Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Rik George writes

Remembrance One

I was away when Barbi died. 

She walked that lonesome valley alone 
As all who went before her had done 
Both the lowly and the deified.

I thought I’d be the first to go 

Eldest of us three as I was. 
And here I sit the last who is 
Walking the earth to and fro.

The emptiness is all around 

My grief has muffled all my senses 
And I am blind to any offenses 
I commit, or on the other hand

Any comfort others propose. 

I was away, came home and found her 
Gone forever. I’m left to wonder 
If living still has any use.
 Image result for emptiness painting
 Plenty of Emptiness -- Horacio Cardozo

1 comment:

  1. Rik writes: "Verses encapsulate moments in time. I came home from a conference to find my kid sister dead. These poems reflect some of the sorrow I feel around her passing. May whatever gods may be keep her soul safe through eternity."

    As part of his grieving process Rik wrote a series of poems chronicling hs feelings, modeled after "In Memoriam A.H.H." which included the sentiment, ''There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds." Alfred Tennyson completed the poem in 1849, 16 years after the sudden death of Arthur Henry Hallam, his 22-year-old friend at Trinity College, Cambridge, who was engaged to Tennyson's sister Emilia. According to Tennyson, "He would have been known, if he had lived, as a great man but not as a great poet; he was as near perfection as mortal man could be." The two had competed for the Chancellor's Prize Poem Competition in 1829 (which Tennyson won) and had planned to jointly publish a volume of poetry together. In 1831, after Tennyson had dropped out of school, Hallam contributed "On Some of the Characteristics of Modern Poetry, and on the Lyrical Poems of Alfred Tennyson" to the "Englishman’s Magazine" and introduced his friend to the publisher Edward Moxon. It was largely through Hallam's help that Tennyson in 1833 published his first book of mature poetry (which included "The Lady of Shalott"), but its poor reception discouraged him from publishing again until 1842. That volume contained "Ulysses," which Tennyson had written in 1833; Tennyson claimed that the dramatic monologue was "more written with the feeling of [Hallam's] loss upon me than many poems in In Memoriam." Alfred and Emilia both named their first-born sons after him.
    Tennyson's long poem was written in four-line ABBA stanzas of iambic tetrameter, now called In Memoriam Stanzas. (The capital letters refer to the rhyme scheme.) The poem was a great favorite of queen Victoria, who wrote that she was "soothed & pleased" by it after the death of her consort prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1861 , a sentiment she shared with the poet both times they met (first in 1862, at her request, and in 1883); Albert had been largely responsible for Tennyson's selection as poet laureate in 1850, a position he held until his own death in 1892, the longest tenure of any laureate. As originally conceived, the poem was to have been titled "The Way of the Soul" and was philosophically influenced by "Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation" written in 1844 by Scottish journalist Robert Chambers and combined various ideas of stellar evolution with the progressive transmutation of species and, in the opinion of Charles Darwin, prepared the public for his own theory of evolution by natural selection put forth in "On the Origin of Species" in 1859. Though Tennyson grappled with the theological implications of impersonal nature functioning without direct divine intervention, by the end of the poem he reaffirmed his Christian faith after progressing from doubt and despair to faith and hope. Nonetheless, his doubts continued to grow and he moved increasingly toward agnosticism and pandeism. On his deathbed he praised two infamous pantheists, the 17th-century Baruch Spinoza and the 16th-century Giordano Bruno ("His view of God is in some ways mine"); his last words were, "Oh that press will have me now!"


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