Friday, June 14, 2013


I never hear the word "escape"
 Without a quicker blood ––
A sudden agitation ––
A flying attitude.

I never hear of prisons broad
By soldiers battered down
But I tug –– childish –– at my bars ––
Only to fail again.

~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

~ § ~

16 comments:

  1. I suspect that Emily didn't live too far from Angola...

    ... near the corner of Desire and Law. ;)

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  2. ____________ Emily Dickinson ____________

    Eking out Existence phrase by phrase ––
    Moved by deep desire –– maimed by dread ––
    Inward seeing –– words like “chrysoprase”
    Lay beneath the commonplaces said
    Yesterday, aloud in Pale Austerity.
    Dumb neath neat, white frock a passion soared
    In silent, self-made world, and saw the Verity
    Contained in visions stark, but leading toward ––
    Kashmir! –– perhaps Brazil? –– the Alps! –– the Grave.
    In life bereft –– a lonely wraith –– a mist ––
    No one heard the meek, majestic Rave
    Seeking Solace –– praying to be kissed.
    On secret Stiles of Silence one my climb ––
    Nunlike –– quite unnoticed in one’s time.


    ~ FreeThinke (1985)

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  3. We are all "locked in" -- by something or in some way.

    Escaping from a physical jail is much easier than escaping from a figurative jail.

    I wonder if any of us can really escape -- once we are adults, that is.

    Emily Dickinson lived most of her life locked away. Her own choice?

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  4. Sorry to read of your imminent departure from the bogosphere. Your presence will be sorely missed.

    Bon chans, mon ami.

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  5. I will miss you, FT! Please consider someday writing a private blog.

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  6. I don't much care for Dr. Seuss, but I like the way he summed up this particular issue:

    "No matter where you go -- THERE YOU ARE!"

    Emily Dickinson may have been a recluse, but it was entirely her choice. She was far happier than most want to believe. After all, she had a beautiful home, a devoted sister, and several loyal caring friends her whole life through, and she had sufficient freedom to do what interested her most -- explore the depths of her own perceptions and record her findings in uniquely compact verse that says a great deal in the most economical terms.

    Modern scholars [of whom I am always suspicious, because so many are "agenda-driven" these days, and therefore write tendentiously] want us to believe she had at least one proposal of marriage, which she turned down, and at least one "romance" with an older man who was either married at the time or a widower. I have no idea how anyone could "know" those things for sure, unless they had been a fly in the wall while they were happening. I have read every one of her approximately 1,700 poems, and all of her letters, and failed to see any direct evidence of such carryings on with the possible exception of "Wild Nights" one of her most atypical poems.

    Wild nights! Wild nights!
    Were i with thee --
    Wild Nights should be --
    Our luxury!

    Futile the winds
    To a heart in port --
    Done with the compass
    Done with the chart.

    Rowing in Eden!
    Ah the sea!
    Might I but moor
    To-night in thee!


    ~ ED (1830-1886)

    Make of that what you will, but I've always regarded it as a delicately erotic fantasy, though startlingly vivid for its time. However, the dull literalism that pervades our age would have it otherwise. Few-if-any are interested in the pursuit of Truth. What most seek these days is confirmation of their own pre-conceived notions and support for pet personal concerns.

    Digging up "facts" that appear to confirm one's own "convictions" is the hallmark of our time. Facts, when taken out of context to support a particular assumption, should not be confused with Truth, which is always far more complex and multi-dimensional than it appears.

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  7. Thersites, I thank you for your appreciation and support, however oblique or cryptic it may have been much of the time.

    If one bothers to read the generous, often copious, quotations you provide one can learn a great deal.

    I doubt if our musical tastes and predilections will ever coincide, and must admit I have always been repelled by the very existence of Freud, but will also admit that my opinion has been formed more by popular perception of what he was all about than much reading of the man, himself. I did once trudge through The Future of an Illusion for a college course, and because I have always sought support and affirmation for my faith, I found it repugnant -- yet another of myriad attempts by Jewish intellectuals to undermine and destroy Christianity, though I must say Freud's approach to that was diabolically clever. He invented a whole NEW mythology craftily calculated to appeal to our basest instincts and legitimize and virtually deify our adolescent fixation on sensuality.

    If that is not strictly true, his work was certainly taken that way in the Popular Mind which amounts to the same thing. The results coupled with the effects of an ever more aggressively degenerate approach to popular "entertainment," have had a disastrous effect.

    Ignorance born of naiveté has been replaced by a monstrous form of pseudo-sophistication based on the grotesque perversion of universal ideals once regarded as sacrosanct.

    We see this reflected right here in the blogosphere every day. Left and Right no longer matter. Virtually EVERYONE is busily engaged in the process of negating, repudiating, vilifying and tearing down ... It doesn't matter what. The Spirit of Negativism (aka Satan!) has taken over. The results are what you see.

    Not that this is anything new, of course, but it has become far stronger and more pronounced in my lifetime.

    What is "SALVATION?"

    I've been told that in ancient Sanskrit it is defined very simply as "a turning of the mind."

    Western Civilization very obviously has permitted its collective consciousness to be "turned" in the direction of Self-Destruction -- SUICIDE.


    The mind of the dreamer
    _____ is a secret storehouse
    __________wherein may dwell
    _______________ all youthful fond illusion ––
    The embryo of each utterance of hope ––
    _____ each word of comfort ––
    __________ and each song of joy.


    The mind of the cynic
    _____ is a well-known asylum
    __________ wherein lies disenchantment ––
    _______________ destruction and despair ––
    The insidious, lisping voice of the serpent.


    O, foolish Man! Why choose strife,
    _____ when only what you choose to dwell upon
    __________ has life?


    ~ FreeThinke, c. 1960 (revised, 5/12/13)

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  8. Just to clarify. I do not believe that it was Freud's intent to undermine and destroy Christianity. There are many who believed that it was more his intention to remove the issue of anti-Semitism... by destroying the notion of Jew and avert the "purge" of Jews from Europe... of showing the world that the Jewish people weren't even authentically Jewish... that they were an Egyptian- Volcano worshipping cult of mixed breeds... and not a "race" of men at all.

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  9. In other words, to save the Jews he had to sacrifice their Jewishness... to "liberate" them.... much as a mother might sacrifice her children so that they could not be returned to a form of degrading bondage that was beyond her capacity to imagine enduring.

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  10. Zizek, "The SupeEgo and the Act"

    Why? Because, even if what the Nazis claimed about Jews was up to a point true, anti–Semitism was formally wrong, in the same sense that in psychoanalysis a symptomatic action is wrong. It is wrong because it served to replace or repress another true trauma, as something that inherently functioning as a displacement, an act of displacement, as something to be interpreted. It’s not enough to say anti–Semitism factually wrong, it’s morally wrong, the true enigma is ,why did the Nazis need the figure of the Jew for their ideology to function? Why is it that if you take away their figure of the Jew their whole edifice disintegrates. For example, let’s say I have a paranoiac idea that you are trying to kill me. You miss the point if you try to explain to me that it’s morally wrong for me to kill you in pre–emptive self–defense. The point is, why in order to retain my balance do I need the fantasy of you trying to kill me? As Freud points out paranoia is not simply the illness, it’s a false attempt of recovery. The true zero point is where your whole universe disintegrates. Paranoia is the misdirected attempt to reconstitute your universe so that you can function again. If you take from the paranoiac his paranoiac symptom, it’s the end of the world for him. Along the same lines, we have false acts. What an authentic act is precisely what allows you to break out of this deadlock of the symptom, superego and so on. In an authentic act I do not simply express, or actualize my inner nature.

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  11. Thersites epitaph...

    I will see you hang'd like clatpoles ere I come any more to your tents. I will keep where there is wit stirring, and leave the faction of fools.

    Notice any similarities?

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  12. I took my Power in my Hand —
    And went against the World —
    'Twas not so much as David — had —
    But I — was twice as bold—

    I aimed by Pebble — but Myself
    Was all the one that fell —
    Was it Goliath — was too large —
    Or was myself — too small?


    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

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  13. e=mc^2

    Perhaps it wasn't the mass so much as the velocity. ;)

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  14. I, too, lament this blog closing its doors.

    Perhaps a Grand Reopening later? Cleansed of the dirty, futile pursuit of politics, and dedicated solely to poetry, music, and high ideas?

    I will miss statements such as this:

    "Ignorance born of naiveté has been replaced by a monstrous form of pseudo-sophistication based on the grotesque perversion of universal ideals once regarded as sacrosanct."

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  15. Farewell Old Chap, it was successful at first, but it lasted too long.. Like good Red Wine, you just can’t keep it around forever.

    “There are days when a heady wine will intoxicate you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall.”
    And please remember:
    “It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”
    -- John Green,

    “I give you this to take with you,
    Nothing remains as it was”

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  16. The blogosphere is a toxic place now. Worse that I've ever seen this venue.

    I will miss your blog, FT!

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