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Rumi

“I said: what about my eyes?
He said: Keep them on the road.

I said: What about my passion?
He said: Keep it burning.

I said: What about my heart?
He said: Tell me what you hold inside it?

I said: Pain and sorrow.
He said: Stay with it. The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

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How Many Thoughts Can I Think In A Day?

How many thoughts can I think in a day?

Is it two, is it three, an even wider array?

Is it four, is it five, can it even be six?

How many more might be in the mix?

I sometimes even think multiple thoughts,

The coulds and the shoulds, and the maybe I oughts.

I ponder and I query and I while away the hours,

Productively using my intellectual powers

To think such thoughts, as I know we all do,

Like who came up with the shape of my shoe?

Or why are there seconds in a minute but not any firsts?

And why does anger come suddenly in bursts?

Can’t it ebb and flow like the tide at the beach?

And how do you describe the taste of a peach?

And what are these things that float in my eyes?

And what happens to the mind when the body dies?

 

The thoughts they come in and tumble around,

Until they can make it outside as sound,

Audible so others can hear how wonderful they are,

They’re better thoughts to think than anyone else’s thus far.

My thoughts are not humble, they strive to be great,

They strive for a better world to create,

By imagining all the things we could be,

If we sometimes let our thoughts roam free,

and break the barriers we like to impose,

to seek the answers only the wisest of us knows.

 

But what was it that I was trying to say?

About the thoughts we all might think in a day?

I really don’t know, my thoughts lead the way,

And sometimes, I think, they lead me astray.

 

 

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Culture and Anarchy – Matthew Arnold

Ch. 1 – Sweetness and Light

For as there is a curiosity about intellectual matters which is futile, and merely a disease, so there is certainly a curiosity — a desire after the things of the mind simply for their own sakes and for the pleasure of seeing them as they are — which is, in an intelligent being, natural and laudable. Nay, and the very desire to see things as they are implies a balance and regulation of mind which is not often attained without fruitful effort, and which is the very opposite of the blind and diseased impulse of mind which is what we mean to blame when we blame curiosity. Montesquieu says:—“The first motive which ought to impel us to study is the desire to augment the excellence of our nature, and to render an intelligent being yet more intelligent.”…

But there is of culture another view, in which not solely the scientific passion, the sheer desire to see things as they are, natural and proper in an intelligent being, appears as the ground of it. There is a view in which all the love of our neighbour, the impulses towards action, help, and beneficence, the desire for stopping human error, clearing human confusion, and diminishing the sum of human misery, the noble aspiration to leave the world better and happier than we found it — motives eminently such as are called social — come in as part of the grounds of culture, and the main and preeminent part. Culture is then properly described not as having its origin in curiosity, but as having its origin in the love of perfection; it is a study of perfection. It moves by the force, not merely or primarily of the scientific passion for pure knowledge, but also of the moral and social passion for doing good.

The moment this view of culture is seized, the moment it is regarded not solely as the endeavour to see things as they are, to draw towards a knowledge of the universal order which seems to be intended and aimed at in the world, and which it is a man’s happiness to go along with or his misery to go counter to — to learn, in short, the will of God — the moment, I say, culture is considered not merely as the endeavour to see and learn this, but as the endeavour, also, to make it prevail, the moral, social, and beneficent character of culture becomes manifest.

If culture, then, is a study of perfection, and of harmonious perfection, general perfection, and perfection which consists in becoming something rather than in having something, in an inward condition of the mind and spirit, not in an outward set of circumstances — it is clear that culture, instead of being the frivolous and useless thing which Mr. Bright, and Mr. Frederic Harrison, and many other liberals are apt to call it, has a very important function to fulfil for mankind. And this function is particularly important in our modern world, of which the whole civilisation is, to a much greater degree than the civilisation of Greece and Rome, mechanical and external, and tends constantly to become more so. But above all in our own country has culture a weighty part to perform, because here that mechanical character, which civilisation tends to take everywhere, is shown in the most eminent degree. Indeed nearly all the characters of perfection, as culture teaches us to fix them, meet in this country with some powerful tendency which thwarts them and sets them at defiance. The idea of perfection as an inward condition of the mind and spirit is at variance with the mechanical and material civilisation in esteem with us, and nowhere, as I have said, so much in esteem as with us. The idea of perfection as a general expansion of the human family is at variance with our strong individualism, our hatred of all limits to the unrestrained swing of the individual’s personality, our maxim of “every man for himself.” The idea of perfection as an harmonious expansion of human nature is at variance with our want of flexibility, with our inaptitude for seeing more than one side of a thing, with our intense energetic absorption in the particular pursuit we happen to be following.

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Billy Budd – Herman Melville

Ch. 30 excerpt – Billy in the Darbies

But me they’ll lash me in hammock, drop me deep.

Fathoms down, fathoms down, how I’ll dream fast asleep.

I feel it stealing now. Sentry, are you there?

Just ease this darbies at the wrist, and roll me over fair,

I am sleepy and the oozy weeds about me twist.

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In Memoriam

At the end of her life, what will they say?

What will end up being the remains of the day?

Of all she used to be, will they have a clue?

Of all she used to know…of all she in fact knew?

The passing rays that light up the dark,

Did they ever leave a mark?

The stories woven in her head,

What remains in their stead?

We say our goodbyes, we spin our lies,

We make a life of beauty, of days gone by.

After all, what is left to say

When what used to be finally goes away.

 

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Annabel Lee – Poe

Excerpt:
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
   Of those who were older than we—
   Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
   Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
 For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
   Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
   In her sepulchre there by the sea—
   In her tomb by the sounding sea.

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Je Suis Comme Je Suis – Jacques Prevert

Je suis comme je suis

Je suis comme je suis

Je suis faite comme ça

Quand j’ai envie de rire

Oui je ris aux éclats

J’aime celui qui m’aime

Est-ce ma faute à moi

Si ce n’est pas le même

Que j’aime à chaque fois

Je suis comme je suis

Je suis faite comme ça

Que voulez-vous de plus

Que voulez-vous de moi

Je suis faite pour plaire

Et n’y puis rien changer

Mes talons sont trop hauts

Ma taille trop cambrée

Mes seins beaucoup trop durs

Et mes yeux trop cernés

Et puis après

Qu’est-ce que ça peut vous faire

Je suis comme je suis

Je plais à qui je plais

Qu’est-ce que ça peut vous faire

Ce qui m’est arrivé

Oui j’ai aimé quelqu’un

Oui quelqu’un m’a aimée

Comme les enfants qui s’aiment

Simplement savent aimer

Aimer aimer…

Pourquoi me questionner

Je suis là pour vous plaire

Et n’y puis rien changer.

**********

I am what I am

I am what I am

I’m made that way

When I want to laugh

Yes I erupt with laughter

I love the one that loves me

Is it my fault
 If it’s not the same one

That I love each time

I am what I am

I’m made that way

What more do you want

What do you want from me

I’m made for pleasure

And nothing can change that

My heels are too high

My figure too curved

My breasts way too firm

And my eyes too darkly ringed

And then afterwards

What can you do about it

I am what I am

I please who I please

What can you do about it

What happened to me

Yes I loved someone

Yes someone loved me

Like children love each other

Simply knowing how to love 
love love…

Why ask me 
I’m here for your pleasure

And nothing can change that.

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