poet

This tag is associated with 5 posts

Introspection in America – Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Man

In today’s world where we are bombarded by mind-numbing reality shows, more online interactions than real-world, and an overall increase in social awkwardness, it is becoming more and more obvious that we’re too concerned with the lives of others instead of our own.  I’m going to assume that anyone reading this may at least be a little more introspective than the general population, so it will be interesting to hear your thoughts.

I grew up in a somewhat sheltered world – class of 151, same group of friends throughout high school, captain of this, involved in that… yada yada yada.  I never really paid attention to current events. I definitely didn’t know what was going on outside of my town and most times not what was going on within. Thank goodness it was before the Facebook phenomenon or who knows how I would have turned out.

Several life events, marked by some emotional scarring, were monumental in changing my view of the world. However, outside of that, I fully think there’s one element that helped me the most and tends to separate people; I took more than just an entry-level English Lit class.

What other classes involve such in-depth character analysis and require a person to ask the ultimate question – Why?  You don’t see many business classes reviewing the lifestyle of or reasons why Rod Blagojevich thought he could get away with selling a Senate seat.  Analysis into a character’s motivations can become habitual is easily transferred into real life situations.

During my two years of various Literature classes, all elective and not even enough to qualify as a minor, I learned to ask myself ‘why’ which in turn allowed me to have a better understanding, not only why others may do what they do, but eventually to turn it internal and ask why I do some of the things I do.  Getting to know myself has been more enlightening than you can imagine.

To be fair, it hasn’t been easy.  I found myself making excuses, both for myself and for those who influenced me early in life.  And many of the truths were hard to absorb.  But I’m very happy to have started down that path of discovery, a path that will likely take me on a lifelong journey.

I challenge you to do the same

 

An Essay on Man by Alexander Pope (a snippet)

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A Being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic’s pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas’ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much;
Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confus’d;
Still by himself, abus’d or disabus’d;
Created half to rise and half to fall;
Great Lord of all things, yet a prey to all,
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl’d;
The glory, jest and riddle of the world.

Go, wondrous creature! mount where science guides,
Go, measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides;
Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Correct old time, and regulate the sun;
Go, soar with Plato to th’ empyreal sphere,
To the first good, first perfect, and first fair;
Or tread the mazy round his followers trod,
And quitting sense call imitating God;
As Eastern priests in giddy circles run,
And turn their heads to imitate the sun.
Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule—
Then drop into thyself, and be a fool!

Hump Day Inspiration – Poetic Advice from Benjamin Franklin

Happy Hump Day Readers!

Benjamin Franklin

Image via Wikipedia

The poem I found for inspiration today is by an author who I don’t normally look to for this genre.  However, the truth that lies within his humor is widely acclaimed. 

The short of it is this… Sometimes you need to do what makes you happy, no one else.  Let people judge, because you know what – they’d be judging you anyway!

Hope you enjoy…  Cheers!

            The Hatter

He Who’d Please All

Once on a Time it by Chance came to pass,
That a Man and his Son were leading an Ass.
Cries a Passenger, Neighbor, you’re shrewdly put to ‘t,
To lead an Ass empty, and trudge it on foot.
Nay, quoth the old Fellow, if Folk do so mind us
I’ll e’en climb the Ass, and Boy mount behind us:
But as they jogg’d on they were laugh’t and hisse’d,
What, two booby Lubbers on one sorry Beast!
This is such a Figure as never was known;
‘T is a sign that the Ass is none of your own.
Then down gets the Boy, and walks by the Side,
Till another cries, What, you old Fool must you ride?
When you see the poor Child that ‘s weakly and young
Forc’d thro’ thick and thin to trudge it along,
Then down gets the Father, and up gets the Son;
If this cannot please them we ne’er shall have done.
They had not gone far, but a Woman cries out,
O you young graceless Imp, you’ll be hang’d, no doubt!
Must you ride an Ass, and your Father that’s grey
E’en foot it, and pick out the best of his Way?
So now to please all they but one Trick lack,
And that was to carry the Ass a pick pack:
But when that was try’d, it appear’d such a Jest,
It occasioned more Laughter by half than the rest.
Thus he who ‘d please all, and their Good liking gain,
Shows a deal Good Nature, but labours in vain.

                                  ~ Benjamin Franklin c/o Poor Richard’s Almanac

A Broken Ankle – Hymn to Physical Pain by Rudyard Kipling

Readers,

In an unexpected and unfortunate event, I broke my ankle in two places last week.  The biggest lesson learned and learned quickly, pain pills are something to embrace in the early stages of recovery because Pain during recovery can be just as intense as Pain during injury. 

Between the frequent periods of narcotic sleep, and with the thrum of my heartbeat felt in the tips of my toes I tried and tried to remember the author of a poem about Pain I had read in my childhood.  After finally being cognizant of the world around me, I was able to pop open my laptop and finally found it.

For those of you who are willing, I’d love to hear your interpretation of the following poem or your own poetic interpretation of Pain.  You’ll note that I give Pain the honor of capitalization throughout this post; after five days together I can only consider Pain part of my immediate family.

 

Hymn to Physical Pain

DREAD Mother of forgetfulness
Who, when Thy reign begins,
Wipest away the soul’s distress
And memory of her sins.

The trusty Worm that diest not –
The steadfast Fire also,
By thy contrivance are forgot
In a completer woe.

Thine are the lidless eyes of night
That stare upon our tears,
Through certain hours which in our sight
Exceed a thousand years.

Thine is the thickness of the Dark
That presses in our pain,
As Thine the Dawn that bids us mark
Life’s grinning face again.

And when thy tender mercies cease
And life unvexed is due,
Instant upon the false release
The Worm and Fire renew.

Wherefore we praise Thee in the deep,
And on our beds we pray
For Thy return, that Thou may’st keep
The Pains of Hell at bay !

                   ~ Rudyard Kipling

A dark night calls for a classic poem by Bronte

Not in as much of a light-hearted mood tonight.  I often wonder at the tormented souls of writers, previous.  The daily toils and pressures I feel seem light in contrast. 

One of my favorites… begun with one of my favorite stanzas.

The Horrors of Sleep

Sleep brings no joy to me,
Remembrance never dies,
My soul is given to mystery,
And lives in sighs.

Sleep brings no rest to me;
The shadows of the dead
My wakening eyes may never see
Surround my bed.

Sleep bring no hope to me,
In soundest sleep they come,
And with their doleful imag’ry
Deepen the gloom.

Sleep brings no strength to me,
No power renewed to brave
I only sail a wilder sea,
A darker wave.

Sleep brings be friend to me
To soothe and aid to bear;
They all gaze on, how scornfully,
And I despair.

Sleep brings no wish to fret
My harassed heart beneath;
My only wish is to forget
In endless sleep of death.

                   ~ Emily Bronte

Sweet dreams,

The Hatter

Hello world! And so we begin… Jabberwocky

As I fall knowingly into the mystical land of the White Queen, I ask your forgiveness and fortitude.   There will be swirls and swings from post to post but all will be attempts to bring insight to those killing time with me.  Ah yes… and what better way to begin than with a poem

JABBERWOCKY

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wade;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
    Long time the manxome foe he sought —
So rested he by the Tumtum tree.
    And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
    The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came wiffling through the tulgey wood,
    And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
    He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
    Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
    He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

                           ~ Lewis Carroll

The Rabbit Hole

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