Soul Windows

… Akin
To one who’s locked inside a room
And, hearing noises in the street,
Peers through a window eagerly.
Like him, my heart cannot conceive
What’s happening and, mid such noise,
Looks through the eyes to catch a view,
As eyes are windows of the soul
Where hearts pour out in teary dews.

—-Life is a Dream, by Calderon de la Barca

For a while, I’ve been thinking of a particular topic which I could write to accompany this beautiful little selection from Calderon de la Barca’s play Life is a Dream. I’m still stumped.

It’s a perfect, insightful bit of poetry all by itself, even without knowing the context in which it was spoken.

And I do encourage anyone reading to read the work for themselves. Penguin Classics has an excellent translation. In terms of its wisdom, accessibility, and easily understood language, I think this is the best reading assignment I’ve gotten in all of freshman year. Each time I read the work, I get something new from it. At the same time it’s pretty straightforward.

Maybe we do look through the eyes of another to gain some sort of understanding of the situation. That could be why when we’re guilty or ashamed, we’re afraid of letting other people meet our eyes. We don’t want them to decipher what’s going on because they might judge us and be disappointed in turn.

28 thoughts on “Soul Windows

  1. Beautiful. I never heard of this before, but I’m going to try to find it, luckily I can read it in Spanish as he was from my hometown :> Sometimes I wish I was studying literature! But from a psychological point of view, we do seek comfort and support in others in different situations, and one of the most powerful ways to connect (or disconnect!) is through the eyes!

  2. Great poem about of the mystery of life …my favorite verses are:
    What is life? A frenzy.
    What is life? An illusion,
    A shadow, a fiction,
    And the greatest profit is small;
    For all of life is a dream,
    And dreams, are nothing but dreams.

    En español dice así:
    ¿Qué es la vida? Un frenesí.
    ¿Qué es la vida? Una ilusión,
    una sombra, una ficción,
    y el mayor bien es pequeño:
    que toda la vida es sueño,
    y los sueños, sueños son.

    Your post inspiring me ever.

  3. mhhm. I’m thinking.
    What you say i think it is true, but personally, i don’t have the same reaction with everyone. I normally don’t care that much about other people judgement, then there are a few i’m afraid of, and i get very shy and insecure.
    Beautiful poem, i should search for an italian translation.

  4. such a beautiful cloud pic! poetry is such feelings exposed. so vulnerable and a poem like this can inspire you, too. hope you are having a lovely weekend. I do like the idea of thinking how it must feel being someone else. I possibly do this on a daily basis than some people I know.

  5. “Don’t worry about others’ judgments. Focus on becoming the person who you want to be.


    Couldn’t agree more!

    Thanks for posting the poem, Abby. It’s very beautiful.

  6. Eyes are windows of the soul. Those are classic words! And true! I love this poem! I teach literature so reading the Twilight saga seemed kind of “mandatory”. 🙂 I have read the first two books and YES they are filled with angst. Lots of drama and kind of naively written, I am not captured by the language. But also I am reading a translation, so that might be on the translator. The story itself is kind of thrilling though. I think I am so far leaning against team Jacob. He’s more my type. Hope you have a great week!!

  7. That is such a stunning post and those images are breathtaking:)

    Hope you are having a wonderful day and lovely weekend:)
    Kisses, darling

    Ps: I hope you had a chance to enter my GIVEAWAY!!!

  8. hello there lovely,
    thankyou soo much for your kind words on my blog 🙂
    I just returned home from the dreadful maths test, and needless to say, it was absolute rubbish! I’m fair sure I got about 85% which isn’t excellent, ’cause I once averaged 93%. Enough rambling from me,
    your post is lovely,
    that poem is great,
    have the loveliest day

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