“The poetry of the earth is never dead.” - John Keats
I often remind myself that even amidst the coming of winter, when trees wither and die, that the cycle is still magnificent. There is a subtle beauty in death that Keats recognized and drew inspiration from in his poem: “On the Grasshopper and the Cricket.” Each season is beautiful in its own ways. With winter comes the end of another cycle and in a few months time it will start all over again with new life.
Truly profound writers draw inspiration in the most unlikely of places. The ability to draw from the unconventional exhibits an intuitive perception that artists can use to create a masterpiece. Writers are the artists of words, the architects of imagination. The page is our canvas. We create worlds and shape lives. To some extent, we are the Gods of our own universes.
“Truth is stranger than fiction, but that is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isint.” – Mark Twain
This weeks tagline comes from the man with undoubtedly one of the greatest mustaches I’ve ever seen: Mark Twain. This quote presents an interesting parallel. As a society we are exposed to entertainment outlets at seemingly every waking moment of lives. Even when we don’t have access to a television, the internet follows us on our daily exploits via our smartphones, tablets, laptop computers etc. We are bombarded with a constant fictional perspective through pop culture icons, television shows, movies, and video games. This consistent exposure to such media has been opposed by many. The argument has been made time and time again that we as a society allow ourselves too much exposure. This argument is not entirely invalid, however what would it be like if we were robbed of these luxuries? What if all of our televisions were broken, our books burned, our internet shut down? Would society sink into despair, forced to face the harsh inconsistencies of reality?
With a little fiction comes the hope that no matter what reality we are faced with that, with a little effort, we will emerge victorious. There is a power in fiction that reality can never satisfy. Alternatively, too much fiction breeds a society of hopeless dreamers. We may become disillusioned, losing faith in what is real and true, and replacing truth with the ambiguity of fiction.
Who Is Mark Twain? by Flash Rosenberg – YouTube.
“History is a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley
This week’s tagline comes from one of the major English romantic poets, Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley was considered far too radical in his poetry as well as his political and social views to become famous during his lifetime. He was expelled from Oxford after professing atheism in a piece called “the Necessity of Atheism.” This led to an early pattern of marginalization and ostracism from intellectual and political entities of the time. He did however surround himself with some of the most progressive thinkers of the day, including philosopher William Goodwin. Shelley continued to write poetry, though most publishers refused to publish him for fear of being arrested for blasphemy or sedition. He never lived to see himself become an idol to generations of poets to come.
And, come on, his wife wrote Frankenstein. (Mary Shelley)
Truly profound writers are compelled to make the statements that weigh upon their souls regardless of opposition. I think that we, as writers and scholars of modern society, should view Shelley as an example of a writer who never abandoned his convictions. An author has a duty to his or her self as well as to their readers to express their vision regardless of what society deems acceptable. If Shelley’s rejection had caused him to quit, or to dramatically alter his ideals, we would never have seen some of his most profound works.
Here is a link to one of his more famous works of poetry. I found it fitting due to the change in the winds. Fall is just around the corner. Can you feel it?