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10 December 2008 @ 03:13 am
[this is the way the...]  
You may not believe me,
(though some who know [me] better might believe me)
but as I'm reading through some texts for my American Transcendentalists final
(Emmerson, particularly),
at this moment (as I was typing it onto my lj client, because for me, I always feel something more when I write it... hence my compulsion to take notes rather than listen, my need to quote)
I was moved (again) in such a way that feelings seep out of my body and I need to cry.

I know it may just be my vision of things... of the world and the present.
But I'm reading Whitman's preface to Leaves of Grass and some of Emmerson's essays... most, though universal about mankind, more specifically about the American "race."
A very idealistic planning out of what it is to be, in my opinion, a perfect human being.
In touch with everyone and everything around them... the poet, according to Emmerson (and Whitman and lots of other poets before them) obviously being more in touch with the Universe and hence, the seer, and the one who professes or expresses the beauty and truth of what he sees that most are unable to see.
Because he cannot be the latter without being the first, yet he can be the first without being the last.

And what these poets saw was mostly projections (real or possible) of beauty and perfection... and hope.
Such hope, without a doubt, that humankind (Americans mostly) would become as what they projected in their poetry... just, courageous, free and trusting of themselves and others.
So not what I perceive humankind to be...
More like the fictional, ideal humankind... and the people I love and admire, but not people in general.

I first read The Oversoul when I was 16 (and those of you in my friends list here on lj back then surely witnessed what sprang forth from that - not that you'd remember, anyway...) for one of the first lit courses I took and couldn't remember what it was about, but what I felt.
For some moments, I felt loved.
I felt secure in the world.
The Oversoul is a warm, fuzzy blanket to sink into on a cold night that makes everything be well.

I'm reading it again, and I feel it again...
It's still a warm fuzzy blanket that makes everything seem better... but I feel there's a hailstorm outside it.

I think we, as the human race... as one... are so non-continual... so disjointed... so selfish and wrapped up in our individual selves.

Maybe it's just my mood right now.

And maybe it's just my lack of contemporary reading, but how is the poet regarded today, in a collective sense?

Thinking about my "specialty" again... I think one of the topics that I keep coming across over and over again throughout my studies (as a topic of personal interest) is the figure of the poet.
Spanning from bits of classical to early 20th century. Western (blame the UPR).
Perhaps because I relate to it... not in mastery, but sensibility.


I've read Song of Myself a few times before... maybe it was because I read Emmerson as a starter, but tonight (and not before) it seems absolutely effervescent to me.
I literally felt it bubbling on my skin because it's that uplifting.


But I think of it in terms of history... and nationality... and see this Americanism twisted out of context and made into something else.
It is liberating to feel invincible, limitless... even if just spiritually. And ideally.
But reading into the past, this projected Utopian dream... makes me be a little disappointed in the present.
Because I do not trust my "brothers and sisters" and have reasons not to.

Whitman writes, "Men and women and the earth and all upon it are simply to be taken as they are, and the investigation of their past and present and future shall be unintermitted and shall be done with perfect candor. Upon this basis philosophy speculates ever looking toward the poet, ever regarding the eternal tendencies of all toward happiness never inconsistent with what is clear to the senses and to the soul."

So if we speculate looking towards the poet... and regard the eternal tendencies of all toward happiness never inconsistent with what is clear to the senses and to the soul... it makes me wonder.

What comes after?
A Wasteland (to use one example).



To summarize how I feel, I'll contrast this:

"Words and deeds are quite indifferent modes of divine energy. Words are also actions, actions are a kind of words. "
- Emmerson

"Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

(...)

For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper
."

- T.S. Eliot.

(Quite the premature buzzkill, I know. Sorry.)



My paper is about none of this, I just wasted like 40 minutes thinking and writing about it, and it's 3 am, so I better get back to work.
Or take a nap.



Here's some quotes.

"The man is only half himself, the other half is his expression."

"...poetry was all written before time was."

"... though the origin of most of our words is forgotten, each word was at first a stroke of genius, and obtained currency, because for the moment it symbolized the world to the first speaker and to the hearer. (...) Language is fossil poetry."

"Milton says, that the lyric poet may drink wine and live generously, but the epic poet, he who shall sing of the gods, and their descent unto men, must drink water out of a wooden bowl."

"Man is a stream whose source is hidden. Always our being is descending into us from we know not whence."

"We live succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime, within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every particle is equally related; the eternal ONE."

"The sign and credentials of the poet are, that he announces that which no man foretold."

Ralph Waldo Emmerson



"There is that indescribable freshness and unconsciousness about an illiterate person that humbles and mocks the power of the noblest expressive genius. The poet sees for a certainty how one not a great artist may be just as sacred and perfect as the greatest artist… "

"The greatest poet hardly knows pettiness or triviality. If he breathes into any thing that was before thought small it dilates with the grandeur and life of the universe. He is a seer... he is complete in himself... the others are as good as he, only he sees it and the do not. He is not one of the chorus he does not stop for any regulation... he is the president of regulation."

"The known universe has one complete lover and that is the greatest poet. He consumes an eternal passion and is indifferent which chance happens and which possible contingency of fortune or misfortune persuades daily and hourly his delicious pay.
His love above all love has leisure and expanse... he leaves room ahead of himself. He is no irresolute or suspicious lover... he is sure... he scorns intervals. His experience and the showers and thrills are not or nothing.
Nothing can jar him... suffering and darkness cannot - death and fear cannot. To him complaint and jealousy and envy are corpses buried and rotten in the earth... he saw them buried. The sea is not surer of the shore or the shore surer of the shore of the sea than he is of the fruition of his love and of all perfection and beauty."

"A great poem is no finish to a man or woman but rather a beginning."

"I help myself to material and immaterial,
No guard can shut me off, no law prevent me."

"All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier."

"See ever so far, there is limitless space outside of that,
Count ever so much, there is limitless time around that."

Walt Whitman
 
 
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malphas69 on December 10th, 2008 07:22 am (UTC)
"poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world"
~PBS.
n3cr0phelia on December 10th, 2008 07:29 am (UTC)
That is the ONLY quote I memorized accurately for my comp exam last semester.
Meaning I didn't paraphrase, I never remember this crap word for word.
:D
malphas69 on December 10th, 2008 07:30 am (UTC)
literature & politics in '93!
dead_eifersucht on December 10th, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
"Milton says, that the lyric poet may drink wine and live generously, but the epic poet, he who shall sing of the gods, and their descent unto men, must drink water out of a wooden bowl."

Gimme my god damned water in my wooden bowl! XD


Esos poetas se creen q son la hostia... no me gusta el sentido de superioridad que creen tener... por eso siempre prefiero a los poetas q le va bien mal y que escriben, no para expresar esa belleza que yo no puedo ver, sino para ellos poder respirar un poco. Los poetas que escribe para, por y de si mismos...
n3cr0phelia on December 13th, 2008 02:06 am (UTC)
"A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages."

:P
viktor_exhumed on December 11th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
Yo en particular tengo muchos prejuicios contra Estados Unidos. Aunque trate de echarlos a un lado siempre ha sido algo q me ha impedido estudiar su literatura. Si habia leido unas cosas en la escuela and so on, pero nunca nada de Emmerson y compa~ia.
En la clase descubri algo distinto que voy a escribir aqui de manera desordenada; no son los romanticos ingleses, son otra cosa, que respeto pero que no comparto, le han llamado trascendentalismo y poe considero, esta en un viaje muy singular asi que no pienso en el cuando me refiero a ellos. Me parece que ellos vivian en un sue~o, como los hippies, veian que su nuevo pais estaba creciendo y eso les daba esperanzas de que fuera una gran nacion humanistica (como se idealiza en todo lo que tiene que ver con las bases de Estados Unidos). Hasta cierto punto me dan lastima y me imagino que se estaran revolcando en la tumba si han visto en lo que se ha convertido su pais, o tal vez no convertido sino desarrollado.
Tal vez el que no puedas ver todo lo bello en el mundo, refirendome a los humanos es debido a que todo hoy en dia prueba a lo contrario. Estamos en otros tiempos muy al tanto de lo que pasa alrededor de TODO el mundo, no de mi pueblito lleno de flores y animales, vemos diferente, pero todavia vemos y eso es lo importante.
n3cr0phelia on December 12th, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC)
Bueno, a mi me gustan mucho, particularmente los trascendentalistas y naturalistas por lo que mencione y tu tambien... y pues si, ese es el caracter que tenian y siguen teniendo, no puedo decir que se mucho de poesia americana, mas que de los que conozco.
Y lo que dices es posible, pero es que siempre han estado pasando cosas feas en el mundo.
El fenomeno nacionalista positivista de EU se dio porque se podia... a pesar de lo que podemos criticar, obviamente, hay que admirar que en sus principios era una buena idea.
No es cuestion de no ver lo bello, ni de sentirlo, sino de la nocion colectiva derrotista, pesimista, o egoista... cinica, etcetera... si existe un espiritu de la epoca, esta epoca esta bien deprimente.
miserydances on December 11th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
"There is that indescribable freshness and unconsciousness about an illiterate person that humbles and mocks the power of the noblest expressive genius."

Como la madre de Camus, que no sabia leer ni escribir

...

Es mucho al mismo tiempo, recuerdo otra ocasion en la que lloraste asi.

Yo aun creo en la gente - aunque en la misma medida dejo de creer.

Tanto en USA como en el resto del planeta, hay gente hermosa, creativa, luchadora, noble, pensante, apasionada, valiente. Y es un placer encontrarlos y abrazarlos. Un dia de estos te abrazare.

xo
n3cr0phelia on December 12th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC)
Yo quiero un abrazo tuyo!!

Y tienes razon, no lo dudo ni lo he dudado, aunque se que esa gente esta escasa, y lo mas probable siempre la ha estado... lo que me preocupa es la vision colectiva de la realidad y del futuro, no me parece que la gente esta muy esperanzada...

Besos.
<3
miserydances on December 13th, 2008 01:31 am (UTC)
Entre negatividad sincera y positivismo falso, prefiero la primera.

Yo pienso que mucho de eso - de la falta de esperanza - tiene que ver con la falta de cercania. Escucho mucha gente decir "odio a los gringos" sin siquiera haber vivido entre ellos y sin conocerlos. Si nuestras culturas se acercan y - se abrazan - en vez de caerse a insultos, nos vamos a dar cuenta que son muchos los que estan en contra de las cosas horribles que cercenan la esperanza.

Ahhh... que tema tan largo :)

ps. Un dia de estos te visito <3
hypno on January 15th, 2009 07:31 am (UTC)
WHY?!!
How can you still live in Puerto Rico!! Seriously! How have you not gone insane! Someone so creative and smart living in the wasteland of that islands stupidity is beyond me! I miss you