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Showing posts from April, 2010

Solitude

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I think I am a very sociable person and I love being with family and friends. Wherever I go and whatever I do, there is always somebody near me: at home, at work, in the street, in the bus stop, in the tube station...However, sometimes I feel like being alone and I do enjoy every minute of the very few moments nobody is with me. I have found that those moments can be very positive, emotionally refreshing and gratifying because I can relax and think in complete silence.







Paradise Lost,Book IX: 249
by John Milton (1608-1674)

For solitude sometimes is best society







Book Day

It is said that on this day in 1616 William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes, Garcilaso de la Vega, and William Wordsworth died. Well, it is not entirely true if one takes into consideration the Julian Calendar and the Gregorian calendar but the fact is that UNESCO calls today "World Book and Copyright Day."

Certainly, no matter when they died, today is the perfect day to take a book and read it. Reading a book is like travelling on your own or in company to a faraway place. Reading a book is like living other people´s lives. Reading a book can be the beginning of something great. You just have to go to the shelf and take one.

Today I am including a short poem from Shakespeare, Cervantes, Garcilaso and Wordsworth. Two poems in English and two in Spanish. Beauty in both languages.

A Fairy Song
by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)


Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sp…

A time to mourn

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Yesterday was one of the most tragic days in the history of Poland. Nobody remembers a catastrophic accident like the one that took place yesterday in Smolensk, Russia. Nearly 100 people died in a plane crash that will stay in Polish people´s minds for generations to come. The fatal accident killed the president of Poland, his wife and most of the political, economic, ecclesiastical and military key people of the country. Certainly, such an accident should never have occurred but now it's too late. It is not yet the right time to analyze the reasons why so many officials were flying in the same plane. It is not yet the time to find out why the pilot tried to land several times and did not opt for landing in a nearby airport.Nowis the time for prayer and mourning.
I have just paid my respects to Mr Lech Aleksander Kaczyński, one of the most important and influencial political leaders Poland has ever had. Today I've seen streets crowded with people. I've seen thousands and…

A simple life

Sometimes I think that I wish I had been born a few centuries ago. Every day I find myself doing the same things and hastily running to and fro, queuing everywhere and getting stressed in whatever I do. I see myself like an ocean wave that comes and goes aimlessly. Certainly I miss the simple life my grandfather had (or I think he had) in hisvillage.

Today I am including an ode written by Alexander Pope entitled "Ode on Solitude", which he took from Horace's "Epode 2". Here he praises the simplicity and innocence of country life. Words such as air, ground, fields, flocks, fire, summer, winter and quiet contrast with the daily routine of my life that could be reflected in words like car, bus, metro, rush, stress and noise.

Ode on Solitude
by Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

How happy he, who free from care
The rage of courts, and noise of towns;
Contented breathes his native air,
In his own grounds.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply…

John Keats and the Pacific Ocean

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--> Most Madrid tube stations bear the names of people who did something important in their lives and had a great influence in others. For example, there is a station called “Gregorio Marañón” dedicated to the memory of a scientific, historian, thinker and important doctor who wrote the first Spanish tract on internal medicine. Also, there is another station called “Rubén Darío” dedicated to the great Nicaraguan poet who is regarded as the initiator of the Modernism movement that appeared at the end of the 19th century.
However, this post is about a Madrid tube station called “Núñez de Balboa”. The station is in line 9 and commuters can easily recognize it in the tube map because of its vivid violet colour. The line starts in Herrera Oria (right in the north of Madrid) and it goes all the way down to the south of Madrid in a place called Arganda del Rey. Today Núñez de Balboa is regarded as the first man who “discovered” or “saw” the Pacific Ocean back in 1513 after having crossed …