You are currently browsing the daily archive for 30/08/2013.

 
Irish poet and Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney at University College Dublin in 2009
Source Wikimedia Commons. Image credit Sean O’Connor
 
 
Qual e’ colui che somniando vede,
che dopo ‘l sogno la passione impressa
rimane, e l’altro a la mente non riede,
cotal son io…

Dante, Paradiso, Canto XXXIII

‘Like somebody who sees things when he’s dreaming
And after the dream lives with the aftermath
Of what he felt, no other trace remaining,

So I live now’, for what I saw departs
And is almost lost, although a distilled sweetness
Still drops from it into my inner heart.

It is the same with snow the sun releases,
The same as when in wind, the hurried leaves
Swirl round your ankles and the shaking hedges

That had flopped their catkin cuff-lace and green sleeves
Are sleet-whipped bare. Dawn light began stealing
Through the cold universe to County Meath,

Over weirs where the Boyne water, fulgent, darkling,
Turns its thick axle, over rick-sized stones
Millennia deep in their own unmoving

And unmoved alignment. And now the planet turns
Earth brow and templed earth, the crowd grows still
In the wired-off precinct of the burial mounds,

Flight 104 from New York audible
As it descends on schedule into Dublin,
Boyne Valley Centre Car Park already full,

Waiting for seedling light on roof and windscreen.
And as in illo tempore people marked
The king’s gold dagger when he plunged it in

To the hilt in unsown ground, to start the work
Of the world again, to speed the plough
And plant the riddled grain, we watch through murk

And overboiling cloud for the milted glow
Of sunrise, for an eastern dazzle
To send first light like share-shine in a furrow

Steadily deeper, farther available,
Creeping along the floor of the passage grave
To backstone and capstone, holding its candle

Under the rock-piled roof and the loam above.

 

Seamus Heaney

13 April 1939 – 30 August 2013

 

 
 
The ancient city of Aleppo in Syria. Photo credit: UNESCO/Ron Van Oers
 
While the world agonises at the sight of human suffering in Syria, UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, appealed yesterday to, “…all parties involved in the Syrian conflict to safeguard the country’s cultural heritage and take all possible measures to avoid further destruction.” The UN News Centre reports that –
 
UNESCO is determined to use its expertise and its networks to help the Syrian people preserve their exceptional cultural heritage,” said the agency’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, after a meeting of experts held at the UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris seeking action to prevent further losses and repair damage where and when it will be possible.
 
“Protecting heritage is inseparable from protecting populations, because heritage enshrines a people’s values and identities,” Ms. Bokova said. “We have heard today of the serious damage that has already been inflicted on Syria’s heritage. The destruction of sites such as the historic souk in Aleppo has made headlines around the world, clearly reflecting the concern and distress of people everywhere.”
 
Full article here.
 
 

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