Friday, April 20, 2007

William Blake - The Muse

William Blake - he's one of my favorite poets, actually someone who inspired me to start writing. I find his poetry to be poignant and somehow mysterious, as though riddled with references to time that is now dead. Perhaps I am somewhat drawn to the gothic, or at least mystified by the magic that is woven in his words - whatever it is, his poetry is beauty to the nth degree, and should be enjoyed by everyone.

Biography: William Blake was born on November 28, 1757 in London, the third of five children. He married at 25 to Catherine Boucher who helped him with much of his artistic creations, and they struggled in poverty for most of their lives. Blake did not have a head for business, and he turned down publisher's requests to focus on his own subjects. In his choice of subject Blake was often guided by his gentle, mystical views of Christianity. Songs of Experience (1794) was followed by Milton (1804-1808), and Jerusalem (1804-1820).

The following is Farewell to the Muse, one of his many poems:

Thou Power! who hast ruled me through Infancy's days,
Young offspring of Fancy, 'tis time we should part;
Then rise on the gale this the last of my lays,
The coldest effusion which springs from my heart.

This bosom, responsive to rapture no more,
Shall hush thy wild notes, nor implore thee to sing;
The feelings of childhood, which taught thee to soar,
Are wafted far distant on Apathy's wing.

Though simple the themes of my rude flowing Lyre,
Yet even these themes are departed for ever;
No more beam the eyes which my dream could inspire,
My visions are flown, to return,--alas, never!

When drain'd is the nectar which gladdens the bowl,
How vain is the effort delight to prolong!
When cold is the beauty which dwelt in my soul,
What magic of Fancy can lengthen my song?

Can the lips sing of Love in the desert alone,
Of kisses and smiles which they now must resign?
Or dwell with delight on the hours that are flown?
Ah, no! for those hours can no longer be mine.

Can they speak of the friends that I lived but to love?
Ah, surely Affection ennobles the strain!
But how can my numbers in sympathy move,
When I scarcely can hope to behold them again?

Can I sing of the deeds which my Fathers have done,
And raise my loud harp to the fame of my Sires?
For glories like theirs, oh, how faint is my tone!
For Heroes' exploits how unequal my fires!

Untouch'd, then, my Lyre shall reply to the blast--
'Tis hush'd; and my feeble endeavors are o'er;
And those who have heard it will pardon the past,
When they know that its murmurs shall vibrate no more.

And soon shall its wild erring notes be forgot,
Since early affection and love is o'ercast:
Oh! blest had my Fate been, and happy my lot,
Had the first strain of love been the dearest, the last.

Farewell, my young Muse! since we now can ne'er meet;
If our songs have been languid, they surely are few:
Let us hope that the present at least will be sweet--
The present--which seals our eternal Adieu.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Poets are a bunch of Loonies, stop giving us credit!

My Poetry teacher at college thinks that most 20th century poets were brilliant and wrote very thoughtfully and methodically about their thoughts, most of which are so obscure you have to read at a snail's pace to make head or tail out of a firehose.

I argue that most of the poetry I write is in a moment's random crazy inspiration and usually not all the lines are written to make sense. Many are just as cryptic and mysterious to me as they might be to a reader.

Since most 20th century poets were high when they wrote, I'm sure they would feel the same.

Which makes me laugh at poetry analysis. Ha. ha. ha.

A Quote

I found this poem in a book... God I can't remember the name of the book right now, but it was a historical romance about a woman who travels back to ancient Ireland. It's supposed to be a trilogy, but I read it when I was young so I guess I skipped most of the middle parts... as always happens with me when I'm reading.

Anyway, it was so poetically poignant, I just had to post it:

Then let amorous kisses dwell
Upon our lips, begin and tell
A thousand and a hundred score,
A hundred, and a thousand more.

Bits and Pieces

A gentle decay to nothingness
Was always its intention -
To inspire,
To insight,
And then so quietly recede.
If it possessed a moment's glory
Then that glory was a waste,
For through nighttimes,
And through snow falls,
It was lost to better days.

Not withstanding our intentions,
It burned and fell to dust -
Through choices,
And through circumstance,
It left the both of us.
If its destiny was to whither,
Then by withering, it died -
For through winter,
And by springtime,
There was nothing left to find.

These are the hands that toiled,
And burned and bled to build you,
These are the eyes that watched,
And warned me when to save you,
This is the voice that spoke
And said the words to guide you,
This is the heart that broke
When it was rejected by you.

It was these feet that carried me
Through rain and wind and storm,
And showed me that no matter what
Awaited 'fore the morn -
There was always one more step to take
Before the story's end,
And these words of wisdom I have learned
I impart on you my friend.

"So leave me lying, dying here,
Struggling and trying here,
To fight away my only fear.
That one day,
You'll turn away,
Just turn and walk away from here."

There's silence hereI can feel it,
There's danger here
In spirit,
Embodiment of things to come,
Prevailing here in what we've done,
This silence here -
It's tiresome,
But this time I can't leave.

No turning back
Can't make me,
The road long past
Is empty,
This freedom that I've found with you,
Though threatened by the things we do,
Is better than
The life I knew,
And this time I won't leave.

In the Heart of Man

I live and dwell
In the heart of man,
Yet who,
Pray tell,
Shall dwell within me?

Some call me eternal,
A gateway of light,
You've met me,
You've held me,
Yet none know my plight.
Some call me Nirvana,
A doorway to God,
Yet I am in nature,
In life -
I am Love.

I live and dwell in a silent oasis,
In a world of no faces,
In the most secluded of places -
You can find me waiting
In the pause between raindrops,
The space between heartbeats,
That place where your heart stops.

I find my meaning
Between dreaming and waking,
Forgiving and praying,
Giving and taking,
I find the reason,
The reason for saying
That I -
I Am Love.

And I dwell in the heart of man.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


As winter awaits the spring,
As the tree awaits its blooming,
After countless repetition
All waiting becomes the same.
There's no point or destination,
No level I must reach,
Waiting for this cycle
To recycle
And roll over again on me.
You can count the passing second,
In minutes,
In refrains,
You can count by conversations,
By learned lessons,
Or by dreams,
You can count each passing thought,
Each errant longing
Yet again -
When you know that time's repeating,
We're all awaiting
The same end.

Life seeks new desires that loom on the horizon,
Yet we strive for our achievements,
And they come, and then they're gone.
What is triumph?
What is longing?
When all longing comes to pass,
And is replaced by only memory -
In the end, what do we have?
Was it worth it?
Were you ready?
We're a thousand different stories,
Reaching climax,
Then our story starts again.
It's a repetitive long process
Waiting for wishes to come true,
Yet when it's over,
When it's done,
We're all awaiting something new.

So may this cycle carry on
Waiting for your dreams to pass,
Awaiting endless summers,
Endless winters,
Endless lovers,
Endless visitations from strangers,
Becoming friends,
Becoming brothers,
And yet life is the great teacher,
It shows us the truth of time -
That years and years of struggles
Are only seconds in your mind.