20 July 2011

Part 1

To see a World in a grain of sand
And a Heaven in a wild flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

William Blake

From Auguries of Innocence

With these words, for me, the poet Blake launched a hundred, million, billion, trillion sailing ships. They are found at the commencement of the book where all the keepsakes and keys to my adulthood are stored. Teeth, hair, whatnot, trinkets that count for naught, except in the formation of an organic based life form. The cage, the shell, filling for the character that inhabits this space before your eyes now.

Challenging it is to avoid the mind which creates the idea of mind. How can this be unusual? It is not. Yet, all these dancing words are testament to a life beyond mind. Writing is a dying art, some commentators upon the Internet profess. So in my composition I refuse the imposition of the instant search magician: google. Instead, I first attempt to recall this quote I read many times inside my baby album. With mixed results:

To see infinity in a grain of sand
And behold a universe in an ocean,
To know eternity in an hour

What force and joy there is in the printed word. The decision to eschew the bounds of the Internet and instead stretch the binding of paper pages is a key to developing and progressing as a writer. Books. Surround yourself with them.

One day, a library, with a trolley, regular reference shelf and a classification system of my own invention. Second-hand is the way to go. My only clue to bargains is the curio-peddler in submarine-town. Mmmm. Pick the fresh ones, they are not so mouldy. I am planning an expedition to the National Library of Australia as I have not been there yet. Better pack sandwiches, to make a breadcrumb trail and find my way back out.

Wandering from book to book, day to day and pondering the profound has coalesced this tale. When I do write using only the Internet as my reference source, cross-checking is critical and government-sponsored sources are higher on my list of authorities. This is because I am all too acquainted with red-tape and how hard public services all over the world hold to convention.

Terrible stories abound of keyword-driven writing and certainly I will never write 500 words in an hour for five dollars. Am I to live in darkness and make candles from rendered-fat? A good piece of writing, in my own judgement; what I consider an article, say 350 words, will cost me three hours.

And poetry. Can a numbered tag ever be tied to a piece of poetry?

A DREAM-POET

A dream-poet
Sows gold for others
And collects silver for himself.

A reality-poet
Sows lead for others
And collects diamonds for himself.

A God-poet
Sows fulfilment-smiles for others
And collects futility-cries for himself.

Sri Chinmoy

From the Dance of Life, Part 13

2 comments:

Wojtek said...

Books: they will never be extinct, so long as man has hands to turn the pages with. What freedom it is to refuse the incandescent light of electronica and hold the thoughts and words of another between one's fingers, letting them seep through our eyes and into our minds.

I have begun reading The Portable Blake and would like to share some verse from "William Bond":

I thought Love liv'd in the hot sun shine,
But O, he lives in the Moony light!
O thought to find Love in the heat of the day,
But sweet Love is the Comforter of Night.

Seek Love in the Pity of others' Woe,
In the gentle relief of another's care,
In the darkness of night & and the winter's snow,
In the naked & outcast. Seek Love there!

I believe this poem is a timely message for our modern world rife with the strife of "Instant Love", where people discard each other like old cups of coffee, once the heat has dissipated.

Alf said...

Thou art a most eloquent man of well-considered commentary.