Charles Baudelaire

The Monday Poem: Which is True?

WHICH IS TRUE?
Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire

by Charles Baudelaire

I knew one Benedicta who filled earth and air with the ideal; and from whose eyes men learnt the desire of greatness, of beauty, of glory, and of all whereby we believe in immortality.

But this miraculous child was too beautiful to live long; and she died only a few days after I had come, to know her, and I buried her with my own hands, one day when Spring shook out her censer in the graveyards. I buried her with my own hands, shut down into a coffin of wood, perfumed and incorruptible like Indian caskets.

And as I still gazed at the place where I had laid away my treasure, I saw all at once a little person singularly like the deceased, who trampled on the fresh soil with a strange and hysterical violence, and said, shrieking with laughter: “Look at me! I am the real Benedicta! a pretty sort of baggage I am! And to punish you for your blindness and folly you shall love me just as I am!”

But I was furious, and I answered: “No! no! no!” And to add more emphasis to my refusal I stamped on the ground so violently with my foot that my leg sank up to the knee in the earth of the new grave; and now, like a wolf caught in a trap, I remain fastened, perhaps for ever, to the grave of the ideal.

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Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake

5 Quotes from the Gormenghast Trilogy

Let’s have some quotes from Mervyn Peake’s beautifully disturbing Gormenghast trilogy. I love the books and, unlike many, I also really enjoyed the BBC adaptation, but there are rumors that Neil Gaiman is going to have a crack at his own TV version!

 

 

Lady Gertrude Groane, by Braen on DeviantArt

Lady Gertrude Groane, by Braen on DeviantArt

1. “He had no longer any need for home, for he carried his Gormenghast within him. All that he sought was jostling within himself. He had grown up. What a boy had set out to seek a man had found, found by the act of living.” Mervyn Peake.

Peake's notebook for Gormenghast, bearing his own illustrations

Peake’s notebook for Gormenghast, bearing his own illustrations

2. “Never having had either positive cruelty or kindness shown to her by her parents, but only an indifference, she was not conscious of what it was that she missed—affection.” Titus Groan, Chapter 37 “The Grotto”

3.

Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake

4. ““She thinks she’s a lady.” And then he grinned until the very lake seemed to be in danger of engulfment. “Oh, dear!” the poor thing. Tries so hard, and the more she tries, the less she is. Ha! ha! ha! Take it from me, Fuchsia dear, The only ladies are those to whom the idea of whether they are or not never occurs. Her blood’s all right—Irma’s—same as mine, ha, ha, ha! but it doesn’t go by blood. It’s equipoise, my Gipsy, equipoise that does it—with a bucketful of tolerance thrown in.” Titus Groan, Chapter 65 “By Gormenghast Lake”

5. “Countless candles dribbled with hot wax, and their flames, like little flags, fluttered in the unchartered currents of air. Thousands of lamps, naked, or shuttered behind coloured glass, burned with their glows of purple, amber, grass-green, blue, blood red and even grey. The walls of Gormenghast were like the walls of paradise or like the walls of an inferno. The colours were devilish or angelical according to the colour of the mind that watched them. They swam, those walls, with the hues of hell, with the tints of Zion. The breasts of the plumaged seraphim; the scales of Satan.” Mervyn Peake

 

The Monday Poem – A Straight Line Runs Through It All

A Straight Line Runs Through It All

by Israfel Sivad

 

When first I looked upon the morning in its light,
I noticed the sky lit bright with your solar flare –
All that remains of the passion you sacrificed.

When, at a later date, I once more looked again,
you transformed, transmogrified into the demon
waiting patiently in my corner as I slept
alone awakening only unto nightmares.

You are one and the same, no matter what your form –
a trick learned in the ethereal heights of hell.
As a devil yourself, you cast the demons out
with your words like angelic palms caressing my pain.
You have hurt. You have healed. You have killed. You have judged.
When I lay on my side beneath the Temple Mount,
I gazed beyond through a crack in the masonry
to see you revealed in your holy glory
and know in truth… We are forever only One.

11_1_Israfel-Sivad---cover---2


A Straight Line Runs Through It All is from Israfel Sivad’s upcoming collection We Are The Underground. This is the first publication of the poem, so thank you very much to Israfel for sharing with Examining the Odd readers!

Check out my reviews of Israfel Sivad’s poetry collections and of his novel, The Adversary’s Good News. He also took part in a great author interview!

Wakefield

The Friday Film: Wakefield

Wakefield is a film about a man (Bryan Cranston) who abandons his family. The protagonist explores the issues of abandonment as well as other social problems.

Most people know Cranston from Breaking Bad (and those of us of a certain age, Malcolm in the Middle) and his character here is similar in that he’s really very unlikable, yet still fascinating to watch.

Wakefield (Cranston’s character) moves into the upstairs of his huge garage without his family knowing, and begins to spy on them. He starts to enjoy his new lifestyle, foraging for food in the neighbors’ bins and getting back to basics.

He goes from big-shot city man to homeless (ish) down and out. Wakefield sees the appeal of being unreachable by anyone, yet he’s still able to check up on those he cares about.

The Monday Poem: dogs by Pablo Picasso

This week’s poem is Picasso’s dogs. I hope it inspires you 🙂

dogs

by Pablo Picasso

dogs eat at the night
buried in the yard
they chase the moon in a pack
the white of their teeth
compared to stars

the windows close against them
iron bars in transparency

life closes against them

the morning will crush them to dust
with only the wind left
to stir them up


Born: 25 October 1881, Málaga, Spain
Died: 8 April 1973, Mougins, France
On view: Museum of Modern Art, Art Institute of Chicago
Full name: Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso
Everything you can imagine is real.
Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
-info from Wikipedia


Picasso is most well-known for his visual art, particularly The Weeping Woman, Guernica, The Old Guitarist and Chicago Picasso.

The Monday Poem – The Lords of Maussane

The Lords Of Maussane – Poem by René Char

One after the other, they wished to predict a happy future for us,
With an eclipse in their image and all the anguish befitting us!
We disdained this equality,
Answered no to their assiduous words.
We followed the stony way the heart traced for us
Up to the plains of the air and the unique silence.
We made our demanding love bleed,
Our happiness wrestle each pebble.

They say at this moment that, beyond their vision,
The hail terrifies them, more than the snow of the dead!

rene_char