dedalus Posted February 9, 2010 Share Posted February 9, 2010 sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt Aeneid I.462 (Virgil) when the tears arrive tensely flowing from your eyes they embrace the void here there is nothing once there were so many things nothing now remains this cannot be true your eyes seek here, they dart there still there is nothing a feeling of fear the absence of all objects emptiness, nothing from the great window stripped, denuded of curtains the outside looks in in a flower vase under the tokonoma three sprigs of blossom you have never been this lonely in your life ... nor quite so happy. -------------------------------------------------- Lacrimae rerum (from that dear old imperial sycophant, Virgil): Aeneas, while crying, says, "sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt" as he gazes at one of the murals found in a Carthaginian temple, which depicts battles of the Trojan War and deaths of his friends and countrymen: ... "tears for mortal things (sufferings) touch the soul." ... The burden man has to bear, ever present frailty and suffering, defines the essence of human experience. Mono no aware (物の哀れ, mono no aware, lit. "the pathos of things"), also translated as "an empathy toward things," or "a sensitivity of ephemera," is a Japanese term used to describe the awareness of mujo or the transience of things and a bittersweet sadness at their passing (which explains why the whole country is so big into cherry blossoms, which are undeniably beautiful but only last about a week). This poem goes off on a slightly different tangent, to "wabi" and "sabi" which is the old, but very closely related (and quite definitely NOT modern) fixation on absence and silence and ... (not brought out in the poem) the studied non-perfection of carefully-made beloved things: so if you like your old teacup or teddy bear from when you were a kid, or insist on wearing that smelly old pullover you had in college then you are closer to the wabi-sabi ideal than the following Wikipedia definition: Wabi-sabi (侘寂?) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience. The phrase comes from the two words wabi and sabi. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete" It is a concept derived from the Buddhist assertion of the Three marks of existence (三法印, sanbōin), specifically impermanence (無常, mujō). tatami - Japanese mat flooring, green and pungently aromatic when new, then gradually yellowing with age. All traditional Japanese houses (or rooms within houses) have this flooring, as do temples. tokonoma - an alcove let into a wall in a traditional Japanese room to allow for a hanging scroll or other decoration, usually fronted with a vase of seasonal blossoms or flowers. Quote Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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