November 2007


 

Nuns fret not at their convent’s narrow room;
And hermits are contented with their cells;
And students with their pensive citadels;
Maids at the wheel, the weaver at his loom,

Sit blithe and happy; bees that soar for bloom,
High as the highest Peak of Furness-fells,
Will murmur by the hour in foxglove bells:
In truth the prison, unto which we doom

Ourselves, no prison is: and hence for me,
In sundry moods, ’twas pastime to be bound
Within the Sonnet’s scanty plot of ground;

Pleased if some Souls (for such there needs must be)
Who have felt the weight of too much liberty,
Should find brief solace there, as I have found.

                                                      William Wordsworth 1806.

 

Many people say they have a problem with poetry because they are not able to understand it. At the same time they have no problem appreciating a piece of music, even though they don’t “understand” it, but still are able to appreciate it.

Art is all about correspondence. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and art is all about beauty, sometimes as beauty of thought more than visual, but never the less: Art lies in between people.

I often find today’s poetry is written more for the poet’s sake than for the reader. Even though I love modern poetry, like Eliot or Sefaris’ I have found that too much liberty in how to write poems often hinders the poetry from taking wings and lifting off. I believe that poets need limitations to steer them from their personal horizons and into those what can be shared with others. Eliot and Seferis both made use of technical limitations in their writing even if they did not always use the classical metrical limitations… (However it would be interesting to read a comparison of prosody between Elliott and the Victorian English poets – G.M. Hopkins is a metrical key here -or between Seferis and the classical Greeks – Eliot is a key there)

Metrical poetry frees the verse. It’s not about Iambic Pentameter or Hexameter. It’s about making use of the tradition (as Catholics we should have a deeper understanding of this) It’s not even about having rhymes or not. There is a difference between free verse and stapling words. By finding your restrictions, you give yourself wings.

 

 

Wordsworth
William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

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I have updated my blog roll with a few more interesting blogs: How could I miss this one before: The Prayer garden

And here are two Norwegian blogs: Musin on the divine and Katolikken


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Is humanity overrated? The Finnish boy involved in the latest school shooting thought so. How can we differentiate right from wrong? I find that without the right compass we will find ourself being all lost. Humanity shouldn’t be underrated, nor should we overrate ourself.

Yesterday I watched Herzog’s great documentary “The Grizzly Man” about Timothy Treadwell who where living, and finally died, among Grizzly bears at Kaflia Bay in Alaska. Timothy “Bambified” bears, he gave them human qualities and interpreted their behavior through the looking glass of the emotional life of humans. In the documentary we can follow how he interpreted his own life circumstances and emotions on the bears. It seems as he thought he was one of them, rather than being part of human civilization. As if humanity was overrated. I find this very disrespectful toward both God, humans and even against the grizzly bears.

(rude language)

This seems to me as being a religious journey to him, even though he claims, in the film, that he is not a religious man. I think most people are religious, they just call their belief systems other things than religion. The Grizzly maze was Timothy Treadwell’s religion. To him, it was his calling. He tried to do it as sanctified he could. Teaching school children about Grizzly bears, and in some deranged way he thought he protected them by living close to them and interacting with them. In his mind he was acting good and righteous, that doesn’t make it right to adjust these bears to humans and to misinterpret wild life as being friendly and protective towards him.

The movie are full of extraordinary scenes. In one Timothy touches some still warm female bear poop. He seems to feel some strange kind of sexual religious ecstasy. In another scene he is fighting the “park service” as if it was Lucifer himself. However, the love for animals makes a poor Christ… Touching the poop seems to be an intimate act for Timothy, but sometimes poop is just poop.

Who killed Bambi?

“Djurens rätt” is the largest animal liberation movement in Sweden with over 35 000 members. There are similar radical environmentalist movements around the world trying to force their view upon others. The recent shooter in Finland had a shirt stating that “humanity is overrated”. To me this is closely related to what happens when you leave God out of the equation. They both do not acknowledge that man was created in the image of God and have a special place in the creation.

At downtown Stockholm there is only one furrier left. The rest has been scared away. They have killed a very old tradition and destroyed the well being of their fellow man. Terrorism is kind of O.K. these youngsters seems to think. With threats and violence they can force their opinion through. No matter democracy or public opinion…Reclaim the street, Animal rights, the ecofascist environmental movements… That they believe they are righteous does not make their actions less evil.

Finnish lights
Pray for the souls of the victims.

Acknowledging animals’ right – as a religion – makes the shooting in Finland no worse than a common hunting season, like there’s no difference between killing Bambi or killing a human. However: Animals do not have a soul. It is important to understand this. Humanity is not overrated. Moral value is not relative. Don’t let your love for the creation stand in the way of the love for the creator.

People want to be their own Gods and their own jury, separating right from wrong by themselves. Creating moral without a compass will end you up in a cold place where right and wrong is dependent on whatever seems most practical for the moment.I don’t believe in defining what’s right based on popular opinion. I don’t believe in a moral only skin deep.

(Kinski in the 1986 movie Crawlspace)

A Franciscan, a Dominican and a Jesuit are transported back in time to the Birth of Our Lord. The Franciscan, seeing Almighty God become a little Child, is overcome with humility and joy. The Dominican, seeing the eternal Word become flesh, is transfixed in ecstasy.
The Jesuit takes St. Joseph and Our Lady aside, and asks: “Have you given any thought to his education?”

During a Eucharistic Congress, a number of priests from different orders are gathered in a church for Vespers. While they are praying, a fuse blows and all the lights go out.
The Benedictines continue praying from memory, without missing a beat. The Jesuits begin to discuss whether the blown fuse means they are dispensed from the obligation to pray Vespers. The Franciscans compose a song of praise for God’s gift of darkness. The Dominicans revisit their ongoing debate on light as a signification of the transmission of divine knowledge. The Carmelites fall into silence and slow, steady breathing.
The parish priest, who is hosting the others, goes to the basement and replaces the fuse.

Two novices decided to ask their superior for permission to smoke a cigarette while they prayed. The first asked, but was told no. A little while later he spotted his friend smoking. “Why did the superior allow you to smoke, but not me?” he asked. His friend replied, “Because you asked if you could smoke while you prayed, and I asked if I could pray while I smoked!”

A young man is thinking of becoming a Catholic priest, so he goes to talk to his pastor about the different religious orders. “What can you tell me about the Dominicans?” he asks.”Oh, they were formed in the Thirteenth Century to combat the Albigensian heresy,” the priest replies.”And the Jesuits?””They formed in the Sixteenth Century in response to the Protestant Reformation.”The young man looks puzzled. “So what’s the big difference between them?”
“When was the last time you saw an Albigensian?”

An Augustinian, a Franciscan, and a Jesuit all die and get to heaven. Jesus asks each one, “If you could go back, what would you change”? The Augustinian ponders a while and says, “There’s so much sin in the world. If I went back, I’d try and stop people from sinning so much.”The Franciscan thinks a bit and says, “There’s so much poverty in the world. If I went back, I’d try and get people to share more of their wealth with the poor.”The Jesuit looks at Jesus and quickly replies:
“If I went back, I’d change my doctor.”