Sunday, April 29, 2012

Arabic Version of Shakespeare's Richard II

(Iman Aoun / Ashtar Theater) ART, MUSIC & CULTURE Shakespeare in Palestine: theater director speaks on Arabic version of Richard II Sarah Irving The Electronic Intifada 27 April 2012 The Ashtar theater group is taking their performance of Richard II to the UK. Next week (4-5 May), the Ramallah-based Ashtar theater group will be performing its production of William Shakespeare’s Richard II at the Globe Theater in London. The production is part of the Globe 2 Globe festival, which sees all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays being performed in languages ranging from Lithuanian to Arabic, Japanese to sign language. The Electronic Intifada contributor Sarah Irving spoke to Iman Aoun, artistic director of Ashtar, about the Palestinian contribution to the festival. THE INTERVIEW: Sarah Irving: Could you start by telling us a little about the history of Ashtar? Iman Aoun: The company was started in 1991. My partner Edward Muallam and I started it as a training organization for young people offering an extra-curricular program in drama. Since then we’ve been working on training the students and in parallel doing productions with them. Since 1995 we also formed an ensemble from the graduates of the program together with professionals, and this ensemble has been doing co-productions every year with other companies, whether national, Arab or international, and touring both nationally and internationally. In 1997, we introduced Theater of the Oppressed [a form of popular theater, founded in Brazil in the 1970s, which is made by, and for, people engaged in struggle for liberation] in Palestine and we’ve been working since then on this methodology, spreading it by training community members and other people to use it. READ rest of the interview here Here's another item related to Palestinian concerns: UK Supermarket Chain and Boycott of Israel Firms...GO here

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Somewhere in us a dignity presides

The Inner History of a Day

No one knew the name of this day;
Born quietly from deepest night,
It hid its face in light,
Demanded nothing for itself,
Opened out to offer each of us
A field of brightness that traveled ahead,
Providing in time, ground to hold our footsteps
And the light of thought to show the way.

The mind of the day draws no attention;
It dwells within the silence with elegance
To create a space for all our words,
Drawing us to listen inward and outward.

We seldom notice how each day is a holy place
Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens,
Transforming our broken fragments
Into an eternal continuity that keeps us.

Somewhere in us a dignity presides
That is more gracious than the smallness
That fuels us with fear and force,
A dignity that trusts the form a day takes.

So at the end of this day, we give thanks
For being betrothed to the unknown
And for the secret work
Through which the mind of the day
And wisdom of the soul become one.


May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love

~ John O’Donohue ~

(To Bless the Space Between Us)

After deciding to post this poem on this site, I heard "by chance" some of Symphony No. 5 in E minor (Tchaikovsky) on the radio. Somehow this music felt so fitting. So I suggest you may want to listen as well in context to the topic here. When I read a bit about the composition, I was assured the music fit indeed.

Find the illustration a related Donohue poem on day's beginning here
Photo's title: Clearing Storm, Pioneer Basin, California-0-0

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hafiz on the Arc of Anger


I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our Beloved's.

I have come into this world to see this:
all creatures hold hands as we pass through this miraculous existence we share on the way to even a greater being of soul...

SEE source of this image called "Between Heaven and Earth" and full text for this poem here

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Poem-Message from the East to the West (1923)

A Poem from The Message of the East (1923) by Allama Iqbal

O morning breeze, convey this to the Western sage from me:

With wings unfolded, Wisdom is a captive all the more.

It tames the lightning, but Love lets it strike its very heart:

In courage Love excels that clever sorcerer by far.

The eye sees just the colour of the tulip and the rose;

But far more obvious, could we see it, is the flower’s core.

It is not strange that you have the Messiah’s healing touch:

What is strange is your patient is the more sick for your cure.

Though you have gathered knowledge, you have thrown away the heart;

With what a precious treasure you have thought it fit to part!

The courting of philosophy is a vain quest, indeed;

For in its school Love’s lofty regimen is not decreed.

Such are its blandishments, it leads astray the pupil’s heart:

There is no mischief its coquettish glances do not breed.

But its cold fire can never set the seeker’s heart aflame:

It cannot give the heart Love’s sweet pain, though it makes it bleed.

Though it has roamed the deserts, it has captured no gazelle;

Though it has searched the garden, it has not a rose for meed.

The wisest thing that we can do is to appeal to Love;

For our desires’ fulfilment we should always kneel to Love.

Wisdom, since it set foot on life’s labyrinthine way,

Has set the sea on fire and made the whole world go awry.

Its alchemy converted worthless grains of sand to gold;

But oh! it gave the wounded heart no love-balm to apply.

Alas! we were so foolish as to let it steal our wits:

It waylaid us, subjecting us to highway robbery.

It raised up much dust from the civilization of the West

To cast into that civilization’s Holy Saviour’s eye.

O how long can you go on sowing sparks and reaping flames,

And tying up your heart in knots which bear new-fangled names?

The self-absorbed and world-regarding wisdom are two things.

The nightingale and falcon have two different kinds of wings.

It is one thing to pick up stray grain lying on the ground;

Another to peck at gems in the Pleiades’ earrings.

It is one thing to roam the garden like the morning breeze;

Another to delve in the rose’s inmost ponderings.

It is one thing to let doubt and conjecture bog you down;

Another to look up and see celestial happenings.

Blest is the Wisdom which has both the worlds in its domain,

Which calls man’s heart’s fire as well as the angels’ light its own.

We, since we issued forth out of the sacred shrine of Love,

Have burnished mirror-bright the very dust beneath our feet.

O look at our adventurousness in the game of life;

For we have robbed the wealth of both the worlds and boldly staked it.

We watch the day-and-night procession move before our eyes,

With our tents pitched right on the margin of a running streamlet.

Once in our heart, which launched a night-raid on this ancient fane,

There was a fire which we breathed into all things, dry or wet.

We were a flame; we flickered, broke down and became a spark:

And since then we burn fitfully, with yearnings vague and dark.

Love learned the greedy ways of earthly lust and burst all bounds:

It caught men in its toils as fish are caught by fishermen.

Preferring war to peace, it reared up armies everywhere,

Which plunged their swords into the hearts of their own kith and kin.

It gave the name of empire to its acts of banditry;

And heavy sat its yoke on those who lived in its domain.

Now, holding in its hand a goblet full of human blood,

It dances madly to the tune of flute and tambourine.

It is high time that we washed clean the tablet of our heart:

It is high time that with a clean slate we made a fresh start.

The royal crown has passed into the hands of highwaymen.

Hushed is the song of Darius; mute is Alexander’s flute.

Farhad has changed his pickaxe for the sceptre of Parvez.

Gone are the joy of mastership, the toil of servitude.

Freed from his bondage, Joseph sits on Pharaoh’s high throne:

The tales and wiles of Potiphar’s wife cannot win her suit.

Old secrets that were veiled stand unveiled in the market-place:

No longer are they subjects of debate for the elite.

Unveil your eyes and you will see that in full view of you

Life is creating for itself a world completely new.

In this our ancient dust I find the pure gold of the soul:

Each atom of it is a star’s eye with the power to see.

In every grain of sand lodged in the womb of mother earth

I see the promise of a many-branched fruit-laden tree.

I find the mountain as light as a tiny blade of grass,

And heavy as a mountain seems a blade of grass to me.

A revolution too big for the universe’s mind

I see, I know not how: I see it just about to be.

O happy he who sees the horseman, not the dust alone,

Who in the throbbing of the strings sees music’s essence drawn.

Life is, and as long as it lasts, will be a running stream:

This old wine’s youthful effervescense will always be new.

What has been but should not have been will not be any more:

What should have been but has not been will be— it must be so.

Love is all eyes for Beauty’s revelations yet to be:

And Beauty, fond of self-display, must always be on view:

Deep in the earth that I have watered with my blood-stained tears

My teardrops will remain embedded, gems of a rich hue.

“I see in the dark night a portent of the coming dawn.

My candle has been put out, but to greet the rising sun.”

[Translated by M. Hadi Husain]

Allama Iqbal

I found this poem at The Republic of Rumi Blog
Top under blogs for 29 March 2012 Igbal Studies

Breathtaking Image at the top: Stormy Sunrise Over the East Fork of the Cimarron, Uncompahgre Wilderness, Colorado found as: Stormy_Sunrise_East_Fork_10x15_500.jpg
(Colorado is the state of oneheartforpeace blogger's birth)