Monday, 29 January 2018

Flesh and Blood

"[Edmund] Spenser designed his poem as a wheel, in which the action, instead of following in a simple line, rays out from its center and Gloriana's court, and then, in some way not arrived at by the poem, returns to that center again. The "Faerie Queene" [c. 1590] is a game played upon a wheel-shaped board, with each knight advancing or retreating along its spokes according to the cast of the dice announced in successive stanzas. Arthur appears to travel in a circle around the rim. Although he is supposed to be in search of the Faerie Queene, from whose court each of the other knights has come, he neither asks nor receives directions. The circular movement itself is a way of getting there. Ariosto saw his poem as a web woven by the artist who finds the most compelling reason for life in the pleasure that he takes in his control over the story which so aggressively refuses a simple chronological line, but weaves in and out with the greatest, almost perverse, complexity imaginable.

"The alternating viewpoint with which one is permitted to look at epic - the trompe-l'œil patterning - trains the mind and eye for the reintegration of the apparent opposites of action and contemplation. It works like a perspective picture of the interchanging patterns of figure and ground. We can neither stay with the story nor rest in the pattern; the story is not only an account of progress toward a goal, nor is the pattern a static rendering of experience. The story undercuts the value of action; the pattern is made up of unceasing motion. The ideal life of man, in which action and thought, body and soul, are integral with one another, is being restored, or achieved, by the demand that the poem makes upon the reader. As with immortality, by giving up the false contemplation represented by the Bower of Bliss, man learns true contemplation by immersing himself in the active pattern of life." 

Milton and His Epic Tradition, Joan Malory Webber, University of Washington Press, 1979, Part II, "The Tradition," Page 93 - 94

Everyone feels loneliness; more than anyone may imagine.

And the only cure for loneliness is to know thyself.

To know oneself were to know one's whole flesh and blood.

Age sweet Age that counts away the thunder of the years
An avalanche that tumbled down a mountain yet unseen
That tears from all that Once had seemed all that had Once appeared
As though it had some other life or it had never been
The flesh and blood of loneliness created and fulfilled
A ship approached from out a distance and receded from
So many little moments years from years like water spilled
Down from the paddles of the stars the ocean of the Sun
And there upon the ancient prow the breast of Dawn and Day
That heaving shoulder of a mountain cast in golden fire
Scorched the forge of generations of the world the way
Dark currents tumble o'er the branches that will form the pyre
Ripples bled into that ocean rounding on these words
Like spokes of some unbroken motion lost and found in Time
That moved the very night and day and stole from Man the torch
Or vision of an ancient garden visited a child
Lost to all that they were touched by all that they adored
And blushed that rushed into the cheeks of love or set the Rose
Of withered years of flesh and blood that Spring and Winter knows.

I know things from listening to my flesh and blood. You can only use your mind as well as you speak on behalf of the actual experience of your flesh and blood. My words are plain enough to hear. And they stand on the authority of my ancestors. Those who can listen will hear them. Enlightenment is overrated. But it is better than gold or silver - its cost are always going up. Good luck. For a Druid, two things are punishable by death: cutting down a Tree without permission... and lying. If it were a crime to lie to a child there would be no poverty, poverty whose crimes no number of other laws will ever solve but for the blind and demoralized servants of Death, of Christ the son of Saturn who produces and consumes all his illegitimate children with his seminal laws.

There lives a twinkle in the sky the smile of my mind
Whose elocution of myself in bonds of flesh and blood
Celestial biology of growth that knows the kind
Of richness lives in transformation vital as the Sun
Hereditary madness in the sadness of the Earth's
Contractions all the currents of our flesh and blood redoubts
Which hath some little influence upon all of the Words
That hath survived like earth and sky the bosun screams and shouts
And shrieks unholy spoken only just before they set
Into the flesh and blood the Sun the Mind of Man a sleep
Which undertakes to keep the quiet of the Moon the debt
Of too much death upon the Mind and all that Mind will creep
Into the knowledge in our blood our voices stories that will hold
Over the flesh and blood of Man a death in debt untold.

Psalms of Love

No comments:

Post a Comment