Feb 22 2009

From Petrarcha’s Trionfo del Tempo

Your triumphs and your pomp transpire,
The nobility passes and kingdoms crumble,
Time brings low all mortal things;
And what he reaps from those less good, he does not pass to those more worthy:
And not only the superficial things are laid waste by time,
But also your eloquence and works of genius.
Thus sped along, the world moves with him;
He takes no time to rest; neither does he stop nor turn from his appointed course,
Until in the end he has transformed you back to your essence: a bit of dust.

–Francesco Petrarca, Trionfo del Tempo (The Triumph of Time), v. 112-120 (S.H. transl.) (ca. 1352)

Swiped from Harper’s - visit and see the wonderful detail from a tapestry illustrating the poem

No tag for this post.

Nov 22 2008

Think your writer’s block couldn’t get worse? Think again.

I confess: every time I open a new notebook, writing pad or agenda, I panic. How can I possibly sully that perfect white paper? Whatever I write down better be good. It better be brilliant.

I own a lot of blank notebooks.

Then along comes something new. At first you think, Okay, someone’s obviously put a lot of thought and effort into this. Then you think, Is this tasteless and disrespectful? And then you think, Oh my god I will NEVER doodle again.

Tags: , , ,

Jul 27 2008

The world’s oldest oil paintings

When the Buddhas of Bamiyan were carved out of the mountainside, the Roman Empire still held sway.

They towered over a rich valley in what is now central Afghanistan, where caravans of traders would stop and rest on the Silk Road as they transported goods between east and west.For centuries the two huge statues stood guard over Bamiyan. But in 2001, just months before they were forced from power, the Taleban dynamited what they considered un-Islamic representations of the human form.

Today all that remains are the recesses where they stood, and the labyrinth of fragile caves surrounding them…

Inside those caves the steep, narrow steps are crumbling, there are cracks in the mud tunnels carved into the mountainside, and still visible high in the echoing chambers are pieces of Buddhist iconic art which are now thought to be the oldest oil paintings in the world.

Read the full article here. (Don’t miss the video at the beginning!)

Tags: , , , , , ,