When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high piled books, in charact’ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;–then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.
I spoke a while ago, here, on a poem I had been un-hurridly looking for. Well, I found it. I had been idly procrastinating and surfing this super cool website called “The Word Made Flesh“. It’s a website all on literary tattoos; one jumped out at me.
Her information said it was from a Keats’ poem. I started googling. Presto Bingo! This is one of my very favorite poems; one that has haunted me for a while. Oh and here’s one from Shakespeare that I think is lovely.
Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end,
Each changing place with that which goes before
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith, being crowned,
Crooked eclipses ‘gainst his glory fight
And Time that gave, doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth,
And delves the parallels in beauty’s brow,
Feeds on the rarities of natures truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow;
And yet, to times, in hope, my verse shall stand,
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.
Is what I tell myself sometimes. False. The preceding amalgamation of letters spaces and improper punctuation are all a testament to the otherwise. I am searching un-hurriedly for a poem I once read by Keats. (I’m pretty sure it was Keats as I was reading a lot of him at the time I stumbled upon it, but it could have been someone else.) The poem is about how the writer feels the need to put things down in the physical to prove his existence long after he has departed. It has stuck with me in on of the corners of my mind; the concept just hangs out quietly and reminds me every once in a while how much it hit me when I first read it.
While quietly mulling over the need to write, and the feeling of not being able to write anything intelligent, or thought provoking I have stumbled onto one of those ‘snake eating it’s own tail’ situations. I read it, I got it, I write about it. Writing lead to reading which lead to writing… and so on and so forth. I love it. So in the event that you find yourself lacking something to write, read! Here is a poem I can quote verbatim, and that is unusual so it must be good
|I died for beauty, but was scarce
Adjusted in the tomb,
When one who died for truth was lain
In an adjoining room. He questioned softly why I failed?
“For beauty,” I replied.
“And I for truth,–the two are one;
We brethren are,” he said.
And so, as kinsmen met a night,
We talked between the rooms.
Until the moss had reached our lips,
And covered up our names.
- Emily Dickinson