“In any of the burial-places of this city, is there a sleeper more inscrutable than its busy inhabitants are in their innermost personality to me than I am to them?” Charles Dickens
Your world is not my world,
And my world is not yours,
Nor ever shall we span the void
Or open wide the doors.
What know I of the inner you,
The real – not that which seems?
I cannot think your midnight thoughts,
Or dream your troubled dreams.
We speak a different language,
A foreign tongue unknown,
And in the castles of our souls
We live for e’er alone.
Like ships upon uncharted seas,
We sail in silence by,
While in our holds, fast-batten’d down
Our secret cargoes lie.
Our compasses point randomly
Across the cavernous deeps,
Defying the powers of darkness
And the terrors that slowly creep.
It is not true, it never was,
That two can e’er be one;
For in our deepest hopes and needs
All men are islands strong.
(Except, perchance, the poet,
Who lays his feelings bare,
And sings his songs of Sixpences
For all the world to hear.
But signals can be hoisted,
‘Ere our ships sink to the grave,
And one, perhaps, who’s sailing by,
Will understand – and wave.
For oft I am Arabian,
Or Chinese, Greek or Scot,
And then within my inward soul
I feel mans’ common lot:
For in our fears and mortal needs
All men are brothers true:
Our dread of death and age and want
Kins infidel with Jew.
But talk not of our self-same roots,
Or universal cries;
‘Tis in the seeds of difference
Man’s greatness ever lies.
From Vignettes of childhood and other poems by Michael Thurstan Bassett (Amazon.com)
A brilliant story by John Maxwell:
“After visiting twenty cities in seven days, it was good to be coming home! As the small private jet approached the runway, we were celebrating the success of the week. Then, in a moment everything changed. The aircraft was hit by crosswinds and dropped straight down onto the runway, the wheels hitting out of balance. All conversaton stopped and our eyes widened as we all realised that we were in danger.
Without hesitaton the pilot pushed the throttle forward and launched the plane back into the air with full power. We all realised that that could have been it! We sat quietly as the aircraft circled the airfield and a few minutes later we landed safely.
As he got off the plane John asked the captain: ‘When did you make the decision to put the aircraft back into the air?
‘Fifteen years ago’. He went on to explain how as a young pilot in training he decided in advance what decision he would make for every possible air problem. His decision was made long before the crisis. The moral – have a game plan in place before the problem arises!”
Dingo has just rushed in: breathless and panting like a steam engine about to blow up!
“What’s the matter?” I said jumping out of bed.
“QUICK! QUICK! Go to Amazon.com US IMMEDIATELY! Just for today (27th November – because it’s Thanksgiving Day) they’re giving away FREE copies of my poetry book ( Vignettes of Childhood and other poems) – so if you’ve got a Kindle you can read all these masterpieces for absolutely NOTHING!”
“Golly! that’s very exciting – and the price is very reasonable too – even Ebenezer will want to get one of those!” I said with a laugh.
“You bet! You can’t get it much cheaper than that, can you! – AND IT’S MIND-BLOWINGLY exciting – I mean it’s like finding a box full of Shakespeare’s plays in manuscript in his own handwriting!”
So roll up everyone and take advantage of this fantastic offer. Diamonds, they say, are for ever. But so is great poetry: in fact it lasts longer than diamonds! These CERTAINLY will – well, that’s what Dingo says anyway – and he may right! Just look at some of the reviews they’ve received already. Keats and Tennyson and Wordsworth are nothing compared to old Dingo! That’s a fact!
Great art is worth nothing if it teaches us nothing.
Unless it makes us wiser and kinder people, there is no more merit in studying, or being able to recite passages from, Hamlet or the Pilgrim’s progress or The Prelude, than there is in knowing a handful of nursery rhymes by heart.
Not so much, in fact. Children – and many adults – far prefer “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall”.
Literature is, or should be, the great instructor and humaniser of man, and if we do not recognise or acknowledge it in this, it’s supreme and unique role, we immediately relegate it to the level of the crossword or jigsaw puzzle, which are merely entertaining amusements which help to break the back of boredom.
Erudition and scholarship too, however rarified, are only means to an end, and are of themselves worth little. They are merely candles which light the…
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Commonplace and very ordinary; an everyday sort of tree seen through a rain-wet window – but what a magnificent example of a glorious piece of natural art. Modern artists ought to refine their vision!
“The years of illusion are our happy years” Napoleon
The Man in the Moon, like Pan, is dead,
And with him died our last fond dream –
Romance and poetry have fled.
The moon is nothing but rocks and dust,
Mere craters, mounts and “seas”,
But was it not better and nicer by far
When we thought it was made of cheese?
Gone, too, are the Gods of Ancient Greece,
Olympus no longer their home,
For ‘tis only a barren mountain top,
Where bus-loads of tourists roam.
Agamemnon now has a one-roomed flat,
Cleopatra is god knows where,
While mighty Caesar passes his days
At the old age home near here.
Where are the fairies, where the fauns,
Where are the ghosts that walk,
Where are the dragons with fiery tongues
Or the babes that were brought by the stork?
The world no longer is thought to be flat
No elephant bears its weight,
No ship will from its surface fall,
Or sea-god stay its fate.
Knowledge is power – if put to use,
And man is the measure of all;
But where is Science with its cold, hard facts
When the lonely heart doth call?