Aphorisms by Ljupka Cvetanova

Ljupka Cvetanova is a Macedonian aphorist who has published widely in print and online satirical magazines in the Balkans. History never ended in the Balkans like it was supposed to in other places in the world. If anything, history sped up there. Cvetanova’s aphorisms are informed by recent Balkan history but, like all good sayings, also transcend their immediate instigation to achieve a wider application.

Men like women with a past, but they don’t want to build future with them.

Before you criticize a woman, try walking in her high heels.

Strong women are those who do not do everything they can.

Men see themselves in women’s eyes; women trust the mirror.

People who argue whether the glass is half empty or half full are probably not thirsty.

Some answers need to be questioned.

You have to bow to reach the top.

People drown in shallow thoughts.

The global awakening failed because of the different time zones.

The bottom line is determined by those at the top.

It’s easy to write history. All the eyewitnesses are dead.

If we give our best, they’ll take it.

Small fish live in shallow water.

History is most important to those without a past.

Aphorisms and Poetry

Jim Finnegan, proprietor of the ursprache blog and author of the aphoristically amazing Tramp Freighter, altered me to ‘Making a Space for Aphorism: Exploring the Intersection between Aphorism and Poetry‘ by Sharon Dolin from Poets.org:

“In the last few years, I have been drawn to writing aphorisms, which I think of as small journeyings between poetry and prose. Too short, usually, to be considered prose poems, they nonetheless often have the pith and compression of poems. Yet how do they differ? In my American Heritage Dictionary, an aphorism is defined as “A terse statement of a truth or opinion; an adage.” The word comes from the Greek aphorismos, meaning “to delimit” or “define.” An aphorism draws a ring around—and then occupies—a very small territorial space.”

Click here to read the whole piece.

What happens when the real-life inspiration for a metaphor dies…

From the great PRI program The World’s ‘The World in Words’…

“The Forth Bridge, just outside Edinburgh, was opened in 1890. Opened but not really completed. In fact, it seemed as though it would never be completed. The paint would flake off, and just as soon as one part of the bridge was repainted, another would need a touch-up. And so a metaphor was born: like painting the Forth Bridge, or that’s a Forth Bridge paint job. Brits used it to describe arduous, unending tasks. Memorizing multiplication tables. Preparing your tax return. Attending a Grateful Dead concert. But now, the endless paint job has ended. The paint is hardier these days—so much so that the bridge won’t need another coat for about 25 years. For the first time in the bridge’s history, “there will be no painters required on the bridge,” beams Colin Hardie, the construction superintendent of the paint contractor Balfour Beatty. “Job done.” Hardie gets into murkier water with this declaration: “The old cliché is over.”

Click here to read/hear the whole piece.

Cree Proverbs

Good fortune and bad fortune arrive in the same canoe.

Follow one elk at a time.

Words are strong, brevity stronger, silence strongest.

Trust life, especially when you cannot see around the bend where she leads you.

Ask the flint-maker about flint.

A tired hunter cannot aim.

Fire in the hands of a fool becomes prairie fire.

For the man in a trap, everything is a trap.

Illusion makes the path very rocky.

The bird that flies straight is the first one to be struck by an arrow.

The log used to cross a river is left behind.

When incomprehension is great, violence is near.