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Category: Literature & Language

Majnūn and Laila

The boy who called himself Majnūn (مجنون) – part 2

‘Majnūn’ was an unflattering epithet in the social circles that I frequented. The word alluded disparagingly to a failed lover, a good-for-nothing outcast.

Majnūn and Laila

The boy who called himself Majnūn (مجنون)

Here was my very own Eliza Doolittle, the Audrey Hepburn to my Rex Harrison. My Fair Lady in person. What all I could do with her. I was rip-roaring to get started.

Me and Don Quixote Don Quijote

Don Quijote el gran caballero andante, Sancho, y yo

En esos momentos es cuando me gustaba ir al encuentro de los molinos en lo alto del cerro para sentarme a los pies de” esos gigantes con aspas” sintiendo que todos mis problemas iban a ser triturados por las ruedas del molino y lanzados al viento que los alejaría de mi al infinito de esa llanura castellana sin fin.

Me and Don Quixote Don Quijote

Don Quixote the great knight-errant, Sancho, & me

I enjoyed going to meet the windmills at the top of the hill to sit at the feet of “those giants with blades” feeling that all my problems could be ground down in the wheels of the mill and thrown to the wind that would take them far from me into the infinite space of that endless Castilian plain.

Salman Kureishi on Faiz

Persistence of Memory –Culture and Partition in the Poetry of Faiz Ahmed Faiz

In Blackout, Faiz mixes images of Muslim and Hindu sacred origins as a symbolic defiance of the Partition. In the lyrical and romantic poem Ya’d’ (Memory or Remembrance), the pain of separation from the beloved (Jan) and exile (fira’q & hijr) also represent a yearning for the pre-Partition problematic, undivided self. In these lyrical poems, Faiz constantly raises questions of ‘home’ and ‘exile’, that defy the space of separation of the two nation-states.

Fearless Dreams of Selma and Abidah

Fearless Dreams: an outstanding life, a brilliant mind

I can tell by the way Abidah Puhpo speaks, how proud she is of her uncles’ accomplishments, but she herself is no less accomplished. Fluent in five languages, she has translated one of my books into Urdu. Her choice of words has made my stories come alive. They sound better than my English words. She is the keeper of our family stories. Her memory is flawless. I watch her speak and wonder how she will narrate her own story. I want to know more about her herstory.

The Ridgeway

The Wonderful Ridgeway: On the Oldest Road in Britain

The only sound was of the wind, soughing through the firs, standing fair and square to the wind with the cones firmly attached despite the efforts of the wind.

learn a foreign language

How keeping a diary can help adults learn a foreign language

CLICK HERE: https://theconversation.com/how-keeping-a-diary-can-help-adults-learn-a-foreign-language-154597

E-Max-Ernst-Leonora-in-the-Morning-Light-1940-Detail-by-Cea.-is-licensed-under-CC-BY-2.0

How to end a story? And other fascinating thoughts

The “open-endedness” of the The Hearing Trumpet by British writer, Leonora Carrington, represents life. In the afterword to the newest edition, Polish Nobel Laurette, Olga Tokarczuk, praises the “wild metaphysics” of the story as well as its open-endedness. Here Tokarczuk questions what we look for when we read a story, and then answers that question, thus: “We are seeking a shared communal order, each of us a stitch in a piece of knitted fabric.” As readers, then, we are knitting ourselves into the yarn, till the end and beyond.

Isabella Hammad

From Palestine to Paris: The Parisian by Isabella Hammad

Undocumented immigrants in the US, persecuted minorities of Pakistan, people nostalgic for life under tyranny in Eastern Europe, how do we empathize with those who experience such trauma? Journalists tell us what happens to them; poets, artists, and fiction writers make us feel with them. So if you’ve been following the latest news about Palestine, and you want to feel with the people of Palestine, consider reading or listening to Isabella Hammad’s The Parisian.

Wild Sea and the Milky Way Athwart the Island of Sado Series: The Haiku Series, #4 Edition: 17 of 50 Portfolio: Haiga Portfolio Stanton Macdonald-Wright (United States, Virginia, Charlottesville, 1890-1973) United States, 1966-1967 Prints; woodcuts Woodcut Sheet: 21 3/8 × 17 3/4 in. (54.29 × 45.09 cm) Image: 19 7/8 × 15 7/8 in. (50.48 × 40.32 cm) Gift of Modernage Photography Service, Inc. (M.85.215.4) Prints and Drawings

Because some people like to watch the world learn

araumi ya
Sado ni yokotau
amanogawa
the rough sea
stretching out towards Sado
the Milky Way

Near Delhi gate in Lahore - Victory

Victory though verse in Lahore and Delhi

The cities also house two literary shrines. In Lahore, Urdu Short Story writer, Saadat Hasan Manto is buried. And in Delhi is the mazar of the father of Urdu poetry, Mirza Assad Ullah Khan Ghālib. They lived in different times but they are connected by the words they wrote.

Who knows why springs dry up and why words get left unspoken

Joy in the Alphabet of Life

Each letter has its place related to lines that have already been drawn. At times, a letter grandstands at the opening of a sentence, and at others a it announces the end. Sometimes it must connect with the letters on each side, smoothly, mixing in becoming one of the group. And then there are those that connect awkwardly and prefer their own space, distant from others.

Teacher

On Either Side of the Teacher’s Desk

The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros, is one of the many texts I chose for my ESL classes. With a poetic mix of Spanish and English, the story of Esperanza is the story of immigrants and home.

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Through the Looking Glass at Lyndhurst – Unexpected Serendipity

Much has been written about Charles, twenty years older than Ms. Liddell, and his relationship with the little girl. Did he feel any pangs of tender passion, romantic attachment or an aberrant sexual attraction to the little girl, or was it all innocent and pure, merely a platonic fondness with which he was drawn to the little girl on an entirely spiritual plane?

Marcus Aurelius

DEAR MARCUS AURELIUS, LOVE RANJINI

Bk. 5. 1: In the morning, when you find it hard to rouse yourself from your sleep, have these thoughts ready at hand: ‘I am rising to do the work of a human being. Soon I will have a mug, (with Marcus emblazoned on it, or another with the words Amor Fati, Love your Fate, not just accept it, but desire it), steaming with dark-roast coffee.

Dorchester

Dorchester, the Fascinating County Town of Dorset – Unexpected Serendipity

I think Tess of the d’Urbervilles is to the English, what Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary is to the French and Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is to the Russians – themes of sexual encounters, challenge to societal norms, infidelity, carnal desires and passion.

Historia story

The Story of the Unpaired Sock by Eduardo González Constán (translated from Spanish)

“I don’t want to discourage you, but a mismatched sock has no future,” said a stiff, cocky shirt that also hung from the rope.

Historia story

Historia de un calcetín desparejado por Eduardo González Constán (with a complete translation)

Read A complete translation here: The Story of the Unpaired Sock Jamás se le pasaría por su pequeña cabeza de lana a aquel viejo calcetín que cuando saliese de la… Read more Historia de un calcetín desparejado por Eduardo González Constán (with a complete translation)

A photo of Gerardo Pacheco Matus

Magnificence of Spanish, English, and Mayan Poetry

Poetry is all about listening to yourself and listening to those “voices” that speak to you. The way I write poetry is by listening to these voices that begin like hunches and even melodies, and for those who want to write poetry, my best advice is to grab a piece of paper and pencil and just do it.

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