by Denis Diderot (1713–1784), upon viewing the landscapes depicting ruins by the French painter Hubert Robert. Salon of 1767 (1798), Oeuvres esthétiques, p. 644, Paris, Garnier Flammarion (1988)
باطل الأباطيل الكل باطل وقبض الريح الإصحاح الأول من سفر الجامعة
كلام الجامعة ابن داود الملك في اورشليم باطل الاباطيل قال الجامعة باطل الاباطيل الكل باطل ما الفائدة للانسان من كل تعبه الذي يتعبه تحت الشمس دور يمضي و دور يجيء و الارض قائمة الى الابد و الشمس تشرق و الشمس تغرب و تسرع الى موضعها حيث تشرق الريح تذهب الى الجنوب و تدور الى الشمال تذهب دائرة دورانا و الى مداراتها ترجع الريح كل الانهار تجري الى البحر و البحر ليس بملان الى المكان الذي جرت منه الانهار الى هناك تذهب راجعة كل الكلام يقصر لا يستطيع الانسان ان يخبر بالكل العين لا تشبع من النظر و الاذن لا تمتلئ من السمع ما كان فهو ما يكون و الذي صنع فهو الذي يصنع فليس تحت الشمس جديد ان وجد شيء يقال عنه انظر هذا جديد فهو منذ زمان كان في الدهور التي كانت قبلنا ليس ذكر للاولين و الاخرون ايضا الذين سيكونون لا يكون لهم ذكر عند الذين يكونون بعدهم انا الجامعة كنت ملكا على اسرائيل في اورشليم و وجهت قلبي للسؤال و التفتيش بالحكمة عن كل ما عمل تحت السماوات هو عناء رديء جعلها الله لبني البشر ليعنوا فيه رايت كل الاعمال التي عملت تحت الشمس فاذا الكل باطل و قبض الريح الاعوج لا يمكن ان يقوم و النقص لا يمكن ان يجبر انا ناجيت قلبي قائلا ها انا قد عظمت و ازددت حكمة اكثر من كل من كان قبلي على اورشليم و قد راى قلبي كثيرا من الحكمة و المعرفة و وجهت قلبي لمعرفة الحكمة و لمعرفة الحماقة و الجهل فعرفت ان هذا ايضا قبض الريح لان في كثرة الحكمة كثرة الغم و الذي يزيد علما يزيد حزنا
Old Testament: Chapter one of Ecclesiastes
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
8 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.
12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
16 I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
محمود درويش من أحد عشر كوكب
وانتظر ولداً سيحمل عنك روحك.
فالخلود هو التناسل في الوجود .
وكل شيء باطل أو زائل
، أو زائل أو باطل.
أنشيد الأناشيد أم حكمة الجامعة ؟
وأنا شاعر وملك وحكيم
على حافة البئر
لا غيمة في يدي
ولا أحد عشر كوكباً على معبدي
ضاق بي جسدي ضاق بي أبدي وغدي
جالس مثل تاج الغبار على مقعدي
باطلُ، باطل الأباطيل ...باطل
كل شيء على البسيطة زائل
الرياح شمالية والرياح جنوبية
تشرق الشمس من ذاتها تغرب الشمس في ذاتها لا جديد،
إذا والزمن كان أمس، سدى في سدى.
الهياكل عالية والسنابل عالية والسماء اذا انخفضت مطرت
والبلاد اذا ارتفعت أقفزت
كل شيء اذا زاد عن حده صار يوماً الى ضده.
والحياة على الأرض ظل
لماذا لا نرى...
باطلُ، باطل الأباطيل ...باطل
كل شيء على البسيطة زائل 1400 مركبة 12000 فرس
تحمل اسمي المذهّب من زمن نحو آخر ...
عشت كما لم يعش شاعر ملكاً وحكيماً ...
سئمت من المجد
لا شيء ينقصني ألهذا إذاً كلما زاد علمي تعاظم همّي؟
فما اورشليم وما العرش؟
لا شيء يبقى على حاله
ولا شيء يبقى على حاله...
كل نهر سيشربه البحر
والبحر ليس بملآن،
والموت ليس بملآن
لا شيء يبقى على حاله
كل حي يسير الى الموت
والموت ليس بملآن
لا شيء يبقى
سوى اسمي المَذهّب بعدي : "سليمانَ كان"...
فماذا سيفعل موتى بأسمائهم
هل يضيء الذهب ظلمتي الشاسعة
أم نشيد الأناشيد والجامعة؟
باطلُ، باطل الأباطيل ...باطل
كل شيء على البسيطة زائل
From: La vie immédiate Paul Eluard
Tu es inscrite dans les lignes du plafond
Tu es inscrite dans les yeux que j'aime
Tu n'es pas tout à fait misère
Car les lèvres les plus pauvres te dénoncent Par un sourire
Bonjour tristesse Amour des corps aimables
Puissance de l'amour Dont l'amabilité surgit
Comme un monstre sans corps
Tristesse beau visage.
You are inscribed in the lines on the ceiling
You are inscribed in the eyes that I love
You are not poverty absolutely
Since the poorest of lips denounce you with a smile
Hello Sadness Love of kind bodies
Power of love From which kindness rises Like a bodiless monster
Sadness beautiful face.
From: Paris Spleen
Every Man His Chimera
Beneath a broad grey sky,
upon a vast and dusty plain devoid of grass, and where not even a nettle or a thistle was to be seen, I met several men who walked bowed down to the ground.
Each one carried upon his back an enormous Chimera as heavy as a sack of flour or coal, or as the equipment of a Roman foot-soldier.
But the monstrous beast was not a dead weight, rather she enveloped and oppressed the men with her powerful and elastic muscles, and clawed with her two vast talons at the breast of her mount.
Her fabulous head reposed upon the brow of the man like one of those horrible casques by which ancient warriors hoped to add to the terrors of the enemy.
I questioned one of the men, asking him why they went so.
He replied that he knew nothing, neither he nor the others, but that evidently they went somewhere, since they were urged on by an unconquerable desire to walk.
Very curiously, none of the wayfarers seemed to be irritated by the ferocious beast hanging at his neck and cleaving to his back: one had said that he considered it as a part of himself. These grave and weary faces bore witness to no despair.
Beneath the splenetic cupola of the heavens, their feet trudging through the dust of an earth as desolate as the sky, they journeyed onwards with the resigned faces of men condemned to hope for ever. So the train passed me and faded into the atmosphere of the horizon at the place where the planet unveils herself to the curiosity of the human eye.
During several moments I obstinately endeavoured to comprehend this mystery; but irresistible Indifference soon threw herself upon me, nor was I more heavily dejected thereby than they by their crushing Chimeras.
From: A Season in Hell
Once, if my memory serves me well, my life was a banquet where every heart revealed itself, where every wine flowed.
One evening I took Beauty in my arms - and I thought her bitter - and I insulted her. I steeled myself against justice.
I fled. O witches, O misery, O hate, my treasure was left in your care! I have withered within me all human hope.
With the silent leap of a sullen beast, I have downed and strangled every joy.
I have called for executioners; I want to perish chewing on their gun butts.
I have called for plagues, to suffocate in sand and blood.
Unhappiness has been my god.
I have lain down in the mud, and dried myself off in the crime-infested air.
I have played the fool to the point of madness. And springtime brought me the frightful laugh of an idiot.
Now recently, when I found myself ready to croak!
I thought to seek the key to the banquet of old, where I might find an appetite again.
That key is Charity. -
This idea proves I was dreaming! "You will stay a hyena, etc...," shouts the demon who once crowned me with such pretty poppies. "Seek death with all your desires, and all selfishness, and all the Seven Deadly Sins.
" Ah! I've taken too much of that: - still, dear Satan, don't look so annoyed, I beg you! And while waiting for a few belated cowardices, since you value in a writer all lack of descriptive or didactic flair, I pass you these few foul pages from the diary of a Damned Soul.
From: In the country of last things
“New tolls go up, the old tolls disappear. You can never know which streets to take and which you avoid. Bit by bit, the city robs you of certainty. There can never be any fixed path, and you can survive only if nothing is necessary to you”.
“So many of us have become like children again. War has returned us to our initial existence. It’s not that we make an effort, you understand, or that anyone is rally conscious of it. But when hope disappears, when you find that you have given up hoping even for the possibility of hope, you tend to fill the empty spaces with dreams”.
“Everything is falling apart, but so much continues to be there. It takes a long time for a world to vanish, much longer than you would think. Lives continue to be lived, and each one of us remains the witness of his own little drama”.
It is an odd thing, I believe, to be constantly looking down at the ground, always searching for broken and discarded things. After a while, it must surely affect the brain. For nothing is really itself anymore. There are pieces of this and pieces of that, but none of it fits together. And yet, very strangely, at the limit of all this chaos, everything begins to fuse again. You see what you are up against here. It's not just that things vanish — but once they vanish, the memory of them vanishes as well. Dark areas form in the brain, and unless you make a constant effort to summon up the things that are gone, they will quickly be lost to you forever. . . . Memory is not an act of will, after all. It is something that happens in spite of oneself, and when too much is changing all the time, the brain is bound to falter, things are bound to slip through it. In the end, the problem is not so much that people forget, but that they do not always forget the same thing. What still exists as a memory for one person can be irretrievably lost for another, and this creates difficulties, insuperable barriers against understanding. How can you talk to someone about airplanes, for example, if that person doesn't know what an airplane is. It is a slow but ineluctable process of erasure. Words tend to last a bit longer than things, but eventually they fade too, along with the pictures they once evoked. Entire categories of objects disappear — flowerpots, for example, or cigarette filters, or rubber bands — and for a time you will be able to recognize those words, even if you cannot recall what they mean. But then, little by little, the words become only sounds, a random collection of glottals and fricatives, a storm of whirling phonemes, and finally the whole thing just collapses into gibberish. The word "flowerpot" will make no more sense to you than the word "splandigo." Your mind will hear it, but it will register as something incomprehensible, a word from a language you cannot speak. As more and more of these foreign-sounding words crop up around you, conversations become rather strenuous. In effect, each person is speaking his own private language...