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Beautiful day lillies in my Melbourne garden

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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The Noble Nature    (Of The Day Lily)

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It is not growing like a tree

In bulk, doth make man better be;

Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,

To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sear;

A lily of a day

Is fairer far in May,

Although it fall and die that night, –

It was the plant and flower of Light.

In small proportions we just beauties see;

And in short measures life may perfect be.

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-Ben Jonson (England 1574 – 1637)

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 AUDIO: Day Lily

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Syria as a causeway between the sea and the desert-(map from , 'SYRIA, LEBANON, JORDAN' - John Bagot Glubb

Syria as a causeway between the sea and the desert-(map from , ‘SYRIA, LEBANON, JORDAN‘ – ————-(John Bagot Glubb)

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Book By John Bagot Glubb

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SYRIA

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Now, upon Syria’s land of roses

Softly the light of eve reposes,

And, like a glory, the broad sun

Hangs over sainted Lebanon;

Whose head in wintry grandeur towers,

And whitens with eternal sleet,

While summer, in a vale of flowers,

Is sleeping rosy at his feet.

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To one who looked from upper air

O’er all the enchanted regions there,

How beauteous must have been the glow,

The life, now sparkling from below!

Fair gardens, shining streams, with ranks

Of golden melons on their banks,

More golden where the sunlight falls; –

Gay lizards, glittering on the walls

Of ruined shrines, busy and bright

As they were all alive with light;

And, yet more splendid, numerous flocks

Of pigeons, settling on the rocks,

With their rich restless wings, that gleam

Variously in the crimson beam

Of the warm west, – as if inlaid

With brilliants from the mine, or made

Of tearless rainbows, such as span

The unclouded skies of Peristan!

And then, the mingling sounds that come,

Of shepherd’s ancient reed, with hum

Of the wild bees of Palestine,

Banqueting through the flowery vales; –

And, Jordan, those sweet banks of thine,

And woods, so full of nightingales!


AUDIO – Syria

…………..- Thomas Moore (Ireland 1779-1852)

From ‘Paradise And The Perl’

 

 

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DADDY

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 You do not do, you do not do

Any more, black shoe

In which I have lived like a foot,

For thirty years, poor & white,

Barely daring to breathe or Achoo

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Daddy, I have had to kill you.

You died before I had time –

Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,

Ghastly statue with one grey toe

Big as a Frisco seal

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And a head in the freakish Atlantic

Where it pour green bean over blue

In the waters off beautiful Nauset.

I used to pray to recover you

Ach, du.

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In the German tongue, in the Polish town

Scraped flat by the roller

Of wars, wars, wars.

But the name of the town is common.

My Polack friend

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Says there are a dozen or two.

So I never could tell where you

Put your foot, your root,

I never could talk to you.

The tongue stuck in my jaw.

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It stuck in a barb wire snare.

Ich, ich, ich, ich,

I could hardly speak.

I thought every German was you.

And the language obscene

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An engine, an engine

Chuffing me off like a Jew.

A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.

I began to talk like a Jew.

I think I may well be a Jew.

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The snows of Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna

Are not very pure or true.

With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck

And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack

I may be a bit of a Jew.

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I have always been scared of you,

With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.

And your neat moustache

And your Aryan eye, bright blue.

Panzer-man, panzer-man, O you –

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Not God but a swastika

So black no sky could squeak through.

Every woman adores a Fascist,

The boot in the face, the brute

Brute heart of a brute like you.

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You stand at the blackboard, daddy,

In the picture I have of you,

A cleft in your chin instead of your foot

But no less a devil for that, no not

Any less the black man who

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Bit my pretty red heart in two.

I was ten when they buried you.

At twenty, I tried to die

And get back, back, back to you.

I thought even the bones would do.

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But they pulled me out of the sack,

And they stuck me together glue.

And then I knew what to do.

I made a model of you,

A man in black with a Meinkampf look

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And a love of the rack and the screw.

And I said I do, I do.

So daddy, I’m finally through.

The black telephone’s off at the root,

The voices just can’t worm through.

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If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two-

The vampire who said he was you

And drank my blood for a year,

Seven years if you want to know.

Daddy, you can lie back now.

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There’s a stake in your fat black heart

And the villagers never liked you.

They are dancing and stamping on you.

They always knew it was you.

Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.

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_Sylvia Plath

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Any man can be a father, but not all are dads

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Sylvia Plath committed suicide by putting her head in a gas oven while her two children slept in the next room. She was 30 years old. She had suffered from severe depression since her teens and had been treated with sleeping pills and ECT. She was an insomniac. Her husband, the poet Ted Hughes, left her for another woman. Sylvia struggled to care for their two young children, and to earn enough money, while continuing to write.  Sylvia Plath was not close to her possessive mother, and her father, who was extremely strict,  died when she was eight. During the early stages of her treatment, she was advised not to have any contact with her mother. Ted Hughes remarried, and his second wife also committed suicide, four years after their marriage.

Sylvia Plath’s son, Nicholas, killed himself in 2009; he had a history of depression.

See  ‘Mad Girl’s Love Song; Sylvia Plath And Life Before Ted’

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‘A Mad Girl’s Love Song; Sylvia Plath And Life Before Ted’

by Andrew Wilson is …

A MUST READ FOR ALL SYLVIA PLATH FANS… a comprehensive biography which certainly helps the reader to better interpret Plath’s poetry. I believe that Plath never fully recovered from the sudden death of her father when she was eight years old. His presence ameliorated somewhat his wife’s obsessiveness over their daughter’s upbringing.  After he died, her mother’s interference in Plath’s education and later, her life choices, stifled her creativeness and her sense of her place in the world.

Eventually Sylvia Plath would commit suicide by putting her head in a gas oven while her two children slept in the next room. She was 30 years old. Her previous attempt at suicide , which she barely survived, was dramatic and bizarre.  She had suffered from severe depression since her teens and had been treated with sleeping pills and ECT. She was also an insomniac.

Her husband, the poet Ted Hughes, left her for another woman. Sylvia struggled to care for their two young children, and to earn enough money, while continuing to write.  She was not close to her possessive mother, but found it difficult to escape her over-bearing influence. During the early stages of her treatment, she was advised not to have any contact with her mother. Ted Hughes remarried, and his second wife also committed suicide, four years after their marriage.

Sylvia Plath’s son, Nicholas, killed himself in 2009 following a history of depression.

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Mad Girl's Love Song

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Rear cover of The Bell Jar (click on image to enlarge)

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Semi-autobiographical, The Bell Jar  is well worth reading,  if you wish to know more about Sylvia Plath from her own perspective. It also features some of her pen and ink drawings.

-Anne Frandi-Coory 14 December 2011

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LESBOS

Viciousness in the kitchen!

The potatoes hiss!

It is all Hollywood, windowless,

The flourescent light wincing on and off like a terrible migraine,

Coy paper strips for doors –

Stage curtains – a widow’s frizz.

And, I, love, am a pathological liar,

And my child, look at her, face down on the floor,

Little unstrung puppet, kicking to disappear –

Why she is schizophrenic,

Her face red and white, a panic,

You have stuck her kittens outside your window

In a sort of cement well

Where they crap and puke and cry and she can’t hear.

You say you can’t stand her,

the bastards a girl.

You who have blown your tubes like a bad radio

Clear of voices and history, the staticky

Noise of the new.

You say I should drown the kittens. Their smell!

You say I should drown my girl.

She’ll cut her throat at ten if she’s mad at two.

The baby smiles, fat snail,

From the polished lozenges of orange linoleum.

You could eat him. He’s a boy.

You say your husband is just no good to you.

His Jew-Mama guards his sweet sex like a pearl.

You have one baby, I have two.

I should sit on a rock off Cornwall and comb my hair.

I should wear tiger pants, I should have an affair.

We should meet in another life, we should meet in air,

Me and you.

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Meanwhile there’s a stink of fat and baby crap.

I’m doped and thick from my last sleeping pill.

The smog of cooking, the smog of hell.

Floats our heads, two venomous opposites,

Our bones, our hair.

I call you Orphan, orphan.  You are ill.

The sun gives you ulcers, the wind gives you T.B.

Once you were beautiful.

In New York, in Hollywood, the men said: ‘Through?

Gee baby, you are rare.’

You acted, acted, acted for the thrill.

The impotent husband slumps out for a coffee.

I try to keep him in,

An old pole for he lightning,

The acid baths, the skyfuls off of you.

He lumps it down the plastic cobbled hill,

Flogged trolley. The sparks are blue.

The blue sparks spill,

Splitting like quartz into a million bits.

O jewel! O valuable!

That night the moon

Dragged its blood bag, sick

Animal

Up over the harbor lights.

And then grew normal,

Hard and apart and white.

The scale-sheen on the sand scared me to death.

We kept picking up handfuls, loving it,

Working it like dough, a mulatto body,

The silk grits.

A dog picked up your doggy husband. He went on.

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Now I am silent, hate

Up to my neck,

Thick, thick.

I do not speak.

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I am packing the hard potatoes like good clothes,

I am packing the babies,

I am packing the sick cats.

O vase of acid,

It is love you are full of. You know who you hate.

He is hugging his ball and chain down by the gate

That opens to the sea

Where it drives in, white and black,

The spews it back.

Every day you fill him with soul-stuff, like a pitcher.

You are so exhausted.

Your voice, my ear-ring,

Flapping and sucking, blood-loving bat.

That is that. That is that.

You peer from the door,

Sad hag, ‘Every woman’s a whore.

I can’t communicate’.

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I see your cute décor

Close on you like the fist of a baby

Or an anemone, that sea

Sweetheart, that kleptomaniac.

I am still raw.

I say I may be back.

You know what lies are for.

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Even in your Zen heaven we shant meet.

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Plath’s pen & ink drawings from ‘The Bell Jar’

THE EPIC OF SADNESS

Your love taught me to grieve
and I have been in need, for centuries,
for a woman to make me grieve
for a woman, to cry upon her arms
like a sparrow
for a woman to gather my pieces
like shards of broken crystal

Your love has taught me, my lady, the worst habits
it has taught me to read my coffee cups
thousands of times a night
to experiment with alchemy,
to visit fortune tellers

It has taught me to leave my house
to comb the sidewalks
and search your face in raindrops
and in car lights
and to peruse your clothes
in the clothes of unknowns
and to search for your image
even…even…
even in the posters of advertisements

Your love has taught me
to wander around, for hours,
searching for a gypsy’s hair
that all gypsy women will envy
searching for a face, for a voice
which is all the faces and all the voices…

Your love entered me, my lady,
into the cities of sadness
and I before you, never entered
the cities of sadness
I did not know…
that tears are the person,
that a person without sadness
is only a shadow of a person…

Your love taught me
to behave like a boy
to draw your face with chalk
upon the wall,
upon the sails of fishermen’s boats
on the church bells, on the crucifixes,
your love taught me how love
changes the map of time…

Your love taught me
that when I love
the earth stops revolving,
your love taught me things
that were never accounted for

So I read children’s fairytales,
I entered the castles of genies
and I dreamt that she would marry me
the Sultan’s daughter
those eyes…
clearer than the water of a lagoon
those lips…
more desirable than the flower of pomegranates
and I dreamt that I would kidnap her like a knight
and I dreamt that I would give her
necklaces of pearl and coral

Your love taught me, my lady,
what is insanity
it taught me
how life may pass
without the Sultan’s daughter arriving

Your love taught me
how to love you in all things
in a bare winter tree,
in dry yellow leaves
in the rain, in a tempest,
in the smallest cafe we drank in,
in the evenings…our black coffee

Your love taught me
to seek refuge in hotels without names,
in churches without names,
in cafes without names

Your love taught me
how the night swells
the sadness of strangers,
it taught me how to see
Beirut as a woman…
a tyrant of temptation as a woman,
wearing every evening
the most beautiful clothes she possesses
and sprinkling upon her breasts perfume
for the fisherman, and the princes

Your love taught me how to cry without crying,
it taught me how sadness sleeps
like a boy with his feet cut off
in the streets of the Rouche and the Hamra

Your love taught me to grieve
and I have been in need, for centuries,
for a woman to make me grieve
for a woman, to cry upon her arms
like a sparrow
for a woman to gather my pieces
like shards of broken crystal.

-Syrian Poet: Nizar Tawfiq Qabbani.

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Nizar Tawfiq Qabbani 1923-1998

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Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem with me @permabloom

Goddess Ishtar (Esther)

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Song of Ishtar – Descent to the Goddess

Me the woman he has filled with dismay

Has filled me the queen of heaven

with consternation…

I, the woman who circles the land-

Tell me where is my house,

Tell me where is the city in which I may live…

I, who am your daughter…The heirodule,

who am your bridesmaid

Tell me where is my house…The bird has its nesting place

But I – my young are dispersed

The fish lies in calm waters,

but I – my resting place exists not,

The dog kneels at the threshold, But I – I have no threshold…

– Ancient Anon.

Eventually statues of Ishtar, mesopotamian goddess, along with other pagan goddesses, would be taken from her grottos and replaced with statues of the Virgin Mary. The ramifications for women would be nothing less than catastrophic.

See post:  Catholic Dichotomy of the Female

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bcharre

Bcharre, Lebanon. Photo taken from Kahlil Gibran’s family home (photo: Wendy Coory Gretton 2014)

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Even Kahlil Gibran, Lebanon’s most famous poet, understood his country’s multiple personalities.

“No Man Is An Island” nor is a country.

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The following is a short story and poem taken from:

Kahlil Gibran, The Garden of the Prophet (written 1934)


Sketch by Kahlil Gibran

And Almustafa came and found the Garden of his mother and his father, and he entered in and closed the gate that no man might come after him.

And for forty days and forty nights he dwelt alone in that house and that Garden, and none came, not unto the gate, for it was closed, and all the people knew that he would be alone.

And when the forty days and forty nights were ended, Almustafa opened the gate that they might come in.

And there came nine men to be with him in the Garden; three mariners from his  ship; three who had served in the Temple; and three who had been his comrades in play when they were but children together. And these were his disciples.

And on the morning his disciples sat around him, and there were distances and remembrances in his eyes. And that disciple who was called Hafiz, said unto him: “Master, tell us of the city of Orphalese, and of that land wherein you tarried those twelve years.”

And Almustafa was silent and looked away toward the hills and toward the vast ether, and there was a battle in his silence.

Then he said:

My friends and my road-fellows

Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion,

Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave, eats a bread it does not harvest,

And drinks a wine that flows not from its own wine press.

Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero, and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.

Pity the nation that despises a passion in its dream, yet submits in its awakening.

Pity the nation that raises not its voice save when it walks in a funeral, boasts not except among its ruins, and will rebel not save when its neck is laid between the sword and the block.

Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a juggler, and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.

Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpetings and farewells him with hootings, only to welcome another with trumpetings again.

Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years and whose strong men are yet in the cradle.

Pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation.

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Sketch by Kahlil Gibran

AUDIO-Pity The Nation

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