Sunday, 28 October 2012

Tu Chiami Una Vita (Salvatore Quasimodo)

Paintings by John William Waterhouse. Set to music by Jan A. P. Kaczmarek. Poem by Salvatore Quasimodo. Sung by April Armstrong. Video by Accabadora.

Salvatore Quasimodo (1901-1968)
— Tu Chiami Una Vita (You Invoke a Life)

Fatica d'amore, tristezza, Labour of love, sadness, 
tu chiami una vita You invoke a life
che dentro, profonda, ha nomi That within, deep inside, has names
di cieli e giardini. Of skies and gardens.
E fosse mia carne And were it my flesh
che il dono di male trasforma. Which the gift of sorrow transforms.

Shakira — No

In the final few seconds she stands above the water (like the archetypal Fool at the edge of the unknown) but unlike in "Whenever, Wherever" in which she jumps into the abyss, this time she smiles and turns away. The "No" extends to encompass even the "No" itself! Brilliant!

— No lyrics in collaboration with Gustavo Cerati)

No, no intentes disculparte 
(No, don't try to excuse yourself)
No juegues a insistir 
(Don't play at insisting) 
Las excusas ya existían antes de ti 

(The excuses were already there before you) 

No, no me mires como antes 
(No, don't look at me like before,) 
No hables en plural  
(Don't talk in the plural) 
La retórica es tu arma más letal 
(Rhetoric is your most lethal weapon)  

Voy a pedirte que no vuelvas más 
I am going to ask you never to return) 
Siento que me dueles todavía aquí  
I feel that that you still hurt me here)  
Adentro (Inside) 
Y que a tu edad sepas bien lo que es
(And that at your age you know well what it is
Romperle el corazón a alguien así 

(To break the heart of someone else like this) 

No se puede vivir con tanto veneno,  
(One cannot live with so much passion) 
La esperanza que me da tu amor  
The hope your love gives me)  
No me la dio más nadie 
(No one gave me more ever)  
Te juro, no miento 
(I swear, I do not lie) 

No se puede morir con tanto veneno 
(One cannot live with so much passion) 
No se puede dedicar el alma 
One cannot devote one's soul)
A acumular intentos 
Attempting again and again) 
Pesa más la rabia que el cemento  
(Anger weighs heavier than cement


Espero que no esperes que te espere 
(I hope you don't expect that I'll wait for you) 
Después de mis 26 

(After turning twenty-six)  
La paciencia se me ha ido hasta los pies  
(Patience has sunk down to my feet)
Y voy deshojando margaritas 
(And I go plucking daisy petals)  
Y mirando sin mirar
(And wondering without looking)  
Para ver si así, te irritas y te vas 
To see if you get irritated and leave)

Live Performance:

Ideas for an English version.
No, don't tell me reasons why
Don't try to insist
Your reasons, weren't they just another lie?

No, don't look at me that way
Don't say how I'm missed
Your words are just a lethal game you play.

I'm going to ask you never to return
I still feel how you hurt me here inside
In my heart
And at your age, you know well what it is
To break the heart of someone else like this.

No, no-one can live with so much passion
The hope that your love gave me
No-one else gave me before
I swear, I do not lie.

No, no-one can die with so much passion
No-one can devote their soul
Trying again and again
Anger weighs down like coal.

I hope you don't expect I'll wait for you.
Since turning twenty-six
Patience has sunk down to my toes
So here I am counting daisy petals
Wondering without looking
To see if you'll get fed up now and go.

Cœur de Pirate — Francis

Cœur de Pirate
— Francis

English translation. 
Original French lyrics by Beatrice Martin

Francis, you have so much to say
But it all stays locked inside
And when you know not what to say
That’s when the tears begin to slide.
But to your fans, it wouldn’t seem
You had anything to hide
You encourage them to dream,
And all your secrets you confide.

Francis, the words stay firmly glued
In front of this girl who wants
Nothing more than to be wooed
But you don’t know that’s what she wants.
Your throat tightens and you go dumb
Your heart beats fast every time
The sight of her makes you numb
So scared, you don’t act in time.

As for me, I won’t forget you
And I trust that you’ll help spur
Those who feel the same for you
As you write in your songs for her.

Francis, I just want you to know
I’ll be leaving very soon,
I will think of you, you know
Each time my fingers play your tune.
Remember how we were enthralled,
And never will you lose heart
So long as you'll not be falled
By those who’d rather tear apart.



Hille said: This was truly lovely, I love french music but had never heard of her before, reminded me of many sweet and child-like female voices who I am a fan of like Emiliana Torrini, Stina Nordenstam and Lisa Ekdahl. Thanks for the translation, spot on!
okei said: Really glad you enjoyed this. I love her voice and from an interview I heard she seems like a really sweet person. I once bought a CD by Nordenstam when I was a big fan of Enya, but don't listen to that kind of thing much now. I haven't heard of the other two names you mentioned. But Coeur de Pirate is alive and vibrant somehow as well as being child-like, more like world music which I love...I'm very tempted to buy her album.  Edit: I did buy her album!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Cœur de Pirate — Lève les voiles

"Lève les voiles" has a double-meaning, both "raise the sails" & "cast off the veils". Below are the original lyrics of Coeur de Pirate (Beatrice Martin) and my translation into English. Thanks to Catherine Armant for reassurances that the interpretation is good.

Lève les voiles

Lève les voiles, ô voilier blanc      Lift up the sails, o white sailboat
Mais lève au vent qui tourne          But lift up to the winds that bend
Lève les voiles sur d’autres chemins  Lift up the sails on fresh travails
Rêvant de voir la fin                 Dreaming to see the end

Tombée d’étoiles                      Fallen from the stars
Cette nuit qui chante                 This night that sings
De vivre au gré du temps              To live as time should will

Mais lève les voiles, ô voilier blanc Lift up the sails, o white sailboat
Mais lève quand tourne le vent        But lift up to the winds that bend

Catherine said: Ah, ... adorable, so lovely. This little Song feels so good. And I love your interpretation of the French words, I really do. It is just perfect. Thank you very much for this.
Nancy said: Wonderful song!

Lhasa de Sela — El Desierto

Lhasa de Sela (1972-2010)
— El Desierto (The Desert)

He venido al desierto para rear de tu amor  
(I've come to the desert to laugh at your love)
Que el desierto es más tierno y la espina besa mejor 

(As the desert's more tender and the thorn kisses better.)
He venido a ese centro de la nada pa' gritar
(I've come to this middle of nowhere to shout)
Que tú nunca mereciste lo que tanto quise dar
(That you never deserved what I wanted to give so badly.)

He venido yo corriendo, olvidándome de ti
(I've come running, trying to forget you)
Dame un beso pajarillo, y no te asustes colibrí
(Give me a kiss little bird, don't get frightened humming bird)
He venido encendida al desierto pa' quemar
(I've come on fire to the desert to burn)
Porque el alma prende fuego cuando deja de amar
(Because the soul is set alight when it stops loving)

Lhasa explains her father's philosophy about growth and breaking free, which inspired her song "soon this space will be too small".  

Each time we reclaim our freedom and break through the barriers that enclose our world, we come into a new and bigger world and face new barriers and circumstances. new dangers, new choices and new freedoms to be re-claimed. Just as the baby in the womb must think, "this is it!" at birth, so we think at death. But is it? Or are we too smart for our own good.

Arjuna said: A very beautiful & a very wise person. Loved the song, your translation, and her thoughts on growth.
Eden said: I think she is beautiful as well, so sad to hear she has died. I too loved the song, the words and the story of her father's idea. I've added these to my favorites. Thank you for introducing her to us.
Kathy said: To return with such a memorable tribute is so very good of you to share, Okei. You are among a few friends who stole some time away recently, and it is nice to have you return. Hope your visit with your family was a pleasant one. ~ Blessings!
Lin said: ((okie)) Wonderful to see you again. "Soon this space will be too small" Thank you !!!
Tamara said: (((*okei*))) thank you
okei said:  Thanks all! I would like to continue the arc of thought of her father... it makes me think of Freedom. We are all enclosed by our world and circumstances in various ways. And we must find our freedom within this world, to reclaim that which is ours. And sometimes this means to break down barriers into a new and bigger world, but this involves facing more unpredictability, more dangers and more choices... with more freedoms, and yet we are still not truly free...

Indeed, she has a very distinctive face, perhaps because of her native American roots. They call her a Mexican/American/Canadian singer, but she was beyond those kinds of labels. (And she sang songs in Spanish, French and English.)
Excerpt from which the above interview was taken with selections of her music and music she liked: 

Cesária Évora & Marisa Monte — Mar Azul

Cesária Évora & Marisa Monte 
 — Mar Azul (The Azure Sea)

Nunca no zanga We've never quarreled
Nunca no tive um briga feia We’ve never had a serious argument
Nunca no pensa na separaçon We’ve never thought of parting
Nunca no fri nos coraçon Or wounded each other

Deus ta leva-no sempre assim May God always keep us this way
Na paz, amor e carinho In peace, love and affection

Na otra vida tem tempestade For life is made up of storms
Vento do norte, vento do sul North winds, south winds

Ma sperança di mar azul But the hope of the azure sea
É pa quem tem fé na sê amor. Bears up those who believe in their love.

Speak in Sympathy (Solar Stone feat. Elizabeth Fields)

This was my first ever post on Multiply, and now my first on Blogspot too. 
One of my favourite songs ever! (with hopefully correct lyrics unlike all the incorrect ones online) 

From 'Lost Language' (2002) by Solar Stone.
Speak in Sympathy (Solar Stone feat. Elizabeth Fields)

The summer's breeze blows soft and slow
And in my arms I know you know.
The change of seeds we so gently sow

Can only grow and grow.

And when I'm lost, you speak in sympathy
And when I'm tired, you breathe life into me
And when I'm hurt, you put your arms around me
And when I'm cold, you find the warmth inside of me.

The morning dew lies on the leaves
And what's left between is you and me.
The song thrush calls and it speaks to me (you and me)
You're the only matter to me I ever need to hear.


And so the trees bend in the breeze
And I find strength in all I feel
The softest touch you give to me (you and me)
You're the only matter to me I ever need to hear.

-----Refrain (x3)-----

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Unexpected Beauty

Eyes not up nor down, 
   focused on the heart.
Each step could go right 
   or left or walk into 
   another universe. 
Each breath, 
   each moment, 


"Each step could go right or left or walk into another universe." Hille said: I like that. :) I think I am mostly doing the last these days, when synchronicity keeps bombarding you then no sort of fiction can surpass the strangeness of reality!
I really was doing walking meditation while using this poem (which I'd written 3 days earlier) as a contemplation technique, a philosophy of "expect the unexpected" and a sense of presence in every moment, when I turned the corner and was stopped in my tracks by this beautiful rainbow...and of course the desire to grasp it surfaced and I just had to take out my mobile to photograph it.
Karol said: How good is this.!... Thanks for the beautiful poem, the beautiful rainbow, and a very good technique.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Still Light & Moon

Still Light

You picture your mother as a tree
– somehow that makes it easier.
A silver birch, undressing
unhurriedly, as though days were years,
while a fine rain plays
like jazz in her hair. She drops
her fine, white leaves
one by one. Her branches
are almost bare now. See,
how beautiful she is 
against the darkening sky.
— Shazea Quraishi


Last night, when the moon
slipped into my attic room
as an oblong of light,
I sensed she’d come to commiserate.

It was August. She traveled
with a small valise
of darkness, and the first few stars
returning to the northern sky,

and my room, it seemed,
had missed her. She pretended
an interest in the bookcase
while other objects

stirred, as in a rock pool,
with unexpected life:
strings of beads in their green bowl gleamed,
the paper-crowded desk;

the books, too, appeared inclined
to open and confess.
Being sure the moon
harbored some intention,

I waited; watched for an age
her cool gaze shift
first toward a flower sketch
pinned on the far wall

then glide down to recline
along the pinewood floor,
before I’d had enough. “Moon”
I said, “We’re both scarred now.

Are they quite beyond you,
the simple words of love? Say them.
You are not my mother;
with my mother, I waited unto death.”
Kathleen Jamie from ‘The Overhaul’ (2012)

Painting: ‘Fairyland’ by Edward Reginald Frampton

Link: Snippets of Being: Meeting the inner child and the outer parent

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Verse Fragment on Love

In darkening horizons 
I hear your furtive call
Star-sprinkling with delight,

"There is no other way
To heaven but through love—
No faster way to hell
Than fearing love is lost."


Photo: "Nasturtium", detail from a painting by Levi Wells Prentice

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Melting into Formlessness

Hidden behind the veil of mystery, Beauty is eternally free from the slightest stain of imperfection.  From the atoms of the world, He created a multitude of mirrors; into each one of them He cast the image of His Face; to the awakened eye, anything that appears beautiful is only a reflection of that Face. Now that you have seen the reflection, hurry to its Source; in that primordial Light the reflection vanishes completely.  Do not linger far from that primal Source; when the reflection fades, you will be lost in darkness.  The reflection is as transient as the smile of a rose; if you want permanence, turn towards the Source; if you want fidelity, look to the Mine of faithfulness.  Why tear your soul apart over something here one moment and gone the next? 
Jami, trans. Andrew Harvey & Eryk Hanut, ‘Perfume of the Desert’

Just wait.  After I steam the rice, reduce
the sauce, sauté the chicken with tarragon
and grapes, after I watch every morsel
disappear, then, satisfied that you are
satisfied, I’ll let you lay hands on me..
Karen Kovacik, closing lines to “The Art of Love” from Beyond the Velvet Curtain (The Kent State University Press, 1999)

We, in the grappling nights,
we fall from nearness to nearness;
and where Beloved in loving thaws,
we are a plunging stone.

Rainer Maria Rilke (1922, trans. —okei)

I am pure word, come!
Hold me in your gentle hands
Under a pale moon
Take me into you
But should you dare unwrap me
Nothing! Nothing there.

Photo: Azure Roman Pool at Hearst Castle, California by Trey Ratcliff