Monday, September 13, 2010

Blade of Grass

A close friend of mine was clearing her mailbox, and found this mail from me sent three years ago. She forwarded it back to me. What goes around comes around. Read on:

Said a blade of grass to an autumn leaf, "You make such a noise falling! You scatter all my winter dreams."

Said the leaf indignant, "Low-born and low-dwelling! Songless, peevish thing! You live not in the upper air and you cannot tell the sound of singing."

Then the autumn leaf lay down upon the earth and slept. And when spring came she waked again -- and she was a blade of grass.

And when it was autumn and her winter sleep was upon her, and above her through all the air the leaves were falling, she muttered to herself, "O these autumn leaves! They make such a noise! They scatter all my winter dreams."

- from K Gibran (Blade of Grass)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Thought-fox

Homage to Ted Hughes by Reginald Gray.
Held by Bankfield Museum, Yorkshire

This is a Ted Hughes poem about the poet's creative process of how a poem appears on a blank page. I think we had this in Class IX textbooks in school. Does anyone remember?

The Thought-fox

I imagine this midnight moment's forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock's loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:

Cold, delicately as the dark snow
A fox's nose touches twing, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Brilliantly, concentratedly,
Coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

NYPD detective's photographic record

Photo copyright: Greg Semendinger/NYPD/ABC/AP

Every visit to the Time magazine's photo section always reveals something interesting to see.

Months before he retired, photography enthusiast and New York Police Department detective Greg Semendinger shot dramatic images of 9/11 while the two towers were going down from a helicopter. He was airborne minutes after the towers were hit and shot this great photographic record. Check this Time Magazine gallery to see 9/11 from the sky.

He shot 240 images which were part of a photographic project undertaken by the US-government run National Institute of Standards and Technology, which probed the physical destruction of the World Trade Centre towers. The NIST had collected over 2700 pictures from amateurs and professionals as part of its project. They remained out of the public domain till ABC News got to know about the photographic project, and used the Freedom of Information Act to get them released in Feb 2010.

Also check Semendinger interview recalling the moments when he shot these pictures.

While Semendinger was shooting from the sky, two photo journalists James Nachtwey and Steve McCurry were shooting the collapse of the towers from the ground. You could see Nachtwey's images on his website. He actually went inside the towers before they collapsed. They were first published by Time magazine.

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