Stone Walls do not a Prison make,
Nor Iron bars a Cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an Hermitage.
If I have freedom in my Love,
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone that soar above,
Enjoy such Liberty.
Bang, Silence, BANG!
Crowd, Solitude, CROWD!
Nothing, Small, Big, BIG!
by Amy Lowell
I want no horns to rouse me up to-night,
And trumpets make too clamorous a ring
To fit my mood, it is so weary white
I have no wish for doing any thing.
A music coaxed from humming strings would please;
Not plucked, but drawn in creeping cadences
Across a sunset wall where some Marquise
Picks a pale rose amid strange silences.
Ghostly and vaporous her gown sweeps by
The twilight dusking wall, I hear her feet
Delaying on the gravel, and a sigh,
Briefly permitted, touches the air like sleet
And it is dark, I hear her feet no more.
A red moon leers beyond the lily-tank.
A drunken moon ogling a sycamore,
Running long fingers down its shining flank.
A lurching moon, as nimble as a clown,
Cuddling the flowers and trees which burn like glass.
Red, kissing lips, I feel you on my gown—
Kiss me, red lips, and then pass—pass.
Music, you are pitiless to-night.
And I so old, so cold, so languorously white.
For class tomorrow I’m going to read this passage from our text “The Faerie Queen”, as I felt it fell nicely into the themes of subjectivity, and faceted identities; which is what I think I’m going to progress into over the semester.
He then deuisde himselfe how to disguise;
For by his mightie science he could take
As many formes and shapes in seeming wise,
As euer Proteus to himselfe could make:
Sometime a fowle, sometime a fish in lake,
Now like a foxe, now like a dragon fell,
That of himselfe he oft for feare would quake,
And oft would flie away. O who can tell
The hidden power of herbes, and might of Magicke spell?
(The Faerie Queene, Book 1 Canto II, 10, Spenser)
So far I’ve deduced that he’s dealing with betrayal, he’s appalled by the witches tricks yet is seduced by the idea of revenge and taking part in such games. A knight, a quest…boys and their video games. This makes me think about the idea of adventure and escaping, voyeurism. The love of arts, entertainment, and the petty games we play with one another, is it all a battle of good versus evil? or simply an arbitrary distraction to occupy a theological mindset until we die? Does it matter? In many ways this reminds me of a Frost poem.
Thanks to S, I stumbled upon this: http://www.miller-mccune.com/news/this-is-your-brain-on-kafka-1474 The title was “This is your brain on Kafka: Does absurdist literature make you smarter”. Naturally I couldn’t click on the link fast enough. I was happy to discover that according to this argument, absurdist literature does touch into the deeper realm of understanding. In the string study the people who experienced the crazier version of Franz Kafka’s “The Country Doctor” where better able to re-pattern the string. This takes me back to my argument that through the common experience of art, lies understanding. Alas, hope.