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Fine Arts

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arbusers
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Fine Arts

Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:22 pm

For some, reading and understanding Greek poetry could be the only reason to learn Greek.
Here is the English translation of ''Ithaka'' (1911) probably the most anthologised poem of Cavafy.
For those who can't read, I am adding a video where the poem is recited by another legend, Sean Connery.

As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you’re destined for.
But don’t hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you’re old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you wouldn't have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

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Re: Fine Arts

Wed Sep 22, 2021 6:39 am

Ulysses and the Sirens, by John William Waterhouse (1891)

These are the times that humans finds themselves meeting so many Sirens. Pity, (or maybe not), they don't understand it.

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Re: Fine Arts

Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:50 am

My favourite Russian painter, Ilya Repin. The title of the painting is ''They did not expect him'' (1884).

After years in exile in Siberia, the head of the family returns home. The servants did not recognise him and thus the bewilderment in their face. His mother is struck. His younger daughter is not recognising him, and his older kids are astonished as they didn't expect to see him again.
His wife is not present, who knows what happened to her!
His reaction is cold, even murderous, as if one them was the snitch to Okhrana.

Tsar's censorship did not understand the meaning of the painting and they let it go.
Seems that Communists did not understand either and they too let it go.

But beyond human drama, maybe there are other unexpected coming to our life, and we all play one if not all of the roles of the painting.

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Re: Fine Arts

Fri Sep 24, 2021 10:39 am

Leonard Bernstein conducting with his eyes.

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