Inside a Writer's Mind

Inside a Writer's Mind
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” -- Oscar Wilde

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Favourite Poem: Auguries of Innocence

The first stanza of this poem by William Blake is one of my favourite verses of poetry. 

Auguries of Innocence

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.

A dove-house fill'd with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell thro' all its regions.
A dog starv'd at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.

A horse misused upon the road
Calls to heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.

A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.
The game-cock clipt and arm'd for fight
Does the rising sun affright.

Every wolf's and lion's howl
Raises from hell a human soul.

The wild deer, wand'ring here and there,
Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misus'd breeds public strife,
And yet forgives the butcher's knife.

The bat that flits at close of eve
Has left the brain that won't believe.
The owl that calls upon the night
Speaks the unbeliever's fright.

He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be belov'd by men.
He who the ox to wrath has mov'd
Shall never be by woman lov'd.

The wanton boy that kills the fly
Shall feel the spider's enmity.
He who torments the chafer's sprite
Weaves a bower in endless night.

The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother's grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the last judgement draweth nigh.

He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar's dog and widow's cat,
Feed them and thou wilt grow fat.

The gnat that sings his summer's song
Poison gets from slander's tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt
Is the sweat of envy's foot.

The poison of the honey bee
Is the artist's jealousy.

The prince's robes and beggar's rags
Are toadstools on the miser's bags.
A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.

It is right it should be so;
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.

The babe is more than swaddling bands;
Every farmer understands.
Every tear from every eye
Becomes a babe in eternity;

This is caught by females bright,
And return'd to its own delight.
The bleat, the bark, bellow, and roar,
Are waves that beat on heaven's shore.

The babe that weeps the rod beneath
Writes revenge in realms of death.
The beggar's rags, fluttering in air,
Does to rags the heavens tear.

The soldier, arm'd with sword and gun,
Palsied strikes the summer's sun.
The poor man's farthing is worth more
Than all the gold on Afric's shore.

One mite wrung from the lab'rer's hands
Shall buy and sell the miser's lands;
Or, if protected from on high,
Does that whole nation sell and buy.

He who mocks the infant's faith
Shall be mock'd in age and death.
He who shall teach the child to doubt
The rotting grave shall ne'er get out.

He who respects the infant's faith
Triumphs over hell and death.
The child's toys and the old man's reasons
Are the fruits of the two seasons.

The questioner, who sits so sly,
Shall never know how to reply.
He who replies to words of doubt
Doth put the light of knowledge out.

The strongest poison ever known
Came from Caesar's laurel crown.
Nought can deform the human race
Like to the armour's iron brace.

When gold and gems adorn the plow,
To peaceful arts shall envy bow.
A riddle, or the cricket's cry,
Is to doubt a fit reply.

The emmet's inch and eagle's mile
Make lame philosophy to smile.
He who doubts from what he sees
Will ne'er believe, do what you please.

If the sun and moon should doubt,
They'd immediately go out.
To be in a passion you good may do,
But no good if a passion is in you.

The whore and gambler, by the state
Licensed, build that nation's fate.
The harlot's cry from street to street
Shall weave old England's winding-sheet.

The winner's shout, the loser's curse,
Dance before dead England's hearse.

Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born,
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.

Some are born to sweet delight,
Some are born to endless night.

We are led to believe a lie
When we see not thro' the eye,
Which was born in a night to perish in a night,
When the soul slept in beams of light.

God appears, and God is light,
To those poor souls who dwell in night;
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day.

By William Blake

Keep writing!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

What I'm Reading at the Moment

I'm flitting between books at the moment, I guess it's the reader's equivalent of channel surfing, and I have come across a few thoughts and ideas which I found interesting.

I'll share quotes with you below.

The first are from The Pagan Christ: Is Blind Faith Killing Christianity? (Allen & Unwin) by Tom Harpur.

"The very thing which is now called the Christian religion
existed among the ancients also, nor was it wanting from
the inception of the inception of the human race until the coming of Christ
in the flesh, at which point the true religion , which was
already in existence, began to be called Christian."

-- St. Augustine, Retractiones

"But we have the treasure in earthen vessels."

-- St. Paul, 2 Corinthians

"Do you know that you are the temple of God ,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you."

-- 1 Corinthians 3 : 16

"My point, once again, is not that those ancient people
 told literal stories and we are now smart enough to take
them symbolically, but that they told them symbolically
and we are now dumb enough to take them literally."

-- John Dominic Crossan, Who Is Jesus?

The other book I'm reading at the moment is The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. The following quote is from this book.

“The agony of breaking through personal limitations is the agony of spiritual growth. Art, literature, myth and cult, philosophy, and ascetic disciplines are instruments to help the individual past his limiting horizons into spheres of ever-expanding realization. As he crosses threshold after threshold, the stature of the divinity that he summons to his highest wish increases, until it subsumes the cosmos. Finally, the mind breaks the bounding sphere of the cosmos to a realization transcending all experiences of form—all symbolizations, all divinities: a realization of the ineluctable void.” Joseph Campbell The Hero With A Thousand Faces

Keep writing!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

In a Word

I'm challenging myself to say something worthwhile here in as few a words as possible.

I think I want to say something that is meaningful, inspiring and encouraging in some way. 

Something that once you've read it, you'll feel the need to pause for a moment, and reflect...

And  then, afterwards, you'll think about things and you'll look at the world around you slightly differently. In a new way.

(I'm failing the 'in as few a words as possible' part.)

I'm sorry... I can't ...

Hold on, I've got it:



Saturday, 7 April 2012

The True Meaning of Life (Inspirational Words from The Dalai Lama)

"We are visitors on this planet.
We are here for ninety or one hundred years at the most.

During that period, we must try to do something good,
something useful, with our lives.

If you contribute to other people's happiness,
you will find the true goal, the true meaning of life." 

H. H. the 14th Dalai Lama 

If you enjoyed this, you might enjoy my book: Seventeen Summers. It's free!