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Nap Thoughts [Nov. 15th, 2002|04:30 am]
I try to write something every day, even if it isn't very good, because I don't want to get out of the habit. Tonight, I don't want to write anything. What I want to do is take a nap. The stars are out, the air is cool and breezy, and I hear coyotes howling in the distance. But I keep thinking about those afternoon naps I took when I was four or five years old. The afternoon breeze causing the window shade to bow out, and the shadows of the trees dancing across it, the smell of the fresh pillowcase and the feel of the tufted bedspread and the soft golden shawl covering me, and the sound of birds chirping in the yard. Strange images to come to mind at this hour. I don't think I'll stay up writing late tonight. Better to curl up with a purring cat, and dream about music I've never heard.

[User Picture]From: blue_by_you
2002-11-15 04:33 am (UTC)
Oh, this is a lovely memory and made me think of my own 5-year-old naps with the sun waiting outside the window.
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[User Picture]From: flying_blind
2002-11-16 06:03 am (UTC)
Hmm. I just discovered this comment. I never received an e-mail version of it. I hope they get that problem fixed soon!

But, yes. Naps are highly underrated these days. I wonder if it is because of those head-on-hard-table "naps" they made us take in kindergarten, when we knew it wasn't even naptime?
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[User Picture]From: blue_by_you
2002-11-16 01:03 pm (UTC)


I've often wondered how I could have hated naps so when I was little (After lunch I was allowed to watch Betwitched, and That Girl, but then Nap). Now, I live for my naps.
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[User Picture]From: seraphimsigrist
2002-11-15 09:13 pm (UTC)

A.E.+ lj friends list

Hello. I see you are interested in George Russell...
not many put that interest down so I am here at your
journal and find good writing.
I am adding you to my friends list...perhaps you
will visit my livejournal and add me if you like
or not contrariwise as tweedledum would say.
Seraphim Joseph Sigrist
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[User Picture]From: flying_blind
2002-11-16 05:56 am (UTC)

Re: A.E.+ lj friends list-


I see that the "not many" of us listing George Russell as an interest is up to three. Still a small number out of some 700,000 users at the site. I don't know how many of the people listing "AE" as an interest (there are close to 300 of them, now) are actually thinking of George Russell, but probably not many. When I started my journal, I put AE in my interests list, and when I checked the link and saw how many people had listed him, (about 150, at that time), I was surprised, since other, better known poets had far fewer fans at LiveJournal, and some, such as Richard Wilbur and Yvor Winters, at that time were listed only by me!

I left comments in a few of the journals which had AE listed as an interest, but got a response from only one of them. I can't remember the user name of the responder, but he informed me that, while he knew who George Russell was, the AE on his interests list referred not to the poet, but to a popular brand of clothing! That was why AE was on so many interest lists! All those other users- fashion conscious teenagers, for the most part- probably thought I was some sort of crazy stalker, making irrelevant comments, in their journals, about some poet they had never heard of!

Ah, well. This sort of thing is to be expected at a site whose average user is sixteen years old, I suppose. It's nice to know that the number of LiveJournal users who actually are aware of Russell's existence is growing. I intend to take a good look at your journal, as soon as I get the time. At the moment, I'm in the midst of a project that got out of hand, and I'm barely able to keep up with my friends page. In the meantime, thanks for reading!
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[User Picture]From: seraphimsigrist
2002-11-16 07:51 am (UTC)

A.E. and a question

of course it could be that AE is not exactly
the direction of poetry at large nowadays, read
some fairly ripe excerpt about the gates of the
mountain etc opening etc over the phone to
a poet friend and said they dont write poetry
like that any more and he said by God its a good
thing too.
Now my question is this there is a line from AE
which is used by Graham Greene "in the
lost childhood of Judas, Jesus was betrayed."
Now that line has a sharpness of perception and
stringancy which one does not associate with our
man. I have given that as example for his clarity
of head but am unable to easily think of others.
can you off top of head?

Dont worry I am not a Russell nut, have a life...
do not spend my time thinking about him or
reading him but ,likely like you, like his
work...even found the portrait in Ulysses
endearing etc. well and Mary Poppins I thank him
for if it was his idea etc
best regard
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[User Picture]From: flying_blind
2002-11-17 03:52 am (UTC)

Re: A.E. and a question

I first heard of Russell from a younger friend at school, a budding poet himself, obsessed with his Irish ancestry. His speech was full of references to both Russell and Yeats, and his own verse carried the oddly combined influences of both. One of his favorite poems by Russell was On Behalf of Some Irishmen Not Followers of Tradition. I became fond of that particular piece, myself. (In fact, I posted it in my journal, some time ago.) I don't know if it serves as an example of what you call his clarity of head, but I've always been impressed by the expansive vision of that poem, particularly in its final lines:
No blazoned banner we unfold-
One charge alone we give to youth,
Against the sceptered myth to hold
The golden heresy of truth.

To me, those lines typify Russell at his best; holding to his own ideals, regardless of the sentiments of those around him.

Over the years, I found little of Russell's work in print. Mostly, it was a poem here and there in one anthology or another. It wasn't until a few months ago that I found that his collected poems are available on line, part of the large collection of works posted at Bartleby. There, I discovered another of his pieces that I quite like:

The Symbol Seduces

THERE in her old-world garden smiles
A symbol of the world's desire,
Striving with quaint and lovely wiles
To bind to earth the soul of fire.

And while I sit and listen there,
The robe of Beauty falls away
From universal things to where
Its image dazzles for a day.

Away! the great life calls; I leave
For Beauty, Beauty's rarest flower;
For Truth, the lips that ne'er deceive;
For Love, I leave Love's haunted bower

Over the months since I found this trove of Russell's work, I have from time to time dipped into it, though I have not yet read all of it. I, too find his writing enjoyable. He seems to me like a throwback to much earlier poets, such as Leigh Hunt. Part of his appeal lies in the fact that he, whose vision was in some ways more forward-looking than that of many of his contemporaries, should also seem so far behind them, dimly emerging from the mist of the distant past.
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[User Picture]From: seraphimsigrist
2002-11-17 08:10 am (UTC)

essays of A E

Good talk this somehow... rather as
Talmudists can enjoy talking about their
odd specialty with a certain sense of freedom
from many other things.
I have rather many of his books but not
all easy to lay a hand on, as yesterday
I tried to find Candle of Vision(which
is fairly ripe but really splendid in
its way) and could not. I did receive
Living Torch the collection of his essays
from a russian fellow who had an Irish bookstore
and speaking all six celtic languages had
written a couple of ,to me, unreadable novels
about Merlin. the name so in english to
avoid the merdre of mer'dhinn ..wandering
anyway having it I saw why he found it
disposable to a customer he had only seen
a couple of times it is fairly boring by
and large..but the review of stephen mackennas
plotinus translation has a good phrase
often quoted(and here half remembered and
butchered no doubt) about the words rising
in their line like great seabirds beating up
into the high air...

else when A E does his fancy stuff I take
it maybe a little better than I do Yeats'
similar tones in this one respect that I have
the idea A E was the better man.
critical judgement sometimes sharp or at
least I like his word on Finnegans Wake's
word play..."intolerably boring."

like may I say your entry now on the night
sky and the cantelope.
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[User Picture]From: flying_blind
2002-11-19 06:34 am (UTC)

Re: essays of A E

I have never read any of Russell's essays- indeed, I've never even seen any of them in print. I'm sure there are all sorts of books out in the world which I have never seen. It has been years since I have bought many of them. I'm slowly making my way through a backlog of paperbacks I bought over the years, when I was buying faster than I was reading. Given the limited amount of time available for reading, I sometimes wonder if I shall ever get through them all. I suppose I could bypass some. It probably isn't necessary for me to read all of Dickens, for example. But, however much I read, it seems that there is always more. Was it one of the apostles who said "Many books are a troublesome thing?" Whoever it was, he was right.
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[User Picture]From: seraphimsigrist
2002-11-19 06:51 am (UTC)

Borges on it

Borges loved having the arabian nights
which he would never read much of lined
up on the shelf to remind of the infinity
of possibility.
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