There is this fear that when I don't blog on Monday, I won't on Tuesday and before I realize it, I haven't blogged in years. So I try to keep blogging even when I don't have anything to blog about. It is the same with other things, like my fear of learning to bake. What if I become addicted and become one of those people that I've marveled over in movies who bake the heck out of every situation and eat it all until there is nothing for the ants? So these examples are the before a habit is formed. I am afraid of acquiring new bad habits because I already have a ton that I am already struggling with. Anyway, today is the first day of my second year in Grad school and I honestly don't wish to delve into my bad old habits and fear of new ones. I just had to write something here...
Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop
by William Butler Yeats
I met the Bishop on the road
And much said he and I.
`Those breasts are flat and fallen now
Those veins must soon be dry;
Live in a heavenly mansion,
Not in some foul sty.'
`Fair and foul are near of kin,
And fair needs foul,' I cried.
'My friends are gone, but that's a truth
Nor grave nor bed denied,
Learned in bodily lowliness
And in the heart's pride.
`A woman can be proud and stiff
When on love intent;
But Love has pitched his mansion in
The place of excrement;
For nothing can be sole or whole
That has not been rent.'
William Butler Yeats’ "Crazy Jane Talks With the Bishop" is one of my favorite poems. The humor and wit in the exchange between the speakers are excellent and give one much to chew on. The interest of this analysis is to try and decipher whether Jane is indeed crazy or mistakenly identified as such. The title tells us what is happening in the rest of the poem: a woman, ref…
By day she woos me, soft, exceeding fair:
But all night as the moon so changeth she;
Loathsome and foul with hideous leprosy
And subtle serpents gliding in her hair.
By day she wooes me to the outer air,
Ripe fruits, sweet flowers, and full satiety:
But through the night, a beast she grins at me,
A very monster void of love and prayer.
By day she stands a lie: by night she stands
In all the naked horror of the truth
With pushing horns and clawed and clutching hands.
Is this a friend indeed; that I should sell
My soul to her, give her my life and youth,
Till my feet, cloven too, take hold on hell?
Christina Rossetti’s "The World" is one of extremes. A heaven seeming hell occurring within spheres of light and darkness. Read one way, “The World” holds light as liar and night as truthful. Often, light is used as medium of truth and darkness that of falsehood and although the poem seems to be doing the opposite, when a…
Now that I know
How passion warms little
Of flesh in the mould,
And treasure is brittle,––
I’ll lie here and learn
How, over their ground,
Trees make a long shadow
And a light sound.
Thomas Gray’s poem, “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College” ends with the following lines, “Since sorrow never comes too late, / And happiness too swiftly flies. / Thought would destroy their paradise. / No more; where ignorance is bliss, / 'Tis folly to be wise.” If you suffer an obsession, like I do, with Adam and Eve you can easily place the pair in your own narrative where after they have eaten the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge they would lament what they had given up: innocence for knowledge, just as Gray’s poem does. But when one has taken a bite and it dawns on one that the previous state was superior to the present, how does one carry on? In his 1709 poem, An Essay on Criticism, Alexander Pope states “A little learning is a dangerous thing / Dr…