clothes;                                                                                                               quick baring of the flesh -- the vision of what                                                                            occurred twenty-six years ago; and has now come                                                                             to remain among these verses.

 

"HOUSE WITH A GARDEN"

I would like to have a country house                                                                                               with a very large garden -- not so much                                                                                             for the flowers, for the trees, the greenery                                                                                          (certainly these must be there too; they're most attractive)                                                                  but to have animals; ah, to have animals!                                                                                            At least seven cats -- two of them jet black,                                                                                      and two white as snow for the contrast.                                                                                              A remarkable parrot, to listen to him                                                                                             saying things with emphasis and confidence.                                                                                       As for dogs, I think that three would suffice for me.                                                                              I would also like two horses (little horses are nice)                                                                            and without fail three, four of those remarkable                                                                            likable animals, the donkeys,                                                                                                               to sit lazily, their heads to rejoice.

 

May you find something to rejoice over today.

Karen