Have steel fangs

Whose bite is more painful

Than a whole battilion

Of fleas


Though the itch in my heart

Grows deeper and deeper

I cannot scratch.


How can I?

My wrists are manacled.

My mind

Is caged

My soul is shackled.


I can only grimace at the etheral cloud,

‘Have hope, brother,

despair is for the defeated.’


(Oswald Mtshali
– from South African Freedom Poems; Heinemann, 1980)

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“Intelligence, Give me”

Give me


Intelligence, give me

the exact name of things!

…I want, my word to be

the thing itself

created by my soul a second time.

So that those who do not know them

Can go to the things through me,

all those who have forgotten them

can go to the things through me,

all those who love them

can go to things through me…

Intelligence, give me

The exact name, and your name

And theirs and mine, for things!


(Juan Ramon Jimenez – selected poems Beacon Press, 1997)

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TO :

In March 2002,
a number of writers as also specialists on Dialogue gathered on the island of Kish – Iran – for the first Global Seminar on Fiction
and Dialogue Among Cultures, hosted by the Iranian
Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations.


In preparation for the
seminar, and also during those few days, when we were already “preparing”
ourselves for news of an attack on Iraq and therefore the
“next war”, some of us came to reflect on the elements that must proceed any fruitful and goal-oriented dialogue, first and
foremost knowledge and thought.


One could say that what we
missed at Kish, for in fact there was little true dialogue and indication of “fore-thought” among the participants, brought
about a multitude of feelings and thoughts in each one of those whose papers
are represented here, so that in the end, the road not taken, took us further
onto new directions!


May some of the thoughts
reflected here, be of interest to some of you, and give rise to new “conscious
dialogues” – both within and without!

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