Skip to main content

The East-West Border

The East-West border is always wandering,
sometimes eastward, sometimes west,
and we do not know exactly where it is just now:
in Gaugamela, in the Urals,
or maybe in ourselves,
so that one ear, one eye, one nostril, one hand, one foot,
one lung and one testicle or one ovary
is on the one, another on the other side.
Only the heart
only the heart is always on one side:
if we are looking northward,
in the West;
if we are looking southward, in the East;
and the mouth doesn't know on behalf of which or both
it has to speak.

Jaan Kaplinski

(Sam Hamill and Rita Tamm,
Translators©2006 Copper Canyon Press)

Comments

Newmania said…
I notice an odd sympathy between fogeyish Tories and some Eastern philosophies , well perhaps not so odd .There is a glib confidence in the rational about the West that is not altogether attractive or true.
The Greeks who we see as the well spring of the West were rather more Asian than we have remembered .The conceptually pure white stone statues of Victorian 'classical' age were in fact brightly painted and bejewelled. Dionysus as important as Apollo .
Interesting poem which I would call metaphysical in the sense that it joins thought and physical sensation , the body and the mind , also the comic with the elevated .
It questions the idea of a boundary but understand s the need for one
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Popular posts from this blog

Cicero ReDux

By Special Request of Baroness Scott and Mark Valladares... Cicero's Songs returns: bigger, longer and uncut.
October 1st marked the half way point of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union.  Perhaps for many people such an anniversary is of passing interest at best.  Yet the conduct of the Estonian Presidency is reinforcing just how forward looking and innovative the most northerly of the Baltic States has become.
Estonia is a country that wants to live in the future, and with its openness and innovation, that future seems a lot closer than almost anywhere else in Europe
It is not that Estonia does not “do” the past: the picturesque cobbled streets of old Tallinn have tourist crowds a-plenty enjoying the mediaeval architecture in an Indian summer of sunshine and blue skies.  The real point is that Estonia refuses to be a prisoner of its past. Lennart Meri, Estonia’s President in the 1990s- who spent years of his childhood in Siberia- once told me that the country had to conc…

The American National nightmare becomes a global nightmare

It is a basic contention of this blog that Donald J Trump is not fit for office.

A crooked real estate developer with a dubious past and highly questionable finances. he has systematically lied his way into financial or other advantage. His personal qualities include vulgarity, sexual assault allegations and fraudulent statements on almost every subject. 

He lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes.

He has, of course, been under criminal investigation practically since before he took the oath of office. The indictment of some of closest advisers is just the beginning. His track record suggests that in due course there is no action he will not take, whether illegal or unconstitutional in order to derail his own inevitable impeachment and the indictments that must surely follow the successful investigation of Robert Mueller into his connections with Russia.

However, all of that is a matter for the American people. 

It is also a matter for the American people that Trump is cheating…

In praise of off-shore tax havens

The last few years has seen a spate of "scandals" about the use of off-shore tax havens. The hacking and subsequent leaking of data about who does and does not hold assets in off-shore jurisdictions has become an old perennial in the British press, rather like the "COLD weather happens in winter and QUITE HOT weather happens in summer", whose alarmist capital letter laced headlines are such a lazy part of contemporary "journalism". 

The increasing sophistication of the hackers, whether Russian-inspired or not, has resulted in a steady trickle of information becoming a torrent. After the relatively filleted release of data in the so-called "Panama Papers", the data release of the "Paradise Papers" is even larger.  Of course, just natural curiosity dictates that the off-shore ownership, or even just "ownership", of assets is of general public interest.  Celebrities, from the Royal family to the cast of Mrs Brown's Boys, are …