Lucretius has always intrigued me being a current Blood-brother of Long Ago in the way of seeing the World as totally lacking in gods, priests, religi Lucretius has always intrigued me being a current Blood-brother of Long Ago in the way of seeing the World as totally lacking in gods, priests, religion, theology-that ism spun out of the imagination creating that sandbank on which all religion is built,and "santa claus" type beliefs...the Stephen Dawkins of the Ancient World who illustrates the Solid Continuity of Our Species...ie "It's ALL been THUNK before !!!"
However the main reason that bought me here to Lucretius is his TRANSLATOR, A.E.Stallings, the American wife of the current editor of the Athens News,a small but essential daily newspaper in that city, and also a journalist with Aljazeera, John Psaraopoulos. Also parents of two young boys. ...more
THEN realised it was MUCH more suited to.....ME !!!!!
After ALL... I love poetry - Cavafy's too;
I write I bought this for a friend a couple of weeks ago.
THEN realised it was MUCH more suited to.....ME !!!!!
After ALL... I love poetry - Cavafy's too;
I write poetry - Cavafy helped me find my 'voice'(simple and straightforward)...as did John Donne(conversational).
I love Greece - worked there, loved there, grew there
I love philosophy - the first philosophers I studied were the Ancient Greeks; and when I wrote poetry they soon made an appearance ...Heraclitus especially; and Zeno. Both fond of paradox. ...with them, one can always expect the UNexpected!
I love men.
Julian is one, Julian the Apostate...which is how the Christians handed him down to History, with a discredited title. (Strangely, paradoxically, Christ was no Christian!!...this is ambiguous and I mean it to be taken positively.) Julian,reared as a Christian,knew the religion well, having the insider's vantage to observe hypocrisies at play, most notably the vicious infighting he saw around him. In 337,when Julian was aged 6,his father and seven immediate family members were executed by Constantine's three sons, his cousins.In 354, his half-brother Gallus, with whom Julian had spent his teenage years, was executed by the last of these three cousins,who,dying unexpectedly in 361, left Julian sole heir to the throne. He was to be among the very last Pagan Emperors, ruling humanely and allowing the more civilised wisdom and philosophies of the Pagan World to be revived.
Julian now began to restore the Pagan Gods. He summoned the bishops and ordered them "to allow every man to practise his belief boldly without hindrance." The Christians abhorred Religious Toleration, as Fundamentalist Muslims do today,a religious toleration always a mark of the Roman Empire. After undergoing victimisation as atheists by the Roman World,the Christians welcomed their freedom by persecuting and eradicating their various Christian Sects, now labelled "Heresies", so as to solidify all power in Rome, where it still resides. Julian, to add to the fury of the Christians, also withdrew their lucrative tax exemptions.
Julian only ruled for 18 months. He was slain in battle. Christianity was soon able to persecute pagans out of existence as well as our birthrights...with the closing of the School of Athens, where philosophy had been taught for many centuries, and the burning of the Great Library of Alexandria, Philosophy and Learning were to be replaced by warring theologies for the next thousand years or more ...the Dark Ages.
I am just beginning a biography of Julian ..."JULIAN" by Gore Vidal.
What has this to do with Cavafy ??? Several poems in this collection concern Julian. As far as I have read he wears the soiled title of an Apostate. No fault of Cavafy, but of a Church prepared to rule by Power and Force, propaganda and brainwashing and persecution within... ..no sign of any Democracy in the Catholic Church, even now; and lately bolstered since 1854 (?) by the concept of Papal Infallibility, which they allow the Christian Masses to misread to increase their Iron Hold. *(there have only ever been TWO infallible statements : that Mary was taken body and soul into heaven on her death, the so-called Assumption,and how ironic; and that Mary was conceived without Original Sin, the Immaculate Conception...reflecting the Church's obsession with sex. Neither will be found in Holy Scripture. Neither will add a crumb to anyone's Ethical Life.
Chere Norma, This reminded me of "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee", one of those books you never recover from having read, where your boyish fantasies of tChere Norma, This reminded me of "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee", one of those books you never recover from having read, where your boyish fantasies of the "Red Indians" has it's nose rubbed into the shit of genocide and greed of White Supremacy...and Any Supremacy.
This is a very sad and sorrowful and necessary Memorial Book of Poetry of Power winning out over Right, the Rich over the Poor and Average. How Times ddddDON'T change...those "d"s were fortuitous but so rightly a stutter regretfully having to accept a bitter reality: Times DON'T change. All we ever learn from Auschwitz is how to do it and that very probably you can get away with it while the World looks on. It is a very clever and moving production, but painful to read !!!! yet readable !!! Thankyou and No thankyou. Dilys Leman is no fool when it comes to writing with a sock to the jaw. Good on you , Dilys. Good on you Norma for your usual and continuing education of a Distant Aussie who always lives with an awareness that his little bit of land comes at an Indigenous Loss.
I hope Stephen Edgar arrives/d safe too. And I'm sure in my eagerness to get SE off to you I sent it without card or inscription. I treasure your inscriptions so am going to send a card AND an inscription you can PASTE in !!!! Your Marcel Duchamp "pseudo Xmas Tree" takes the cake when it comes to some of the ingenious renditions I came across during Xmas 2014. With love...Wayne/w.b. xxxx ...more
I've always been a poetry fan. Nursery Rhymes and song lyrics come unbidden when we are babes. We are soon reciting or singing along. My old Pre-Review:
I've always been a poetry fan. Nursery Rhymes and song lyrics come unbidden when we are babes. We are soon reciting or singing along. My older sister reading poetry to her grandson found a distinct alteration in his behaviour when she went from prose to poetry. It's rhythm really caught his attention in eyes, expression and gesture.
When we were teenagers she had received a Complete Works of Tennyson for Xmas and we took it with us to the beach that Summer to read, loving the stories,the topics, the rhythm,the beauty of his words. "The Lady of Shalott" was to be an enduring favourite. Later we were to discover the Victorian artists who had done justice to these poems. We'd lie on the beach taking turns reading to each other. Our dear Mum sat by, astounded. But poetry had come into our ownership and by itself, with no poor teacher or school getting in the way.
So often I see the products of Poor Teaching, where children come out hating authors along with their novels and/or poetry. "I hate Jane Austen!!" one student teacher blurted out passionately when she saw me reading one of JA's witty social satires. Sometimes reflection sends them back to a book as adults and they become passionate about the book they once fiercely rejected. I expected to see this phenomenon on Goodreads when I went to review "The Scarlett Letter". Yes, there were the hating present day students and there were the adults discovering a wonderful book years later, but under their own steam, not under a teacher's orders, a teacher who couldn't teach appreciation because they too hated the novel.
At school I really enjoyed teaching and analysing poetry. Often I would write a poem for the class based on our current topic. The kids LOVED it and brought favourite poems to share or ones they had written. We ransacked the school library. Getting them to dip into a poetry anthology to find a poem to share with the class was a Great Way of exposing them to a wide range of poetry and getting them to express why they liked a poem or preferred one to another. Often they would pick out a poem they could not really understand, ones that I myself had also enjoyed in Primary school or my older sister brought home but hadn't really the faintest idea what was going on sometimes. William Blake's "Tiger,tiger, burning bright,in the forests of the night" and the Witches' chanting their spell from Shakespeare's "Macbeth" was another. We talked about really liking something we didn't really understand. I didn't bother if they plagerised words, phrases or lines when composing. Fancy plagerising Shakespeare when you were only eight years old!!!! Often I would get them to respond to a book,a poem,a maths problem, an historical incident etc. with a Cinquain, Rhyming Couplet, Limerick, Haiku etc these being poetic forms I'd allow them to discover and attempt to compose with themselves.
I found inadvertently at one stage in my life that poetry helped me deal with personal problems. But then it always had...through the philosphies expressed. But soon I realised that I couldn't find anyone who perfectly addressed my problems. No alternative but to write them myself. This wasn't a daunting decision. They were for my eyes only. I'd dabbled with writing poetry before but never with such purpose; and I found I really enjoyed the whole process. As with John Donne who liked to share his poetry with friends, I sent copies to friends too. No need to publish it formally. Fame had absolutely nothing to do with it. It has never interested me. Privacy is a treasure.
So today when visiting the local bookshop to wish staff a Happy New Year, and there on the Bargain Tables outside lay a thick, broad paperback (you don't get to SEE a book when its an E-Book, do YOU !!?) titled :Bill Moyers- this at the very top, below which a carved apple with assorted plants growing in a window in its front; and below bold scribed: THE LANGUAGE OF LIFE...a language book,I said, having bought two thick beauties here recently. But in smaller italic letters below lay the key: A Festival of Poets. Without more ado I grabbed it up and swept into the store. Chris praised Bill Moyers as an excellent journalist...so it was bought.
Since I got home I've browsed the Feast in store. Oh, this is gonna be GOOD, Man !!!!!! This is gunna be damned GOOD!!! ...more
"A DELIGHTFUL SERIOUS POET"...now THAT grabs me!!! It insinuates that Both Sides of the Coin are being acknowledged.
Also brings to mind a birthday card "A DELIGHTFUL SERIOUS POET"...now THAT grabs me!!! It insinuates that Both Sides of the Coin are being acknowledged.
Also brings to mind a birthday card my Mum's older sister,Rosie, once sent me which carried the line: "He Who Laughs, Lasts."
In the introduction penned by the Earl of Birkenhead, he writes of "the abysmal depression sometimes apparent in" ...his verse "and his avowed terror of death." The use of humour might signify an avoidance of a reality, or a refusal to avoid reality. Dorothy Parker's crisp last lines come to mind. Sentimental War Poems of horrendous deaths and slaughters make me suspicious of the poet.Or people who think the Holocaust need only concern the Jews(the Victims); or only says something negative about the German perpetrators. To ask whether it might be saying something about the nature of every Human Being, that we all might be capable given certain conditions, extends rather than closes the evidence.
My only worry is that 292 pages of such poetry might wear thin. I will have to get an Anthology of varied topics and poets to ward off an over-exposure of what could very well be an excessive talent !!? to be continued... ...more