28 Feb 2010


Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it's queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there's some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Lee Frost

(thanks to poemhunter.com)

24 Feb 2010


Some regions of the world seem to be mysteriously forgotten by the media. As if they were behind some dark and opressive curtain of silence while awful, unspeakable atrocities are committed.
Nicholas Kristoff, who writes for the New York Times, is an exception. He has been consistently writing about the war that's taking place in Congo which took around 7 million lives in the last ten years. What he writes is hard to believe: militias that cut pieces of  flesh from living victims and make them eat them. Young girls who are raped repeatedly for months and years to the point their internal are completely destroyed (if they survive, of course). People who are esventratewd in front of their families.
Enough of it.
The causes behind this war are multiple: etnical hatred, greed (minerium), violence coming from Rwanda, etc, etc. 
One reads all this and has to wonder: what else is man capable of? What can we do?

20 Feb 2010


The night, when the light goes and the darkness comes. I remember seing a documentary about all the diferent reactions that the darkness of night brings.. the "gosts" that come along, the sadness due to lack of sunlight, and even a sense of less space in the room. We often associate the feer of darkness to children, but it's far from a child problem, more adults than we think have some kind of difficulty when the sunlight goes to sleep...
Do monsters live under the bed, or right in our mind...? Is the light only brigtness or a doorway to everyting outside...? Should we turn the light on...?

13 Feb 2010


Bright Star

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art –
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors –
No – yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever – or else swoon to death.

John Keats


To his Coy Mistress

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love's day;
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood;
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow.
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.

But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserv'd virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust.
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none I think do there embrace.

Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may;
And now, like am'rous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour,
Than languish in his slow-chapp'd power.
Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball;
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life.
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

Andrew Marvell


Apparently, yes. Scientists used thermal imaging cameras "to investigate whether love poems can really ignite 'instant fires' in every pore", as the Guardian explains.
What's is the emotional and physical impact of tender love, asked the researchers who conducted the experiment for Aberystwyth University .

"With around five terabytes of thermal data to evaluate, a complete scientific explanation is going to take some time, but the idea does have a grounding in literary theory. The Romantic poets believed their inspiration came to them as a burst of heat that gradually dissipated during the writing process. When someone reads a poem, they were thought to experience some of that original heat themselves. Keats described passionate verse as creating "a burning forehead" and "a parched tongue" in the lovestruck reader", says the Guardian.
The experimenters asked six volunteers from each department to silently read 12 love poems, while a less amorous text about thermal imaging served as a control. As the participants read the poems, thermal cameras monitored their faces for any change in temperature.

And which poems did the researchers used? Ha, that's the important question. A good choice they made. Those are two of the most beautiful poems ever written: Bright Star by John Keats and To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell
I'll post them in the 2 next posts.

9 Feb 2010

Whatever Works

Have you seen "Whatever Works" from Woody Allen? Please do! It has a good balance between humor and an often negative prespective of life. Not that I'm in favor of a negative vision, but sometimes we need to go there, to that dark perspective do get out, to give it a menning and go tru it. Sunshine in the next page, we hope! ;)

8 Feb 2010

Hauted Home - David Fonseca

"You want to drink my soul
'Till your heart is full
What happens when it's full and it splashes?
You've built all these rooftops
And painted them all in blue
If all this set just burns up will you paint the ashes?

Do you really want to see?
Because I'll let you in
With me

You shiver when the wind blows
Through doors that lost their keys
There's too little to rescue, too little to hang on to
I thought that maybe we could try to
Clear and rebuild this haunted home
I'll be glad to help you just tell me what to do

Why don't you tell me what to do?
Maybe you're scared too
I've been here before
Next thing you'll see
You'll feel
So small

I willdisappoint you
And I don't care if I do
I belong to those who got shattered, battered
Bruises and scars that I've hidden and you could never heal
This grey house where I come from
Some great love will tear it down
If you no longer love me why should it matter?

Tell me why should it matter?
I can't ask you to stay
I can't find the words to say
Why don't you just leave?

Just leave"

I think this is a very stong music and lyric. And has I listened to how David talked about her it all made sense...

7 Feb 2010


"Action is eloquence"

W. Shakespeare

A movie: Das Weisse Band (The White Ribbon)

Just before the I WW, a small village in the North of Germany. Disturbing  events start taking place. Terrible punishments, strange accidents. Is there something called Evil? maybe not and it's all in our mind.
The White Ribbon is the title in English and the director is Michael Haneke, the sdame who directed La Pianiste (with Isabelle Huppert).
A film to be seen absolutely. It's on several cinemas in Lisbon. I saw it at King, near Av. Roma. Brace yourselves for human moral misery.

3 Feb 2010


This is such a serious issue that it certainly deserves we spend more time thinking it over. Psicronos, a Portuguese clinic I also work with organized last week end with Câmara Municipal de Portimão (Algarve) a seminar about bullyting, non-violence and education.
I had the pleasure of being one of the lecturers and spoke about group violence. My emphasis was on what we call group mentality and the dynamics behind it it. Adolescents are specially prone to adhere to a violent mode of group mentality and a great effort is needed to help them to think by themselves and not by the mind of some violent leader. I also focused on Hitler Youth to show the point.
From the University of Murcia, Spain, came Prof. Bartolomé Blor to speak about the attitudes about violence in the educational context.

1 Feb 2010


If to give a big step forward one needs to give two small steps backward – so let’s give them!

(Popular knowledge)


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