Monday, 6 December 2010



"The entitlement to immortality felt so noisily in youth is not always relinquished in our dotage......The internal self remains stoutly resistant to time's seasons. Because here is the truth: while the mind is a transcendental pilgrim, the body is an animal.  And this animal will carry you as far as it can.  Glad of the burden, it will struggle on its knees to serve, fighting out the inches in dust and desert."

                                                                                                                Winston Spencer Churchill.

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come....

                                                                                                             William Wordswsorth.


mrs narcolept said...

I wouldn't, perhaps unfairly, have expected that of Churchill.

call me ishmael said...

He was an interesting and gifted writer, mrs n, well worth a look. I was thinking about little Buster's will to live, rather than our own, although we are, all of us, every scrap of creation, battling here, determinedy, magnificently, against the inevitable.

yardarm said...

" Battling magnificently against the inevitable." yes, I have seen that... " Trailing clouds of glory "....I hope to see that..

jgm2 said...

That Wordsworth quote sounds like it's to do with birth or indeed some kind of Hindu circle-of-life re-birth shit more than the 'rage, rage against the dying of the light' stuff that you've got from Churchill.

But I s'pose y'all know that.

call me ishmael said...

I do, mr jgm2. But I think they both reflect the uniqueness of each brief candle, all life,in its chronic pattern; Dylan Thomas, on the other hand, windbagging, was just concerned with himself.

jgm2 said...

I thought Dylan was urging his dad to hang on in there for a few more minutes.

At least that's how I read it.

Mind you I find all poetry a bit wind-bagging.

Why these cunts can't just say what they mean in simple English instead of slapping on prose and metaphor, alliteration and iambic pentameter then standing back a bit like they're some Michael-fucking-Angelo to admire their oh-so-clever-did-you-see-what-I-did-there self-referential bollocks is a mystery to me. Actually it isn't a mystery at all. It's a sign of their deep insecurity. Or more likely, historically, that they were The Beatles or The Rolling Stones of their day, just using whatever it took to get into a long line of girls knickers.

Look lads (and lasses) - and wannabe poets everywhere - say what you mean. This isn't China (yet) you don't have to hide the message so that only 15 of your closest Oxbridge chums have a clue what you're on about. Much less care.

call me ishmael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
call me ishmael said...

I shouldn't think that DT gave a flying fuck about his father or anyone else, for that matter; the poem is only about his father superficially, it is of his own rage, his own challenging of Death that he writes and with which he would seduce.

I know what you mean, though, about poets. One time I heard a poet insisting that after the Jamie Bulger Feast, she simply HAD to write about it, I thought then, enraged, and I often think now: How Dare There Be Fucking Poets? But even so, poetry with a small p is often what we are about here, you as much as anyone - the only possible words in the only possible order.

But there is none of what you condemn contained in those two extracts, neither could have put it better, although many have expressed it less elegantly, more opaquely - It's Alright Ma, It's Life And LiFe Only, for instance.

But there is no escaping it. The Sermon on The Mount, is that not poetry ?

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore, take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things . . .

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Sufficient unto the day, mr jgm2, is the evil thereof.

Let us not lassoo trouble and sorrow from the future.

Now, that should stop us all in our tracks, mewling here, and puking.

lilith said...

I found Mr Churchill's quote helpful. Thank you.

mongoose said...

I was introduced to a guy in a pub once. "And what do you do?" I asked. "I'm a poet", he said. Mad bastard was actually someone who issued waste licences at the Environment Agency but it was a good line.