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An older poem:

The Espousal of the King Vukašin

 

To let you experience the difference between the older and newer poems, here is a much older one. Višnjic's poem is a most direct description of the events, with some excursions into the mythological and legendary. Višnjić's interpretation of the celestial events, as well as the last words, the legacy of the Sultan Murad are among those. Although such legendary digressions are not many, they are among the poetic summits of the song, powered by the inner truth of theirs, rendered through legend.

Most of the poem is, nonetheless, very documentary, and it is exceptional in being a 'snapshot' of the moment of it's origin, practically; that means, while still with her original author, without the many singers braiding it with a legendary wreath through the centuries.

The Espousal of the King Vukašin is an example for the opposite, exactly. King Vukašin lived in XIV century and if the poem is from that time, even it's the original metric has probabaly been different. A sixteen syllable meter has been used in that period, and the decasyllable supposedly appeared in XVI century first, with the advent of the Uskoks (Austrian irregulars and pirates in Dalmatia)

King Vukašin is an important historical figure, being the father of the legendary Marko Kraljević, among other things; on the other hand, history has no data on Voevoda Momčilo in such a context, although there are some assumptions, out of it. Some think that it is a Bulgarian hero who got killed under similar circumstances, but from turkish-byzantian attackers in Thrakia, far away from Durmitor and Herzegovina. This song looks as if it oiginates from two original stories which melted together in someone's mind.

The poem, on whose original form we can not know almost anything today, developed into a beautiful fairy-tale with it's, from the original cause fully independent story about good and evil, loyalty and treason, and the paths of life. Winged horses, fairies and other mythological beings are the usual inhabitants of the old poems, often accompanied by the tragic events typical of the fairy-tales. Visual power and storyteller's spark give this poem it's special beauty.

 

Ženidba kralja Vukašina




Knjigu piše žura Vukašine
u bijelu Skadru na Bojani,
te je šalje na Hercegovinu
bijelome gradu Pirlitoru,
Pirlitoru prema Durmitoru,
Vidosavi, ljubi Momčilovoj;
tajno piše, a tajno joj šalje,
u knjizi joj ovako besjedi:
„Vidosava, Momčilova ljubo,
šta ćeš u tom ledu i snijegu?
Kad pogledaš s grada iznad sebe,
ništa nemaš lijepo viđeti,
već bijelo brdo Durmitora,
okićeno ledom i snijegom
usred ljeta kao usred zime;
kad pogledaš strmo ispod grada,
mutna teče Tara valovita,
ona valja drvlje i kamenje,
na njoj nema broda ni ćuprije,
a oko nje borje i mramorje;
već ti otruj vojvodu Momčila,
il' ga otruj, ili mi ga izdaj,
hodi k meni u primorje ravno,
bijelome Skadru na Bojanu,
uzeću te za vjernu ljubovcu,
pa ćeš biti gospođa kraljica,
presti svilu na zlatno vreteno,
svilu presti, na svili sjediti,
a nositi divu i kadivu
i još ono sve žeženo zlato.
A kakav je Skadar na Bojani!
Kad pogledaš brdu iznad grada,
sve porasle smokve i masline
i još oni grozni vinogradi;
kad pogledaš strmo ispod grada,
al' uzrasla šenica bjelica,
a oko nje zelena livada,
kroz nju teče zelena Bojana,
po njoj pliva riba svakojaka:
kad gođ hoćeš, da je taze jedeš“.
Dođe knjiga ljubi Momčilovoj,
knjigu gleda ljuba Momčilova,
onu gleda, drugu sitnu piše:
,,Gospodine, kralju Vukašine,
nije lasno izdati Momčila,
ni izdati, niti otrovati:
u Momčila sestra Jevrosima,
gotovi mu to gospodsko jelo,
prije njega jelo ogleduje;
u Momčila devet mile braće
i dvanaest prvobratučeda,
oni njemu rujno vino služe,
prije njega svaku čašu liju;
Momčil' ima konja Jabučila,
Jabučila, konja krilatoga:
kud gođ hoće, prelećeti može;
u Momčila sablja sa očima;
ne boji se nikoga do boga.
Već me ču li, kralju Vukašine!
Ti podigni mlogu silnu vojsku,
izvedi je na Jezera ravna,
pak zasjedni u gori zelenoj.
U Momčila čudan nauk ima:
svako jutro u svetu neđelju
rano rani u lov na Jezera,
s sobom vodi devet mile braće
i dvanaest prvobratučeda
i četr'est od grada levera.
Kada bude uoči neđelje,
ja ću spalit krila Jabučilu,
britku ću mu sablju zatopiti,
zatopiti onom slanom krvlju,
da se ne da izvadit iz kora.
Tako ćeš ti pogubit Momčila“.
Kada kralju taka knjiga dođe,
te on viđe, što mu knjiga kaže,
to je njemu vrlo milo bilo,
pa on diže mlogu silnu vojsku,
ode s vojskom na Hercegovinu,
izvede je na Jezera ravna,
pak zasjede u gori zelenoj.
Kad je bilo uoči neđelje,
Momčil' ode u svoju ložnicu,
pa on leže u meke dušeke.
Malo prođe, i ljuba mu dođe,
ali neće u meke dušeke,
već mu roni suze više glave;
a nju pita vojvoda Momčilo:
„Vidosava, moja vjerna ljubo,
kaka ti je golema nevolja
te mi roniš suze više glave?“
Al' govori mlada Vidosava:
„Gospodaru, Momčilo vojvoda,
meni nije nikake nevolje,
već sam čula jedno čudno čudo —
čula jesam, al' nisam viđela —
da ti imaš konja Jabučila,
Jabučila, konja krilatoga;
ja ne viđeh tvome konju krila,
te ne mogu mlada vjerovati,
već se bojim hoćeš poginuti“.
Mudar bješe vojvoda Momčilo,
mudar bješe, al' se prevario,
svojoj ljubi tako besjedio:
„Vidosava, vjerna moja ljubo,
za to ću te lasno utješiti,
ti ćeš lasno viđet čilu krila:
kada prvi zaljevaju p'jevci,
ti otidi u nove ahare:
tad će čile popuštiti krila,
tad mu možeš krila sagledati“.
Pak on leže sanak boraviti.
Momčil' spava, ljuba mu ne spava,
veće sluša mlada u dušeku
kad će prvi p'jevci zapjevati;
a kad prvi p'jevci zapjevaše,
skoči mlada iz meka dušeka,
zapalila fenjer i svijeću,
pa uzima loja i katrana,
ode pravo u nove ahare.
Al' istina, što Momčilo kaže,
Jabučilo krila popuštio,
popuštio krila do kopita.
Tada ona krila namazala,
namaza ih lojem i katranom,
pa svijećom krila zapalila,
te sapali krila Jabučilu;
što ne mogla vatrom sagoreti,
to pod kolan pritegnula tvrdo.
Onda mlada ode u riznicu,
dovatila sablju Momčilovu,
te je slanom zatopila krvlju;
pak se vrnu u meke dušeke.
Kad ujutru zora zab'jelila,
poranio vojvoda Momčilo,
pa govori ljubi Vidosavi:
„Vidosava, moja vjerna ljubo,
ja sam noćas čudan san usnio:
đe se povi jedan pramen magle
od proklete zemlje Vasojeve,
pak se savi oko Durmitora;
ja udarih kroz taj pramen magle
sa mojijeh devet mile braće
i s dvanaest prvobratučeda
i četr'est od grada levera;
u magli se, ljubo, rastadosmo,
rastadosmo, pak se ne sastasmo;
neka bog zna, dobra biti neće“.
Veli njemu ljuba Vidosava:
„Ne boj mi se, mili gospodaru!
Dobar junak dobar san usnio;
san je laža, a bog je istina.“
Opremi se vojvoda Momčilo,
pa on siđe niz bijelu kulu;
dočeka ga devet mile braće
i dvanaest prvobratučeda
i četr'est od grada levera,
a ljuba mu izvede čilaša;
dobrijeh se konja dovatiše,
otidoše u lov na Jezera.
Kad su bili nadomak Jezera,
opteče ih ona silna vojska.
Kad Momčilo opazio vojsku,
on poteže sablju od bedrice,
al' se pusta ne da izvaditi,
kao da je za kore prirasla.
Onda reče vojvoda Momčilo:
„Čujete li, moja braćo draga!
Izdade me kuja Vidosava,
no dajte mi sablju ponajbolju“.
Hitro su ga braća poslušala,
dadoše mu sablju ponajbolju,
pa je Momčil' braći besjedio:
„Čujete li, moja braćo draga!
Vi udrite vojsci po krajima,
ja ć' udarit vojsci po srijedi“.
Mili bože, čuda velikoga!
Da je kome pogledati bilo
kako s'ječe vojvoda Momčilo,
kako krči druma niz planinu!
Više tlači konjic Jabučilo
neg' što Momčil' britkom sabljom s'ječe;
al' ga loša sreća susretnula:
kad iziđe prema Pirlitoru,
susrete ga devet vranih konja,
a na njima brata ni jednoga!
To kad viđe vojvoda Momčilo,
u junaku srce prepuknulo
od žalosti za braćom rođenom,
bijele mu malaksaše ruke,
te ne može više da siječe,
već udara konja Jabučila,
udara ga čizmom i mamuzom,
da poleti gradu Pirlitoru,
al' mu konjic polećet ne može.
Kune njega vojvoda Momčilo:
„Jabučilo, izjeli te vuci!
Iz šale smo odavde lećeli,
bez nevolje, tek od obijesti,
a danas mi polećeti nećeš!“
Al' mu konjic njiskom odgovara:
„Gospodaru, vojvoda Momčilo,
nit' me kuni, niti me nagoni,
danas tebi polećet ne mogu;
bog ubio tvoju Vidosavu!
Ona mi je sapalila krila;
što ne mogla vatrom sagoreti,
to pod kolan pritegnula tvrdo;
veće bježi kuda tebi drago“.
Kad to začu vojvoda Momčilo,
proli suze niz junačko lice,
pa odskoči od konja čilaša;
triput skoči, do grada doskoči;
ali gradu vrata zatvorena,
zatvorena i zamandaljena!
Kad se Momčil' viđe na nevolji,
on dozivlje sestru Jevrosimu:
„Jevrosima, moja mila sejo,
pušti meni jednu krpu platna,
ne bih li ti u grad utekao“.
Seja bratu kroz plač odgovara:
„A moj brate, vojvoda Momčilo,
kako ću ti puštit krpu platna,
kad je meni snaha Vidosava,
moja snaha, tvoja nevjernica,
savezala kose za direke?“
Al' je sestra srca žalostiva,
žao joj je brata rođenoga,
ona ciknu kako ljuta guja,
manu glavom i ostalom snagom,
iz glave je kose iščupala,
ostavila kose na direku,
pa dovati jednu krpu platna,
preturi je gradu niz bedene.
Momčil' vati onu krpu platna,
pa se penje gradu uz bedene;
gotov bješe u grad uskočiti,
al' doleće ljuba nevjernica,
oštru sablju nosi u rukama,
pres'ječe mu platno više ruku.
Momčil' pade gradu niz bedene,
kraljeve ga dočekaše sluge
na mačeve i na koplja bojna,
na nadžake i na buzdovane;
a dopade kralju Vukašine,
udari ga onim bojnim kopljem,
udari ga posred srca živa.
Al' govori vojvoda Momčilo:
„Amanet ti, Vukašine kralju:
ti ne uzmi moju Vidosavu,
Vidosavu, moju nevjernicu,
jer ć' i tvoju izgubiti glavu:
danas mene u tebe izdala,
a sjutra će tebe u drugoga;
već ti uzmi moju milu seju,
seju moju milu, Jevrosimu,
ona će ti svagda vjerna biti,
rodiće ti, kô i ja, junaka“.
To govori vojvoda Momčilo,
to govori, a s dušom se bori;
to izusti, laku dušu pusti.
Kad pogibe Momčilo vojvoda,
a gradu se otvoriše vrata,
pak iziđe kuja Vidosava
te dočeka kralja Vukašina,
odvede ga na bijelu kulu,
posadi ga u stolove zlatne,
ugosti ga vinom i rakijom
i gospodskom svakom đakonijom;
pa otide u riznicu mlada,
iznese mu ruho Momčilovo,
Momčilovo ruho i oružje.
Al' da vidiš čuda velikoga:
što Momčilu bilo do koljena,
Vukašinu po zemlji se vuče;
što Momčilu taman kalpak bio,
Vukašinu na ramena pada;
što Momčilu taman čizma bila,
tu Vukašin obje noge meće;
što Momčilu zlatan prsten bio,
tu Vukašin tri prsta zavlači;
što Momčilu taman sablja bila,
Vukašinu s' aršin zemljom vuče;
što Momčilu taman džeba bila,
kralj se pod njom ni dignut ne može!
Tad govori kralje Vukašine:
„Avaj meni do boga miloga!
Nuto kurve mlade Vidosave!
Kad izdade ovakog junaka,
koga danas u svijetu nema,
to li mene sjutra izdat neće!“
Pa poviknu svoje vjerne sluge,
uvatiše kuju Vidosavu,
svezaše je konjma za repove,
odbiše ih ispod Pirlitora,
te je konji živu rastrgoše.
Kralj pohara dvore Momčilove,
pa on uze sestru Momčilovu,
po imenu dilber-Jevrosimu,
odvede je Skadru na Bojanu,
i vjenča je sebi za ljubovcu.
S njom lijepi porod izrodio,
porodio Marka i Andriju,
a Marko se turi na ujaka,
na ujaka, vojvodu Momčila.

 

 






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305

The Espousal of the King Vukašin

 


Runt Vukašin is writing a letter,
in his white-stone Skadar on Bojana,
sending it, then, to Herzegovina,
to the stone-walled city of Pirlitor,
To Pirlitor, direction Durmitor,
to Momcilo's dear wife Vidosava;
Writes in secret, and sends it in secret,
addressing her this way in the letter:
"Vidosava, Momčilo's sweet darling,
What does keep you in that icy desert?
If you look high, from your city's fortress,
you can't behold anything beautiful,
except for the white mount of Durmitor,
Decorated with it's snows and ices,
midst in summer, just like midst in winter.
Now, look steeply down below the city,
Wavy Tara is flowing turbidly,
it is rolling logs and hefty boulders;
Neither a ford nor a bridge across it,
and around it, the rocks and the pine trees.
You should poison Voevoda Momcilo,
You poison him, or betray him to me,
come over here, to the coastal flat-lands,
to the white-stone Skadar on Bojana,
I shall take you for my faithful loved wife,
making you my Queen, your royal highness,
you're going to spin a golden spindle,
spinning the silk, sitting on it as well,
you 'll be wearing brocade and the velvet
and, to it, that gold ornaments, as well.
And what a sight, Skadar on Bojana!
Looking at the hill above the city,
everywhere the figs and olives growing,
with all the grapes from the wineyards as well;
looking steep down, just below the city,
Where all the white wheat is growing nicely,
all around it, you see a green meadow,
where you can see green Bojana flowing,
many sorts of fish are swimming in it,
you can eat it fresh whenever you wish.”
Momčilo' s dear wife received the letter,
and she looks at it, the dear wife,
looking at it, she's writing another:
“Your Majesty, mighty King Vukašin,
it's not easy to betray Momčilo,
to betray him, or poison him, either:
Momčilo has sister Jevrosima,
she's preparing these delicious meals,
and before him, always tasting dishes;
Momčilo has his nine dear brothers,
and he has got twelve brother-side nephews,
They are serving him the red wine,
and they drink from each wine glass before him.
Momčilo has a horse Jabučilo,
Jabučilo being a winged stallion,
he can fly to any place he wishes.
Momčilo has got a saber with eyes;
He fears no one, except the Almighty.
But, you hear me, mighty King Vukašin!
Do raise a large and powerful army,
you bring it, then, to Jezera flat-lands,
and set up an ambush in the forest.
Momčilo has got a curious habit,
every morning on the Holly Sunday,
gets up early, to hunt on Jezera,
and he takes his nine beloved brothers,
and he takes his twelve brother-side nephews,
forty fortress guards escort him, as well.
On the eve of the Holy Sunday,
I 'll burn down the wings of Jabučilo,
I shall seal stuck his razor-sharp saber,
I 'll seal it stuck with the salty red blood,
it will not go out of it's sheath then.
That way you can execute Momčilo.
When the king has received such a letter,
and when he saw what the letter tells him,
he was very pleased with letter's contents,
so he rose a large powerful army,
he went with it to Herzegovina,
where he brought it to Jezera flat-lands,
setting up an ambush in the forest.
On the eave of the Holy Sunday,
Momčilo retreated to his bedroom,
and he laid down on the soft mattresses.
Short time later, and his darling came in,
but she won't go to the soft mattresses,
she's shedding tears above his head, instead;
now Voevoda Momčilo is asking:
“Vidosava, my faithful sweet darling,
what's the kind of your enormous trouble,
making you shed the tears above my head?”
Vidosava answers him youthfully:
“Duke Momcilo, your Highness, my master,
I am not in any kind of trouble,
But I 've heard of a very strange wonder -
I 've heard of it, but I 've never seen it -
That you have got a horse Jabučilo,
Jabučilo being a winged stallion;
I have not seen the wings on your stallion,
Young as I am, I cannot believe it,
Am afraid, though, your life is endangered.”
Wise as he was, Voevoda Momčilo,
Wise as he was, he made a mistake there,
as he told his darling the following:
„Vidosava, my faithful sweet darling,
it is easy to console you here,
'cause you shall see the roan's wings easily:
After you hear the first roosters crowing,
you take a stroll to our new stables:
he is going to loosen his wings, then,
and then you can see their whole length.”
So he lied down, and went to the dreamworld;
Momčil's sleeping, but his darling isn't,
young lady is waiting in her mattress,
listening to hear first roosters crowing;
and when the first rosters started crowing,
she jumped out, then, from her soft matresses,
lit the lantern and a candle, to it,
taking with her lots of tar and tallow,
and straight she goes to the said new stables.
And it was true, what Momčilo told her,
Jabučilo has loosened his wings down,
loosened them down whole length, to the hooves.
Right away she smeared the roan's wings thickly,
She has smeared them using tar and tallow,
setting them on fire, then, with her candle,
she burned down the wings of Jabučilo;
What she could not burn down with the fire,
She made quite tight under girth of saddle.
Young lady went to the treasury, then,
Getting the Momčilo's sabre into her hands,
she has sealed it tight with red salty blood,
returning, then, to her soft mattresses.
As white day dawned on following morning,
Duke Momčilo has stood up quite early,
speaking, then, to his dear Vidosava:
“Vidosava, my faithful sweet darling,
I have dreamt a very strange dream last night,
a wisp of fog bowed in some way over,
from the accursed lands of Vasoje's,
and it bent itself around Durmitor.
I stroke a path through that wisp of white fog,
riding with all of my nine dear brothers,
and with all the twelve brother-side nephews,
and with all the forty fortress guardsmen,
in this fog we parted from each other,
we have parted, and never met again;
Let the God know, nothing good is coming”
But his darling Vidosava tells him:
“ Don't be afraid, your Highness, my darling!
a good knight's dream cannot be a bad one;
dream is a lie, the God is verity.”
Duke Momčilo equipped himself promptly,
coming downstairs from his white stone tower,
he has been met from his nine dear brothers,
as well as from twelve brother-side nephews,
and the forty fortress-guardsmen to it.
And his darling brought out the roan to him.
After they took hold of their good horses,
they went hunting, right to Jezera.
As they arrived quite close to Jezera,
the powerful army surrounded them.
When Momčilo has spotted the army,
He tried to draw the sabre on his thigh,
but it, accursed, won't come out of sheath,
just like if it had grown into it, firmly.
Then Momčilo said to his entourage:
“Do you hear me, my dearest brothers!
Vidosava, the bitch, has betrayed me,
now you give me the best sabre you've got.”
His brothers have obeyed his words promptly,
and they gave him the best sabre they had,
Momčilo, then, told this to his brothers:
“Do you hear me, my dearest brothers!
You may strike at the wings of the army,
I am going to strike at the center”.
God in Heaven, what a great miracle!
If someone could behold that sight, only,
as Momčilo started cutting 'round him,
and clearing that steep road down the mountain!
Jabučilo's treading even more down,
then Momčilo cuts down with his sabre;
but bad luck has met him shortly after,
when he came out to road for Pilitor,
he has been met by the nine black horses,
none of brothers was to be seen on them!
As he saw that, Voevoda Momčilo,
the heart of the hero has been broken,
from the sorrow for his dear brothers,
his noble hands have now lost their power,
and he can not not cut down any longer,
but he's striking his horse, Jabučilo,
striking using his spur and boot, as well,
so that he flies to Pirlitor Castle,
but his good steed cannot lift off, even.
Duke Momčilo is cursing his grey horse:
„Jabučilo, may the wolves devour you,
we have flown here just for an amusement,
just as a prank, without emergency,
and right today, you don't want to take off!”
But the good steed answers him, whinnying:
Duke Momčilo, my dearest master,
do not curse me and don't force me, either,
No way I could take off for you today,
May God destroy your wife Vidosava,
she has burned down the both of my long wings;
What she could not burn down with the fire,
She made quite tight under girth of saddle;
Get away now, wherever you think best.”
When he heard that, Voevoda  Momčilo,
tears were flowing down the face of hero's,
and he jumped off from his dappled grey horse,
In just three leaps he sprung to the fortress,
but the fort's door has been firmly closed, though,
it has been closed, and barred, to it, as well!
When Momčilo saw himself in trouble,
he's calling the sister Jevrosima:
“Jevrosima, my dearest sister,
do throw me down a long piece of linen,
so that I may get away to fortress.”
Sister answers to her brother, crying:
“Oh, my brother, Voevoda Momčilo,
how am I to throw a piece of linen;
when sister in law, your wife Vidosava,
my sis' in law, your unfaithful darling,
has tied my hairs to the wooden stanchions?”
But merciful, the heart of the sister,
in compassion for her dearest brother,
crying, hissing, like an angry viper,
swinging her head and the rest of body,
she has torn out the long hairs from her head,
leaving them all on the wooden stanchions;
and then she took a long piece of linen,
throwing it out over the fort's ramparts.
Momčil' got hold of this piece of linen,
and he 's climbing up the city's ramparts;
he was ready to jump into the castle,
but his darling is running to ramparts,
in her hands is a razor-sharp sabre,
she cuts off the linen above his hands.
Momčil' fell down from the castle's ramparts,
the king's servants have received him down there
with the long swords and the battle lances,
battleaxes and the heavy maces,
King Vukašin, arriving quite quickly,
has struck him there with his battle spear,
hitting midst the living heart of heroes's.
But Voevoda Momčilo is speaking:
“King Vukašin, hear my last wish from you,
you do not take my wife Vidosava,
Vidosava, my unfaithful darling,
'cause she 's going to loose your head, as well:
Today she has delivered me to you,
tomorrow she'll sell you down the river.
Marry, instead, my dearest sister,
My dearest sister Jevrosima,
she is going to be faithful always,
and she'll give birth to a hero, like me”.
As Voevoda Momčilo has said this,
speaking his last, soul fighting the body,
telling these words, he let his light soul go.
After the Duke Momčilo has perished,
the fortress gate has then opened itself,
Vidosava, the bitch, coming out then,
in order to receive King Vukasin,
she has brought him to the white-stone tower,
and seated him at the golden table,
treating him there with the wine and brandy,
and with all the noble specialties;
the young lady went to the treasury,
bringing him out the Momčilo's garments,
the Momčilo's garments and his weapons.
But behold now, an enormous wonder:
what could not reach the knees of Momčilo,
this trails on the ground behind Vukašin;
And a fitting helmet for Momčilo,
is falling to shoulders of Vukašin;
what was a close fitting boot Momčilo's,
accommodates both legs of Vukašin;
What has been a golden ring Momčilo's,
is enough for three fingers Vukašin's;
And a fitting sabre for Momčilo,
trails a whole yard behind of Vukašin;
what was fitting armor for Momčilo,
the King cannot stand up underneath it!
King Vukašin has then begun speaking:
“My dearest God, be merciful to me!
What a whore is the young Vidosava,
when she betrayed such a mighty hero,
without equal in  the whole world today,
then she will not betray me tomorrow!”
He called to his faithful servants at once,
and they caught the young bitch Vidosava,
tying her down to tails of some horses,
they drove them away under Pirlitor,
and the horses tore her apart alive.
King has plundered the castle Momčilo's,
and he took, then, the Momčilo's sister,
who has been called the Fair Jevrosima,
he took her to Skadar on Bojana,
and married her, for his faithful darling.
He had with her two beautiful children,
they have been called Marko and Andrija,
and young Marko took after his uncle,
his brave uncle, Voevoda Momčilo.


(Translated by Slobodan Cekic)


Za Meju <3

 

There is an older translation of this poem, as well:

Low, David Halyburton (1922) :"The Marriage of King Vukašin" , from his book 'The Ballads of Marko Kraljevic' 

The book has a beautiful and remarkably well written foreword.