Tuesday, January 10, 2006

longfellow says. . . .

"A Psalm of Life" (1838)- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream ! —
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real ! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal ;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way ;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle !
Be a hero in the strife !

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant !
Let the dead Past bury its dead !
Act,— act in the living Present !
Heart within, and God o'erhead !

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time ;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate ;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.


Comment Blogger Samad said...

Hi (again) Duane,

First, I'm sorry I mispelled your name last time. I was unsure
as I was writing it, but then I forgot to check.

I can't seem to find your email address. Can you send it to me so I don't have to make these messages public?

Anne and I watched your clip from Who Wants to Be a
Millionare? last night. You look good on TV, man. I was
impressed. And if it's any consolation, I would have no idea
as to which month of the year is the longest, regardless of
day light savings considerations.

To answer your question about "zistan," it is a verb in
Persian which means living or to live. I've been meaning to
write a blog entry about the name ever since I started the
blog but I haven't gotten around to that either. I chose that
title from a poem by an Iranian poet, Ismail Khoei. He wrote
this poem, titled "A Portrait of Saeed" after his friend Saeed
Soltanpour (another important Iranian poet) was executed by
the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1982. In the poem he addresses
the Islamic Republic's preoccupation with death and martyrdom
and says something like:

We too give ourselves to death,
for the sake of living
therefore, without a tear.

So "zistan" for me, besides the simple connation of living, as
in "I'm going to post pictures of my vacation and share little
anecdotes from my life" also reminds me of optimism and faith
in the constructive abilities of mankind in the face of adversity.

Not to get too philosophical or anything.

I'm glad you liked the pictures. I hope you saw the one of the
giant anaconda in the Peruvian Amazon. That series (I think
it's around day 5) is, like, my favorite of all time.

Keep in touch and I'll keep reading your blog.



11:48 PM  

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