Archives for April 2010

Character of the week: William Blake


William Blake “Jacob’s Ladder”

Proverbs of Hell

1. In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.
2. Drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead.
3. The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.
4. Prudence is a rich, ugly old maid courted by Incapacity.
5. He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence.
6. The cut worm forgives the plow.
7. Dip him in the river who loves water.
8. A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.
9. He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.
10. Eternity is in love with the productions of time.
11. The busy bee has no time for sorrow.
12. The hours of folly are measur’d by the clock; but of wisdom, no clock can measure.
13. All wholesome food is caught without a net or a trap.
14. Bring out number, weight and measure in a year of dearth.
15. No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings.
16. A dead body revenges not injuries.
17. The most sublime act is to set another before you.
18. If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.
19. Folly is the cloak of knavery.
20. Shame is Pride’s cloke.
21. Prisons are built with stones of law, brothels with bricks of religion.
22. The pride of the peacock is the glory of God.
23. The lust of the goat is the bounty of God.
24. The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God.
25. The nakedness of woman is the work of God.
26. Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps.
27. The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity, too great for the eye of man.
28. The fox condemns the trap, not himself.
29. Joys impregnate. Sorrows bring forth.
30. Let man wear the fell of the lion, woman the fleece of the sheep.
31. The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.
32. The selfish, smiling fool, and the sullen, frowning fool shall be both thought wise, that they may be a rod.
33. What is now proved was once only imagin’d.
34. The rat, the mouse, the fox, the rabbit watch the roots; the lion, the tyger, the horse, the elephant watch the fruits.
35. The cistern contains: the fountain overflows.
36. One thought fills immensity.
37. Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid you.
38. Every thing possible to be believ’d is an image of truth.
39. The eagle never lost so much time as when he submitted to learn of the crow.
40. The fox provides for himself, but God provides for the lion.
41. Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.
42. He who has suffer’d you to impose on him, knows you.
43. As the plow follows words, so God rewards prayers.
44. The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.
45. Expect poison from the standing water.
46. You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.
47. Listen to the fool’s reproach! it is a kingly title!
48. The eyes of fire, the nostrils of air, the mouth of water, the beard of earth.
49. The weak in courage is strong in cunning.
50. The apple tree never asks the beech how he shall grow; nor the lion, the horse, how he shall take his prey.
51. The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.
52. If others had not been foolish, we should be so.
53. The soul of sweet delight can never be defil’d.
54. When thou seest an eagle, thou seest a portion of genius; lift up thy head!
55. As the caterpiller chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys.
56. To create a little flower is the labour of ages.
57. Damn braces. Bless relaxes.
58. The best wine is the oldest, the best water the newest.
59. Prayers plow not! Praises reap not!
60. Joys laugh not! Sorrows weep not!
61. The head Sublime, the heart Pathos, the genitals Beauty, the hands and feet Proportion.
62. As the air to a bird or the sea to a fish, so is contempt to the contemptible.
63. The crow wish’d every thing was black, the owl that every thing was white.
64. Exuberance is Beauty.
65. If the lion was advised by the fox, he would be cunning.
66. Improvement makes strait roads; but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius.
67. Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires.
68. Where man is not, nature is barren.
69. Truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not be believ’d.
70. Enough! or too much.

William Blake (28 November 1757-12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. His prophetic poetry has been said to form “what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language

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Provérbios do Inferno

No tempo da semeadura, aprende; na colheita, ensina; no inverno, desfruta.
Conduz teu carro e teu arado por sobre os ossos dos mortos.
A estrada do excesso leva ao palácio da sabedoria.
A Prudíªncia é uma solteirona rica e feia, cortejada pela Impotíªncia.
Quem deseja, mas ní£o age, gera a pestilíªncia.
O verme partido perdoa ao arado.
Mergulha no rio quem gosta de água.
O tolo ní£o víª a mesma árvore que o sábio.
Aquele, cujo rosto ní£o se ilumina, jamais há de ser uma estrela.
A Eternidade anda apaixonada pelas produí§íµes do tempo.
A abelha atarefada ní£o tem tempo para tristezas.
As horas de loucura sí£o medidas pelo relógio; mas nenhum relógio mede as de sabedoria.
Os alimentos sadios ní£o sí£o apanhados com armadilhas ou redes.
Toma do número, do peso e da medida em ano de escassez.
Nenhum pássaro se eleva muito, se se eleva com as próprias asas.
Um cadáver ní£o vinga as injúrias.
O ato mais sublime é colocar outro diante de ti.
Se o louco persistisse em sua loucura, acabaria se tornando Sábio.
A loucura é o manto da velhacaria.
O manto do orgulho é a vergonha.
As Prisíµes se constroem com as pedras da Lei, os Bordéis, com os tijolos da Religií£o.
O orgulho do paví£o é a glória de Deus.
A luxúria do bode é a glória de Deus.
A fúria do leí£o é a sabedoria de Deus.
A nudez da mulher é a obra de Deus.
O excesso de tristeza ri; o excesso de alegria chora.
A raposa condena a armadilha, ní£o a si própria.
Os júbilos fecundam. As tristezas geram.
Que o homem use a pele do leí£o; a mulher a lí£ da ovelha.
O pássaro, um ninho; a aranha, uma teia; o homem, a amizade.
O sorridente tolo egoí­sta e o melancólico tolo carrancudo serí£o ambos julgados sábios para que sejam exemplo.
O que hoje se prova, outrora era apenas imaginado.
A ratazana, o camundongo, a raposa, o coelho olham as raí­zes; o leí£o, o tigre, o cavalo, o elefante olham os frutos.
A cisterna contém; a fonte transborda.
Um só pensamento preenche a imensidí£o.
Dizei sempre o que pensa, e o homem torpe te evitará.
Tudo o que se pode acreditar já é uma imagem da verdade.
A águia nunca perdeu tanto o seu tempo como quando resolveu aprender com a gralha.
A raposa províª para si, mas Deus províª para o leí£o.
De manhí£, pensa; ao meio-dia, age; no entardecer, come; de noite, dorme.
Quem permitiu que dele te aproveitasses, esse te conhece.
Assim como o arado vai atrás de palavras, assim Deus recompensa oraí§íµes.
Os tigres da ira sí£o mais sábios que os cavalos da instruí§í£o.
Da água estagnada espera veneno.
Nunca se sabe o que é suficiente até que se saiba o que é mais que suficiente.
Ouve a reprovaí§í£o do tolo! É um elogio soberano!
Os olhos, de fogo; as narinas, de ar; a boca, de água; a barba, de terra.
O fraco na coragem é forte na esperteza.
A macieira jamais pergunta í  faia como crescer; nem o leí£o, ao cavalo, como apanhar sua presa.
Ao receber, o solo grato produz abundante colheita.
Se os outros ní£o fossem tolos, nós terí­amos que ser.
A essíªncia do doce prazer jamais pode ser maculada.
Ao veres uma íguia, víªs uma parcela da Genialidade. Levanta a cabeí§a!
Assim como a lagarta escolhe as mais belas folhas para deitar seus ovos, assim o sacerdote laní§a sua maldií§í£o sobre as alegrias mais belas.
Criar uma florzinha é o labor de séculos.
A maldií§í£o aperta. A bení§í£o afrouxa.
O melhor vinho é o mais velho; a melhor água, a mais nova.
Oraí§íµes ní£o aram! Louvores ní£o colhem! Júbilos ní£o riem! Tristezas ní£o choram!
A cabeí§a, o Sublime; o coraí§í£o, o Sentimento; os genitais, a Beleza; as mí£os e os pés, a Proporí§í£o.
Como o ar para o pássaro ou o mar para o peixe, assim é o desprezo para o desprezí­vel.
A gralha gostaria que tudo fosse preto; a coruja, que tudo fosse branco.
A Exuberí¢ncia é a Beleza.
Se o leí£o fosse aconselhado pela raposa, seria ardiloso.
O Progresso constrói estradas retas; mas as estradas tortuosas, sem o Progresso, sí£o estradas da Genialidade.
Melhor matar uma crianí§a no berí§o do que acalentar desejos insatisfeitos.
Onde o homem ní£o está a natureza é estéril.
A verdade nunca pode ser dita de modo a ser compreendida sem ser acreditada.
Basta! Ou mais ainda!


William Blake
(Londres, 28 de novembro de 1757 “” Londres, 12 de agosto de 1827) foi um poeta, pintor inglíªs, sendo sua pintura definida como pintura fantástica, e tipógrafo.Blake viveu num perí­odo significativo da história, marcado pelo Iluminismo e pela Revoluí§í£o Industrial na Inglaterra. A literatura estava no auge do que se pode chamar de clássico “augustano””, uma espécie de paraí­so para os conformados í s convení§íµes sociais, mas ní£o para Blake que, nesse sentido era romí¢ntico, “enxergava o que muitos se negavam a ver: a pobreza, a injustií§a social, a negatividade do poder da Igreja Anglicana e do estado. Traduí§í£o retirada do blog “Fragmentos de Filosofia”

Become your tools

Nabil in “The Witch of Portobello”

‘There are two kinds of letter,’ I explained. ‘The first is precise, but lacks soul. In this case, although the calligrapher may have mastered the technique, he has focused solely on the craft, which is why it hasn’t evolved, but become repetitive; he hasn’t grown at all, and one day he’ll give up the practice of writing, because he feels it is mere routine.

‘The second kind is done with great technique, but with soul as well. For that to happen, the intention of the writer must be in harmony with the word. In this case, the saddest verses cease to be clothed in tragedy and are transformed into simple facts encountered along the way.’

‘You know the effort it took to sit in the correct position, to quieten your soul, keep your intentions clear and respect each letter of each word.

‘Meanwhile, keep practising. After a great deal of practice, we no longer think about all the necessary movements we must make; they become part of our existence. Before reaching that stage, however, you must practise and repeat. And if that’s not enough, you must practise and repeat some more.

‘Look at a skilled blacksmith working steel. To the untrained eye, he’s merely repeating the same hammer blows, but anyone trained in the art of calligraphy knows that each time the blacksmith lifts the hammer and brings it down, the intensity of the blow is different.

‘The hand repeats the same gesture, but as it approaches the metal, it understands that it must touch it with more or less force. It’s the same thing, but it’s always different. The moment will come when you no longer need to think about what you’re doing. You become the letter, the ink, the paper, the word.’

Easter 2010 – the sun rises again

Camilla and I, SOS del Rey Católico, Easter 2010

“The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.””
John Muir

“He who binds to himself a joy Does the winged life destroy; But he who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity’s sunrise”
William Blake

“Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.”
Walt Whitman

“Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise”
George Washington Carver

“What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?”
E. M. Foster

“There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.”
Bern Williams

“Sunrise doesn’t last all morning, a cloudburst doesn’t last all day, seems my love is up and has left you with no warning. It’s not always going to be this grey. All things must pass, all things must pass away.”
George Harrison

“The Lord has turned all our sunsets into sunrise.”
Clement of Alexandria

Stories of kings and wise men



Drawing by A. Durer

The kingdom of this world

An old hermit was once invited to visit the court of the most powerful king of those times.

– I envy such a saintly man, who is content with so little – said the ruler.

– I envy Your Majesty, who is content with even less that I – responded the hermit.

– How can you say such a thing, if this entire country belongs to me? – said the offended king.

– For precisely that reason. I have the music of the celestial spheres, I have the rivers and mountains of the whole world, I have the moon and the sun, because I have God in my soul. Your Majesty, on the other hand, has only this kingdom.

The ancestor’s bones

There was a king of Spain who was very proud of his ancestors, and who was known for his cruelty to the weak.

One time, he was walking with his advisers across a field in Aragon, where – years before – he had lost his father during a battle, when he found a holy man searching a large pile of bones.

– What are you doing there? – asked the king.

– Honored greetings, Your Majesty – said the holy man. – When I heard that the king of Spain was coming this way, I resolved to recover the bones of your late father and present them to you. But however hard I search, I cannot find them: they are exactly the same as the bones of country folk, the poor, beggars and slaves.