jumpin punkins

The variety of worlds science fiction accustoms us to, through imagination, is training for thinking about the actual changes—sometimes catastrophic, often confusing—that the real world funnels at us year after year. It helps us avoid feeling quite so gob-smacked.

Samuel Delany on how science fiction writers are shaping the future.

Also see why sci-fi authors get the future so right, then complement with Delany on good writing vs. talented writing.

(via explore-blog)

Forough Farrokhzad - Tavalodi Digar
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Tavalodi Digar - Forough Farrokhzad from Tanha Sedast Ke Mimanad (What remains is voice)


Forough Farrokhzad (1935-1967) reciting her poem, Another Birth, in its original tongue.

Another Birth
English translation by Hasan Javadi & Susan Sallée:

All my existence is a dark verse
which repeating you in itself will take you
to the dawn of eternal blossoming and growth
I have sighed to you in this verse, ah,
in this verse I have grafted you
to tree and water and fire.

                   *  *  *
Perhaps life
is a long street on which a woman with a basket passes every day.
Perhaps life
is a rope with which a man hangs himself from a branch.
Perhaps life is a child returning from school. 

Perhaps life is lighting a cigarette in the languid repose between two embraces
or the mindless transit of a passer-by
who tips his hat
and with a meaningless smile says “good morning” to another passer-by.
Perhaps life is that thwarted moment
when my gaze destroys itself in the pupil of your eyes.
And in this lies a sensation
which I will mingle with the perception of the moon and the discovery of darkness.

In a room the size of one loneliness
my heart
the size of one love
looks at the simple pretexts of its happiness,
at the fading of the beauty of the flowers in the vase
at the sapling you planted in the garden of our house
at the song of the canaries
that sing the size of one window

This is my lot
This is my lot
My lot
is a sky which the hanging of a curtain steals from me.
My lot is descending an abandoned stair
to find something in decay and exile.
My lot is a grief-stricken walk in the garden of memories
and surrendering my soul in the sadness of a voice that says to me:
"I love
your hands”

I plant my hands in the garden
I will grow green, I know, I know, I know
and in the hollows of my ink-stained fingers
swallows will lay eggs.

On my ears I hang earrings of twin red cherries
and stick dahlia petals on my nails
There is a street where
still, the boys who loved me
with the same toussled hair, slender necks, lanky legs
think of the innocent smile of a girl
whom one night the wind took away

There is a street which my heart
has stolen from the scenes of my childhood

The journey of a form on the line of time
and with a form, impregnating the barren line of time,
a form aware of an image
which returns from the party of a mirror.
And it is thus
that someone dies
and someone remains

In the shallow stream that flows into a ditch, no fisherman will hunt a pearl.

know a sad little fairy
who settles in the ocean
and plays her heart on a wood-tipped flute
softly, softly
a sad little fairy
who dies from a single kiss at night
and will be born with a single kiss at dawn. 

I cannot tell you how much I value this recording.


A few times in my life I’ve had moments of absolute clarity. When for a few brief seconds the silence drowns out the noise and I can feel rather than think, and things seem so sharp and the world seems so fresh. It’s as though it had all just come into existence. I can never make these moments last. I cling to them, but like everything, they fade. I have lived my life on these moments. They pull me back to the present, and I realize that everything is exactly the way it’s meant to be.

— Christopher Isherwood, A Single Man (via misswallflower)

Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.

— William Shakespeare (via his play “Twelfth Night”),  who on this day in 1564 is believed to have been born in the English parish of Stratford-upon-Avon. Happy 450th Birthday, Bard of Avon! (via nypl)

What has changed in 450 years of performing, reading, writing Shakespeare? The history of women interacting with Shakespeare’s plays is also the history of women’s rights, suffrage, and of the feminist movement. It is a history of women being silenced and of finding ways to speak out anyway. Shakespeare has been, and is, an uneasy ally in this history. He complicates but also enriches our idea of what a woman is. Too often we are still Katherinas, forced to compromise our dignity in order to retain our voice, or else our insistence on speaking is blamed for our tragedies, like Juliet. But the reason why we still read Shakespeare’s women, is that they are women. Goneril, Juliet, and Katherina are finally not ciphers. Whatever else they may be, they are true women, and they have true voices.

Stefanie Peters,”450 Years of Juliets: On Women Making Shakespeare” (via millionsmillions)