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02 February 2021


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I have come across the following article posted without link on a forum suggesting Brig F.B. Ali has passed away.

RIP if true

Ishmael Zechariah

Thanks for the notice. There is no announcement on his page (https://sites.google.com/view/fblegacysite/home ) but your link seems authentic.
Sad News. Another pilgrim gone. RIP General Ali.
Ishmael Zechariah


Farooq - Thanks for that link. A fine testimonial to a good man. Sorry to hear about Brigadier Ali's passing. I've backordered his memoirs 'Prison Journey'. I first became interested when I read an excerpt here on this blog at the Athenium.


Great poem by Hiemer.inspirational.thanks for posting.Here is one of my own

Ode to a river gum

Blessed are you great tree
Your mighty branches protect me
From the  wind and rain

Keeper of souls
Who rest gently in your boughs
Have returned to the earth


typogaffology.meant holderlin.

English Outsider

Loved it. The response from bilingual friends is that that translation is bloody fabulous.

They wane, they fall
The suffering humans
Blindly from one
Hour to the next
Like water from crag
To crag hurled
Yearlong into uncertain abyss.

Yeah, that's about it. We live in a machine not under our control. The Trump phenomenon and one or two events in Europe gave some the hope there was a sort of control returned to us, crude and full of failure though it was. Now it's back to normal.



EO, do you believe that normality has returned, or that we have merely reached the end of Act One ?


Who rest gently in your boughs
Have returned to the earth
Posted by: mcohen | 03 February 2021 at 04:37 AM

i may of course misread, but would it change your desired rhythm, or message essentially, if you changed the last line to:
having returned to earth

Romantic that I am, as angels? Watching from up there in the branches?


R.I.P FB Ali, I miss the relevant knowledge to understand your life story, but when I looked it up I was impressed somehow.


English Outsider, PRC90,

Looks as if we have a ways to go yet; re-education xamps first, and then we'll talk.



Mr. Willett,

Thank you for this. Just yesterday I was reading the poems that Schubert set in his Liederkreis, Winterreise, first testing myself by reading the German text, and seeing how closely I gleaned the sense of it before proceeding on to the translation supplied with the booklet accompanying the CD (Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Jörg Demus, 1965). Some success, but my vocabulary was a bit lacking, nit it was good to try unassisted by my father's trusty Cassell's (all in Gothic black typeface for extra points...). I did the same with your offering from Hölderlin with similar results. Your translation is indeed, excellent.

Hang tough with those Greek and Roman classics; there are people out to "cancel" our Western legacy. Vide:



Beautiful poem, excellent poetic translation. Pray that I not experience the next stanza.

Barbara Ann

Mr Willett

Great stuff. No doubt we do suffer and are hurled yearlong into uncertain abyss, but I feel this poem must have a counterpart in Hyperion reflecting a more hopeful perspective on the human condition. Does Hölderlin provide us with a complementary stairway to heaven?



yes it does improve the ending.i believe that when we die our souls reside in trees,where they connect to the earth above and below.thats why we should all endeavour to plant at least one tree in our life.

wrote this for a veteran i met one day

Blind johnny was playing his concertina

On edge of the wall
The sound a lonely call
From a soldier just home from a war
He had once saw
Cap at his feet a few coins inside
Nearby lay his guide.

When along came a ship

Sailing to the promised land
Flying the flag of the black hand
You knew then that freedom
Was sold by the kingdom
In ounces and inches of chain
Just enough to keep you sane

English Outsider

PRC90. Not my scene, but I've always assumed the outcome in the States will depend on what the people in flyover country, metaphorical or geographical, make of it all.

Here in Europe I think the outcome will depend on how much the drive to make us thoroughly ashamed of being European will succeed. I saw from the link supplied by JerseyJeffersonian that a Professor Peralta, an American scholar gifted at working that line, was feted at an English university recently.

And there are some interesting suggestions going around about how to apply Critical Race Theory to Maths and the hard sciences. Don't know how, but I gather conferences are being held so suppose in due course Gauss and Euler & Co. are going to find out.

But apart from the academics and the progs, such nonsense doesn't seem to have worked through that much to the average person round my way so I'm hopeful.

It's an extraordinary thing, really. All these academics and think tankers and Integrity Initiative merchants jaunting all over the globe to their endless conferences, air fares and accommodation covered, hefty salaries and benefits, all paid for by the Joe Public whose culture they are seeking to destroy.


Jersey Jeffersonian,
coincidence. I have the very same CD playing now, "...diese Strasse muss ich gehen, die noch niemand ging zurück.." very appropriate to aura of Hölderlin






fanto et al,

Here is a link to a recording of Brahms' Schicksalslied, which sets Hölderlin's poetic text, conveniently supplied with the German text and a simultaneous English translation, one a bit different than that of Mr. Willett, and a bit less literal in spots.

Parenthetically, this puts me in mind of an anecdote about Brahms. Upon first hearing the great violinist, Joachim, performing his Violin Concerto, he was taken aback by how this performance departed from his, Brahms', notions on performance of the work. Yet, after a bit of reflection Brahms commented, "And so, it can also be played in that way, too". As it is with musical interpretations, so it must be with translations, some more adherent to the composer's written score, some less so.

N.B.: Brahms rearranges the text of the final stanza a bit to serve his own artistic purposes, thus serving as a good illustration of his acceptance of the validity of this principle.


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