Tag Archives: books

flowers of pleasure

 

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Enchanting, Intoxicating, Fascinating,

Enveloped in a trance of fragrance

As a sweet mirage of romance floating

Up to her lustrous eyes welled with pearls

Of liquid dreams, misty wishes in beads

Of bubbled evanescence that flashed upon

Her watery eyes sparkling like diamonds,

A sweet vision of Beauty descends upon 

Her lithe figure wrapped in lovely heaps

Of Roses, Bergamots, Jasmins, and Peaches

In Every Possible Variety of Pleasures. 

 

P.S.: This is a rather playful limerick that came upon my mind during bathing. The new set of bathing kits was filled with wonderfully lovely scents extracted from the aforesaid flora, which instantly uplifted my spirit. I felt like bathing in a fairy lake hidden in a magic forest or Aphrodite’s Beach in Cyprus with the glamorous spell cast on me that would be unbroken – forever. 

‘Plain Girl’, by Arthur Miller – review

Plain GirlPlain Girl by Arthur Miller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I first came across this book while looking for my next read on the train, I was immediately hooked on by the simple no-nonsense title of Plain Girl and incredulously surprised by the famous name of Arthur Miller, a celebrity playwright who had once married Marylin Monroe in his prime. Such an incongruous admixture of the images sprang in my mind like phantasms from a presumed association between the Dolorous and the Gorgeous, the Lonely and the Lovely, the Unlucky and the Lucky, all compactness in this beautifully elliptical and deeply heartfelt story about a plain girl whose jewel of beauty was wrapped in a dull, grey, crude titular epithet.

Janice Sessions, an intelligent young Jewish woman living in New York City, seems to share the sentiments of the introverts whose quiet modes of behaviors and shyness often make them unnoticed, if not obscure, among vociferous, glamorous crowds. Think Maupassant, who at the hour of his death confides in his close friend, “I coveted everything and enjoyed nothing.” And Charlotte Bronte, who always thinks she is deprived of beauty and fortune, which prevents her from a delight of love as a prerogative of beautiful fortunate women. And then the Monster created by Dr. Frankenstein whose deformity puts him in a cruel shackle of absolute loneliness with an outcry of “I see inside but dare not to go inside!” They are the concerted echoes of estrangement – whether voluntarily or involuntarily imagined or devised – from lonely souls roaming around, wandering about in a search of happiness in life that can culminate in the union of loves, both Eros and Psyche, the spiritualization of sensuality in totality. This Janice is in want of, this is the source of her existential distress, noogenic frustration that keeps her away from anything miraculous and wonderful every happening to her.

In fact, I wonder if Miller writes this story of a plain girl on the thematics of existential frustration in which his protagonist is made to believe what she really isn’t, whereas her extraordinariness of resilient spirit against endless disappointment and distress renders her all the more distinguished from her peers whose ordinary femininity looks banal and trifle without stories to tell. Such emotional distress may arise from an existential vacuum caused by a collective value, such as in this story the disillusioned tenets of political and social ideologies ultimately culminating in World War II and the aftermath thereof. And Miller so elegantly and dexterously accounts for a woman’s solitary quest for the meaning of life, a sense of purpose in life as a woman of true value against epochal tides of world crisis. The apex of Miller’s literary finesse manifests in every sentence delicately nuanced sentiment wrapped in his elliptical expressions and laconic use of plain words, defying every streak of intricately baroque literature that does not communicate straightforwardly to the hearts of readers.

This book is not to discuss woman’s liberation or to lecture about the superiority of spiritual beauty over physical beauty that so many of you would quickly respond with stock answers. Janice’s doubt about her value of being loved and her preoccupied consciousness to her appearance makes her all the more palpable and realistic to those of you who find a kindred spirit in her and feel that you are not alone in loneliness and that what you think you are may not be the truth. Janice doesn’t need the glamour spell to transform herself into beauty because Janice is not a plain girl, nor has been, and will never be. The same goes for you.

View all my reviews

Feather of Two Truths

 

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Osiris and the Sacred Scale, courtesy of National Geographic

The days on earth ended

And the days in Afterlife began

As the Final Judgment of Osiris,

The Lord of the Underworld

To weigh the sins of the man

On the Scale of Two Truths

Against the Sacred Feather

In the Hall of Goddess of Truth

Waited for him to say “Never!”

 

The assisting gods recited

The long line of sins on earth

To which the man answered,

“No, I had committed none,

None of the sins from birth to death.”

Then Osiris ordered the goddess

To put the man’s heart on the scale

And the Sacred Feather in her arms

To be on the other side of the scale.

 

The heart as light as the Sacred Feather

Kept the Perfect Balance of the Scale,

And the Supreme Judge decided to declare

The man to be true of voice by the Scale

And allowed him to enter in eternal bliss

Celestial Garden among the Stars

That never died but lived forever

Sailing as his happy heart wished

And filled with Eternal Euphoria.

 

P.S.: This poem was based upon my reading of the ‘Book of the Dead,’ an ancient Egyptian guide to the Underworld instructing the dead what to expect, where to go, and how to behave when entering the Underworld. The ancient Egyptians regarded death as new life, the beginning of the Afterlife where the souls of the virtuous dead lived in a heavenly landscape that looked so much like Egypt on earth. The blissful afterlife was meritorious by the ruling of Osiris, the supreme ruler of the Underworld, who questioned the souls of the dead according to a long list of sins that mankind was prone to commit by nature and put their negation of sins on a test by putting each of their hearts on the divine scale to weigh against Maat’s Feather.” Maat was the goddess of truth, and as she put the heart on the other side of the scale, the balance would remain the same if the heart was free of sins. Only such a sinless, weightless heart would give the soul of the man a passport to Paradise. Fascinating. 

‘The Wildest Dream’, by Me – review

413JqnAw54LJudy always feels kept away from anything miraculously fortunate or even moderately pleasant ever happening to her. Neither gorgeous nor homely, Judy seeks approval of love and care to which she seems to be barred. This is her whimsical journey of a quest for her niche through the awesome events that she never expects to visit her. This is a short tale about Judy’s adventure in her wildest dream that turns her inside out and helps her to look at the world instead of looking askance at the world to look at her and approve her. It’s a kind of whimsical story mixed with adventure, western, and fantasy that I hope to be a fall-away from the dull flat platform of life. My first book ever published on Kindle is now available on Amazon for free. I hope you will like it. Thanks for reading. 🙂

Wandering cloud

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Water Lilies by Claude Monet

Like a wandering lonely cloud

Skybound, Softbound, Spellbound,

I walked down to the lonely street

In the silver shimmering daylight,

Lingering in the horizon beyond

Reflecting on the shining pond.

 

P.S. I took a walk at the park this beautiful afternoon and saw a pretty pond therein. It was sparkling with the reflection of sunlight, which made me wonder if this had been what Anne of Green Gables might have seen on the way to the Green Gables with Matthew from the train station and named it “Lake of Shimmering Waters”.