Category Archives: Others’ works

Here are some pieces by others which have given me inspiration, peace of mind or have just made me think.

Throwback Thursday – 14 March

On this day in 44 BC, the eve of Julius Caesar’s assassination, Casca and Cassius decided that Mark Antony should live. Led by the sour feeling of fairness, by humility or by the sheer fear of the impact of their deed, we can’t be sure. Centuries later, we may jokingly say that Antony was spared so that he could make his grand dramatic appearance at Caesar’s funeral and giving his famous speech which we know from Shakespeare’s play:

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest–
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men–
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

at which point Antony makes a well-paced pause to further build up the crowd’s discontent at the assassins. After which he finishes with:

But yesterday the word of Caesar might
Have stood against the world; now lies he there.
And none so poor to do him reverence.
O masters, if I were disposed to stir
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,
Who, you all know, are honourable men:
I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
Than I will wrong such honourable men.
But here’s a parchment with the seal of Caesar;
I found it in his closet, ’tis his will:
Let but the commons hear this testament–
Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read–
And they would go and kiss dead Caesar’s wounds
And dip their napkins in his sacred blood,
Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
And, dying, mention it within their wills,
Bequeathing it as a rich legacy
Unto their issue.

###
Did you notice the use of the “honourable man/men” phrase? I laugh every time I hear that phrase. Popular culture contributed to my own unholy feelings when I come across it. There is nothing to be added to that brilliant speech.

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Tao Te King – Chapter 18

#MindfulMonday brings us back to Tao Te King and my choice of today – Chapter 18

When the great Way is abandoned,
Benevolence and righteousness arise.
When wisdom and knowledge appear,
Great pretense arises.
When family ties are disturbed,
Devoted children arise.
When people are unsettled,
Loyal ministers arise.

###
The great Tao fades away
There is benevolence and justice
Intelligence comes forth
There is great deception
The six relations are not harmonious
There is filial piety and kind affection
The country is in confused chaos
There are loyal ministers.
###

In short, when truth disappears, it gets replaced with various values and attempts at doing the right thing. From here on, you can develop the rest.

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Throwback Thursday – You’re so Vain

For today’s #ThrowbackThursday I turned to music. Number 1 Hit in the US Billboard Chart on January 3, 1973, was Carly Simon’s song that afterwards had numerous covers and reprises – You’re So Vain.

I’ve always enjoyed this song even though I have no memory when was the first time I heard it. It is, at that, highly probable that I heard one of the more recent versions and not the 70s original.

It’s attractive because of its tease to the song’s subject. On many occasions, Carly had to answer questions about the specific man or men she aimed at with the lyrics. The fun part is that some men in her life definitely thought “this song was about them” which would both confirm their assurance and expose their vanity. Considering they were no shy guys, I don’t suppose any of those consequences would affect them as negative. There is no bad publicity, you know.

Less talk and more art! I say, let’s go to the video and the lyrics. Enjoy!

###
Son of a gun
You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf it was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed that they’d be your partner they’d be your partner and
You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain (you’re so vain)
I bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you don’t you?

You had me several years ago when I was still quite naive
Well you said that we made such a pretty pair and that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved
And one of them was me
I had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee clouds in my coffee and
You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain (you’re so vain)
I bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you don’t you don’t you?

I had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee clouds in my coffee and
You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain (you’re so vain)
I bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you don’t you?


Well I hear you went up to Saratoga
And your horse naturally won
Then you flew your lear jet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun
Well you’re where you should be all the time
And when you’re not you’re with some underworld spy or the wife of a close friend wife of a close friend and
You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain (so vain)
I bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you don’t you don’t you?
You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain
Probably think this song about you
You’re so vain
###

I hope you enjoyed the piece today as much as I do.

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Throwback Thursday: Queen’s Album, 1974

For today’s post in the #ThrowbackThursday topic I look at Queen’s third LP album – Sheer Heart Attack, which was released on 8 November 1974. The sound in this album shifted from the sound of the previous two albums and away from progressive rock towards the classic Queen style we are familiar with.
One of my favourite songs, Killer Queen, was released as its first single and reached No 2 in the British charts. It was the band’s first international hit. Freddie wrote the song starting with the lyrics. It is about an elite prostitute offering service to top figures.
###
She keeps Moet et Chandon
In her pretty cabinet
‘Let them eat cake’ she says
Just like Marie Antoinette
A built-in remedy
For Kruschev and Kennedy
At anytime an invitation
You can’t decline

Caviar and cigarettes
Well versed in etiquette
Extraordinarily nice

She’s a Killer Queen
Gunpowder, gelatin
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind
Anytime

Recommended at the price
Insatiable an appetite
Wanna try?

To avoid complications
She never kept the same address
In conversation
She spoke just like a baroness
Met a man from China
Went down to Geisha Minah
Then again incidentally
If you’re that way inclined

Perfume came naturally from Paris
For cars she couldn’t care less
Fastidious and precise

She’s a Killer Queen
Gunpowder, gelatin
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind
Anytime

Drop of a hat she’s as willing as
Playful as a pussy cat
Then momentarily out of action
Temporarily out of gas
To absolutely drive you wild, wild.
She’s all out to get you

She’s a Killer Queen
Gunpowder, gelatin
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind
Anytime

Recommended at the price
Insatiable an appetite
Wanna try?
You wanna try.

I read here, on the band’s official website, about the specifics around making, recording and releasing the album.
And now, it’s time to listen to some music. I picked the recording of Queen’s performance at Top of the Pops in 1974. Enjoy!

After this magical song, post a comment to tell me which is your favourite song/album by Queen.

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Tuesday Tales: Aida, by G. Verdi

Synopsis from My Standpoint

Aida, the story of the tragic love between a princess and a captain against the background of military conflict between Ethiopia and Egypt, was completed in November 1780. It’s a four-act work and the premiere was in December the next year, in France. The time of the narrative is not specified, so it’s hard to place it to anything more precise than the Old Kingdom.

Radames, the Captain of the Guard for the King of Egypt, hopes to be in charge of the Egyptian Army in the imminent war with Ethiopia. At the same time, he is in love with an Ethiopian slave living in the palace. That slave is actually Aida, the Ethiopian princess, and her identity is secret to her captors. To make matters more complex, the King’s daughter, Amneris, loves the young warrior, but worries that he might be enchanted by another. It is true, as we know, plus Aida loves Radames in return, but the two haven’t admitted their feelings to each other. Wow, how dramatic already!

The military forces of Ethiopia move close to Egypt, in a campaign to free the princess. The Ethiopian king, Amonasro, declares war and Radames goes to war leading the Egyptian army. Aida is torn between her love of her father and country, and Radames.

Suspecting who Radames’s love interest is, Amneris, the Egyptian princess, tells Aida that the young captain has died on the battle field, which makes her reveal her feelings towards him. That affects Amneris, filling her with bitter spite and revengefulness. I already pity her.

The Egyptians win a victory and take some Ethiopians hostage. Aida’s father is among them. She runs to him, but he wants her to hide his real identity from their captors. Thus, King and Princess remain incognito. In an age when no photo IDs were available, that is no wonder. It is much more surprising when notables are recognised near and far despite obvious difficulties.

The captives beg the Egyptian king for mercy, although the High Priest and the crowd insist that the enemies should be put to death. In honour of the victory, the King promises to Radames anything he wants. Radames, in his turn, begs the King to spare the captives’ lives. That is granted, Radames is declared successor to the throne and to be married to the Egyptian princess. The King and Princess of Ethiopia are to remain hostage for life, lest they plan a revenge in their homeland.

Aida and Radames get together in some mystic move. I didn’t get how it came to this, but operas often play this trick. So, on the night before Radames and Amneris’s wedding, the two lovers converse, while Amonasro, of Ethiopia, listenes behind a rock. He has ordered his daughter to learn the location of his army and their planned attack direction from Radames. Aida asks her lover to flee with her in the dessert, and unknowingly, he tells her where his army is camping and where they are going to attack.

Amneris and the High Priest appear on the scene and, seeing Radames conspiring with the enemy, call the guards who arrest the commander as a traitor. Meanwhile, Amonasro has told the young man who he is, so Radames is astonished by the news of the night: one horrible and one confusing. The horrible one is that he spilled the beans to the enemy, while the confusion comes from him realising whom he loves.

Amneris sincerely wants to save her love, but Radames refuses to deny the accusations. He is sentenced to be buried alive and brought to a lower vault in the Temple of Vulcan. In the last scene, we see Radames there expecting his fate and believing Aida is safe. This wouldn’t be a true tragic opera if that were so. Aida appears in the same chamber and both sing to their destiny, goodbye to life and earth’s suffering. Above ground, Amneris is miserable. This final piece leaves me with several questions.

First of all, why would Radames not reject the accusations? He didn’t inform the enemy knowingly, he was cheated into it. I don’t believe his death would remedy the situation. Another trait here is that he didn’t want to live without Aida. But, why want to die? He believed Aida escaped and was safe. So, lay low for some time, wait for your moment, and go. Life is strange, you never know what the future holds. These sound like all to modern considerations. I know that noble characters in old work don’t think in such opportunistic ways. For the heroes of old, there is all or nothing, now or never. I understand that I’ve grown. Up, old or wiser.

My other nuisance concerns the place. What temple of Vulcan? Who is that god? Wasn’t he one of the Roman pantheon? I’ve never heard of an Egyptian god called Vulcan.

In conclusion, I think this poor girl, Amneris, is the really tragic character. First, she loves someone who doesn’t return her feelings. Not only that, but his heart belong to someone else. Although Amneris is a princess, she loses this fight to a slave. Of course, the winner is also a princess, but who knows that? Then she hopes to get the upper hand in some way or another, but finally, she loses all. Imagine the humiliation Radames causes to her by meeting up with another woman on the night before their wedding! Imagine the disrespect! Spectators forget about the feelings of characters who are not loved by the protagonist. We want to support the loving couple. Anyone else is of no importance, as if another woman has no right to feel they way she does. When has love asked for permission, though? I felt for Amneris the first time I knew she was in love with this outstanding guy, Radames. And you know what more? I don’t like him very much. He has large enough fandom, I reckon.

As for Aida and Radames, they are heroically tragic, and they are the central characters in the opera with pretty good dividents from that. They are protagonists, everyone in the audience is supposed to sympathise with them, and remain in our hearts forever.

Poor Amneris! Poor rich and happy princess in love with the commander-in-chief!

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Thoughtful Thursday, Poetic Revelation Reblogged

#thoughtfulthursday is here and it is brought about by none other, but my dear friend Sopphey Vance. She writes poetry, she blogs and is the editor-in-chief and owner of the Enhance magazine.

Sopphey tells about her love of Indian movies. She specifically discusses a movie entitled “Umrao Jaan”. To quote from the blog: “For example, Umrao Jaan is a movie about a girl who’s sold into prostitution. She grows to learn her craft, and as a result writes wonderful poems. …”

Go on and read the remaining part of the post on her blog. You may watch the full-length movie itself, too.

And, to quote Umrao’s poetic teacher (imagine a prostitute, taking poetry lessons!): “Remember two things: the delicacy of the thought and the rhythm of the words.”

What else would you be in need of in poetry!

 «Yours, MK»

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Sunshine Sunday – Fan-flash on Blake’s 7

Today was supposed to be a sunny Sunday. After all, it’s nearing the end of May, so that’s only natural. Yet, it’s raining and the sky is bleak. So, instead of a Sunshine Sunday post, I made up a Fun-shine Fan-flash post. My friend Claudette Young, of the April Challengers opened a fun fan prompt a couple of days ago, to which I responded. I have long wanted to write some fan fiction. You know the kind – you watch a movie or read a book and you can’t help thinking there is something or someone missing there. So, you sit down and write it.

My Fun-shine Fan-flash Sunday is based on Blake’s 7, my favourite show on TV when I was a kid.

***

“Listen, Roj, I can’t stand it”, said Monica. “Sort things out with Avon. Find a way, make it up. I don’t know.” The tension in her voice escalated.

Blake only bit his lips. The deep creases on his forehead looked almost black.

“Monique,” he attempted tenderness, but his voice was not used to that. “I AM trying.”

“No, you aren’t! You two are in war. And we all see it. And it will tear us apart.” She hesitated for a second and then mumbled, “And not only that.”

Blake blinked for a moment, wondering what to say. He was amazed at her tearful brown eyes.

“Why are you crying?” he croaked.

“It’s nothing.” she retorted. “Too tired, that’s all.”

He could see it now. Too absorbed in his revolutionary cause, he hadn’t realized that his little sister was on board with his crew of escaped convicts. Constantly on the run and hiding, Blake had blocked all human emotions as dangerous and missed to see how Monica changed when Avon entered the room. “Oh, my God!” he thought. Aloud he said:

“I’ll make it up to him. I promise.” He put his cheek to her lips.

***

© 2012 Mariya Koleva

Posted at Claudsy’s blog!

If you’d like to get the feeling, here is the opening video 🙂

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Cover Art ready for the Sombre Chapbook

Hello, and here is an update for the Sombre Chapbook. In case you missed the beginning – here are the details. And now, the news: all poems have been selected and arranged, roughly edited, awating final moderation,

but the main piece of news is that

I HAVE THE COVER ART FOR THE BOOK READY. And here it is:

Copyright © 2011 Emil Penchev

How about that 😉 The artist is currently working on the contents. So, hopefully, it will be out soon.

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Book Review: The Lost World, by A.C.Doyle

The Lost World, publ. 1912

When I got down to reading this book, I had known Arthur Conan Doyle as “Father of Sherlock Holmes” and was rather surprised to find out the he exploited yet another of my favourite streaks in reading, fantasy and science. Of course, I am speaking of myself of many years ago, before I got actually familiar with the Late-Victorian writers’ strive for the fantastic and supernatural, clad in the scientific, which is so characteristic of the period and widely present in all Doyle’s colleagues’ works.

The Lost World easily became my favourite book. I liked the characters very much. Their diversity is what makes them so attractive, in fact. I seem to remember that at a particular stage of my young life, I have had different favorite characters from among the cast. Lord Roxton was my first favourite due to his manly characteristics and my easy-to-impress girlish age. Later on, the two professors took the top place in my grading, changing rank from time to time, owing to the scientific bubble which I adored during my late teenage. I’m afraid Ed Malone never hit the top, and that is largely due to his sick devotion to Gladys, who was “simply no good” as I had somehow felt since the very beginning.

The Lost World is, in fact, a story of a quest for oneself. The characters go into the wild, in search of evidence for the existence of pre-historic biological species, and, in the end, each of them discovers something about himself (no ladies in the story). They all return changed people, especially young Malone, who sobers up from his infatuation.

On the whole, The Lost World is a wonderfully-written adventure story, which will captivate your attention. It is a marvellous example of the balance between literary masterpiece and enjoyable book.

*

Read it free, here.

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Book Review: TLOR Trilogy, by J.R.R.Tolkien

This is an example of a book which I did not like as much as I did the film shot on it.  Unfortunately,  the story failed to grab and hold me,  as I expected.  In my teenage,  I tried reading some Tolkien,  and did not enjoy it.  I hoped it was due to the text,  and I certainly wished I would love The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  Having watched the film,  which I enjoyed immensely,  I wished and hoped even more.
Unfortunately,  I simply did not get hooked by the narration.  The story is interesting enough,  even marvelous;   characters are believable and deep;  scenes are described in great and exciting details.  Yet,  the action unfolds somewhat tediously,  sometimes descriptions and fairy-tale departures from the plot are simply “too much”.
I believe the book has plenty of ardent fans to wait for my exultation and fervour.

In short,  it is a most interesting story,  and I enjoyed it truly;  however,  I got tired of the writing very fast.

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