Thursday, December 3, 2015

chester giles writes

  up by the urgencia

the quiet parts of this town are the best
   up by the urgencia
under the old stone fortifications
 it's nearer to silence there
in the careful disquiet of the tall shadows
    under the high sun
all the dust and dead paint
 dry mortar between tiles
the hundreds of years not moving anyplace
just cut stone placed between weathered glass

Lisboa Antiga-Portugal 2010 (c) Irlando Tavares 
Irlando Tavares

1 comment:

  1. Lisboa ("Lisbon") is the oldest city in in western Europe. According to legend, the place was named for Odysseus (Ulysses), who founded the settlement after he left Troy to escape the Greek coalition; later, the Greek name was written in Vulgar Latin as "Olissipona."The area has been inhabited since Neolithic times, but Celts invaded in the 1st millennium BCE and mixed with the non-Indo-European population. Phoenician influences datie back to 1200 BCE; a trading post might have occupied the center of the present city, while the sheltered harbor in the Tagus River estuary provided a secure port for ships traveling to the Isles of Scilly and Cornwall as well as being an important center of trade with inland tribes. After the Romans defeated the Phoenician city of Carthage in the Punic wars, they conqurered its most valuable territory, Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula). Consul Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus formed an alliance with Olissipo (which sent troops to fight alongside Roman legions against the northwestern Celtic tribes) and integrated it into the empire as an autonomous city until its integration into the province of Lusitania. A large minority of Greek traders and slaves lived among the Latin-speaking majority..When the western Roman Empire disintegrated, the city was occupied successively between 409-429 by Sarmatians, Alans, and Vandals; the Suebi established a kingdom in modern Galicia and northern Portugal and controlled the region of Lisbon until 585, when their realm was integrated into the Visigothic Kingdom of Toledo, which comprised all of the Iberian Peninsula. Berbers and Arabs from North Africa and the Middle East took the city in 711 In 1108 Lisbon occupied by Norwegian crusaders led by Sigurd I but was retaken by the Almoravids in 1111.The Muslim restoration, however, was shor-lived: in 1147 crusader knights led by Afonso I of Portugal conquered Lisbon, and the city became the nation's capital in 1255. In the 16th century it became the hub of European commerce between Africa, India, Asia, and Brazil.
    Many of these influences remain: "the hundreds of years not moving anyplace"


Join the conversation! What is your reaction to the post?