The wordes moote be cosyn to the dede

Now have I toold you shortly in a clause, Th’estaat, th’array, the nombre, and eek the cause Why that assembled was this compaignye In Southwerk, at this gentil hostelrye That highte the Tabard, faste by the Belle. But now is tyme to yow for to telle How that we baren us that ilke nyght, Whan we were in that hostelrie alyght; And after wol I telle of our viage And all the remenaunt of oure pilgrimage. But first I pray yow, of youre curteisye, That ye n’arette it nat my vileynye, Thogh that I pleynly speke in this mateere, To…

equal moments, equal speed

For no sooner do we begin to live in this dying body, than we begin to move ceaselessly towards death. For in the whole course of this life (if life we must call it) its mutability tends towards death. Certainly there is no one who is not nearer it this year than last year, and tomorrow than today, and today than yesterday, and a short while hence than now, and now than a short while ago. For whatever time we live is deducted from our whole term of life, and that which remains is daily becoming less and less; so…

of equal moment

And we indeed recognize in ourselves the image of God, that is, of the supreme Trinity, an image which, though it be not equal to God, or rather, though it be very far removed from Him—being neither co-eternal, nor, to say all in a word, consubstantial with Him—is yet nearer to Him in nature than any other of His works, and is destined to be yet restored, that it may bear a still closer resemblance. For we both are, and know that we are, and delight in our being, and our knowledge of it.  Moreover, in these three things no…

windows in sentences

“Its windows never sparked so much as on the days when the sun hardly appeared, so that, if it was gray outside, we were sure it would be beautiful inside the church; one was filled to its very top by a single figure like a king in a game of cards, who lived up there, under an architectural canopy, between heaven and earth (and in whose slanting blue light, on weekdays sometimes, at noon, when there is no service—at one of those rare times when the church, airy, vacant, more human, luxurious, with some sun on its rich furniture, looked…

light had destroyed the telegraph office

“We would return by way of the station boulevard, which was lined by the most pleasant houses in the parish. In each garden the moonlight, like Hubert Robert, scattered its broken staircases of white marble, its fountains, its half-open gates. Its light had destroyed the Telegraph Office. All that remained was one column, half shattered but still retaining the beauty of an immortal ruin. I would be dragging my feet, I would be ready to drop with sleep, the fragrance of the lindens that perfumed the air would seem to me a reward that one could win only at the…

things, countries, years

+++  A sleeping man holds in a circle around himthe sequence of the hours, the order of the years and worlds. He consults them instinctively as he wakes and reads in a second the point on the earth he occupies… Perhaps the immobility of the things around us is imposed on them by our certainty that they are themselves and not anything else, by the immobility of our mind confronting them. However that may be, when I woke thus, my mind restlessly attempting, without success, to discover where I was, everything revolved around me in the darkness, things, countries, years….

completed partly

+++ They both smiled, standing there. They both felt a common hilarity, excited by the moving waves; and then by the swift cutting race of a sailing boat, which, having sliced a curve in the bay, stopped; shivered; let its sails drop down; and then, with a natural instinct to complete this picture, after this swift movement, both of them looked at the dunes far away, and instead of merriment felt come over them some sadness–because the thing was completed partly, and partly because distant views seem to outlast by a million years (Lily thought) the gazer and to be…

Bitter air

+++ “There were only the two of them on the mountain flying in the euphoric, bitter air, looking down on the hawk’s back and the crawling lights of vehicles on the plain below, suspended above ordinary affairs and distant from tame ranch dogs barking in the dark hours.” Annie Proulx +++

The worst.

+++ [NO WORST, THERE IS NONE] No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.Comforter, where, where is your comforting?Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chiefWoe, wórld-sorrow; on an áge-old anvil wince and sing —Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked ‘No ling-ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief.”‘ O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fallFrightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheapMay who ne’er hung there. Nor does long our smallDurance deal with that steep or deep….

Vocab from Virginia

prehensile, adj. (chiefly of an animal’s limb or tail) Capable of grasping. nacreous, adj. consisting of or resembling mother-of-pearl. scrolloping, adj. Characterized by or possessing heavy, florid, ornament. Also transf. and as pres. pple., proceeding in involutions, rambling. (Virginia’s portmanteau!) sultana, n. a. The wife (or a concubine) of a sultan; also, the queen-mother or some other woman of a sultan’s family. scrannel, adj. Thin, meagre. Now chiefly as a reminiscence of Milton’s use, usually with the sense: Harsh, unmelodious. marmoreal, adj. 1. Resembling marble or a marble statue; cold (also smooth, white, etc.) like marble. brindle, verb. ‘To be irritated, to…

Where can the shadow enter?

+++ I ask now, standing with my scissors among my flowers, Where can the shadow enter? +++ To read this poem one must have myriad eyes… +++ I have sliced the waters of beauty in the evening when the hills close themselves like birds’ wings folded. +++ Your voices sound like trees creaking in the forest. So with your faces and their prominences and hollows. +++ ‘I am still vigorous,’ they are saying, ‘My face shall be cut against the black infinite space.’ They do not finish their sentences. ‘It is time,’ they keep saying. ‘The gardens will be shut.’…

My past is cut from me.

+++ “I am astonished, as I draw the veils off things with words, how much, how infinitely more than I can say I have observed.” +++ “I can imagine nothing beyond the circle cast by my body. My body goes before me, like a lantern down a dark land, bringing one thing after another out of darkness into a ring of light. I dazzle you; I make you believe that this is all.” +++ “Barns and summer days in the country, rooms where we sat — all now lies in the unreal world which is gone. My past is cut…

Bells that ring for life

+++ “In a world which contains the present moment,” said Neville, “why discriminate? Nothing should be named lest by so doing we change it. Let it exist, this bank, this beauty, and I, for instant, steeped in pleasure. The sun is hot. I see the river. I see trees specked and burnt in the autumn sunlight. Boats float past, through the red, through the green. Far away a bell tolls, but not for death. There are bells that ring for life. A leaf falls, from joy. Oh, I am in love with life! Look how the willow shoots its fine…

I dream; I dream.

+++ “I dance. I ripple. I am thrown over you like a net of light. I lie quivering flung over you.” +++ “Among the tortures and devastations of life is this then — our friends are not able to finish their stories.” +++ “But I attach myself only to names and faces: And hoard them like amulets against disaster.” +++ “Month by month things are losing their hardness; even my body now lets the light through; my spine is soft like wax near the flame of the candle. I dream; I dream.” +++ -VIRGINIA WOOLF, The Waves

Wilderment

+++ Hurrahing in Harvest by Gerard Manley Hopkins Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks arise Around; up above, what wind-walks! what lovely behaviour Of silk-sack clouds! has wilder, wilful-wavier Meal-drift moulded ever and melted across skies? I walk, I lift up, I lift up heart, eyes, Down all that glory in the heavens to glean our Saviour; And, éyes, heárt, what looks, what lips yet gave you a Rapturous love’s greeting of realer, of rounder replies? And the azurous hung hills are his world-wielding shoulder Majestic—as a stallion stalwart, very-violet-sweet!—These things, these things were here and but…

Buy then! Bid then!—What?—

+++ The Starlight Night by Gerard Manley Hopkins Look at the stars! look, look up at the skies! O look at all the fire-folk sitting in the air! The bright boroughs, the circle-citadels there! Down in dim woods the diamond delves! the elves’-eyes! The grey lawns cold where gold, where quickgold lies! Wind-beat whitebeam! airy abeles set on a flare! Flake-doves sent floating forth at a farmyard scare!— Ah well! it is all a purchase, all is a prize. Buy then! bid then!—What?—Prayer, patience, aims, vows. Look, look: a May-mess, like on orchard boughs! Look! March-bloom, like on mealed-with-yellow sallows!…

Range and State

+++ Let Me Be to Thee by Gerard Manley Hopkins Let me be to Thee as the circling bird, Or bat with tender and air-crisping wingsThat shapes in half-light his departing rings, From both of whom a changeless note is heard.I have found my music in a common word, Trying each pleasurable throat that singsAnd every praised sequence of sweet strings, And know infallibly which I preferred. The authentic cadence was discovered lateWhich ends those only strains that I approve, And other science all gone out of dateAnd minor sweetness scarce made mention of: I have found the dominant of…

The unfathering deeps

+++ I swear to Oprah, ‘The Wreck of the Deutschland’ is the best post-9/11 poem we’ve got. +++ THE WRECK OF THE DEUTSCHLAND GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS (1844-1889) To the happy memory of five Franciscan Nuns exiles by the Falk Laws drowned between midnight and morning of Dec. 7th. 1875 PART THE FIRST 1                 THOU mastering me             God! giver of breath and bread;         World’s strand, sway of the sea;             Lord of living and dead;     Thou hast bound bones and veins in me, fastened me flesh,         5     And after it almost unmade, what with dread,         Thy doing: and dost thou touch me…

Holy Sonnet 14

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for youAs yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bendYour force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.I, like an usurp’d town to another due,Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,But am betroth’d unto your enemy;Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,Take me to you, imprison me, for I,Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,Nor ever chaste,…

How furiously your heart is beating

+++ GRAY ROOM by Wallace Stevens Although you sit in a room that is gray, Except for the silver Of the straw-paper, And pick At your pale white gown; Or lift one of the green beads Of your necklace, To let it fall; Or gaze at your green fan Printed with the red branches of a red willow; Or, with one finger, Move the leaf in the bowl– The leaf that has fallen from the branches of the forsythia Beside you… What is all this? I know how furiously your heart is beating. +++ -pg 23, Wallace Stevens, The Palm…

Darken your speech.

+++ TWO FIGURES IN DENSE VIOLET LIGHT by Wallace Stevens I had as lief be embraced by the portier of the hotelAs to get no more from the moonlightThan your moist hand. Be the voice of the night and Florida in my ear.Use dasky words and dusky images.Darken your speech. Speak, even, as if I did not hear you speaking,But spoke for you perfectly in my thoughts,Conceiving words, As the night conceives the sea-sound in silence,And out of the droning sibilants makesA serenade. Say, puerile, that the buzzards crouch on the ridge-poleand sleep with one eye watching the stars fallBeyond…

Ulysses (I am become a name)

ULYSSES Alfred Lord Tennyson It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me. I cannot rest from travel; I will drink life to the lees. All times I have enjoyed Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those that loved me, and alone; on shore, and when Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades Vexed the dim sea. I am become a name; For always roaming with a hungry heart Much have I seen and known—cities of men And manners, climates, councils, governments, Myself not…

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post. Here are some suggestions for your first post. You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post. Add PressThis to your browser. It creates a new blog post for you about any interesting  page you read on the web. Make some changes to this page, and then hit preview on the right. You can always preview any post…

Chelsea Hotel No. 2

Right now I am in a Leonard Cohen, “Chelsea Hotel No. 2” trance. It’s poetry. Also, I think I read somewhere that this is about Janis Joplin. Of course. I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,you were talking so brave and so sweet,giving me head on the unmade bed,while the limousines wait in the street.Those were the reasons and that was New York,we were running for the money and the flesh.And that was called love for the workers in songprobably still is for those of them left. Ah but you got away, didn’t you babe,you just turned your back…

Goodbye to All That

This is my favorite essay of all time; perhaps my favorite piece of prose of all time. Anyway, having just returned home from my own summer in the city, I’ve been revisiting this one. GOODBYE TO ALL THAT by Joan Didion How many miles to Babylon?Three score miles and and ten—Can I get there by candlelight?Yes, and back again—If your feet are nimble and lightYou can get there by candlelight. It is easy to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see the ends. I can remember now, with a clarity that makes the nerves in the back of…

The Scarlett Letter

Last night I finished reading The Scarlett Letter for the first time since high school. Is better than I remember. There aren’t really entire passages I want to quote, just these spectacular turns of phrase: …having given my best years to feed the the hungry dream of knowledge……whether tenderness or terror……the hall re-echoes, and the armour rang with it —…that the destinies of nations should be revealed, in these awful hieroglyphics…since that first moment, it has all been a dark necessity.…What was it? The complaint of a human heart, sorrow-laden, perchance guilty, telling its secret, whether of guilt or sorrow,…

quote- Deleuze/Guattari

“Analysis again. But where? How? Well, everywhere possible. Where unskirtable contradictions come to the surface. Where disturbing breaches of meaning trip us up amidst daily banalities, impossible yet perfectly viable loves, all kinds of constructivist passions that mine the edificies of morbid rationality… It can be individual, for those who tend to lead their lives as if it were a work of art; dual in all possible ways, including, why not, a psychoanalytic couch, as long as it has been dusted off; multiple, through group, network, institutional, and collective practices… leading, through a systematic decentering of social desire, to soft…

Quotes – Nietzsche, "Thus Spoke Zarathustra"

“And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.” “To every soul there belongs another world; for every soul, every other soul is an afterworld. Precisely between what is most similar, illusion lies most beautifully; for the smallest cleft is the hardest to bridge.” “O Zarathustra,” the animals said, “to those who think as we do, all things themselves are dancing: they come and offer their hands and laugh and flee — and come back. Everything goes,…

Derrida: Differance

“We could thus take up all the coupled oppositions on which philosophy is constructed, and from which our language lives, not in order to see oppositition vanish but to see the emergence of a necessity such that one of the terms appears as the differance of the other, the other as “differed” within the systematic ordering of the same (e.g., the intelligible as differing from the sensible, as sensible differed; the concept as differed-differing intuition, life as differing-differed matter; mind as differed-differing life; culture as differed-differing nature; and all the terms designating what in other than physis – techne, nomos,…

Nietzsche, niche

“In summa: the world as it ought to be exists; this world, in which we live, is an error — this world of ours ought not to exist.…The belief that the world as it ought to be is, really exists, is a belief of the unproductive who do not desire to create a world as it ought to be. They posit it as already available, they seek ways and means of reaching it. “Will to truth” — as the failure of the will to create.” -Friedrich Nietzsche, from The Will to Power

Nietzsche, niche

“What therefore is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonymies, anthropomorphisms: in short a sum of human relations which became poetically and rhetorically intensified, metamorphosed, adorned, and after long usage seem to a notion fixed, canonic, and binding; truths are ilusions of which one has forgotten that they are illusions; worn-out metaphors which have become powerless to affect the senses; coins which have their obverse effaced and now are no longer of account as coins but merely as metal.” –Nietzsche, from On Truth and Lying in an Extra-moral Sense

Visions: St. Matthew’s chapel

The incredible stained glass windows in St. Matthew’s episcopal chapel in Sugar Hill are unsigned, but attributed to Tiffany. I have been lurking (attending services?) around this beautiful little chapel for weeks — on the outside, it’s like a mini-church from a train set; on the inside, it’s like the hull of a wooden ship.