Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Day to day           [rubai]

From moment to moment and day to day   my mood keeps changing
whatever it is that comprises me   keeps rearranging
at times the sense of love prevails   at times it dwindles
are we designed for ardency?   or built for estranging?

whatever I'd hoped to learn   I have not yet discovered
whatever I'd feared would burn   I have not yet recovered
the simplest fact of being alive   has fiction bested
except perhaps when we discern   how truth is covered

we initially felt an ambition for film
                                    but somehow it faltered
we originally sought for to sail the brine whelm
                                    but somehow it altered
we primoridally dreamed how we'd live in a palace
                                    and drink cherry tea
we once were disposed to explore the wide road
                                    we somehow got sheltered


That history deals with real events and literature with imagined ones may now be seen as a difference in degree rather than in kind.
(Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, in her essay "'Breast-giver': for author, reader, teacher, subaltern, historian," in Mahasweta Devi, Breast Stories (1997))

The interest of this fine formulation transcends, for me, the particular context of its original presentation. It seems to have diverse, ubiquitous, and perhaps one may say endless applications.


Blogger Megha said...

we were designed to choose, perhaps?

"whatever I'd feared would burn I have not yet recovered"
do i assume what you feared did happen or have you not recoverd from the fear?

ps: you might want to disable the word verification :)

Fri Dec 22, 01:56:00 AM PST  
Blogger david raphael israel said...


I believe I'd intended the first meaning. I'm afraid the line is rather stilted; the poem was (I'd say, now) a not-fully-successful experiment -- obviously the line you quote plays on multiple-syllable rhyming (a technique evidently common in Farsi but rare in English). Sometimes, admittedly, I blog substandard effords. (Or perhaps I should just say, I'm not now in the mindset from which that poem sprang.)

About word verification -- originally I did not have it enabled, for a long time, on this blog. But then (some months ago), suddenly I was deluged with literally hundreds of blog-spam comments within the span of less than one day! -- it was such a bothersome experience, I've had word verif. in force since then. I might try turning it off during a period when I'm regularly online (and not traveling); but such a period isn't at hand right now.


Thu Dec 28, 08:07:00 PM PST  
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Sun Sep 11, 11:58:00 PM PDT  

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