Swearing again

April 5th

…for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Matthew Arnold — Dover Beach (1867)

Well, it happened again. So there I was last evening, sitting and relaxing and reading a book when I came upon the fragment of a poem quoted above. That wasn’t even a book about poetry or the Victorian era! It was there just to show similarities in human emotions over the different centuries and different cultures. I read it once. Then again. And one more time. The first “fuck” was a quiet one. The second was much louder. I read it again. Now it was a “fucking shit” that left my lips. Loudly. Then, for a while, I was just staring at the space in front of me. Then a stared at the ceiling for a while more. I read it yet again and kept on searing and just staring into space for some minutes.

For a reason, so far not very clear to me, that short fragment spoke to me in a way that I had to react to it in this way. I do react this way when I am in the presence of beauty created by the craftsmanship of the human mind and hand. That happens mostly while listening to music, but also while reading or seeing a work of art.

But in this case, I actually knew this poem from before. And I never reacted this way to any previous reading of it. Maybe it was because I had to learn about it and had to love it when I was at school. I remember that this poem was shown as a pinnacle and epitome of the mid-XIX century in the English language. But it seems obvious that very few teenagers can show any appreciation for poetry in high school class. Unless, of course, the poem is set to music or a good beat. I wasn’t any different, and at best felt ambiguous about it.

And I was like that until last evening, when reading just a fragment of that poem brought out emotions of deep understanding and even a feeling of fright over the human condition. Something clicked and the beauty and importance of this piece become very clear. There was jealousy toward the author as well — not gonna lie. And now, I feel very glad that I still got it. It — the capacity and capability for seeing beauty in some words printed on a page and the ability to let emotions caused by reading (or seeing, or listening) come out. I can only wish for more of it.

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“for they knew what sort of noise it was; they recognize, by now, the footsteps of the Furies”. Enjoying life on the road to recovery. Observing and writing.

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footsteps of the Furies

footsteps of the Furies

“for they knew what sort of noise it was; they recognize, by now, the footsteps of the Furies”. Enjoying life on the road to recovery. Observing and writing.