19 September 2008

Dulcify

The babe of innocent wonder
Is not complete in divinity,
Though possessed of the measures
Of heaven’s high rank,
Purity and simplicty.
Then age teaches
Our earthly sense
A convoy of thought
That conveys us to doom.
Freedom sought is hard fought,
And all travails
The passenger must learn
With joy to entertain.
So I ponder upon
The journey to perfection…


I say I have different varieties of poetry. It all comes unheeded, but some bubbles forth from the pure silence of meditation and at other times a simple word will birth transcendent thought. It is like standing before a raging river or wandering in a wood seeking a distant brook just heard. I can say the above is an example of the latter. I quite like that the earliest meaning of 'convey' was 'escort.' I found that very appealing, but I was prognosticating a prologue at the time.

O fancy, all abysm break!


There is my battle cry.

I just started reading Chronicles of Tao. I am enjoying it a lot. Perhaps it is the refreshment of not reading a dictionary! If, on the other hand you want to read a dictionary, then I recommend one of the recent abridgements of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary. Penguin do a good one. It is a lot lighter than the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and is full of great illustrative quotes that won't strain the eyes. Lot's of Shakespeare. That is the point of reading a dictionary - the quotes. The lack of etymology in Johnson is compensated for by the historical view of English it affords and the lexicographer's infamous foibles.

Read an interview with Ammon Shea who read the whole of the OED. Since I got a year's free subscription to the OED Online it has come in handy. It's very good if you know what you want, but not so fun to browse. I hope Oxford decide to make it a bit cheaper in the future!

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