Archive for henry wadsworth longfellow

To Change the World

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2013 by stevemccurry

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use
to change the world.

– Nelson Mandela


AFGHN-13707 (2)Afghanistan

The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.
– Plutarch

BURMA-10168 (1)Burma

There is divine beauty in learning …
– Elie Wiesel

Kegalla, Sri Lanka, 1995Sri Lanka

DSC_0749_kd (1)Omo Valley, Ethiopia

All I have learned, I learned from books.
– Abraham Lincoln


Learning is not attained by chance;
it must be sought for with
ardor and attended to with diligence.
– Abigail Adams


We think of the effective teachers we have had over the years
with a sense of recognition, but those who have touched our humanity
we remember with a deep sense of gratitude.


 The secret in education lies in respecting the student.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson 

MALI-10028NF Mali


TIBET-10573NF2Kandze, Tibet

Only the educated are free.
– Epictetus


Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the
medium is the human mind and spirit.
– John Steinbeck

SRILANKA-10065Sri Lanka


UNITED_ARAB_EMIRATES-10005Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

My real education, the superstructure, the details, the true architecture,
I got out of the library. For an impoverished child whose family could
not afford to buy books, the library was the open door to wonder and
achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to
charge through that door and make the most of it
– Isaac Asimov

AFGHN-13831 (1)Bamiyan, Afghanistan

PAKISTAN-10075Baluchistan, Pakistan

I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money.
When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money.
I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.
– Ray Bradbury

INDIA-12155 (2)India

The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


INDIA-10840Ladakh, India



Interview with the Wall Street Journal

Exhibition Information

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When Words Fail

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2013 by stevemccurry

When words fail, music speaks.
– Hans Christian Andersen

FRANCE-10081, Paris, France, Modern , 12/1989 PORTRAITS_APPFrance

Music is the universal language of mankind.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

_2SM7437, Umbria, Italy, 2012, ITALY-10534. A woman sings on the street.Italy

USA-10757Stevie Wonder performing in Los Angeles

Music is the language of the spirit.
It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.
-Khalil Gibran


Music… will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities ,
and in time of care and sorrow,
will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.
  – Dietrich Bonhoeffer




Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination,
and life to everything.
– Plato

01030_04Dance class in Los Angeles, California

Music . . . can name the unnameable and
communicate the unknowable.

– Leonard Bernstein

USA-10654New Orleans, Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina


I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music.
I see my life in terms of music.

– Albert Einstein


Musicians paint their pictures on silence.
– Leopold Stokowski


Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence.
– Robert Fripp



Snake Charmer, Morocco, 03/1988, MOROCCO-10038Morocco

“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!”
– J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone



To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.
– Aaron Copland

_SM15545, Havana, Cuba, 2010, CUBA-10020Cuba


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When Things Come Alive

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2013 by stevemccurry

when words fade and things come alive.
When the destructive analysis of day is done, and
all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again.
When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree.
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

00081_15, New York, New York, USA, USA-10032NFOverlooking Washington Square Park, New York, United States



I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.
– Vincent Van Gogh

USA-10164_newLos Angeles, United States

ITALY-10450NF3Umbria, Italy

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents
and silently steal away
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow




CHINA-10026_newHong Kong

The man who has seen the rising moon break out of the clouds
at midnight has been present like an archangel at the
creation of light and of the world
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

CHINA-10171Hong Kong

USA-10086New York, United States

INDIA-10237NF3Mumbai, India

Most glorious night!
Thou wert not sent for slumber!
– Lord Byron

01052_ 023India

To me at least was never evening yet
But seemed far beautifuller than its day.
– Robert Browning, The Ring and the Book

INDIA-10605Rambagh Palace Hotel, Jaipur, India

INDIA-10312NF, Taj Mahal, Agra, India, 1996,Agra, India

Day, like a weary pilgrim, had reached the western gate of heaven, and
Evening stooped down to unloose the latchets of his sandal shoon.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

USA-10294Grand Central Terminal, New York, United States

What hath night to do with sleep?
–  John Milton, Paradise Lost


Learn to reverence night and to put away the vulgar fear of it,
for, with the banishment of night from the experience of man,
there vanishes as well a religious emotion,
a poetic mood, which gives depth to the adventure of humanity.
– Henry Beston




ITALY-10018NF5, Camino, Italy, 09/2004 final print_MACROItaly

The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand.
– Frederick L. Knowles


Some praise the Lord for Light,
The living spark;
I thank God for the Night
The healing dark.
– Robert W. Service

Grief, Grind, and Glory of Work

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2013 by stevemccurry

Last month the world heard the tragic news
that more than a thousand people working at a clothing factory in Bangladesh,
were killed when 
the factory they were working in collapsed.

Myanmar, Burma, 1994, final book_iconicBurma

The appetite for cheap clothing in the West is insatiable.
The people making the clothing  often pay the true cost of these items.
The scale of this factory in Burma is vast.
The sense that these workers are just part of an immense machine is
accentuated by 
the pink shirts they are obliged to wear.

BURMA-10221NF, Myanmar (Burma), 07/1994Burma

Labor disgraces no man;
unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.  

– Ulysses S. Grant


Whether it is men fishing,  nuns washing dishes, miners digging beneath the earth, or 
working in the heat of a steel mill, work is universal, yet intensely personal. Millions work in order to survive, and for them,
is no debate about how to achieve a life/work balance.  

INDONESIA-10006Woman working in a field devastated by volcanic debris and flood waters.  Java, Indonesia

INDIA-10330NFShoe repair shop in India

Life grants nothing to us mortals without hard work.
– Horace



Your life is a journey, not a rest.
You are travelling to the promised land, from the cradle to the grave.
The Sunday at Home, December 7th 1854

INDIA-11144, India, Bombay, 1997Mumbai, India

Gujarat, India

The heights by great men reached and kept,
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

YUGOSLAVIA-10068MKS Steelworks, Serbia


Working for long periods under extreme stressful work conditions can lead to
sudden death, a phenomenon the Japanese call karoshi. The word in China is guolaosi.

PAKISTAN-10006NFLandi Kotal, Pakistan

AFGHN-10146Bakery run by Afghan widows, Kabul, Afghanistan

Dubrovnik, Croatia, 1989Croatia

Many find their identity in the work they do. Some enjoy intense satisfaction in their work.
For others, the line between work and play is hard to find.

Tibetans, 07/2001, final book_iconicIndia

INDIA-10679NF2, Bombay, India, 09/1993. Textiles,
           Mumbai, India

A suger cane farmer stand in his field in Luzon, Philippines, 1985Sugar cane farmer, Philippines

Everything yields to diligence.
– Thomas Jefferson

BRAZIL-10044NF8, Brazil, Latin America, Lavazza, 08/2010Drying coffee beans, Brazil

If a man is called a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or
Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of
heaven and Earth will pause to say, Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.  
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

KASHMIR-10016Flower Seller, Dal Lake, Kashmir

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To Be Human

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2012 by stevemccurry

Conversations are at the heart of what it means to be human.
– Theodore Zeldin

Rajasthan, India
A boy listens as the elders talk at a traditional wedding festival.


The character of a man is known from his conversations.
Menander (342 BCE – 292 BCE)


The most fruitful and natural exercise for our minds is, in my opinion, conversation.
– Michel de Montaigne, The Essays: A Selection

 Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris

The great gift of conversation lies less in displaying it ourselves
than in drawing it out of others.
– Jean De La Bruyere

 California, USA


The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man’s observation,
not overturning it.

– Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton


Druze Elders, Lebanon

Golden Temple, Amritsar, India

Angkor Wat temple complex, Cambodia

When you have spoken the word, it reigns over you.
When it is unspoken you reign over it.
– Arab Proverb

Lourdes, France

Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea



Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.

– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Kabul, Afghanistan


The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing
at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
– Dorothy Nevill



Bursa, Turkey

A single conversation with a wise man is
better than ten years mere study of books.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Dublin, Ireland

Maimana, Afghanistan

Steve McCurry, Afghanistan

For information about Steve’s photographic expedition to Burma, please visit our website.

Finding the Sublime

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 14, 2012 by stevemccurry

 Rajasthan, India

For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.
T.S. Eliot

Yamdrok Tso Lake, Lhasa, Tibet

What are the scenes of nature that elevate the mind
and produce the sublime sensation?
…the hoary mountain, the solitary lake,
the aged forest and torrent falling over rocks.

– Hugh Blair, lecture notes from 1783.

Dal Lake, Srinagar, Kashmir

Whereas the beautiful is limited, the sublime is limitless,
so that the mind in the presence of the sublime,
attempting to imagine what it cannot, has pain in the
failure but pleasure in contemplating the
immensity of the attempt.
– Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason



Bayon, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Lives of great people all remind us, we can make our lives sublime,
and, departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Preah Khan Temple, Angkor Wat, Camboida

Inle Lake, Myanmar/Burma

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Agra, India

Kathmandu, Nepal

Rajasthan, India

Thrissur Pooram, Kerala, India

Weligama, Sri Lanka


Greatly begin.
Though thou have time, but for a line, be that sublime.

Not failure, but low aim is crime.
-James Russell Lowell

Gujarat, India


Road to Sarobi, Afghanistan

Maimana, Afghanistan



Rajasthan, India

Four sublime states of mind  taught by the Buddha:

Sympathetic Joy

Sri Lanka

Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Built with translucent white marble and inlaid with gems from China, Tibet, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and the Arabian peninsula

The Taj Mahal in Agra, India, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain,
are two of the world’s most iconic buildings.
They both evoke passionate emotions, even love, despite being
on opposite ends of the historical and architectural spectrum.

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
Constructed with a steel frame covered with titanium sheathing

In both buildings shape, size, scale, proportion, texture, color,
and light work together to sublime effect.

Basel, Switzerland


To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.
William Wordsworth 


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