The Man Who Married Magdalene

The man who married Magdalene   
Had not forgiven her.
God might pardon every sin ...   
Love is no pardoner.

Her hands were hollow, pale, and blue,   
Her mouth like watered wine.
He watched to see if she were true   
And waited for a sign.

It was old harlotry, he guessed,   
That drained her strength away,   
So gladly for the dark she dressed,   
So sadly for the day.

Their quarrels made her dull and weak   
And soon a man might fit
A penny in the hollow cheek
And never notice it.

At last, as they exhausted slept,   
Death granted the divorce,   
And nakedly the woman leapt   
Upon that narrow horse.

But when he woke and woke alone   
He wept and would deny
The loose behavior of the bone   
And the immodest thigh.

    - Louis Simpson

I have not read him before, but this poem touched my heart.  Once a harlot, ever the harlot is what the world is branded with the scarlet letter, with death being the only salvation.  Sadly time has not altered this perception at the Magdalenes of the world who are trying to turn a new leaf but with the world defeating them with every step.

Source: PoetryFoundation

Ziad's Poetry

There is not much time left
You who are standing at the crossroads of contradictions 

I know
You will be my last mistake.

I ask you
How long will I still be your first mistake?

You have plenty of time for more than a start
But all endings are short.

I now end up with you
Who gives to life another life that is good for more than one ending?

- Ahlam Mosteghanemi
Memories in the Flesh

  I have just read the first book and I fell in love with the snippets that Ziad, one of the characters, writes. Sadly I have to be content with just the translations.   
I have recently started/joined a poetry club.  So on day one, I was very excited when I took one of my favourite poems for discussion.  I had just discovered this little jewel by Elizabeth Bishop and wanted to share it with the group.

One Art

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three beloved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

-- Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) a disaster.

- Elizabeth Bishop
Source: Google
We have all dealt with losses, no surprise there.  But everyone's attitude towards loss is different.  What captivated me is the poet's apparent nonchalant attitude towards loss though it seemed to have faltered at the last paragraph.  However of all the lines, the best that appealed to me or should I say to the migrant within me are the lines "I lost two cities...". 

For someone who no longer feels any kind of attachment towards either of the countries that I belong to, I believe these lines resonate with my prolonged state of detachment and subsequent loss.


Something there is in beauty...

Something there is in beauty
That grows in the soul of the beholder
Like a flower
Fragile -
For many are the blights
that may waste
the beauty
or the beholder
and imperishable
for the beauty may die
or the beholder may die
or the world may die
but the soul in which the flower grows

Stephen R. Donaldson (Lord Foul's Bane, chapter 5)

I am afraid whatever I write here might not do justice to the above lines :)  Besides any mistranslation of the author's work might indeed be desecration of his work ( a line I stole from one of his fan pages !!!)  I am indeed contradicting myself when I say these lines especially after being wowed by Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubiayat, but then I am full of surprise there.

Anyway I leave the interpretation of the above poem to the readers, after all I am just the facilitator here bringing you some beautiful verses that have been penned so far.  

For those who do not know Donaldson, he writes fantasy novels which remind one very much of the "Lord of the Rings" chronicles.  However I will be talking more about him when I cover his series under Books.