SWYK! (Share What You Know) is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. This meme asks you to share 3 tips on one of the topics below, OR 3 tips on a different topic that you know well and feel others would benefit from!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
One of the topics this week is Where to find eBooks online. I’ll be mentioning sites for free eBooks, most of which are in public domain. What a boon for lovers of classic literature.
The first place I always check is Project Gutenberg. I even use their recent additions page as my home page. The main link is for the United States site. If you are in another country, you can check here for further information. Project Gutenberg books are no longer limited to plain text, but are available in a variety of formats to fit any reader or mobile device.
Another treat from Benny’s The Illustrated Omar Khayyam. I love most of Benny’s illustrations, but some grab my attention more than others. I found this one especially striking. Details about Benny’s new translation.
This mound in some remote and dateless day
Rear’d o’er a Chieftain of the Age of Hills,
May here detain thee Traveller! from thy road
Not idly lingering. In his narrow house
Some Warrior sleeps below: his gallant deeds
Haply at many a solemn festival
The Bard has harp’d, but perish’d is the song
Of praise, as o’er these bleak and barren downs
The wind that passes and is heard no more.
Go Traveller on thy way, and contemplate
Glory’s brief pageant, and remember then
That one good deed was never wrought in vain.
This colour plate does not find place in the book.)
For those who are interested in Omar Khayyam my version shall certainly resonate as true to the original. Imagine the pleasure of reading him for the first time? Eight hundred years later you can relive the pleasure his quatrains first produced among his readers.
“In the ten sections of his book, Benny Thomas has composed his own Khayyāmasque quatrains covering most of the central and salient features of Khayyāmian themes. Whether it is in the chapter titled “Cup of Wine” or “Love Feast,” the essence of Omar Khayyām’s Rubā‘iyyāt is echoed in the poems of Benny Thomas. For those interested in a mystical reading of Khayyām’s quatrains, this collection of poems provides an invaluable insight…” (Selected from the Foreword by Prof. Mehdi Aminrazavi the author of The Wine of Wisdom.)
Since I’ve been reading so much about Peru, I felt bad that I had not read any Peruvian poetry. According to what I’ve read, the national poet of that land was César Vallejo (1892-1938). I took a fancy to the following poem, which I present in both English and Spanish:
Black Stone on Top of a White Stone
I shall die in Paris, in a rainstorm,
On a day I already remember.
I shall die in Paris—it does not bother me—
Doubtless on a Thursday, like today, in autumn.
It shall be a Thursday, because today, Thursday
As I put down these lines, I have set my shoulders
To the evil. Never like today have I turned,
And headed my whole journey to the ways where I am alone.
César Vallejo is dead. They struck him,
All of them, though he did nothing to them, They…
I asked professors who teach the meaning of life to tell me what is happiness.
And I went to famous executives who boss the work of thousands of men.
They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though I was trying to fool with them.
And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along the Desplaines river
And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with their women and children and a keg of beer and an accordion.