მე, ზამთრისაგან ჯაჭვაწყვეტილი,
ნაცნობ ბაღისკენ მივემართები,
სად ფერად უცხო, ყნოსვად კეთილი,
ზამთარ და ზაფხულ ჰყვავის ვარდები.
Unchained from winter,
I walk to a long-known garden,
Where, sweet-scented and bright,
Roses grow winter and summer through.
• ვარდები, გალაკტიონ ტაბიძე
• “Roses”, Galaktion Tabidze — a translation into English
«Il mare è la civiltà», disse [Franco Scoglio] una volta, «il sentimento, la passione, le tempeste, ma l’amore, gli sbarchi, le partenze, il mare è tutto. La follia va di pari passo con il mare». — Ultrà. Il volto nascosto delle tifoserie di calcio in Italia, Tobias Jones (2020)
• “The sea is civilization,” [Franco Scoglio] said once, “sentiment, passion, storms, love, landings, leavings, the sea is everything… madness walks with the sea.” — Ultra: The Underworld of Italian Football, Tobias Jones (2019)
I’m not sure if the Italian is the original Italian or an Italian translation of Jones’s English translation of the original Italian. But it seems to be the former.
• Franco Scoglio en italiano
• Franco Scoglio in English
Omnes una manet nox. — Horace, Odes 1, 28.
• “One night awaits us all.”
« Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte. » — Blaise Pascal, Lettres provinciales (1657)
“I’ve made this [letter] longer only because I haven’t had time to make it shorter.” — Blaise Pascal
« La couleur est mon obsession quotidienne, ma joie et mon torment. » — Claude Monet (1840-1926)
“Color is my day-long obsession, my joy and my torment.” — Claude Monet
• მელიამ მგელს შესძახა: შე უმი ხორცის ჭამიაო!
•• Meliam mgels šesdzakha: še umi khortsis ch’amiao!
••• FOX-agentive WOLF-dative called: thou raw MEAT-genitive EATER-vocative
•••• The fox called to the wolf: “Thou eater of raw meat!”
••••• The pot called the kettle black.
• Le record de froid peut atteindre -77°C, alors que l’été le thermomètre peut monter jusqu’à 30°C. Les températures hivernales causent des phénomènes étonnants. Par exemple, ce que les Yakoutes appellent « le chuchotement des étoiles » : lorsqu’il gèle, l’homme entend en permanence le doux bruissement de sa respiration qui gèle dès qu’il expire.
• At its worst the cold can reach -77°C, while in summer the thermometer can climb to 30°C. Winter temperatures cause some astonishing phenomena. For example, there is what the Yakuts call “the whisper of the stars”: when it’s freezing, you constantly hear the soft rustle of your own breath, which is turning into ice-crystals even as you exhale.
• Cry’ Me A Shiver — an interview with French avant-gardistes Cryogénie, les Rois du Froid and Kings of Cold…
«Je ne suis rien qu’un lézard littéraire qui se chauffe toute la journée au grand soleil du beau» — Gustave Flaubert, Croisset, 17 octobre 1846
• “I am nothing but a literary lizard basking all day in the great sun of beauty.”
Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, deerit nihil. – Cicero (106-43 BC), Epistulae ad Familiares, Liber IX, Epistula IV
• “If you have a garden and a library, you lack for nothing.” — Cicero, Letters to Friends, Book 9, Letter 4
Green on green on green
The light befalls me clean,
Beneath the birds.
And how I can capture
This mute green rapture
In blinded words? (7viii21)
This poem is an attempt to describe the impossibility of describing the green light I saw falling through the leaf-layers of a chestnut-tree a few days ago. I wanted a title that compressed the most important images in the poem — trees and greenness — and I remembered a clever portmanteau I’d seen in a Spanish translation of Lord of the Rings. In the translation, the Ent Treebeard, a walking-and-talking tree, was called Barbol, which is a blend of the Spanish words barba, “beard”, and arbol, “tree”. I’ve tried to blend Spanish verde, “green”, and arbol. The resulting portmanteau contained more than I planned: it’s also got ver, Spanish for “to see”, and vēr, Latin for “spring, youth”. And it’s almost “verbal”, but with the “a” replaced by an “o”, representing the sun and its indescribable light. And come to think of it, there’s an important chestnut-tree in Lord of the Rings:
A little way beyond the battle-field they made their camp under a spreading tree: it looked like a chestnut, and yet it still bore many broad brown leaves of a former year, like dry hands with long splayed fingers; they rattled mournfully in the night-breeze. — The Two Towers, ch. 11
That’s when Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are camping on the edge of Fangorn, the ancient forest where Treebeard dwells. The broadness of chestnut-leaves is why the light that falls through them is greened and cleaned in a special way.