What an amazing picture - definitely worth a thousand words and more!
© Erik de Castro / AP
A man takes a break from cleaning a house swamped by flash floods brought on by Typhoon Ketsana, in Marikina, The Philippines.
If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. And what wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating as possibility?
The relation of art to life is of the first importance especially in a skeptical age since, in the absence of a belief in God, the mind turns to its own creations and examines them, not alone from the aesthetic point of view, but for what they reveal, for what they validate and invalidate, for the support that they give." - Wallace Stevens (Opus Posthumous, page 159)I suppose the quote particularly vibed with me since I, being an athiest, have sought strength, solace, and the lovely company of music and poetry in a difficult period of my life. So, be it music, poetry, paintings, or any other art, I have seen that art that can connect and move you can rejuvenate you from the tedium of life. These are the renovating virtues through which "our minds are nourished and invisibly repaired" .
To say that all things are potentially beautiful, for there is nothing beyond the touch of the artist, may not be the last reach in the paradox of human understanding, but at least it indicates the kind of paradise that may be lost if the prophetic voice is right. This paradise, rich with the transformation the imagination makes of ordinary experience, is what Wallace Stevens envisions and evolves, it is the treasure most accessible to our modest lives, and for many it would define the sum of human loss were it to be relinquished.Leave you with a lovely poem by Wallace Stevens titled "Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour."
Light the first light of evening--
In which we rest and, for small reason, think
The world imagined is the ultimate good.
This is, therefore, the intensest rendezvous.
It is in that thought that we collect ourselves,
Out of all the indifferences, into one thing:
Within a single thing, a single shawl
Wrapped tightly round us, since we are poor, a warmth,
A light, a power, the miraculous influence.
Here, now, we forget each other and ourselves.
We feel the obscurity of an order, a whole,
A knowledge, that which arranged the rendezvous.
Within its vital boundary, in the mind.
We say God and the imagination are one...
How high that highest candle lights the dark.
Out of this same light, out of the central mind,
We make a dwelling in the evening air,
In which being there together is enough.
"Kutta bhi vaheen area ka hai....har roj uske paas hee khaana khaata hai ..isliye sab log pahanchaata hai usko" :)...later..
"doctor ke liye treatment ke liye ...maybe I dont know if usko jaroorat hai ki naheen"..
and "uska medical ho gaya hai..." ...
Paris's pinkified pet playhouse has two floors. Downstairs there is a living room and upstairs there is a bedroom and a closet to stash the many outfits she has purchased for her small pets. Hilton's dogs, which bear names like Tinkerbell, Marilyn Monroe, Prince Baby Bear, Harajuku, Dolce and Prada, will feel right at home because the mini-mansion, outfitted by interior decorator Faye Resnick was designed to resemble Hilton's own home in all its pink majesty and includes miniature Philippe Starck furniture, heat, air conditioning and even a black crystal chandelier and black ceiling moldings.
The poem refreshes life so that we share,More excerpts from the poem can be read here. Or you can read the entire poem and lots more from Wallace Stevens by buying:
For a moment, the first idea . . . It satisfies
Belief in an immaculate beginning
And sends us, winged by an unconscious will,
To an immaculate end. We move between these points:
From that ever-early candor to its late plural
And the candor of them is the strong exhilaration
Of what we feel from what we think, of thought
Beating in the heart, as if blood newly came,
An elixir, an excitation, a pure power.
The poem, through candor, brings back a power again
That gives a candid kind to everything.
Talk With Mr. Stevens (1954) - A New York Times interview with Wallace Stevens.And to come full circle, the 1931 review of Stevens' first book of poems, Harmonium, which included the poem "Notes towards a Supreme Fiction."
Wallace Stevens, Noted Poet, Dead (1955) - The New York Times obituary for Stevens.
"Harmonium" (1931)The reviewer, Percy Hutchinson, can eat crow. Harmonium is celebrated as one of the great poetry books of the 20th century  and Stevens is celebrated (and not just by Harold Bloom) as one of the top 5 leading American poets of the 20th century alongside T. S. Eliot, William Carlos William, and ( controversially) Ezra Pound. (I say controversially because though he is credited with fostering modern poetry, his own contributions to poetry, Cantos notwithstanding, I am finding are subject to a lot of discussion and debate. Be that as it may, he deserves mention amongst the greats of modern poetry.)
"From one end of the book to the other there is not an idea that can vitally affect the mind, there is not a word that can arouse emotion. The volume is a glittering edifice of icicles. Brilliant as the moon, the book is equally dead."
The only true voyage, the only bath in the Fountain of Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to see the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to see the hundred universes that each of them sees, that each of them is; .. with men like these we do really fly from start to start.Indeed! That's what reading is all about...
By all these lovely tokensAnd there there is Thoreau waxing poetically and eloquently about the joy of such a September day at Walden - very near here!
September days are here,
With summer's best of weather...
And autumn's best of cheer.
- Helen Hunt Jackson . . . Oxford Book of Children's Verse in America, Donald Hall, ed. (1985) Oxford University Press.
"In such a day, in September or October, Walden is a perfect forest mirror, set round with stones as precious to my eye as if fewer or rarer. Nothing so fair, so pure, and at the same time so large, as a lake, perchance, lies on the surface of the earth... Read More. Sky water. It needs no fence. Nations come and go without defiling it. It is a mirror which no stone can crack, whose quicksilver will never wear off, whose gilding Nature continually repairs; no storms, no dust, can dim its surface ever fresh;Ma mirror in which all impurity presented to it sinks, swept and dusted by the sun's hazy brush,—this the light-dust cloth,—which retains no breath that is breathed on it, but sends its own to float as clouds high above its surface, and be reflected in its bosom still."Reading this, Neha wrote about how "utterly wonderful" it was that "something that someone once wrote that finds resonance in contemporary experience."
"Art propitiates accidental homecomings. It sets up and invokes that privileged moment which the Greeks called anagnorisis - recognition."- Andre Aciman in Preface to "Proust Project" I love the term - accidental homecomings - as it applies to things that others have written that find homes in our hearts.
"Every reader is, while he is reading, the reader of his own self. The writer's work is merely a kind of optical instrument which he offers to the reader to enable him to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have perceived in himself." I find Proust very inaccessible - have made two attempts to read 'In Search of Lost Time - Swann's Way' in the past and failed. Some day I will read it but for now, I picked up this book at the library earlier this week - hoping to enjoy, through others experiences of reading the book, the wisdom and joy that can be gleaned from Proust's writing.
In most so-called confessional poetry, there is no governing vision of submergence or transcendence as there is in Wordsworth. Submergence occurs when the poet uses darkness as a medium and communicates with his own unconscious. It is through such process that the poet makes the universe internal until it takes on his form. Transcendence is the process by which the poet puts himself into the universe until he becomes identified, with the divine event. Light is its medium. In confessional poetry, the self is terminal, physical, isolated.....This one is a weighty essay but I enjoyed the book very much especially A Poet's Alphabet, On Becoming a Poet, the Introduction to The Best American Poetry 1991, Notes on the Craft of Poetry, and an interesting essay about the appearance of Parnassus in 4 different poems by US poets.
Like dreaming, reading performs the prodigious task of carrying us off to other worlds. But reading is not dreaming because books, unlike dreams, are subject to our will: they envelop us in alternative realities only because we give them explicit permission to do so. Books are the dreams we would most like to have, and, like dreams, they have the power to change consciousness, turning sadness to laughter and anxious introspection to the relaxed contemplation of some other time and place. --- Victor Null, South African educator, psychologist in Introduction to Lost in a Book: The Psychology of Reading for Pleasure, Yale University Press (1988).You can read an article based on the main thesis of the above book here (pdf).
Many moons ago, I wrote a blog post about haiku , which I am quite proud about - if only because there is no other post at this blog which...