Thursday, July 13, 2017

A. V. Koshy writes

Some unmarked day, on the way
the blue of the sky began fading
between us
the road crumbled into
Not noticed
Somehow a finger reached out
No hand to take
hold of it
When the laughter broke out
it was lost in the wind
What was held once sacred store
strove but was flying away
a brown and white pigeon without
a home
whoever was being eulogized was never
whom one thought it should be
Whichever way the windmill's weather-vane turned
the windmill was outdated, had broken arms -
Don Quixote was all who there was
with no tilt left or even scarecrows
in the grain fields where the relics of love
slept, antiques
buried in the deep loam, like green school ribbons
that once had adorned rich, black hair
now torn and bereft

Image result for doré's illustrations for don quixote

Image result for doré's illustrations for don quixote 
Don Quixote and the Windmill (two engravings) -- Gustave Doré

1 comment:

  1. When asked what sciences he had studied, Don Quixote replied, "That of knight-errantry, which is as good as that of poetry, and even a finger or two above it.... He must be faithful to God and to his lady; he must be pure in thought, decorous in words, generous in works, valiant in deeds, patient in suffering, compassionate towards the needy, and, lastly, an upholder of the truth though its defence should cost him his life." Thus proclaimed the hero of "El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha," published in two volumes by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra in 1605 and 1615. Alonso Quixano had read so many chivalric romances that he lost his sanity and decided to undo wrong, and bring justice to the world as "Don Quixote de la Mancha." Unable to see the world for what it is, in one famous episode he and "came in sight of thirty forty windmills ... and as soon as Don Quixote saw them he said to his squire, 'Fortune is arranging matters for us better than we could have shaped our desires ourselves, for look there, friend Sancho Panza, where thirty or more monstrous giants present themselves, all of whom I mean to engage in battle and slay, and with whose spoils we shall begin to make our fortunes; for this is righteous warfare, and it is God's good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth.' 'What giants?' said Sancho Panza. 'Those thou seest there,' answered his master, 'with the long arms, and some have them nearly two leagues long.' 'Look, your worship,' said Sancho; 'what we see there are not giants but windmills, and what seem to be their arms are the sails that turned by the wind make the millstone go.' 'It is easy to see,' replied Don Quixote, 'that thou art not used to this business of adventures; those are giants; and if thou art afraid, away with thee out of this and betake thyself to prayer while I engage them in fierce and unequal combat.' So saying, he gave the spur to his steed Rocinante, heedless of the cries his squire Sancho sent after him, warning him that most certainly they were windmills and not giants he was going to attack. He, however, was so positive they were giants that he neither heard the cries of Sancho, nor perceived, near as he was, what they were, but made at them shouting, 'Fly not, cowards and vile beings, for a single knight attacks you.' A slight breeze at this moment sprang up, and the great sails began to move, seeing which Don Quixote exclaimed, 'Though ye flourish more arms than the giant Briareus, ye have to reckon with me.' So saying, and commending himself with all his heart to his lady Dulcinea, imploring her to support him in such a peril, with lance in rest and covered by his buckler, he charged at Rocinante's fullest gallop and fell upon the first mill that stood in front of him; but as he drove his lance-point into the sail the wind whirled it round with such force that it shivered the lance to pieces, sweeping with it horse and rider, who went rolling over on the plain, in a sorry condition. Sancho hastened to his assistance as fast as his ass could go, and when he came up found him unable to move, with such a shock had Rocinante fallen with him." From this episode is derived the English idiom, "tilting at windmills," which means attacking imaginary enemies or courses of action that are based on misinterpreted justification or a vain effort against real or imagined adversaries. An immediate success, the novel has spawned at least 1,100 editions in various languages and sold more than 10 million copies. An 1863 French edition translated by Louis Viardot is noted for the couple of hundred woodprints made by Gustave Doré.


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