Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Fire and Ice, by Robert Frost

Some say the World will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

This is a short but amazing poem! If you think about it, it is most likely the world will end because of the forces of nature. The things that come to mind are fire and ice. You think of volcanoes, powerful eruptions, boiling lava. Or something like the Ice Age. Life would be destroyed.

You could however also see it in a different, more human way. You could say that this is how Robert Frost inteded it to be interpreted, linking fire and ice to desire. There is the fire of passion, the iciness of hate. These can bring a human doen, end his or her life.

Twilight

I was thirteen when I read the first Twilight book. I forgot about it afterwards, but it has been impossible to escape the 'Twilight' craze lately. I will however only talk about the book and not the movies.
The first Twilight book was a reasonably nice book. The plot was predictable and cliche and added nothing whatsoever to the fatasy-genre. It is based solely upon the mysery that has always surrounded vampires and werewolves and didn't bring in new or fresh ideas.

The protagonist, Isabella 'Bella' Swan, has to move to a little town where it is usually dark and rainy. There she meets Edward Cullen, who keeps to himself and is incredibly beautiful. She falls in love with him, he follows her around, he saves her, she does research, she confronts him, he admits he's a vampire who only drinks animal-blood. Nothing surprising or new here.
She's accepted into the vampire-family and when they are playing a game of baseball during a thunderstorm (otherwise everybody would notice their incredible superpower) they are met by a group of human blood-drinking vampires. One of them takes a liking to Bella and the vampire-family do their utmost best to protect her. But she gets a distressed call from her mother to save her from the blood-drinking vampire. She "escapes" and faces the vampire on her own, who turns out to not have her mother as a hostage. Her mother is somewhere on a holiday. Edward comes just in time to battle him, but Bella has already been bitten, so he has to suck the vampire-venom out. This poses a problem, because her blood is the one thing he wants the most, yet he also wants her alive. But, of course, his love is stronger than his bloodthirst and everything is alright.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

The Oxford Book of Ballads

I bought a very beautiful copy of the Oxford Book of Ballads about a year ago and there is one ballad in particular that fascinates me. It is called The Cruel Mother and is about a mother that kills her newly born kids.

The Cruel Mother

She lean'd her back unto a thorn;
Fine flowers in the valley
And there she has her two babes born
And the green leaves they grow rarely


She's ta'en the ribbon frae her hair
And bound their bodies fast and sair


'Smile na sae sweet, my bonny babes,
An' ye smile sae sweet, ye'll smile me dead

'And, O bonny babes, if ye suck sair,
Ye'll never suck my side mair.'

She's ta'en out her little penknife
And twinn'd the sweet babes o' their life.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

The Qur'an

I have recently started reading the Qur'an, because, as a idealist, I think that I should know what millions of people around the world believe. Immigrants shouldn't be the only ones to adapt, if you ask me. I see it as our duty, as the Western World, to know where these people come from.

So I bought myself a Qur'an and started reading and I find it fascinating. It is a complete oposite to the Bible in writing-style, yet there are so many similarities in stories and characters. The Qur'an talks about Moses, Jesus and Noah, just like the Bible does.

I want to quote one part of the 24th section of the 2nd Surah, Al-Baqarah.
190. Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.
191. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn the out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith,
192. But if they cease, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
193. And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression.