From Poems From the Sanskrit , translated by John Brough ©1977:
No, but look here now, this is just absurd,
The way our famous poets talk of girls
As weak and winsome. Weak? Is this a word
To use of those who, with a shake of curls
And with the triumph of a modest glance,
Can lead the very gods a merry dance?
Today at the used book store I bought a brittle, yellowed, paperback copy of Poems From the Sanskrit , translated by John Brough, ©1977. It’s a collection of secular poems from India, all written between the fourth and tenth century A.D.
The one below is, unfortunately, anonymous, but it’s the one that caught my eye and was the deciding factor in buying the book:
Although I conquer all the earth,
Yet for me there is only one city.
In that city there is for me only one house;
And in that house, one room only;
And in that room, a bed.
And one woman sleeps there,
The shining joy and jewel of all my kingdom.
I have a friend who’s a disc jockey on a Christian radio station, so I tune in every now and then just out of politeness.
It’s not really my thing. Too many songs try to cram an inspirational message into a tune that just doesn’t fit it, and you hear the phrase “blood of the lamb” way too often. (I think it’s an easy phrase to rhyme– that’s why there are so many country songs about Tennessee.)
But, every now and then, I get a really good song that makes it worth my while.
This one sort of evokes the spirit of the 60s. I appreciate a good call to action.
I hope you enjoy it.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
David Wilkie suggests replacing the word “love” with your own name. Read it again; how does it sound?
One time a relative stopped by the house– I’ll call her “Kathy,” because that was her name– complaining that her life was seriously out of balance and she didn’t know what to do.
I suggested she sit quietly.
She immediately burst out into loud, sustained cackles, because the very idea of sitting quietly was so patently absurd to her.
We live in a world that never gives us a quiet moment. Cell phones, radios, television and movies, angry talk shows, gaudy billboards; they all seem to be conspiring to keep us distracted and occupied.
The pursuit of happiness is making us all miserable.
In the original draft of the Declaration of Independence, by the way, it was worded “the pursuit of property.” Americans have been brainwashed to believe those are the same things.
Kathy continues to be miserable, drama and chaos surrounding her like the winds of a hurricane.
And I still believe if she would just sit still, she could change her life.
And I believe that if enough of us just sat still, we could start a revolution.
We could heal this planet.
I took my 87-year-old father to the drug store today, where he bought my 81-year-old mother a Valentine’s card and a box of candy.
When we got home he hid them in his underwear drawer.