Sudden Light, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Sudden Light
D.G.Rossetti

Rossetti in a photo by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), albumen print, 7 October 1863

Pic from here

I have been here before,
but when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
the sweet keen smell,
the sighing sound, the lights around the shore.

You have been mine before,
how long ago I may not know:
but just when at that swallow’s soar
your neck turned so,
some veil did fall,
I knew it all of yore.

Has this been thus before?
And shall not thus time’s eddying flight
still with our lives our love restore
in death’s despite,
and day and night yield one delight once more?

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

I always considered Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite authors something like too much sentimental, romantic like, decadent.

Some days ago a friend told me more about them and I needed to know more abou them.

Well, I like these words much more than his paintings.

That friend said me that she finds something similar in my words and in Pre-Raphaelite ones: I am so proud for that, even if I think I am really so far from any real poet… Indeed, the idea to put into poetic stuff spiritual contents is what I try when i describes what i see or what i feel.

And now I am looking for other Rossetti’s words.

The Picture of Dorian Gray, by O.Wilde

from The Picture of Dorian Gray

O. Wilde

Pic from here

Music had stirred him like that. Music had troubled him many times. But music was not articulate. It was not a new world, but rather another chaos, that it created in us. Words I Mere words t How terrible they were I How clear, and vivid, and cruel 1 One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them I They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to form- less things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?

Oscar Wilde

Maybe it’s a book about sin, maybe it’s a book about our wish to be alive. In any case, in it there are a lot of deep and detailed description of our soul. Music and words: I do not comment what he says much better than what I could do.

That Hideous Strenght, by C.S.Lewis

C.S.Lewis and his Love, from here

 

 

from That Hideous Strenght

C.S.Lewis

 

The woman led her along a brick path beside a wall on which fruit trees were growing, and then to the left along a mossy path with gooseberry bushes on each side. Then came a little lawn with a see-saw in the middle of it, and beyond that a greenhouse. Here they found themselves in the sort of hamlet that sometimes occurs in the purlieus of a large garden–walking in fact down a little street which had a barn and a stable on one side and, on the other, a second greenhouse, and a potting shed and a pigstye–inhabited, as the grunts and the not wholly disagreeable smell informed her. After that were narrow paths across a vegetable garden that seemed to be on a fairly steep hillside and then rose bushes, all stiff and prickly in their winter garb. At one place they were going along a path made of single planks. This reminded Jane of something. It was a very large garden. It was like . . . like . . . yes, now she had it: it was like the garden in Peter Rabbit. Or was it like the garden in the Romance of the Rose? No, not in the least like really. Or like Klingsor’s garden? Or the garden in Alice? Or like the garden on the top of some Mesopotamian ziggurat which had probably given rise to the whole legend of Paradise? Or simply like all walled gardens? Freud said we liked gardens because they were symbols of the female body. But that must be a man’s point of view. Presumably gardens meant something different in women’s dreams. Or did they? Did men and women both feel interested in the female body and even, though it sounded ridiculous, in almost the same way. A sentence rose to her memory. “The beauty of the female is the root of joy to the female as well as to the male, and it is no accident that the goddess of Love is older and stronger than the god.” Where on earth had she read that? And, incidentally, what frightful nonsense she had been thinking for the last minute or so! She shook off all these ideas about gardens and determined to pull herself together. A curious feeling that she was now on hostile, or at least alien, ground warned her to keep all her wits about her. At that moment they suddenly emerged from between plantations of rhododendron and laurel and found themselves at a small side door, flanked by a water butt, in the long wall of a large house. Just as they did so a window clapped shut upstairs.
A minute or two later Jane was sitting waiting in a large sparely furnished room with a shut stove to warm it. Most of the floor was bare, and the walls, above the waist-high wainscotting, were of greyish-white plaster, so that the whole effect was faintly austere and conventual. The tall woman’s tread died away in the passages and the room became very quiet when it had done so. Occasionally the cawing of rooks could be heard. “I’ve let myself in for it now,” thought Jane, “I shall have to tell this woman that dream and she’ll ask all sorts of questions.” She considered herself, in general, a modern person who could talk without embarrassment of anything: but it began to look quite different as she sat in that room. All sorts of secret reservations in her programme of frankness–things which, she now realised, she had set apart as never to be told–came creeping back into consciousness. It was surprising that very few of them were connected with sex. “In dentists,” said Jane, “they at least leave illustrated papers in the waiting-room.” She got up and opened the one book that lay on the table in the middle of the room. Instantly her eyes lit on the following words: “The beauty of the female is the root of joy to the female as well as to the male, and it is no accident that the goddess of Love is older and stronger than the god. To desire the desiring of her own beauty is the vanity of Lilith, but to desire the enjoying of her own beauty the obedience of Eve, and to both it is in the lover that the beloved tastes her own delightfulness. As obedience is the stairway of pleasure, so humility is the . . .”
At that moment the door was suddenly opened. Jane turned crimson as she shut the book and looked up. The same girl who had first let her in had apparently just opened the door and was still standing in the doorway. Jane now conceived for her that almost passionate admiration which women, more often than is supposed, feel for other women whose beauty is not of their own type. It would be nice, Jane thought, to be like that–so straight, so forthright, so valiant, so fit to be mounted on a horse, and so divinely tall.

 

Cleve Staples Lewis

 

I wondered to find in this book (it’s a novel about the final fight between good and evil, with a lot of religious – christian- connections) a so delicate and clever observation about love.

 

Oh, yes: I’m back!. Lol.

No Country for Old Men, by McCarthy

Pic from here

from No Country for Old Men

Cormac McCarthy

 

It’s not about knowing who you are. It’s about thinkin you got there without takin anything with you. Your notions about startin over. or anybody’s. You dont start over. That’s what it’s about. You understand what I’m sayin?

(…)

You think when you wake up in the mornin yesterday don’t count. But yesterday is all that does count. What else is there? Your life is made out of the days it’s made out of. Nothin else. You might think you could run away and change your name and I dont know what all. Start over. And then one mornin you wake up and look at the ceilin and guess who’s layin there?

Cormac McCarthy

When I read Sutree, by C.McCarty, I was really surprised. I liked so much that book. After it, I read also No country for old men, The road, The Orchard Keeper and Outer Dark. I like all those books.

Nature rarer uses yellow, by E. Dickinson

Pic from here

Emily Dickinson (1830–86).  Complete Poems.  1924.

Part two: Nature

XXXI

 

Nature rarer uses yellow
Than another hue;
Saves she all of that for sunsets,
Prodigal of blue,

Spending scarlet like a woman,
Yellow she affords
Only scantly and selectly,
Like a lover’s words.

 

Emily Dickinson

 

I like its colours, of course, yet also its music, made by a strange woman…

Inexpressible hope, by R.M.Rilke

pic from here

Duino Elegies

from The Second Elegy

 

(…)
Lovers, if they knew how, might utter
strange things in night air. Since it seems
everything hides us. Look, trees exist; houses,
we live in, still stand. Only we
pass everything by, like an exchange of air.
And all is at one, in keeping us secret, half out of
shame perhaps, half out of inexpressible hope.
(…)

Rainer Maria Rilke.

Original German text:

Duineser Elegien, Aus Die zweite Elegie


Liebende könnten, verstünden sie’s, in der Nachtluft
wunderlich reden. Denn es scheint, daß uns alles
verheimlicht. Siehe, die Bäume sind; die Häuser,
die wir bewohnen, bestehn noch. Wir nur
ziehen allem vorbei wie ein luftiger Austausch.
Und alles ist einig, uns zu verschweigen, halb als
Schande vielleicht und halb als unsägliche Hoffnung.

Rilke’s Elegies is one of my favourite books.

Half out of inexpressible hope … so much of my life, so much of my deepest wishes is like so…

Nox Nocti Indicat Scientiam, by W.Habington

Pic from here

 

Nox Nocti Indicat Scientiam

 

1 When I survey the bright
2 Celestial sphere,
3 So rich with jewels hung, that night
4 Doth like an Ethiop bride appear,

5 My soul her wings doth spread
6 And heavenward flies,
7 Th’ Almighty’s mysteries to read
8 In the large volumes of the skies.

9 For the bright firmament
10 Shoots forth no flame
11 So silent, but is eloquent
12 In speaking the Creator’s name.

13 No unregarded star
14 Contracts its light
15 Into so small a character,
16 Remov’d far from our human sight,

17 But if we steadfast look,
18 We shall discern
19 In it, as in some holy book,
20 How man may heavenly knowledge learn.

21 It tells the conqueror
22 That far-stretch’d power
23 Which his proud dangers traffic for,
24 Is but the triumph of an hour.

25 That from the farthest north,
26 Some nation may
27 Yet undiscovered, issue forth
28 And o’er his new-got conquest sway.

29 Some nation yet shut in
30 With hills of ice
31 May be let out to scourge his sin
32 Till they shall equal him in vice.

33 And then they likewise shall
34 Their ruin have;
35 For as yourselves, your empires fall,
36 And every kingdom hath a grave.

37 Thus those celestial fires,
38 Though seeming mute,
39 The fallacy of our desires
40 And all the pride of life confute.

41 For they have watch’d since first
42 The world had birth;
43 And found sin in itself accurst,
44 And nothing permanent on earth.

 

by William Habington

 

Notes

1] The title is from Psalms xix.2: “night unto night sheweth knowledge.”

4] Cf. Romeo and Juliet I.v.48-49.

25-32] Cf. Jeremiah i.15.

 

I studied at high school when a tv program about science showed this poem.

When I read these beautiful words I feel again that emotion I felt first time I read them.

I completely agree with Mr. Habigton.

It’s so moving, indeed!

On Being Human, by C.S.Lewis

Pic from here

 

On Being Human

Angelic minds, they say, by simple intelligence
Behold the Forms of nature. They discern
Unerringly the Archtypes, all the verities
Which mortals lack or indirectly learn.
Transparent in primordial truth, unvarying,
Pure Earthness and right Stonehood from their clear,
High eminence are seen; unveiled, the seminal
Huge Principles appear.

The tree-ness of the tree they know-the meaning of
Arboreal life, how from earth’s salty lap
The solar beam uplifts it; all the holiness
Enacted by leaves’ fall and rising sap;
But never an angel knows the knife-edged severance
Of sun from shadow where the trees begin,
The blessed cool at every pore caressing us
-An angel has no skin.

They see the Form of Air; but mortals breathing it
Drink the whole summer down into the breast.
The lavish pinks, the field new-mown, the ravishing
Sea-smells, the wood-fire smoke that whispers Rest.
The tremor on the rippled pool of memory
That from each smell in widening circles goes,
The pleasure and the pang –can angels measure it?
-An angel has no nose.

The nourishing of life, and how it flourishes
On death, and why, they utterly know; but not
The hill-born, earthy spring, the dark cold bilberries.
The ripe peach from the southern wall still hot
Full-bellied tankards foamy-topped, the delicate
Half-lyric lamb, a new loaf’s billowy curves,
Nor porridge, nor the tingling taste of oranges.
-An angel has no nerves.

Far richer they! I know the senses’ witchery
Guard us like air, from heavens too big to see;
Imminent death to man that barb’d sublimity
And dazzling edge of beauty unsheathed would be.
Yet here, within this tiny, charmed interior,
This parlour of the brain, their Maker shares
With living men some secrets in a privacy
Forever ours, not theirs.

 

Clive Staples Lewis

 

First time I read this words, they seems very close to that moving and beautiful movie by Wim Wenders with a so interesting title: Wings of Desire.

You can easily see a clear connection between this poetry and my blog.

Without these words this blog couldn’t exists.

George Gray, by E.L.Masters

pic from here

 

 

Spoon River Anthology, 64.

George Gray

 

I have studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me —
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.

In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.

For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.

And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.

To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire —
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.

 

Edgar Lee Masters

 

These words torture me from the first time I read them, during a long bus trip to my holidays.

I attended high school