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Rubens Rocha
Ouro Preto, Brazil
Jun 8, 2008
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I heard it told that once in Persia/ Was engaged in some war or other,/ When invaders were burning down the City,/ Two chess players went on playing/ Their endless game of chess./ In the shade of a spacious tree, their eyes/ Were fixed upon an old chessboard,/ And as each was anticipating some freer moment/ When the chess piece had just been moved/ And while awaiting his opponent's next—/ He'd soberly refresh his thirst/ From a wine pitcher at his side./ Houses were burning, walls/ And archways being sacked,/ Women raped and propped/ Against the fallen walls,/ Children, pierced with lances,/ Lying bloody in the streets.../ But where they sat, near the City,/ And far from all the tumult,/ The chess players were playing/ Their game of chess./ [...]Let us be like the Persians in this tale/, And if somewhere out there,/ Nearby or far away,/ we’re summoned/ By war, by country, by life,/ Let them summon in vain, and let/ Each, under some friendly shade,/ Dream of his opponent,/ And the chess game, of its indifference. [Excerpt from �Ricardo Reis Odes�]
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