Archive for Francis Bacon

To Read is to Fly

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2014 by stevemccurry

“To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which
gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety,
ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.”
 – A C Grayling, Financial Times
(in a review of A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel)

DSC_2998_esBrazil

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
- Jorge Luis Borges

TURKEY-10212Turkey

There is no frigate like a book 
To take us lands away, 
Nor any coursers like a page 
Of prancing poetry. 
This traverse may the poorest take 
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot 
That bears a human soul.
- Emily Dickinson

DSC_8680_esLondon, United Kingdom

01734_06_esShanghai, China

_SM17860_adj; Havana, Cuba; 2010, CUBA-00018 Cuba

00038_18, Serbia, Yugoslavia, 11/1989, YUGOSLAVIA-10127.Serbia

BURMA-10711Burma

We read to know we’re not alone.
-  C.S. Lewis

USA-10880United States

DSC_3030_esCape Town, South Africa

ETHIOPIA-10221Ethiopia

India, November 2007,India

BRAZIL-10103Brazil

When I get a little money I buy books;
and if any is left I buy food and clothes.

- Erasmus

THAILAND-10147Chiang Mai, Thailand

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!
How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book!
 When I have a house of my own,
I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.
-  Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

_SM17695; Italy; 07/2011, ITALY-10289Italy

00703_20, CANADA-10007, Nova Scotia, Footsteps of Buddha, 06/2005France

The ability to read awoke inside me some
long dormant craving to be mentally alive.

Autobiography of Malcolm X

NEPAL-10108Nepal

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed,
and some few are to be chewed and digested.
- Francis Bacon

UNITED_ARAB_EMIRATES-10005United Arab Emirates

To learn to read is to light a fire;
every syllable that is spelled out is a spark. 

– Victor Hugo

BURMA-10597NFBurma

Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily,
often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.
- Joyce Carol Oates

_SM11134, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2011, THAILAND-10066 final print_MACROChiang Mai, Thailand

Reading was my escape and my comfort,
my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it,
for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an
author’s words reverberating in your head.
– Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies

00939_16_es (1)Cambodia

MALAYSIA-10018Malaysia

USA-10821Renowned author, Paul Theroux, Hot Springs, Arkansas

SOUTH_AFRICA-10003NF_webSouth Africa

Beetles & Huxley Gallery
Afghanistan
London, UK
12 May through 7 June 2014

Alex Del Piero Gallery
Power of Ten

Torino, Italy
16 May through 31 August 2014

Threshold of the New

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2013 by stevemccurry

INDIA-10742NF Maqbool Fida Husain, in his studio
Mumbai, India

Stronger by weakness, wiser men become
As they draw near to their eternal home.
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view
That stand upon the threshold of the new.
- Edmund Waller

TURKEY-10213Turkey

USA-10797United States

The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. 
- Frank Lloyd Wright

00406_04, 05/2001, TibetTibet

To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am.
– Francis Bacon

ETHIOPIA-10285Member of the Suri tribe, Ethiopia

RUSSIA-10069Russia

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say.
I just watch what they do.
Andrew Carnegie

_SM18476_adj, Cuba, 2010, LATIN_AMERICA-10145Cuba

BRAZIL-10030NF2, Lavazza, Brazil, 08/2010,Brazil

BURMA-10705Burma

Old age, believe me, is a good and pleasant thing.
It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage,
but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as spectator.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

CAMBODIA-10116Cambodia

PARAGUAY-10002Paraguay

Old age hath yet his honour and his toil.
- Alfred Lord Tennyson

SRILANKA-10086, Sri Lanka, 10/1995Sri Lanka

BURMA-10555Burma

ITALY-10540Italy

None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.
- Henry David Thoreau

MOROCCO-10032Morocco

NEPAL-10027Nepal

Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.
- Garson Kanin 

AFGHN-10229Afghanistan

The years teach much which the days never knew.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Proverbs and Poems from Afghanistan

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2011 by stevemccurry

AFGHN-10225 Jalalabad 

If literacy rates were measured by a nation’s proverbs and poetry, Afghanistan would be one of the most literate countries on earth.  These two forms of the oral tradition have been embraced for centuries and reveal the heart and soul of the Afghan people.

AFGHN-10122Bamiyan

Proverbs are part of every culture and have been for thousands of years.  Francis Bacon said that the wit, genius, and spirit of a nation are discovered in its proverbs.  Here are some common Afghan proverbs which provide unique insights into the ancient culture.

AFGHN-12369Maimana

There is a path to even the tallest mountain.

AFGHN-10010NFHindu Kush Mountains 

The mountains are our people.

AFGHN-12819 The harsh land is integral to this nomadic herder culture with deep roots in high pastures. “Koh-o mar-domon moya,” a saying goes: “The mountains are our people.” Qala-e Sabzi.

A warm fire is better than a delicious meal.

AFGHN-10124-(1)Refugees return to their bombed out neighborhood in Herat

If there is only bread and onions, still have a happy face.

AFGHN-12441Kabul

In a ditch where water has flowed, it will flow again.

AFGHN-12258Irrigation channel, Kandahar 

Many drops make a river.

AFGHN-10064NFBetween Sarobi and Kabul 

A real friend is one who takes the hand of his friend in times of distress and helplessness.

AFGHN-12448nsKabul

AFGHN-10118Kandahar

Not even the five fingers of our hands are alike.

AFGHN-10090Textile Dyer, Kabul

There is blessing in action.

AFGHN-10146Bakery run by Afghan widows

AFGHN-12998Brick Workers, Bamiyan Province

First a friend then a brother.

AFGHN-12942Herat 

POETRY

In Afghanistan, the tradition of poetry writing and recitation dates back a thousand years.  To lend credibility to an argument, the preface,  “The poet says…”   denies the listener the opportunity to disagree.  Although many do not read or write, they can recite long passages of both classic and modern poetry.

AFGHN-10089

If leadership rests inside the lion’s jaw,
So be it. Go snatch it from his jaws.
Your lot shall be greatness, prestige, honor and glory.
If all fails, face death like a man.

Hanzala of Badghis – 9th century poet


AFGHN-10252NF
Wounded Afghan fighter outside of Jalalabad

Kabul

Ah! How beautiful is Kabul encircled by her arid mountains
And Rose, of the trails of thorns she envies
Her gusts of powdered soil, slightly sting my eyes
But I love her,  for knowing and loving are born of this same dust

My song exhalts her dazzling tulips
And at the beauty of her trees, I blush
How sparkling the water flows from Pul-I-Mastaan!
May Allah protect such beauty from the evil eye of man!

Khizr chose the path to Kabul in order to reach Paradise
For her mountains brought him close to the delights of heaven
From the fort with sprawling walls, A Dragon of protection
Each stone is there more precious than the treasure of Shayagan

Every street of Kabul is enthralling to the eye
Through the bazaars, caravans of Egypt pass
One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs

And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls …

 – Saib-e-Tabrizi, 17th century poet 

AFGHN-10149Kabul

AFGHN-10130 Nomads at prayer at sunrise

Earth

The earth opens her warm arms
to embrace me
The earth is my mother
She understands the sorrow
of my wandering

My wandering
is an old crow
that conquers
the very top of an aspen
a thousand times a day

Perhaps life is a crow
that each dawn
dips its blackened beak
in the holy well of the sun

Perhaps life is the grief-stricken earth
who has opened up her bloodied arms to me

And here I give thanks
on the brink of ‘victory’

-  Partaw Naderi

July, 2002 

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