Translation from English

Monday, November 24, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ending the Midtown Blogger

For some time now I have felt that the Midtown Blogger has run its course for several reasons.

One is that I no longer live in Midtown Manhattan.

Another is that while keeping some of the elements of MidtownBlogger, I would just like to try something new.

My New Blog is BraveNewWorld.blogspot.com


Thanks to all my readers for following what I have done so far.

Larry Kreger

Poem by Goethe-Unbounded- A.Z.. Foreman for Poems Found in Translation

Poems Found In Translation: “Goethe: Unbounded (From German)”

Link to Poems Found in Translation

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 10:27 AM PST
This poem was originally titled "Hafiz" and is a tribute to the Persian poet whom Goethe, during his oriental phase, loved dearly. Such things are not fashionable to say nowadays, but Goethe actually shows a greater understanding of the character of classical Persian lyric poetry than many western scholars who actually knew Persian. Though perhaps it is simply that Goethe's understanding and appreciation of Hafiz' in all his bacchanalian mysticism and mystical bacchanalianism, is so very like my own. He seems to have perceived in Hafiz many of the same qualities that I do, qualities which so many far more learned in Persian than I have often been deaf to. Goethe even includes a poem in the Divan about the shallowness of those who think it profound to call Hafiz a Sufi Mystic.

In 1813, Goethe had begun to read Hafiz in a recently published German translation by Austrian diplomat and Orientalist Joseph Von Hammer, and felt inspired to imitate him. When he met the beautiful and talented Marianne von Willemer in Wiesenbaden, the two fell in love and found a powerful connection in their shared admiration for Hafiz. In the passionate correspondence that developed between them, Marianne and Goethe would send each other coded messages via numerical reference to Hafiz' lyrics. A great many poems drawing on "the East" for inspiration were born of their fruitful, albeit ephemeral, affair. The end result was Goethe's West-Östlicher Divan "West-Eastern Divan", from which the poem translated here is taken.

The Divan is essentially an imagined and imaginative dialogue between the German poet of Weimar and the Persian poet of Shiraz, a salute to an artist who greatly appealed to Goethe (rather correctly) as an enemy of dogmatism and lover of life's pleasures who prized spiritual experience and disdained religious institution, and in whom he perceived (rather mistakenly) a kind of Persian analogue to Voltaire. 





Unbounded
J.W. Goethe
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

You cannot end, and that's what makes you great.
You've no beginning, and that is your fate. 
So like the vault of stars, your circling song:
The end is the beginning all along,
And what the middle holds for all to see
Preceded all, and after all shall be.

True fount of poets' joy forever new,
Numberless waves on waves flow forth from you!
Lips ever ready for a kiss,
Song of the breast that sweetly wells,
Throat ever parched for drink and bliss,
Good heart that freely pours and tells.

Let this world perish, so I know
I vie with you and only you,
Hafiz! Lets share all joy and woe
As true twin brothers, one from two.
To love and drink as you would do
Shall be my pride and my life too.

Now song with your own fire, ring truer!
For you are older. You are newer.



The Original:

Unbegrenzt
J.W. Goethe

Daß du nicht enden kannst, das macht dich groß,
Und daß du nie beginnst, das ist dein Los.
Dein Lied ist drehend wie das Sterngewölbe,
Anfang und Ende immerfort dasselbe,
Und was die Mitte bringt ist offenbar
Das was zu Ende bleibt und anfangs war.

Du bist der Freuden echte Dichterquelle,
Und ungezählt entfließt dir Well auf Welle.
Zum Küssen stets bereiter Mund,
Ein Brustgesang der lieblich fließet,
Zum Trinken stets gereizter Schlund,
Ein gutes Herz das sich ergießet.

Und mag die ganze Welt versinken!
Hāfis, mit dir, mit dir allein
Will ich wetteifern! Lust und Pein
Sei uns den Zwillingen gemein!
Wie du zu lieben und zu trinken,
Das soll mein Stolz, mein Leben sein.

Nun töne Lied mit eignem Feuer!
Denn du bist älter, du bist neuer.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How Stuff Works

Today's Mind-blower
How edX Works
In 2012, MIT and Harvard joined forces to create edX, a nonprofit offering free online college classes from some of the world's top universities. How does it make money?
    • What will Earth look like in 500 years?
      science What will Earth look like in 500 years?
      "The 26th century" doesn't roll off the tongue as easily as "the 21st century" does. But that hasn't stopped us from imagining what our hometown planet will be like in a few hundred years. Any guesses?
    • Top 10 Things You Should Not Share on Social Networks
      computer Top 10 Things You Should Not Share on Social Networks
      If your Facebook status update reads, "Leaving for France!" you're not just gloating about your trip. You're letting everyone know that your house will be empty for about 10 days. Bad idea.
    • 10 Absolutely Worst Foods to Eat
      science 10 Absolutely Worst Foods to Eat
      We all eat things we probably shouldn't, and that's OK from time to time. But there are some foods that are such nutrition bombs that even occasional indulgence isn't exactly wise.
    • 10 Monsters That Deserve Movies
      entertainment 10 Monsters That Deserve Movies
      How many times have you seen Godzilla do his Godzilla thing? So, Hollywood, allow us to play matchmaker. Speed date with us as we get to know 10 of the hottest big-screen virgins ever to claw their way out of our nightmares.
    • 10 Hardest Habits to Break
      health 10 Hardest Habits to Break
      "I'm addicted to you baby. You're a hard habit to break." So wailed the lead singer of the group Chicago. But there are harder habits to break out there – like nail biting and procrastinating. Do you do any of the things on our list?
    • Exactly what is a zero-day vulnerability?
      computer Exactly what is a zero-day vulnerability?
      Viruses. Malware. Spyware. Add to the seemingly ever-growing list of things we have to worry about when dealing with computers one more factor: zero-day vulnerability. So just what the heck is it, and how does it put us at risk?
    • How Twitch Works
      electronics How Twitch Works
      Video games have been popular for years, and now Twitch lets players and oglers share their love of gaming in real time. Think you're ready to broadcast your gaming skills (or lack thereof)?
    • What are the white dots on my nails?
      health What are the white dots on my nails?
      You notice a white dot on your fingernail. You try to scrub it off and realize the little white dots are not paint; they're actually part of your nail. What could they be?
    • Does flat beer lose its alcohol content?
      science Does flat beer lose its alcohol content?
      The age of a beer can dramatically influence its flavor -- and usually not for the better. But what about its alcohol content? Does a decade-old barley pop still pack the same wallop as one bottled the week before?
    • 10 Amazing Things People's Brains Have Done
      science 10 Amazing Things People's Brains Have Done
      The human brain can do some amazing things -- and humans can do amazing things because of it. Here are 10 of the most wondrous and unusual feats ever performed by a person's brain.
    • 10 Ways Sitting Wrecks Your Body
      health 10 Ways Sitting Wrecks Your Body
      You spend long hours sitting at your desk and on the couch, but what is all that time on your caboose really doing to you? As it turns out, a lot of bad.
    • Quiz: Are you smarter than Barack Obama?
      history Quiz: Are you smarter than Barack Obama?
      The 44th U.S. president graduated from Harvard Law School and won the Nobel Peace Prize, but there's a chance you might know something he doesn't. A slight one. Take this quiz to find out.
    • BrainStuff: How Do We Know What Dinosaurs Looked Like?
      shows BrainStuff: How Do We Know What Dinosaurs Looked Like?
      Can we really reconstruct a dinosaur’s appearance from a bunch of million-year-old fossils? How?
    • 10 Expensive Restorations
      science 10 Expensive Restorations
      Over the centuries, some of the most breathtaking buildings on Earth have been restored many times. Whether they were to make necessary repairs, update designs or adjust to changing needs, all these projects required big bucks.
    • 10 Everyday Things You're Probably Doing the Hard Way
      home 10 Everyday Things You're Probably Doing the Hard Way
      Despite our desire for ease, studies show that we may be able to make ourselves smarter by doing things the hard way. But why make life trickier than it needs to be?
    • 10 Things You Should Never Mix With Alcohol
      science 10 Things You Should Never Mix With Alcohol
      Juice and soda mix well with alcohol, but a few things don't mix so well. Some may just produce embarrassing moments. Others could cost you your life.
    • How could a laser pointer take down a plane?
      electronics How could a laser pointer take down a plane?
      In the United States, it's a felony to knowingly aim a laser pointer at an aircraft. And for good reason: Those little red dots have landed pilots in the hospital.
    • How Google Glass Works
      electronics How Google Glass Works
      Have you ever imagined yourself walking around your town like a sci-fi hero, with a heads-up display showing you details of the world around you? Google Glass aims to make that possible for all of us.
check out our shows
test your knowledge
You Complete Me: The Rom-com Quiz
TAKE THE CHALLENGE
You Complete Me: The Rom-com Quiz
Average: 0 points | 20 Questions
What is Rom-Com short for?
poll: what do you think?
Which of these film genres do you like best?
HOWSTUFFWORKS NEWSLETTER THE LATEST AND GREATEST