April 2015

Know, O seeker, that every man knows his own coast best … but the sea is not peculiar to each region and when you are out of sight of the coasts, you have only your own knowledge of the stars and guides to rely on.

Note: Ahmad Ibn Majid wrote a treatise on Navigation in the Indian Ocean


Begbick: Fine, we’ll stay here then. I’ve had an idea:if we can’t go up there, then we’ll stay down here. Look all the people who’ve come back from up there have said that the rivers aren’t exactly generous with their gold. It’s awful work, and work is the last thing we can do. But I’ve seen these people, and I’m telling you, they will hand the gold over to us! It’s easier to get gold from men than from rivers!
So: let us found a city here
And Call it Mahagonny (more…)

Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.

The first night of my second voyage to Wales,
tired as rag from ascending the left cheek of Earth,
I nevertheless went to Merthyr in good company
and warm in neckclothing and speech in the Butcher’s Arms
till Time struck us pintless, and Eddie Rees steamed in brick lanes
and under the dark of the White Tip we repaired shouting

to I think the Bengal. I called for curry, the hottest,
vain of my nation, proud of my hard mouth from childhood,
the kindly brown waiter wringing the hands of dissuasion
O vindaloo, sir! You sure you want vindaloo, sir?
But I cried Yes please, being too far in to go back,
the bright bells of Rhymney moreover sang in my brains. (more…)

In the high cool country,
having come from the clouds,
down a tilting road
into a distant valley,
you drive without haste. Your windscreen parts the forest,
swaying and glancing, and jammed midday brilliance
crouches in clearings …
then you come across them,
the sawmill towns, bare hamlets built of boards
with perhaps a store,
perhaps a bridge beyond
and a little sidelong creek alive with pebbles. (more…)

The limits of my language means the limits of my world.

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

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