Sunday, January 19, 2014



“The moral powers no one would presume to calculate. Suppose we could compare the moral with the physical, and say how many horse-power the force of love, for instance, blowing on every square foot of a man’s soul, would equal. No doubt we are well aware of this force; figures would not increase our respect for it; the sunshine is equal to but one ray of its heat. The light of the sun is but the shadow of love. “The souls of men loving and fearing God,” says Raleigh, “receive influence from that divine light itself, whereof the sun’s clarity, and that of the stars, is by Plato called but a shadow. Lumen est umbra Dei, Deus est Lumen Luminis. Light is the shadow of God’s brightness, who is the light of light,” and, we may add, the heat of heat. Love is the wind, the tide, the waves, the sunshine. Its power is incalculable; it is many horse-power. It never ceases, it never slacks; it can move the globe without a resting-place; it can warm without fire; it can feed without meat; it can clothe without garments; it can shelter without roof; it can make a paradise within which will dispense with a paradise without. But though the wisest men in all ages have labored to publish this force, and every human heart is, sooner or later, more or less, made to feel it, yet how little is actually applied to social ends! True, it is the motive-power of all successful social machinery; but, as in physics we have made the elements do only a little drudgery for us — steam to take the place of a few horses, wind of a few oars, water of a few cranks and hand-mills — as the mechanical forces have not yet been generously and largely applied to make the physical world answer to the ideal, so the power of love has been but meanly and sparingly applied, as yet. It has patented only such machines as the almshouse, the hospital, and the Bible Society, while its infinite wind is still blowing, and blowing down these very structures too, from time to time. Still less are we accumulating its power, and preparing to act with greater energy at a future time. Shall we not contribute our shares to this enterprise, then?”


Paradise (to be) Regained. A review of The Paradise within the Reach of all Men, without Labor, by Powers of Nature and Machinery: An Address to all intelligent men, in two parts by J.A. Etzler (1842). 


Salva estas palabras por un rato por
Aquello que te recuerdan
Aunque no puedas recordar
Que aquello que es un sentido es parte
Polvo y parte la luz de la mañana
Ibas a decir un nombre
Y no esta allí, los olvidé
También a ellos, estoy aprendiendo a rezar
A Perdita a quien  no dije
Nada aquella vez y ahora ella
No puede oírme al menos por lo que sé
Pero el día sigue contemplando
Los nombres cambian a menudo más despacio
Que los significados, familias enteras
Crecieron en ellos y después se fueron
En el cielo anónimo
Oh Perdita continúa la esperanza
Después que lo nombres son olvidados
Y se termina el dolor del pasado
Cuando se dejan de pronunciar y de cometer aquellas
Traiciones tan repetidas desde antiguo
Que se dan por descontadas
Como el pastor hace con la oveja
W. S. Merwin

(traducción Guillermo Ruiz)

Save these words for a while because
of something they remind you of
although you cannot remember
what that is a sense that is part
dust and part the light of morning

you were about to say a name
and it is not there I forget
them too I am learning to pray
to Perdita to whom I said
nothing at the time and now she
cannot hear me as far as I
know but the day goes on looking

the names often change more slowly
than the meanings whole families
grow up in them and then are gone
into the anonymous sky
oh Perdita does the hope go on
after the names are forgotten

and is the pain of the past done
when the calling has stopped and those
betrayals so long repeated
that they are taken for granted
as the shepherd does with the sheep

W. S. Merwin, “Memorandum” from The Pupil

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