And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos Quotes

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And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos by John Berger
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And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos Quotes Showing 1-15 of 15
“My heart born naked
was swaddled in lullabies.
Later alone it wore
poems for clothes.
Like a shirt
I carried on my back
the poetry I had read.

So I lived for half a century
until wordlessly we met.

From my shirt on the back of the chair
I learn tonight
how many years
of learning by heart
I waited for you.”
John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos
“Poems, even when narrative, do not resemble stories. All stories are about battles, of one kind or another, which end in victory or defeat. Everything moves towards the end, when the outcome will be known.

Poems, regardless of any outcome, cross the battlefields, tending the wounded, listening to the wild monologues of the triumphant or the fearful. They bring a kind of peace. Not by anaesthesia or easy reassurance, but by recognition and the promise that what has been experienced cannot disappear as if it had never been. Yet the promise is not of a monument. (Who, still on a battlefield, wants monuments?) The promise is that language has acknowledged, has given shelter, to the experience which demanded, which cried out.”
John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos
“The boon of language is not tenderness. All that it holds, it holds with exactitude and without pity, even a term of endearment; the word is impartial: the usage is all. The boon of language is that potentially it is complete, it has the potentiality of holding with words the totality of human experience--everything that has occurred and everything that may occur. It even allows space for the unspeakable. In this sense one can say of language that it is potentially the only human home, the only dwelling place that cannot be hostile to man. For prose this home is a vast territory, a country which it crosses through a network of tracks, paths, highways; for poetry this home is concentrated on a single center, a single voice, and this voice is simultaneously that of an announcement and a response to it.”
John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos
“Gerçekte hep iki zaman arasındayızdır: Gövdenin ve bilincin zamanı arasında. Bütün öbür kültürlerdeki ruh ve gözde arasındaki ayrım işte buradan kaynaklanır. Öncelik her zaman ruhundur ve yeri bir başka zamanın aktığı çizgidedir.”
John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos
“uygarlığın olmadığı yerlerde ev bir evle değil, bir eylem ya da eylemler kümesiyle temsil edilir. herkesinki kendine özgüdür. bir zorunluluk duyulmadan seçilmiş eylemler kendi içlerinde geçici olabilirlr belki, ama herhangi bir binadan daha kalıcı ve sağlam sığınaklar sunarlar. Ev o zaman bir mekan olmaktan çıkar, yaşanan bir hayatın anlatılmamış öyküsü olur. En can alıcı noktaysa, evin aslında insanın adından başka bir şey olmadığıdır - birçok kişiye göre de insan adsızdır.”
John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos
“Yıldız kümelerni ilk keşfedip onlara ad veren öykücülerdi. Bir avuç yıldız arasına düşsel bir çizgi çekince kimlik ve birer imge kazanıyordu yıldızlar. Çizgiye işlenmiş yıldızlar bir anlatıya işlenmiş olaylar gibiydi. Yıldızların küme oluşturduğunu düşlemek kuşkusuz ne yıldızları ne de onları çeviren kara boşluğu değiştirdi. Değiştirdiği şey insanların geceleyin göğü okuma biçimiydi.”
John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos
“At that moment I saw you at the end of the platform. You were wearing trousers. On the long platform beside the stranded train, in the vast white diffused late-afternoon light of the rift valley, you looked very small. With your appearance everything changed. Everything from the passage under the railway tracks to the sun setting, from the Arabic numerals on the board which announced the times of the trains, to the gulls perched on a roof, from the invisible stars to the taste of coffee on my palate. The world of circumstance and contingency, into which, long before, I had been born, became like a room. I was home.”
John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos
“The inability to remember is itself perhaps a memory.”
John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos
“Emigration does not only involve leaving behind, crossing water, living amongst strangers, but, also, undoing the very meaning of the world and—at its most extreme—abandoning oneself to the unreal which is the absurd. […] to emigrate is always to dismantle the center of the world, and so to move into a lost, disoriented one of fragments.”
John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos
“Partir est mourir un peu. I was very young when I first heard this sentence quoted and it expressed a truth I already knew. I remember it now because the experience of living in you as if you were a country, the only country in the world where I can never conceivably meet you face to face, this is a little like the experience of living with the memory of the dead. What I did not know when I was very young was that nothing can take the past away: the past grows gradually around one, like a placenta for dying.”
John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos
“One’s death is already one’s own. It belongs to nobody else: not even to a killer. This means that it is already part of one’s life.”
John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos
tags: death, life
“The tombstones are not very different from those in other European cemeteries. Many record the deaths of several generations: the name, the year of birth, the day of death and the place of death, if it was not on the island. A name and two dates, the last one precise to the very day. This is what is recorded. About what happened between, apart from the bare fact of survival, not a word is written.”
John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos
“The silence after a felled tree has fallen is like the silence immediately after a death.”
John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos
“Those who read or listen to our stories see everything as through a lens. This lens is the secret of narration, and it is ground anew in every story, ground between the temporal and the timeless.
If we storytellers are Death’s Secretaries, we are so because, in our brief mortal lives, we are grinders of these lenses.”
John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos
“I saw only the village street, which is so familiar to me that I could walk down it blindfolded if I had a stick. A blind man died a few years back. Blind from birth, he could walk down to the village from the hamlet where he lived four kilometers away. The bees he kept gave more honey than any others in the village. And he axed his own wood on a chopping block, without ever cutting his hand.
At 11 A.M. it was sunny with a blue sky. The few white clouds were moving fast above the mountains. A north wind.
I saw the village street at that moment, as seen from the future. What I was seeing had become the distant past. This transformation was calm, so calm that it resembled a stillness.”
John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos