2.09.2018

Lege Lege Lege Relege

Jeremy Black. Reading Sumerian Poetry p.90 (1998) The Athlone Press
pa-zu an-na sa am3-ši-im-la2-la2-en nu-mu-[…]
ki-še3 umbin-zu am kur-ra immal2 kur-ra ĝišes2-ad!-am3 ba-nu2
murgu8-zu dub sar-sar-re-me-en
ti-ti-zu dniraḫ dar-a-me-en
šag4-sud-zu kiri6 sig7-ga u6-e gub-ba-me-en
Your wings, extending over the sky like a net!
On the ground, your talons are like a trap laid for the wild bulls of the mountains and the wild cows of the mountains!
Your spine - you are one constantly writing tablets!
Your back - you are a green orchard standinf for admiration! 
Lugalbana 120-124 
The bird's back(bone) is described as like that of 'one who constantly writes tablets'. While the context makes clear that the reference is complimentary, it is frankly uncertain if this means, in effect, straight and rigid, as the spine or one who writes tablets perhaps should be - or curved and slightly hunched, as the spine of one who constantly writes tablets might tend to become. Nor is it clear which of these two shapes might be considered desirable for a monstrous, supernatural raptor bird; one suspects the first.

2.07.2018

Ruinenwert

John Aubrey, An Introduction to the Survey and Natural History of the North-Division of the County of Wiltshire (1671) Aqui.
And as in Prospects, we are there pleased most when something keeps the Eye from being lost, and leaves us Room to guess; so here the Eye and Mind is no less affected with these stately Ruins, that they would have been when standing and entire. They breed in generous Minds a Kind of Pity and sets the Thoughts a-work to make out their Magnifice[nce] as they were taken in Perfection. These Remains are tanquam Tabulata Naufragii, that after the Revolution of so many Years and Governments, have escap'd the Teeth of Time, and (which is more dangerous) the Hands of mistaken Zeal. So that the retrieving of these forgotten Things from Oblivion, in some sort resembles that of a Conjurer, who make those walk and appear that have lain in their Graves many Hundreds of Years, and to represent, as it were to the Eye, the Places, Customs, and Fashions that were of old Time.

hino a Ninḫursaĝ 𒀭, senhora da montanha santa

Ó Templo de Kish 𒀭,
Às fronteiras do deserto,
És leões alados,
És touros brancos que as encaram.
As tuas asas abarcam os meus olhos,
E eu entorno os meus dedos de grão
No teu altar molhado a sangue santo.
Herói, pastor de montanhas,
Emparedas os lábios
De quem não te louvaria.
E a quem te louva,
A esse concedes repastos de pensamentos agitados.
O Santo Tigre e o Santo Eufrates,
As mangas da túnica que Enlil teceu
Quando em transe espasmava o teu grandor,
Nadei e libei e deles bebi.
O teu punhal manchado, que tantos bois perfeitos degolou, 
Que fez jorrar de mim o meu sono e a minha vigília,
Banhou para a ceifa as cidades santas de Nippur e de Eridu.
E quem há que não se alegre,
Se governa os céus em poder a sacerdote de Eridu 𒀭?


2.06.2018

O Lords of Limit, training dark and light...

David Lewis-Williams, in The Mind in the Cave (2002). Thames & Hudson
An important reciprocality is implied by these images born of light and shadow. On the one hand, the creator of the image holds it in his or her power: a movement of the light source can cause the image to appear out of the murk; another movement causes it to disappear. The creator controls the image. On the other hand, the image holds its creator in its power: if the creator or subsequent viewer wishes the image to remain visible, he or she is obliged to maintain a posture that keeps the light source in a specific position. If the viewer tires and as a result lowers the light, the image seems to retreat into the realm behind the membrane. Perhaps more than any other Upper Palaeolithic images, these 'creatures' (creations) of light and darkness point to a complex interaction between person and spirit, artist and image, viewer and image. There was a great deal more to Upper Palaeolithic cave paintings than pictures simply to be looked at: some of the images sprang from a fundamental metaphor.

2.02.2018

Praia de Dover - Matthew Arnold

Praia de Dover
de Matthew Arnold

O mar está calmo esta noite.
A maré está cheia, a lua lá ao fundo
Sobre os estreitos; na costa de França a luz
Brilha e desaparece; os penhascos de Inglaterra surgem,
Reluzentos e vastos, de fronte à baía tranquila.
Vem à janela, o ar da noite é doce!
Apenas, da longa linha de salpicos
Onde o mar se depara com a terra tingida de lua,
Ouve! escutas o rosnido a raspar
Dos seixos que as ondas recolhem, e lançam,
Ao voltarem, para a praia alta,
Começa, e cessa, e começa de novo,
Com trémula lenta cadência, e traz
Para dentro a nota eterna da tristeza.

Há muito tempo atrás Sófocles
Ouviu-o no Egeu, e trouxe
À sua mente o turvo fluxo e refluxo
Da miséria humana; nós
Achamos também no som um pensamento,
Ao ouvi-lo neste distante mar do norte.

O Mar da Fé
Esteve também, em tempos, cheio, e cercando a costa da terra,
Jazia como as dobras de um brilhante cinturão desenfaixado.
Mas agora apenas oiço
O seu melancólico, longo, ruído em retirada,
Recuando, ao sopro
Do vento da noite, abaixo as vastas e cinzentas bordas
E os pedregulhos desnudados do mundo.

Ai, amor, sejamos verdadeiros
Um para o outro! pois o mundo, que aparenta
Estender-se diante nós como uma terra de sonhos,
Tão variado, tão belo, tão novo,
Em verdade não tem nem alegria, nem amor, nem luz,
Nem certezas, nem paz, nem socorro à dor;
E nós estamos aqui como numa planície enegrecida,
Arrastados por alarmes confusos de combates e fugas,
Onde ignorantes exércitos se batem de noite.

Tradução minha.

Dover Beach
by Matthew Arnold

The sea is calm tonight. 
The tide is full, the moon lies fair 
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light 
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, 
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay. 
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air! 
Only, from the long line of spray 
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land, 
Listen! you hear the grating roar 
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling, 
At their return, up the high strand, 
Begin, and cease, and then again begin, 
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring 
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago 
Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought 
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow 
Of human misery; we 
Find also in the sound a thought, 
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith 
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore 
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled. 
But now I only hear 
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, 
Retreating, to the breath 
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear 
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true 
To one another! for the world, which seems 
To lie before us like a land of dreams, 
So various, so beautiful, so new, 
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, 
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; 
And we are here as on a darkling plain 
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, 
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

1.26.2018

يشرف الحق

Al-Kindi. On first philosophy 103.4-8. (My trans.)
We should not feel ashamed for appreciating the Truth and from acquiring it from where it may come, even if it should come to us from distant races and from different peoples. For someone who seeks the Truth, there is nothing that takes precedence to the Truth [itself], there is nothing, in whoever speaks it or brings it, that could take value away from it, and we can never disregard them [whoever they happen to be]. The Truth never humiliates - it ennobles. 
وينبغي لنا أن لا نستحي من استحسان الحق، واقتناء الحق من أين أتى، وإن أتى من الأجناس القاصية عنا، والأمم المباينة، فإنه لا شيء أولى بطالب الحق من الحق. وليس يبخس الحق، ولا يصغر بقائله ولا بالآتي به. ولا أحد بخس الحق؛ بل كان يشرفه الحق.

1.24.2018

1.14.2018

Heraclitus in Sumerian

§1

John. L. Hayes. (2000) A Manual of Sumerian Grammar and Texts p.193 Undena Publications.

B113ellst.png
til - This sign has several readings and meanings in Sumerian. In its reading as til, it is equated with Akkadian gamāru, laqātu, and qatû. The CAD glosses qatû as "1. to come to an end, to be used up, 2. to perish, 3. to become completed, finished, settled". In the causative stem, šuq is glossed as "to bring to an end." 
The word til meaning "to live" has occurred several times, notably in the formula nam-til3-la-ni-še3 ["for his life"]. It is curious that the words "to live" and "to come to an end" are homophones, both being pronounced /til/. They are, however, written differently: "to live" is written by the til3 sign, , and "to come to an end" by the til-sign, . [...] As discussed under Phonology, the existence of such apparent homphones as til and til3  has led numerous scholars to suggest that Sumerian was a tonal language.

§2

βιός· τῷ τόξῳ ὄνομα βίος ἔργον δὲ θάνατος 
Heraclitus DK B48
Bow [biós] - the name is life [bíos], yet the work is death.