Lovelorn

alone I languish


Love will take us to higher plaines
Love makes us feel alive
Love is painful
Love burns

Lovelorn
One and Only
“You are the only one for me.”
Love lorn
Nobody Else
“No one else compares to you.”


Thou hast the keys of Paradise, O just, subtle, and mighty Opium!

— Thomas de Quincey


There is no intensity of love or feeling that does not involve the risk of crippling hurt. It is a duty to take this risk, to love and feel without defense or reserve.

— William S. Burroughs


When you stop growing you start dying.

— William S. Burroughs

📙 Confessions of an English Opium Eater

— Thomas de Quincey (1821)

Describing the surreal hallucinations, insomnia and nightmarish visions he experienced while consuming daily large amounts of laudanum (i.e., opium) De Quincey’s waxes lyrical on the pleasures and pains of opium. De Quincey may be said to scrutinise his life, somewhat feverishly, in an effort to fix his own identity. According to Martin Geeson, what makes the book technically remarkable is its use of a majestic neoclassical style applied to a very romantic species of confessional writing. The Confessions is a work of immense sophistication and certainly one of the most impressive and influential of all autobiographies. The work is of great appeal to the contemporary reader, displaying a nervous (postmodern?) self-awareness, a spiralling obsession with the enigmas of its own composition and significance. This book forges a clear link between artistic self-expression and addiction, and paved the way for later generations of literary drug-takers from Baudelaire — “always be a poet, even in prose” — to Burroughs::

📙 Junky

— William S. Burroughs (1953)

Junky is semi-autobiographical work that focuses on Burroughs’ life as a drug user and dealer. It has come to be considered a seminal text on the lifestyle of heroin addicts in mid-20th c. America.

📙 Naked Lunch

— William S. Burroughs (1959)

Naked Lunch is structured as a series of loosely connected vignettes. These vignettes are drawn from Burroughs’ own experiences in these places and his addiction to drugs: heroin, morphine and, while in Tangier, majoun (a strong hashish confection), as well as a German opioid with the brand name Eukodol (oxycodone), of which he wrote about a lot. The book starts in America, moves on to Mexico and ends up in Morocco and the dreamlike ‘Interzone.’ The book was included in Time magazine’s “100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.”

Man Alive!

(i.e., Good Lord!)

Oh My Word! All day I’ve been racking my brain to recall the name of a poem me and my man did analyse a semester or two ago. I actually wrote a post about this memory lapse earlier on today: Within the hour /, see how I began,


I’ll not lie… the poem that is obsessing my thoughts now… its name I cannot recall.

Well as the British do say in a non-literal way, “fuck me!” The poem I’ve been hunting is called: ‘The Lie.’ It was there in plain sight ( { [ Lie ] } ), it was on the tip of my tongue but my brain didn’t allow me to know so ( { [ LIE ] }.

The Lie


Go, soul, the body’s guest,
Upon a thankless errand;
Fear not to touch the best;
The truth shall be thy warrant:
Go, since I needs must die,
And give the world the lie.

Say to the court, it glows
And shines like rotten wood;
Say to the church, it shows
What’s good, and doth no good:
If church and court reply,
Then give them both the lie.

Tell potentates, they live
Acting by others’ action;
Not loved unless they give,
Not strong but by a faction.
If potentates reply,
Give potentates the lie.

Tell men of high condition,
That manage the estate,
Their purpose is ambition,
Their practice only hate:
And if they once reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell them that brave it most,
They beg for more by spending,
Who, in their greatest cost,
Seek nothing but commending.
And if they make reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell zeal it wants devotion;
Tell love it is but lust;
Tell time it is but motion;
Tell flesh it is but dust:
And wish them not reply,
For thou must give the lie.

Tell age it daily wasteth;
Tell honour how it alters;
Tell beauty how she blasteth;
Tell favour how it falters:
And as they shall reply,
Give every one the lie.

Tell wit how much it wrangles
In tickle points of niceness;
Tell wisdom she entangles
Herself in overwiseness:
And when they do reply,
Straight give them both the lie.

Tell physic of her boldness;
Tell skill it is pretension;
Tell charity of coldness;
Tell law it is contention:
And as they do reply,
So give them still the lie.

Tell fortune of her blindness;
Tell nature of decay;
Tell friendship of unkindness;
Tell justice of delay:
And if they will reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell arts they have no soundness,
But vary by esteeming;
Tell schools they want profoundness,
And stand too much on seeming:
If arts and schools reply,
Give arts and schools the lie.

Tell faith it’s fled the city;
Tell how the country erreth;
Tell manhood shakes off pity
And virtue least preferreth:
And if they do reply,
Spare not to give the lie.

So when thou hast, as I
Commanded thee, done blabbing–
Although to give the lie
Deserves no less than stabbing–
Stab at thee he that will,
No stab the soul can kill.

— Sir Walter Ralegh

This is sublime, fucking sublime. At first I thought what the fuck’s going on here, but — as we say — step by step, it all became clearer and clearer and then dearer and dearer to me. As I say here:


Literature, like other forms of cultural production, is not created in a vacuum. It is created in a specific context (time, place, and situation), and therefore it is a product of specific historical, cultural, and social circumstances. …it is widely argued that without an understanding of the given text’s social, cultural, and historical context the experience and significance of the work may well be diminished.

In short, this poem is about betrayal, about how everyone turned on Walter as he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Luckily for us, for posterity they allowed him to have and use pencil and paper whilst he awaited mortem eius.


p.s.

“Wracking” or “Racking” Your Brain?
If you are “racked” with pain or guilt or you feel nerve-racked, you are feeling as if you were being stretched out to snapping point on a medieval instrument of torture: the rack. It isn’t surprising that ‘rack’ was adopted as a verb meaning to cause pain and anguish. You rack your brains when you stretch them vigorously to e.g., remember the name of a poignant poem. On the other hand, “wrack” has to do with ruinous accidents — meaning “to ruin or wreck” it is recorded in print from the 1560s onward and initially it specifically meant “to be shipwrecked.” — so if the stock market is wracked by rumours of imminent recession, it is wrecked. n.b., if things are wrecked, we can say they’ve gone to “wrack and ruin.”

"Yes, yes I confess!"
“Did I do that? Did I say that? Yes, yes I confess!”

Within the hour /

his power totally consumed me

( { [ Sir Walter Ralegh ] } )

I’ll not lie, I studied him several semesters ago and, the poem that is obsessing my thoughts now (a highly charged and thinly veiled critique of the duplicity of the powers that be), its name I cannot recall; it is in here somewhere:

…but that anthology’s at the house I dwell in and I am here on this hallowed campus, this poisoned chalice, where life’s been lived, where love was found and, alas, where love was lost. For now, for the right here and right now, I’ll post this (on love & loss):


Farewell, false love, the oracle of lies,
A mortal foe and enemy to rest,
An envious boy, from whom all cares arise,
A bastard vile, a beast with rage possessed,
A way of error, a temple full of treason,
In all effects contrary unto reason.

A poisoned serpent covered all with flowers,
Mother of sighs, and murderer of repose,
A sea of sorrows whence are drawn such showers
As moisture lend to every grief that grows;
A school of guile, a net of deep deceit,
A gilded hook that holds a poisoned bait.

A fortress foiled, which reason did defend,
A siren song, a fever of the mind,
A maze wherein affection finds no end,
A raging cloud that runs before the wind,
A substance like the shadow of the sun,
A goal of grief for which the wisest run.

A quenchless fire, a nurse of trembling fear,
A path that leads to peril and mishap,
A true retreat of sorrow and despair,
An idle boy that sleeps in pleasure’s lap,
A deep mistrust of that which certain seems,
A hope of that which reason doubtful deems.

Sith then thy trains my younger years betrayed,
And for my faith ingratitude I find;
And sith repentance hath my wrongs bewrayed,
Whose course was ever contrary to kind:
False love, desire, and beauty frail, adieu.
Dead is the root whence all these fancies grew.

— Sir Walter Ralegh

And this (on life & loss):


Even such is time, which takes in trust
  Our youth, our joys, and all we have,
And pays us nought but age and dust;
  Which in the dark and silent grave,
When we have wandered all our ways,
Shuts up the story of our days!
And from which grave, and earth, and dust,
The Lord shall raise me up, I trust.

— Sir Walter Ralegh

Dwell on his works awhile, they are profound and powerful. He was much more than a swashbuckling pirate with a crush on the virgin qween.

Sir_Walter_Ralegh_by_'H'_monogrammist

Sir_Walter_Raleigh_Signature
(artist, unknown) Inscriptions: on left — Raleigh’s motto ‘Amor et Virtute’ (“By Love and Virtue”); on right — Aetatis suae 34 An(no) 1588 (“In the year 1588 of his age 34”)


p.s.

Swashbuckle
To engage in daring and romantic adventures with bravado or flamboyance. A swashbuckler is a heroic archetype in European adventure literature that is typified by the use of a sword, acrobatics and chivalric ideals.

Love is. . .

more thicker than forget.


love is more thicker than forget
  more thinner than recall
  more seldom than a wave is wet
  more frequent than to fail

it is most mad and moonly
  and less it shall unbe
  than all the sea which only
  is deeper than the sea

love is less always than to win
  less never than alive
  less bigger than the least begin
  less littler than forgive

it is most sane and sunly
  and more it cannot die
  than all the sky which only
  is higher than the sky

— E. E. Cummings (1939)

Literary Analysis

What is love? Oh Jay. . . what you on about? Me! Well, I’ll tell you my precious pearl, my turtle dove, the tea leaf who has rendered me Radio Rental. I’m going on about love and according to my interpretation of the poem, love is in fact, utterly ev-re:think. Moreover, as is evidenced in life and the poem, love is an oxymoron (oh! Ox.).

love is more thicker than forget / more thinner than recall


Love can make us higher than satellites in the sky, and lower than pressure pulverised submarines irretrievably sunk in the Romanche Trench (i.e., more than 25 thousand feet below sea level in the middle of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Rift).

Well, where to start? This poem, in essence, tells us how contrary, complex and all consuming love can be — I ain’t being an arrogant British man, And, I ain’t being a spoiled Kuwaiti princess, but I’ll say this: you’ll only get this poem’s import/message if you have actually lived through (or are living through) a painfully intense and incredibly fraught affair of love, and I’ll say this: the poem’s usage of opposite adjectives to describe love illustrates that love is concomitantly good and bad (for one’s mental state), love is pleasure and love is pain, love is bitter and love is sweet, love is rough and love is smooth.

Highlighting love’s complexity is the continual usage of juxtaposition throughout the poem. The most notable juxtaposition in the poem is referring to love as both “most sane and sunly” and “most mad and moonly.” This emphasises love’s naturalness (to humankind only?) and at the same time its utter irrationality (we don’t need love to reproduce and rear do we?). Love is every-FUCKING-thing. It can make us more alive than any-FUCKING-thing else. It can make us deader than dead and number (nummber not numBer 😉) than numb in the merest of instances. It is: the be all. It is: the end all. Love can indeed circumference the spectrum of human expression: “fleeting (rare), yet common (everywhere).” As exemplified in the poem:

mad as the moon / sane as the sun

Like all works of literature, imagery is key in seeking to create a palpable connection in the reader’s mind’s eye to what the author is seeking to articulate and convey. Does what she’s banging on about (does what he’s harping on about) strike a chord with you (dear reader)?

The poem is written in four quatrains, making it iambic tetrameter (thus a balad?). It has (I think) the following rhyme scheme A B A B C D C D E F E F C G C G. This gives the poem precise rhythm. Furthermore, all of the independent clauses are connected to the first word: “Love.” Finally, in terms of rhyme and repetition, you’ll note that every other one rhymes at the end.

it is most sane and sunly / and more it cannot die / than all the sky which only / is higher than the sky

Alliteration
— The use of the letter “m” in “it is most mad and moonly”, using the letter “L” in the third verse, and the letter “s” in the last verse are all examples of alliterations. In stanza one, we’ve three lines starting with ‘more’ and in the third stanza, three lines starting with ‘less’ this too gives the poem precise rhythm.

Imagery
01. The Sea — Love has a greater depth than the ocean, a natural element of Earth that is literally so deep humans only know only a small fraction of it — we can’t really fathom its vastness. We might then say, referencing the sea makes the reader associate love with such limitless depths and expanses.

02. The Sky (and the sun and the moon) — Cummings expresses love’s infinitude by stating that it is “higher than the sky.” Again this reinforces the extent to which love’s power and gravitational pull can be limitless.

Metaphors
— This poem has many metaphors; arguably the whole poem is a metaphor. “Love is more thicker than forget” is a metaphor and so is, “it is most sane and sunly.”

Mood
— Love lightens one’s mood, love darkens one’s mood; we’ve sunny days, we’ve moonlit nights. So the poem’s mood is both upbeat and downcast; excepting of fate and fighting fate. It is then — in my own view — heavy; a mood that’s ultimately heavy on the soul.

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EE Cummings signature

See too:
PoemsFrom America with Love.
PoemsFrom Russia with Love.

Halcyon
Another mean of Halcyon is this: a mythical bird said by ancient writers to breed in a nest floating at sea at the winter solstice, charming the wind and waves into calm.

Stockholm syndrome

‘F’ me! ‘F’ me! ‘F’ me!
is this… is this…
me?

DEF.

Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response.

It occurs when hostages or abuse victims bond with their captors or abusers.

This psychological connection develops over the course of the days, weeks, months, or even years of captivity or abuse.

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Love will tear us apart;
You’ve stolen my heart.

1) The second coming: Am I Dreaming?
2) Did I ruin you?
3) The second coming: Am I Dreaming?
4) Have you ruined me?
5) The second coming: Am I Dreaming?
6) A new beginning? The final ending?

Love will tear us apart;
You’ve stolen my heart.


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Dust & Shadow

“Pulvis et umbra sumus”

— We are but dust and shadow.

Horrace
Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.”

Ode I, 5: To Pyrrha


What slender youth, bedew’d with liquid odors,
Courts thee on roses in some pleasant cave,
Pyrrha? For whom bind’st thou
In wreaths thy golden hair,
 
Plain in thy neatness? O how oft shall he
Of faith and changed gods complain, and seas
Rough with black winds, and storms
Unwonted shall admire!
 
Who now enjoys thee credulous, all gold,
Who, always vacant, always amiable
Hopes thee; of flattering gales
Unmindful. Hapless they
 
To whom thou untried seem’st fair. Me, in my vow’d
Picture, the sacred wall declares t’have hung
My dank and dropping weeds
To the stern god of sea.


— Translated by John Milton

^ Horace’s “Ode to Pyrrha” can be interpreted in many ways… Read more about the life and works of Horace, including some pretty detailed literary analysis of the ode above:

PoetsHorace

📙 The Devil Drives

: A Life of Sir Richard Burton

— biography by Fawn Brodie (1967)

Burton
Sir Richard Burton (1821–1890), a man of distinction.

Sir Richard Burton was a British explorer, writer, orientalist, cartographer, spy, poet and diplomat. According to the publishing house, Eland:


Richard Burton was one of the greatest Victorian explorers as well as being an innovative translator, a pioneer in the fields of anthropology and sexual psychology and a publisher of erotica.

The Devil That Drives, is an excellent biography, first published in 1967, which covers comprehensively the life of Sir Richard Burton. Fawn Brodie, the talented writer of this biography, creates — in my own opinion — a really vivid and captivating portrait of Burton. By way of her pen, he emerges vividly from the richly textured fabric of his time. His travels to Mecca and Medina dressed as a Muslim pilgrim, his witnessing of the human sacrifices at Dahomey and his unlikely but loving partnership with his pious Catholic bride are all treated with warmth, scholarship and understanding.

Praise for the book

“A first class biography of an exceptional man … Buy it, steal it, read it.”

— J.H. Plumb, New York Times

“The latest, far the best and surely the final biography of Sir Richard Burton, one of the most bizarre characters whom England has ever produced.”

— Graham Greene, The Observer


Burton’s passion was not only for geographical discovery but also for the darker and more deviant side of humankind. His enormous erudition on the sexual customs of the East and Africa, long confined by the prudishness of the Victorian era, are now publicly available. His translations include:

1. Arabian Nights

Read the full review (& download a PDF copy) here:
BooksArabian Nights.

2. The Perfumed Garden

Read the full review (& download a PDF copy) here:
BooksThe Perfumed Garden.

3. Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana

Read the full review (& download a PDF copy) here:
BooksKama Sutra of Vatsyayana.


p.s.

autobiography
An account of a person’s life written by that person.


biography
An account of someone’s life written by someone else.