Vol. II--The Romantic Landscape: Human Anatomy

Posted by William Davies King on Monday, May 5, 2014.

This material still holds me in thrall, and so, for the first time, I have come up with a second volume of bibliolagency.

"Don't dwell on it," was often the advice of my mother and father. To dwell was to die in life, they thought, as the (normal) drive to move on, or progress on the path, instead settled deeper into the muck of the mind, that endlessly sucking soul cavity, which would grow sore with mortality (rhymes with abnormality).

"Don't be morbid," was another bit of counsel, as if being could be ordered around.

In dismantling the dwelling of my parents, last summer, I came upon the English Lit textbooks of my mother's short college career, which was interrupted by war, marriage, pregnancy, and reality, roughly in that order. Many fragments of this fine writing ran through her way of talking. Her vocabulary was good and schooled by the greats.

I sensed that reading the Romantic poets had been a trial for her, as they ask you to dwell, even as you would move on.

THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH WITH US

The world is too much with us;

                                               late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

The sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not.

                          --Great God! I'd rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

More from this book on The Creaky Shelf.

Comments

finding Arcadia

I'm gobsmacked by the beauty of this one - it moves me. Bibliolagency, huzzah!