Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Falling

It seems to me this Fall is falling hard, thinking about Kennedy and the fire in Greece. I was struck by the poem "Today" on this post at totalfeckineejit.

And then again...
I have in recent years found the poem "Dover Beach" to be deeply disingenuous...

...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 from pain...

WRONG! The only reason that we have all of these lovely, transient manifestations of light and life is that there is no certitude = there is change. Should I cut Matthew Arnold some slack because he's, you know, a dead Victorian? Maybe. Pisses me off though.

13 comments:

FRANK M HANSEN said...

You can cut him some slack. Thanks for the nice compliment on my blog. I really like what you have done with your art work. Very creative and new.

Elizabeth said...

I love the Matthew Arnold
I think it is one huge pick up line..........there is no certainty in anything except US
I'd fall for it.

The sound of shingle is rather melancholy.

ArtSparker said...

E - Okay. I would argue (and I admit to being an argumentative person) that its usefulness as a pick up line does not in itself argue persuasively for its truth.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Not at all sure about this Mathew Arnold chap, or his poetry, but TotalfeckinEEjit's are wonderful.Thank you.
Anonymous.

Jasmine said...

I saw a documentary about Matthew Arnold recently and instantly went and looked up his work. He has a certain charm, for sure. The crashing waves, lost love...

But does his sentiments have a place in this changed world? Does his angst seem trite? We are certainly of a different age.

Who can say... I liked what what I heard and later read.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

always wonder about those victorians....

lettuce said...

ha, this made me laugh. it is a bit miserable, isn't it? Being Victorian is no excuse

Adam said...

Ah, the Victorians certainly knew how to do misery, but they weren't a patch on the Russians. Pushkin is a favourite of mine:

"I've lived to bury my desires,
And see my dreams corrode with rust;
Now all that's left are fruitless fires
That burn my empty heart to dust"

My motto though is from Auden:

"Weep for the lives your wishes never led"

Once you have done the mourning, then you can get on and enjoy life again!

mum said...

It may not aruge persuasively for its truth, but for its appeal, most definitely.

(I've 'fallen' even deeper into storyland, but I do drop by regularly anyway - my characters seem to be using up most of my daily supply of words, though)
:-)

Cheers to you, Susan

ArtSparker said...

J - It's the romanticism/cynicism marriage

L - that was kind of the idea.

A- Pushkin is at least consistent.

ArtSparker said...

Mum- It's lovely to see you, I'm glad your work is going well.

California Girl said...

English major here. I love the Victorians and studied that period in depth. Rather than read margin notes in my now 30 yr old college books, I cut and pasted a fragment of an analysis of the poem by Michael Cummings, a former college English teacher.

"Arnold’s central message is this: Challenges to the validity of long-standing theological and moral precepts have shaken the faith of people in God and religion. In Arnold’s world of the mid-1800's, the pillar of faith supporting society was perceived as crumbling under the weight of scientific postulates–such as the evolutionary theory of English physician Erasmus Darwin and French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. Consequently, the existence of God and the whole Christian scheme of things was cast in doubt. Arnold, who was deeply religious, lamented the dying of the light of faith, as symbolized by the light he sees in “Dover Beach” on the coast of France, which gleams one moment and is gone the next. He remained a believer in God and religion, although he was open to–and advocated–an overhaul of traditional religious thinking. In God and the Bible, he wrote: "At the present moment two things about the Christian religion must surely be clear to anybody with eyes in his head. One is, that men cannot do without it; the other, that they cannot do with it as it is."

ArtSparker said...

CG - Fair enough. I do enjoy venting from time to time, and I have been examining my own need for certainty recently.