‘Una Furtiva Lagrima’ – A furtive tear


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A single secret tear
from her eye did spring:
as if she envied all the youths
that laughingly passed her by.
What more searching need I do?
What more searching need I do?
She loves me! Yes, she loves me, I see it. I see it.
For just an instant the beating
of her beautiful heart I could feel!
As if my sighs were hers,
and her sighs were mine!
The beating, the beating of her heart I could feel,
to merge my sighs with hers…
Heavens! Yes, I could die!
I could ask for nothing more, nothing more.
Oh, heavens! Yes, I could, I could die!
I could ask for nothing more, nothing more.
Yes, I could die! Yes, I could die of love.

The poor Nemorino pines for the lovely Adina, who shows him nothing but indifference. When he hears the story of “Tristan and Isolde,” and the love potion that causes the title characters to fall madly in love, Nemorino wonders if such a potion exists, and finds a con man who gladly sells him a “potion” that’s really just wine.

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Mieszko the Stone Bear

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Legend says this is actually a heartbroken prince waiting for his true love’s kiss

 

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When walking past Warsaw’s Old Town and the Church of Our Lady of Grace, you’ll find a small statue that does not seem fit the setting. It’s a statue of a bear, seemingly asleep on the church porch.

This statue is said to be of Prince Mieszko, an adopted prince of Janusz I who was found in a bear’s den during a hunting trip. The legend says that as a todder, he protected the bear and her cubs from being shot by putting himself between the animals and the hunters, a brave move that convinced Janusz I’s family to adopt the child as their own. Continue reading

Mother to Son – Langston Hughes

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Well, son, I’ll tell you:

Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.

So boy, don’t you turn back.

Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,

And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47559/mother-to-son
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Ancient campfires led to the rise of storytelling

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Sometime about 400,000 years ago, humans learned to fully control fire. This breakthrough radically changed our diets, because we could now cook food, but did it transform our culture as well?

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….Campfires allowed human ancestors to expand their minds in a similar way and also solidified social networks.

“Stories told by firelight put listeners on the same emotional wavelength,” she writes in the paper, and “elicited understanding, trust, and sympathy.” Continue reading