For the meaning of any beautiful created thing is, at least, as much in the soul of him who looks at it, as it was in his soul who wrought it.
— Oscar Wilde, the Critic as Artisit
I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell
- Sudden Light, Dante Gabriel Rossetti
جئتُ، لا أعلمُ من أينَ، ولكنّي أتيتْ
ولقد أبصرتْ قدَاميْ طريقاً فمشيتْ
وسأبقى ماشياً إن شئتُ هذا أم أبيتْ
كيف جئتُ؟ كيف أبصرتُ طريقي؟
الطلاسم، إيليا أبو ماضي-
I came, I know not, yet came this way:
I saw a path-along it made my way,
I must go on- or say I yea or nay!
How I have come? How did I find the way?
I do not know!
- The Talisman, Elia Abu Madi (translated by Murtada Adegboyega)
Three matches one by one struck in the night
The first to see your face in its entirety
The second to see your eyes
The last to see your mouth
And the darkness all around to remind me of all these
As I hold you in my arms.
ثلاثة أعوادِ ثقابٍ أشعلتها في الليل الواحد بعد الآخر
الأول لأرى وجهك… كل وجهك
الثاني لأرى عينيك
الأخير لأرى فمك
وما هذه الظلمة إلا لتذكرني بكل ذلك وأنا أحتويك بين ذراعيّ
- Paris At Night, Jacques Prévert
A little while ago, not much more than a few days ago, I was a child who went about in a world of colors, of hard and tangible forms. Everything was mysterious and something was hidden. Guessing what it was was a game for me. If you knew how terrible it is to know suddenly, as if a bolt of lightning elucidated the earth.Now I live in a painful planet, transparent as ice, but it is as if I had learned everything at once in seconds.My friends,my companions became women slowly, I became old in instants and everything today is bland and lucid. I know that nothing lies behind. If there was something, I would see it….
— Frida Kahlo in a letter to Alejandro Gómez Arias, (29 September 1926)