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Archive for June, 2008

Oh what to do when one is bored
But write in verse with structured form
Belabored time which passes by
In incremental wistful sighs
Constrained, but to confabulate
This boredom must to correlate
With thoughts on which to masticate
The hope is to eradicate
The semblance of a slothful mind
For that of which is truth divined
But now I must reticulate
On things hard to articulate
For I am feeling quite ignored
And gosh, gee whiz, I sure am bored

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Tears

As teardrops fall from saddened eyes
Down rolls and hills of facial climes
With trails of mem’rys fresh and clean
Remembering what might have been
They fall away to places new
Away from those that they once knew
But pray, don’t fade as teardrops do
Or as memories are prone to do
For drops of tears fall not to ground
But to the heart, forever bound

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The Critics

“Man is dumb,” dear Plato says, “To imitate is quite a sin.”
But Aristotle sees the good, and lets the valued reader in.

In zeitgeist Horace holds his stock, while [Lon]‘Ginus finds his taste innate,
And judgment to the audience, and lit’rature, salvation great.

Sydney says, “Be like the Lord, to people, morals must be fed.”
And Dryden, to the critic gives authority to all he says.

To Pope a little practice does immensely more than critics’ word.
Says Johnson, “Write to life and please, and critics make art less absurd.”

There are no standards found in Kant, no morals, only pleasure.
Though Wordsworth finds his freedom there, in pleasance, grace and treasure.

Experience,” dear Coleridge says, and Shelley asks for love.
And Nietzsche copes as best he can, salvation not above.

To Arnold art must save all men from dumb stupidity.
And James, his freedom can be found, for author is the key.

Immerse one’s self in art,” says Wilde, “and make art for art’s sake.”
But Tolstoy sees his art unite, protects against the sinful wake.

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Literary Criticism

Introduction

The task at hand is to divine the right-
-ful way in which to come to full enlight-
-enment about that which is lit’rature,
That all may understand, and thus, concur.

For truth, in seeking, many questions do arise
As myriads of people theorize.
And each is certain his own path is straight,
And willing then and there to demonstrate.

For with opinion always comes conceit,
And haughtiness within truth is replete.
To fully understand is paramount,
But converts to the causes wins it out

Yet even so, philosophies go farther still,
Encompassing interpretations of free will,
And other ways to live, and think, and breath –
A thing of pride to wear upon one’s sleeve.

So now we journey onward forth to find
Epiphany, renewing of the mind.
Examining lit’rature in new light,
And solving this interpretation plight.

The Role of the Author

To what, with which, shall we begin this thought?
With roles, of course, whose answers are frequently sought.
And so without any further adieu,
Let us begin with authors (as works do):

The cynic might have one believe that all
An author wants is profit – oh, the gall.
For while it may be certainty for some,
To lucrative temptation, no, not all succumb.

For why do authors truly wish to write?
To pass a notion, or provide insight?
Perhaps to access tearings up inside –
Relief, release, cathartic form applied.

So says the situational decree,
That each of these may serve as bourgeoisie
In literary sensibility.
For both apply depending on the scene.

Additional queries soon come to light.
And treacherous debates they may incite,
Of who has power and authority
And wonders of many proclivities.

Do authors hold the key, or instigate?
And is authorial intent innate?
Shall he remain aloof, or near at hand?
And shall meaning be read as he had planned?

Now certainly his meaning has import
For he knows why he has extolled exhort
In certain moments, lines and words he gives,
Specific meaning to his own missives.

But also one must keep in mind the fact
Of underlying premises abstract
That only can be found by other eyes.
Those things that common sense attempts to hide.

Another thing that must be given thought
Is impetus to which creativeness is caught.
For given to a muse is lit’rature,
Or talent and ability insures?

Because one does not always feel inspired
But written anyway, what he’s acquired,
Is something quite amazing, quite the feat,
For what he has is very much elite.

However, there are moments when God gives
A sentiment that pours out like a sieve,
And one cannot contain the words inside,
And onto parchment ink spills to confide.

The Role of the Text

With what shall we be mindful of, is next?
And to our mental aptitude be flexed?
Onto the role of text we now shall go,
With much anticipation, we shall know:

To Plato, authors counterfeit with lies,
And Dryden, nature’s fan, is wont to criticize.
But Aristotle, Sydney, James, and Pope
Find messianic-saving-grace, and hope.

But though redeeming values can be found,
And utilized, at times, as Heaven’s Hound,
To think that it can save – pure arrogance!
To worship the creation is offense.

While lit’rature is fodder for the soul,
A conduit for subtle cleansing coal,
It cannot stay, remain, in place of God,
Or reenact the role of moral rod.

Conversely, though, it cannot be ignored.
It does have merit, not to be abhorred.
For lit’rature reveals the inner-self,
Provides with it a treasury of wealth.

To go too far in either way is sin.
And wavering between can oft’ wear thin.
For lit’rature is nothing more or less
Than what it is in all of its finesse.

The Role of the Reader (Critic)

And so it seems as logic will allow
The reader follows next within our friendly row.
For critics have influence of their own,
And further thought to that which is unknown.

Of Wilde, the critic paints a masterpiece,
And Dyrden finds his talents Sance-jouis
But Pope, that man of clever poetry
In critics, only finds idiocy.

There seems to be disparity involved
That must be soon addressed and soon absolved.
For neither is he god, nor imbecile
And analyze all text he always will.

To find clandestine viewpoints he must act
Though right or wrong process, to not retract
From any concept, thought or ‘pothesis
No matter though it leads into abyss.

Queries

Now that the roles have clearly been defined,
It’s onto other questions by design.
What classifies as lit’rature canonical?
And then what classifies as antithetical?

What Defines Literature?

So what is lit’rature in its essence?
Can one define one trapped in senescence?
For is it up to preferences by all,
Or is it of strictly foundational?

“Art for Art’s Sake,” or Shall it Have Purpose?

Shall art have purpose of didactic kind,
Or shall it be created purpose blind?
But even written without first intent,
Meanings of all sorts are evident.

Shall an Author Surpass or Match His Abilities?

Shall man be satisfied with all that he can do,
Or shall he reach for higher up pursuits?
To reach and fail is still to find success,
To land much higher, he can now attest.

Shall Literature Delight or Horrify?

Shall lit’rature delight, or horrify?
Expose inequity, or beauty’s sigh?
It shall do both, together and apart,
And reveal both with wisdom to impart.

Shall Literature be Common or Elitist?

Shall it be for elite or common man?
For layman, or for Academic stand?
What once was for the educated chap,
Is now for all in modern zeitgeist’s wrap.

Conclusion

The issues present each have been addressed,
Of roles and queries, each at the bequest
Of centuries of ponderings and thoughts,
With chiseled answers thought to have been wrought.

And though it sounds like postmodern conceit
A view of only part is not complete.
One must look to entirety of truth,
And realize to omit is quite uncouth.

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A Poem

As ink of poesy seeps into
The fading lines of faint light blue
Upon the parchment stiff and clean
From reams of thoughts – inspired dreams –

Pulsing, beating, thriving words
Which breathe and sing with dreams deferred.
Composed with platelets, endstops, blood
Of grief and love emoting floods

Of deluged pathos satisfied
By angst and rapture occupied.
With sinews stitched to punctuate,
And concepts with which to separate

The living form from that of dead.
A conduit for what is said.
This living, breathing entity
Of nuanced truth: vitality.

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Sacred Tomes

I sometimes wonder
That if Heaven had a library,
What volumes would it hold:
Be it ancient tomes or modern verse
Of poesy, essay, or prose?

To what upon those dusty shelves
Are graced by cherubs’ touch?
The lyrical cantos of Dante and Donne,
Of Milton, Thompson, and Blake?
From Paradise lost and then reclaimed,

And relics, lambs and vistaed hopes,
What will the Heavenly cannon make?
Perhaps the dogmatic prose
Of Calvin, or Luther, or More?
A literary, utopian corner

In the ecstasy of that post-sepulcher place.
Will then pilgrims progress along
With hobbits, and dryads, and elves?
Will books still carry a human truth?
Or be given bodies anew

Transcendental and transformed
With foundational bindings
And pristine leaves of certainty?
For they had been affected
By the impurities of Man’s voice.

Or will impetus be given for
New incarnations of edifying texts?
For the world was spoken
Into being with a Holy Word,
And the word will remain ever-present.

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It is small and insignificant,
barely even noticeable.
One would have to have it pointed out
in order to see it—
a pinhole that once held the pin
that once held my calendar
(or was it a picture? or a letter? or a card?)
in its place.
There are people in that pinhole,
places and memories
all huddled in that pinpoint of time,
soon to be patched up,
painted over,
forgotten.
Fixed.

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