Attila József by the Danube — Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: View From the Side

This is our entry in Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: View From the Side.

Attila József (April 11, 1905 – December 3, 1937) is a well-known Hungarian poet.  In 1980, a statue to honor József was erected on Kossuth Square in front of the Hungarian Parliament in Budapest. During Viktor Orbán’s tenure as Prime Minister, it was decided to move the statue closer to the banks of the Danube.

Attila József published his poem By the Danube in 1936.  The following is an excerpt (our selection) from the poem, with translation by John Székely.

As I sat on the bottom step of the wharf,
A melon-rind flowed by with the current;
Wrapped in my fate I hardly heard the chatter
Of the surface, while the deep was silent.
As if my own heart had opened its gate:
The Danube was turbulent, wise and great.

And the rain began to fall but then it stopped
Just as if it couldn’t have mattered less,
And like one watching the long rain from a cave,
I gazed away into the nothingness.
Like grey, endless rain from the skies overcast,
So fell drably all that was bright: the past.

But the Danube flowed on.

I am he who for a hundred thousand year
Has gazed on what he now sees the first time.
One brief moment and, fulfilled, all time appears
In a hundred thousand forbears’ eyes and mine.

In the Danube’s waves past, present and future
Are all-embracing in a soft caress.

The photo was taken on April 21, 2019. Specs are:

Canon 200D, ISO 100, f/9.0, 1/80 sec, 35 mm.


Greek Horse Pin Art

This is our entry in Lost in Translation’s BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY: TEXTURE.

A little Greek horse statue, in the Spartan style, was the model for pin art, using a toy that is a popular Christmas gift.  Each tiny circle of light in the photo is the end of a rounded metal nail.  Texture equals art.

This photo was taken on November 11, 2017. Specs are:

Canon 100D, ISO 100, f/5.0, 1/8 sec, 56 mm

Natty Greene before the brewery

A few years ago we visited Greensboro, North Carolina, and enjoyed lunch in Natty Greene’s, a downtown brewpub with an on-site seven barrel brewery. After this visit, we began to notice Natty Green’s bottled beers in grocery stores. Not being from the South, we did not immediately make the connection from Natty Greene’s to Nathanael Greene, after whom Greensboro is named.

This past weekend, we visited the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park which preserves the site of the March 15, 1781, battle between the American forces in the South, led by Major General Nathanael Greene, and the British troops led by Lt. General Charles, Earl Cornwallis.  This battle was the largest of the Revolutionary War’s Southern Campaign.  Although his forces won that battle, General Cornwallis stated

“I never saw such fighting since God made me. The Americans fought like demons.”

An imposing statue of General Nathanael Greene stands in a large open area of the park. Here are some photos of this beautifully-crafted statue.

In front of the statue of General Greene stands a statue of Athena, goddess of wisdom, war, strategy, industry, justice and skill.

These photos were taken on August 27, 2017 with an Olympus TG-4 camera. Specs are available by clicking on each photo.

For much more about this battle and the park, visit the website at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park North Carolina..


Many Faces of Buddha

This is our second response to The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Dense.

This photo was taken in a temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand. There is no such thing as too many statues of Buddha in Thailand.

Many Faces of Buddha

Specs are:

Canon 100D, ISO 1600, f/5.0, 1/320 sec, 64 mm

Zeus or Poseidon: a Magnificent Statue

Last month we visited the National Archeological Museum in Athens, Greece. One of the major attractions is a statue of a Greek god posed mid-stride to hurl a weapon. This statue was  recovered in 1928 from a shipwreck off Cape Artemision in north Euboea, Greece. Because the weapon itself was not recovered, it is uncertain exactly which god is represented. If the weapon was a thunderbolt, then this is most likely Zeus, the god of sky and thunder who lived on Mount Olympus as king of the gods. If the weapon was a trident, then this is probably Poseidon, god of the sea (and brother to Zeus). The museum believes that Zeus is the more probable answer.

This statue was created in bronze around 460 B.C.E. in the Early Classical (Severe) style.  The beauty and detail of the statue is amazing and seems so advanced for something from a far distant past.

Le Corbeau et le Renard (The Crow and the Fox)

Jean de La Fontaine, a 17th century French poet, is best known for his 239 fables, published over 26 years as the 12 volume Fables.  His earlier works are based mainly on the classical fables by Aesop, Babrius, and Phaedrus. From the beginning, his fables have been familiar to the French reader of literature; they have been learned by generations of French school children.

The first two volumes of selected fables were published in 1668, dedicated to Louis, son of Louis XIV (the Sun King) and Maria Theresa.  The six-year-old Dauphin would have been one of the first to enjoy the fable The Crow and the Fox, which is the subject of this post.


       Maître Corbeau, sur un arbre perché,
Tenait en son bec un fromage.
Maître Renard, par l’odeur alléché,
Lui tint à peu près ce langage :
Et bonjour, Monsieur du Corbeau,
Que vous êtes joli ! que vous me semblez beau !
Sans mentir, si votre ramage
Se rapporte à votre plumage,
Vous êtes le Phénix des hôtes de ces bois.
À ces mots le Corbeau ne se sent pas de joie,
Et pour montrer sa belle voix,
Il ouvre un large bec, laisse tomber sa proie.
Le Renard s’en saisit, et dit : Mon bon Monsieur,
Apprenez que tout flatteur
Vit aux dépens de celui qui l’écoute.
Cette leçon vaut bien un fromage sans doute.
Le Corbeau honteux et confus
Jura, mais un peu tard, qu’on ne l’y prendrait plus.

The translation below is by Robert Thomson.

THE CROW AND FOX (Book I, Fable 2)
Perched on a tree sat Master Crow
While in his beak he held a cheese ;
Lured by the smell stood Master Fox below,
And hailed him in such words as these :
“ What ! Master Crow ! good day ! how be ye ?
’Pon honour I am glad to see ye !
How beautiful, how handsome ye appear !
How I should like to hear your note !
For if your warbling’s like your coat,
You are the phoenix of the forests here. ”
At this the crow could not enough rejoice,
Opened a large beak to show his pretty voice ;
Down dropt the precious prey . . .
Which Reynard seized, and ran away,
Leaving this short adieu :
“ Learn, my good fellow, that the flattering crew
Live at the cost of those they slyly please ;
I hope my lesson’s worth your cheese. ”
The Crow too late, ashamed, and full of pain
Swore they should never bilk him so again

The City of Paris erected a statue honoring La Fontaine in 1891, located at the intersection of avenues Ingres and Ranelagh in the Square du Ranelagh, near La Muette – Auteuil, in the  16th arrondissement. In 1983, a new bronze statue replaced the original, while the base is still engraved in stone:

This monument erected by public subscription with the support of the State and the City of Paris was inaugurated July 26, 1891.

The monument shows La Fontaine looking down at the crow, who is taunting the fox with a cheese round.

These photos show La Fontaine.

These photos are closeups of the crow and fox. Notice that someone has placed a coin resembling the cheese in the fox’s mouth.

These photos were taken in Paris, France, on 9 October 2015 with an Olympus TG-4 camera.