Thursday, May 12, 2016

Umid Ali writes


You are demented with your melodies, 
A countenance wafting from tones 
What rotated your heart? 
A gift of rhythm is art.  
Melody. Music – minefield of a life, 
A bond of soul is a tune.  
What smell is it coming from melodies? 
Is it Spring? 
This is a season of the tone. 
O, glamor… blooming the melody, 
You are sky high at this moment. 
I am still in a dilemma, 
Tell me, did you embrace the happiness 
Or did happiness do it?

--tr. Asror Allayarov, from "The Gate Opened by Angels"

Beethoven composing in his study (image) 

Beethoven Composing in his Study (print, after a painting by Carl Schloesser).


  1. "An die Freude" ("Ode to Joy")was written near Dresden in the summer of 1785 by poet, playwright, and historian Friedrich Schiller and published in Thalia in 1786. In an 1800 letter to Christian Gottfried Körner (whose friendship had originally inspired him to write it), Schiller called it "detached from reality" and described it as "of value maybe for us two, but not for the world, nor for the art of poetry," but he nevertheless published a slightly revised version in 1808, changing two lines of the first stanza and omitting the last one entirely. Ludwig van Beethoven used part of it and rearranged some sections for his Ninth Symphony's final movement, a choral symphony for orchestra, four solo voices and choir.(completed in 1824). In 1972 Beethoven's version was adopted as the "national anthem" by the Council of Europe (and subsequently by the European Union). Over the years, it has become both a protest anthem and a celebration of the human spirit, from demonstrators in Chile against t0he Pinochet dictatorship, a Chinese student broadcast at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, the concert conducted by Leonard Bernstein after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and after the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

    Joy, beautiful spark of divinity,
    Daughter from Elysium,
    We enter, drunk with fire,
    Heavenly, thy sanctuary!
    Your magics join again
    What custom strictly divided;*
    All people become brothers,*
    Where your gentle wing abides.

    Who has succeeded in the great attempt,
    To be a friend's friend,
    Whoever has won a lovely woman,
    Add his to the jubilation!
    Indeed, who calls at least one soul
    Theirs upon this world!
    And whoever never managed, shall steal himself
    Weeping away from this union.

    All creatures drink of joy
    At nature's breast.
    Just and unjust
    Alike taste of her gift;
    She gave us kisses and the fruit of the vine,
    A tried friend to the end.
    [Even] the worm has been granted sensuality,
    And the cherub stands before God!

    Gladly, as His heavenly bodies fly
    On their courses through the heavens,
    Thus, brothers, you should run your race,
    As a hero going to conquest.

    You millions, I embrace you.
    This kiss is for all the world!
    Brothers, above the starry canopy
    There must dwell a loving Father.
    Do you fall in worship, you millions?
    World, do you know your creator?
    Seek him in the heavens;
    Above the stars must He dwell.

  2. Replies
    1. Meoldy is a country in the Crapathians that introduced (through a regrettable anglicization) "moldy chum" to the world.

      Seriously, Unknown, thanks for spotting this. It has been corrected.


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