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viernes, 30 de diciembre de 2011

TEA JUST FOR ONE

   She heated the water. She put the hot water in the kettle and added a few tea leaves, flavored with vanilla. She liked that the house smelled of vanilla. It made her fly to the icy days of childhood. At a time when she still knew how to write letters to the Three Wise Men.
 She filled her heart with the smell of tea and nostalgy. A second nice cup of tea and all would be in its place. All would be in peace.

jueves, 29 de diciembre de 2011

THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL, by Hans Christian Andersen

   
   A wonderful short film by Roger Allers, based on the tale "The Little Match Girl":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUSzQBaWq0Q
and a sweet and sad tale for children, by Hans Christian Andersen:

Most terribly cold it was; it snowed, and was nearly quite dark, and evening-- the last evening of the year. In this cold and darkness there went along the street a poor little girl, bareheaded, and with naked feet. When she left home she had slippers on, it is true; but what was the good of that? They were very large slippers, which her mother had hitherto worn; so large were they; and the poor little thing lost them as she scuffled away across the street, because of two carriages that rolled by dreadfully fast.

One slipper was nowhere to be found; the other had been laid hold of by an urchin, and off he ran with it; he thought it would do capitally for a cradle when he some day or other should have children himself. So the little maiden walked on with her tiny naked feet, that were quite red and blue from cold. She carried a quantity of matches in an old apron, and she held a bundle of them in her hand. Nobody had bought anything of her the whole livelong day; no one had given her a single farthing.

She crept along trembling with cold and hunger--a very picture of sorrow, the poor little thing!

The flakes of snow covered her long fair hair, which fell in beautiful curls around her neck; but of that, of course, she never once now thought. From all the windows the candles were gleaming, and it smelt so deliciously of roast goose, for you know it was New Year's Eve; yes, of that she thought.

In a corner formed by two houses, of which one advanced more than the other, she seated herself down and cowered together. Her little feet she had drawn close up to her, but she grew colder and colder, and to go home she did not venture, for she had not sold any matches and could not bring a farthing of money: from her father she would certainly get blows, and at home it was cold too, for above her she had only the roof, through which the wind whistled, even though the largest cracks were stopped up with straw and rags.

Her little hands were almost numbed with cold. Oh! a match might afford her a world of comfort, if she only dared take a single one out of the bundle, draw it against the wall, and warm her fingers by it. She drew one out. "Rischt!" how it blazed, how it burnt! It was a warm, bright flame, like a candle, as she held her hands over it: it was a wonderful light. It seemed really to the little maiden as though she were sitting before a large iron stove, with burnished brass feet and a brass ornament at top. The fire burned with such blessed influence; it warmed so delightfully. The little girl had already stretched out her feet to warm them too; but--the small flame went out, the stove vanished: she had only the remains of the burnt-out match in her hand.

She rubbed another against the wall: it burned brightly, and where the light fell on the wall, there the wall became transparent like a veil, so that she could see into the room. On the table was spread a snow-white tablecloth; upon it was a splendid porcelain service, and the roast goose was steaming famously with its stuffing of apple and dried plums. And what was still more capital to behold was, the goose hopped down from the dish, reeled about on the floor with knife and fork in its breast, till it came up to the poor little girl; when--the match went out and nothing but the thick, cold, damp wall was left behind. She lighted another match. Now there she was sitting under the most magnificent Christmas tree: it was still larger, and more decorated than the one which she had seen through the glass door in the rich merchant's house.

Thousands of lights were burning on the green branches, and gaily-colored pictures, such as she had seen in the shop-windows, looked down upon her. The little maiden stretched out her hands towards them when--the match went out. The lights of the Christmas tree rose higher and higher, she saw them now as stars in heaven; one fell down and formed a long trail of fire.

"Someone is just dead!" said the little girl; for her old grandmother, the only person who had loved her, and who was now no more, had told her, that when a star falls, a soul ascends to God.

She drew another match against the wall: it was again light, and in the lustre there stood the old grandmother, so bright and radiant, so mild, and with such an expression of love.

"Grandmother!" cried the little one. "Oh, take me with you! You go away when the match burns out; you vanish like the warm stove, like the delicious roast goose, and like the magnificent Christmas tree!" And she rubbed the whole bundle of matches quickly against the wall, for she wanted to be quite sure of keeping her grandmother near her. And the matches gave such a brilliant light that it was brighter than at noon-day: never formerly had the grandmother been so beautiful and so tall. She took the little maiden, on her arm, and both flew in brightness and in joy so high, so very high, and then above was neither cold, nor hunger, nor anxiety--they were with God.

But in the corner, at the cold hour of dawn, sat the poor girl, with rosy cheeks and with a smiling mouth, leaning against the wall--frozen to death on the last evening of the old year. Stiff and stark sat the child there with her matches, of which one bundle had been burnt. "She wanted to warm herself," people said. No one had the slightest suspicion of what beautiful things she had seen; no one even dreamed of the splendor in which, with her grandmother she had entered on the joys of a new year.

miércoles, 28 de diciembre de 2011

LOVE CONSTANT BEYOND DEATH, a poem by Francisco de Quevedo



















(FOTOGRAFÍA: Miguel Ángel Escós Andrés)


   Perhaps whatever final shadow that
the shining day may bring could close my eyes,
and this my soul may well be set aflight
by time responding to its longing sighs;

but it will not, there on the farther shore
its memory leave behind, where once it burned:
my flame the icy current yet can swim,
and so severe a law can surely spurn.
 
Soul by no less than a god confined,
veins that such a blazing fire have fueled,
marrow to its glorious flames consigned:
 
the body will abandon, not its woes;
will soon be ash, but ash that is aware;
dust will be, but dust whose love still grows.
(©Alix Ingber, 1995)
Correction contributed by Javier Santamaría in Barcelona.

FRANCISCO DE QUEVEDO
Francisco Gómez de Quevedo Villegas y Santibáñez Cevallos,  (Madrid, 14th September 1580 – Villanueva de los Infantes, 8th  September 1645). He was one of the most brilliant Spanish writers. His poems are well known all over the world.

jueves, 22 de diciembre de 2011

WHITE CHRISTMAS, by Robbie Williams


FOTO: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/may/09/itv.tvfakery

This video by Robbie Williams is my favourite version of "White Christmas":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyk0b0cOogk
Another good video with more traditional carols (Ant & Dec´s Christmas Show 2009):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zq-SEAYe_do&feature=related
 "May your days be merry and bright/ and may all your Christmases be white".
Merry Christmas for you all!!!



MEET ANT AND DEC:
I have found the videos of a funny TV programme: "Ants & Dec´s Christmas Show 2009"
PART 1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=l73COCixB6A
PART 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2KRZ5L7WyI
PART 3:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xXJHcXzWx0
PART 4:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzHafDBsBa4

martes, 20 de diciembre de 2011

THE IMPORTANCE OF LEARNING ENGLISH

Les Luthiers
FOTO: Les Luthiers
(http://www.europapress.es/galicia/noticia-les-luthiers-presentara-nuevo-espectaculo-lutherapia-coliseo-coruna-15-18-marzo-20111219133050.html)

   Everybody tells you about the convenience of learning foreign languages.
Les Luthiers, a hilarious group of artists show us how important is learning English. You will enjoy their performance:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxB1hfRVjEc&NR=1

domingo, 18 de diciembre de 2011

"COMO LA MIEL" (LIKE HONEY), a CD by Âlime Hüma and Luigi Maráez


   Yesterday afternoon, the composers and musicians Âlime Hüma (pianist) and Luigi Maráez (guitarist) played their new album in Saragosse (Spain). It was in Sástago Palace and the room was filled to overflowing.

   Several poets from The AAE (Aragonese Asociation of Writers) accompaigned them. We read some poems about honey because this album is a tribute to poets who wrote about it.
  A sweet, tender and emotional album you will listen to with pleasure. You can enjoy their voices and music. It is like sitting at the edge of a lake: serenity and calm, quiet and restrained emotion. You only need to go with the music and let the poetry exercises its magic.
  Follow my advice: if you have to give a special gift for someone special, give him/her this album. Give yourselves two unique voices, too. Enjoy two unforgettable musicians.

TO WATCH THE VIDEO:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC1QoaGWc-w
CONTACT TO BUY THE ALBUM:
luigimaraez@hotmail.com , or mobile phone: 626 622 090

viernes, 2 de diciembre de 2011

THE LAZY SPINNER, a tale by Grimm Brothers

IN a certain village there once lived a man and his wife, and the wife was so idle that she would never work at anything; whatever her husband gave her to spin, she did not get done, and what she did spin she did not wind, but let it all remain entangled in a heap. If the man scolded her, she was always ready with her tongue, and said, "Well, how should I wind it, when I have no reel? Just you go into the forest and get me one." "If that is all," said the man, "then I will go into the forest, and get some wood for making reels." Then the woman was afraid that if he had the wood he would make her a reel of it, and she would have to wind her yarn off, and then begin to spin again. She bethought herself a little, and then a lucky idea occurred to her, and she secretly followed the man into the forest, and when he had climbed into a tree to choose and cut the wood, she crept into the thicket below where he could not see her, and cried,
“He who cuts wood for reels shall die,
And he who winds, shall perish."
The man listened, laid down his axe for a moment, and began to consider what that could mean. "Hollo," he said at last, "what can that have been; my ears must have been singing, I won't alarm myself for nothing." So he again seized the axe, and began to hew, then again there came a cry from below:
“He who cuts wood for reels shall die,
And he who winds shall perish."
He stopped, and felt afraid and alarmed, and pondered over the circumstance. But when a few moments had passed, he took heart again, and a third time he stretched out his hand for the axe, and began to cut. But some one called out a third time, and said loudly,
"He who cuts wood for reels shall die,
And he who winds, shall perish."
That was enough for him, and all inclination had departed from him, so he hastily descended the tree, and set out on his way home. The woman ran as fast as she could by by-ways so as to get home first. So when he entered the parlour, she put on an innocent look as if nothing had happened, and said, "Well, have you brought a nice piece of wood for reels?" "No," said he, "I see very well that winding won't do," and told her what had happened to him in the forest, and from that time forth left her in peace about it. Nevertheless after some time, the man again began to complain of the disorder in the house. "Wife," said he, "it is really a shame that the spun yarn should lie there all entangled!" "I'll tell you what," said she, "as we still don't come by any reel, go you up into the loft, and I will stand down below, and will throw the yarn up to you, and you will throw it down to me, and so we shall get a skein after all." "Yes, that will do," said the man. So they did that, and when it was done, he said, "The yarn is in skeins, now it must be boiled." The woman was again distressed; She certainly said, "Yes, we will boil it next morning early," but she was secretly contriving another trick. Early in the morning she got up, lighted a fire, and put the kettle on, only instead of the yarn, she put in a lump of tow, and let it boil. After that she went to the man who was still lying in bed, and said to him, "I must just go out, you must get up and look after the yarn which is in the kettle on the fire, but you must be at hand at once; mind that, for if the cock should happen to crow, and you are not attending to the yarn, it will become tow." The man was willing and took good care not to loiter. He got up as quickly as he could, and went into the kitchen. But when he reached the kettle and peeped in, he saw, to his horror nothing but a lump of tow. Then the poor man was as still as a mouse, thinking he had neglected it, and was to blame, and in future said no more about yarn and spinning. But you yourself must own she was an odious woman!

From Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Household Tales, trans. Margaret Hunt (London: George Bell, 1884), 2:163-165.
You can read it here:
http://myweb.dal.ca/barkerb/fairies/grimm/128.html

The Brothers Grimm: Jacob Grimm (January 4, 1785 – September 20, 1863) and Wilhelm Grimm (February 24, 1786 – December 16, 1859), were German academics, linguists, cultural researchers, and authors who collected folklore and published several collections of it as Grimm's Fairy Tales, which became very popular.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brothers_Grimm