Monday, 23 April 2012

Contemplations on Beauty

Contemplations on Beauty in haiku form, accompanied by "In Cerca di Te" (Looking for You) with subtitled lyric translation into English, and illustrated with artworks listed in the credits.

Some say:
Quarantine Beauty
From's sin's opportunities
Or regret love lost.

I say:
Love springs from Goodness
Or else it's a fool's desire
And a miser's fear.


Days and nights I spend
Trying to please a fickle friend
Futile in the end.

Beauty's the promise
To partake in heaven's fruit
And share it with you.

What humbugs we are
Who claim to live for beauty,
But wake not for dawn. [Logan Pearsall Smith]

Beauty can't be hid,
But the soul that spies her must
Sometimes walk alone. [Johann Wolfgang von Goethe]

How lovely each part!
Isn't it astonishing
How she moves my heart.

"In Cerca di Te" (Looking for you) - perhaps best known for its opening words - "Sola me ne vo per la città" - is a beautiful song written by Eros Sciorilli dating back to 1945. Here it is revived in an electroswing version in 2011, rearranged and with a voice cameo by Peter Cincotti, performed by singer Simona Molinari. The song tells about the search for a lost love, but it also represents the feelings of existential loss that struck many Italians waking up to their broken country in the aftermath of the Second World War.

In Cerca di Te (Looking for You)

Sola me ne vo per la città
passo tra la folla che non sa
che non vede il mio dolore
cercando te, sognando te, che più non ho.

Ogni viso guardo e non sei tu
ogni voce ascolto non sei tu
Dove sei perduto amore?
Ti rivedrò, ti troverò, ti seguirò.

Io cerco invano di dimenticar
il primo amore non si può scordar
è scritto un nome, un nome solo in fondo al cuor
t'ho conosciuto ed ora so che sei l'amor,
il vero amor, il grande amor.

Lyric Translation: Looking for You

Through these city's streets I walk alone
Slipping through the bustling crowds unknown
None can see my aching pain inside
Searching, longing you were by my side.
Every face I look, but it's not you
Every voice I listen, it's not you
Where are you, the love I knew?
If only I could catch a glimpse of you,
I will find you and I will follow
I'll seek in vain this pain to swallow.
My first love, how could I forget
That name is written, engraved and set
At the bottom of my beating heart
When we touched, I knew that it was love
My one true love, forever my great love.

Without haikus or voiceover, the original song from 1945:


  1. Sorry I had to re-post this video because I was unhappy with the original. But on the song, Jon & Hille both had very similar reactions, and I'm hoping now that the contemplations and art to go with the music are a better fit...

    Jon said, "Love the poem, Okei, bittersweet and poignant. (Prefer the Italian original.) Couldn't bear to listen to the music. Sorry, just absolutely NOT my taste for words as touching as these."

    Hille said, "The translation you gave was very good and the original excellent, there's something about the Italian, I always had a weakness for it anyway, even if I understand only half of it, sometimes I prefer it to another language I know more- it is the music in it, defying boxes of meaning and striving for poetry.. Thanks, enjoyed that."

  2. "Category: Beverages"

    beverages? just wundrin

  3. lol, under recipes you always have to choose something... (and I use the recipes section for collections of ideas of others, sometimes lightly re-worked as here).

    I didn't think too much about the choice, but maybe beauty is the drink of love. It can be intoxicating, energizing, refreshing, encouraging...

  4. I like what is in your "recipe box".


    Thank you, so much, for sharing.

  5. Welcome, it's always a bit dangerous mixing and matching things. (Originally I'd tried to have haikus based on the 3rd century Buddhist monk Aryadeva going with this video, but it didn't work at all, and I was very uncomfortable with it... so I ended up writing my own haikus almost as a response to that and inspired by quotes from others, so hope it works better now... and also hoping the use of voiceovers doesn't distract from enjoying the music also. Videos are so difficult to get right! note to self for future: try to keep it simple.)

  6. Everyone wants to be the subject of love.
    Everyone wants to be the beauty spoken of.
    and yet
    No one wants to be revealed.

  7. This Video is so well made dear Jamintoo.

    I have been mesmerized.

    Thank you for this deligthful interlude and take care.

  8. Hi Tamara, I'm reminded of someone in some interview once complaining that they were only loved because of "who they were"... which usually means for their money, profession, prestige, or in medieval times their alliances... and yet these "masks" are part of who we are so long as we wear them. We don't want to be loved for our "beauty" in some exterior shallow sense, and yet in a deeper sense it's exactly what we want... that others should subjectively find us beautiful in the way we are.

  9. Thanks for the encouragement, Catherine! :)

  10. Just to add some thoughts which I hoped to capture along the way in the above video...

    —Beauty is transient, so it's not something to be obsessed over.
    —Beauty is a sense of wholeness, every part with a meaning and nothing extra.
    —Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it is subjective.
    —But the appreciation of something beautiful is a shared experience.
    —Beauty has a universal quality of connecting feelings with ideas.
    —But beauty can never be reduced to feelings, nor to mere concepts.
    —Beauty goes straight from the eye to the heart, and unlike mere charm it stays there.

  11. It is a subject very close to my Heart, dear Jamintoo.

    Thank you for the reflection on "Beauty"

    I take heed.

  12. Love of beauty also makes us perfectionists :^) ...I'm still not entirely happy with this video, nor exactly the reason why, but then I guess it's that sense of lack which inspires us also if we can focus it onto new things.

  13. I found (what I think is) the original version of the song from the 1940s, and I posted this also on YouTube, but without my distracting contemplations, ha! Simple is best...

  14. I know the feeling too, dear Jamintoo, I am such a Perfectionist myself !

    Always trying the very best and not always satisfied with the results.

    Looking back and saying : "Oh la la, I could have done this so much better."

    At times, also saying : " Ah I am glad I took my time, and that I thought ahead and did/say it that way."


    I like this Video very much indeed. Take care.

  15. I'm going to have to come back and make another "contemplations on beauty" video one day! Just to recap again for when I come back to it. :^)

    Beauty is transient, so not to be objectified and obsessed over,
    a sense of wholeness, every part with a meaning and nothing extra,
    subjective, in the eye of the beholder and yet a shared experience.
    It clothes ideas in perceptible form, but can never be reduced to ideas.
    It is felt, universally and eternally, but can never be reduced to feelings.
    A road from the eye to heart that does not go through the intellect.
    and unlike the seduction of mere charm, it stays with us.