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Monday, December 9th, 2013

[ by Charles Cameron — I got caught in a cascade of images, swept away — and then, Mao ]

This gesture seems to me to have the quality of a caress…

in which case a caress in Kyiv is not so different from piano music in that same city…

or, as it might be, cello music in Sarajevo…

or for that matter, simply standing motionless in Tienanmen Square…

or planting flowers in Washington, DC…

Caresses, music, stillness, flowers… there’s a kinship there.


But then again, maybe these gestures are too idealistic for the realist’s “real world” — and to quote Chairman Mao in refutation of that last image:

Every Communist must grasp the truth, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”


I keep coming back to that first image — stunning!

The thing about it — to my eye — the humanity is clearly visible on both sides…

How are the mighty fallen…

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

[ by Charles Cameron — an event in Kyiv, in which Lenin may remind one of Saddam… ]

Statue of Lenin, toppled, in Kiev / Kyiv, December 2013


I apologize for the bank which tries to hitch a ride on Ben Kingsley’s reading of Shelley here, but this is the best reading of Ozymandias I was able to find.

Shelley’s poem gives, I believe — in the context of recent events in Kyiv — some clarity to another well-known observation of his, in A Defence of Poetry:

Poets, according to the circumstances of the age and nation in which they appeared, were called, in the earlier epochs of the world, legislators, or prophets: a poet essentially comprises and unites both these characters. For he not only beholds intensely the present as it is, and discovers those laws according to which present things ought to be ordered, but he beholds the future in the present, and his thoughts are the germs of the flower and the fruit of latest time.

— or more succinctly:

Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.

Sanctuary: Kiev

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

[ by Charles Cameron — just musing on the old and sacred meaning of the word ]

From Ukraine’s Black Saturday:

Since this morning, around 200 young men and women have been hiding in the courtyard of the Mikhailovsky monastery, some 1.5 km from the Maidan Square. Frightened and freezing, they were taken in by the monks who have given them refuge. The students have barricaded themselves in the monastery, and have been visited by MPs and other Kyivians. The young activists assert that they want “to stick it out to the end,” but they don’t quite know what the end means; and nobody, unfortunately, can tell them.

The Ukraine, anyone? Kiev? Let’s talk…

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