Saturday, 30 January 2016

Review 3: William Blake's Selected Poetry

Dewy Blake - A Review of William Blake, Selected Poetry, Oxford World's Classics

'Dewy Blake', the title of this review, is poking fun at the author's over use of the word dew, meaning precipitation and moisture. Truth be told, I found this collection mostly underwhelming, despite Blake's reputation as a first rank poet. 

Of the selections I read - I confess that I skim read much of Jerusalem and the last eighty pages of the book - I think I enjoyed King Edward The Third the most as the short play is full of vigorous turns of phrase and lively exchanges as well as the short story Tiriel which had something of the Greek tradition about it. 

Overall, however, I struggled to get a grip with Blake's poetising, unmoved and uninterested in the esoteric, theological and surreal imagery of his work and, for me at least, the rather flimsy philosophical underpinnings of his epigrams and life observations.

Yes, Satan can inspire poetic creation, and so can Jesus and the myriad of obscure names of people and places that litter this collection, but if esotericism divorced from natural law wisdom is all that is on offer, I'm happier reading internet poetry on Tumblr!

I accept that this review entirely reflects my own poetic preferences which dislikes surrealism and fiery imagery in favour of sober and elegant linguistic usage but to my credit I read three quarters of the book closely before giving up on Blake's theological mindscapes which I found, well, boring.

It is very early days in my journey with English poetry but I hope I find authors more congenial to my literary tastes than 'the prophet' William Blake. 

Friday, 29 January 2016

Poem 10: Tobacco

Divided and dual
I'm a divi-dual
Caught in the grip
Of a habit that won't slip. 

Driven to pollution
I'm slave to addiction
Lucid though I am
About the nature of the scam.

Victory is ephemeral
Against this particular animal
For tried I have - my best -
To put the poisonous weed to rest

But my brain craves more
Altered chemically at core
By the fuming fiasco:
The plant tobacco. 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Review 2: Polybius, The Histories

War, War and More War - A Review of Polybius, The Histories, in the Oxford World's Classics series.

Polybius was one of the major Greek historians of the Ancient World and is also one of the least read. His work The Histories, of which only a fraction survives, purported to explain and elucidate Rome's ascendancy and supremacy over the known world towards the end of the second century BC.

Ultimately, what survives of The Histories deals in the main with political history and especially warfare between city states. The high point for me was the account given of the Hannibalic war between Rome and Carthage with Carthaginian general Hannibal's crossing of the Alps with his troops and elephants making for particularly gripping reading.

Less captivating and harder to follow are the long drawn out accounts of internecine warfare in the Greek world before it came under Roman control. I found myself reading without ingesting so to speak when it came to this part of the narrative.

Aside from tactical warfare, Polybius makes many outspoken remarks - an unusual tendency in those days - on how history should be written and the proper task of the historian which should be essential reading to modern students of historiography; for instance, armchair historians who rely solely on book learning and lack direct experience of politics and warfare come in for a serious beating in Book 12.

Finally there is most famously the incomplete but nonetheless influential account of Rome's so-called 'mixed constitution' in Book 6 which I studied in my Roman history class years ago and came to inform writers like Machiavelli and Monstesquieu in their theorising about the state.

Reading the book cover to cover I got a sense of how all pervasive and constant war was in the Ancient World, particularly the Mediterranean area, and also how bloody tough and unforgiving life must have been back then, even though Polybius sadly does not cover the day to day life of the many as opposed to the mighty - and why should he since that was a given at the time he was writing.

The greatest value of the book may precisely lie in undoing romantic notions of the Greco-Roman world in its constant conflict and battles for supremacy which - surprisingly - become rather tedious to read about after so many pages but have the merit to put the ills of the Modern World - also ridden with conflict - in perspective.

As regards the translation, I have not read the Greek or any other English translation of this work but suffice it to say that the rendering in English was tolerably clear and even at times quite enjoyable to read, which comes as little surprise the translator, Robin Waterfield, being a writer rather than an academic by trade - at least according to the bio in the book. The introduction is competent and helps make sense of the narrative contained in Polybius' discourse.

My score for the book is four stars because while the highs are very high there is plenty in Polybius that is of little interest to the modern reader except as a reminder that the struggle for power was as pronounced back then as it is now.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Poem 9: Monster

Beloved Monster
My only sanity
I love you dearly
You: fellow dreamer!

Our souls meet
Whenever in company
A thing both lovely
And immeasurably sweet!

Woe at times makes claim
To your and my dismay
As forces that rule the day
Coerce with monetary chains.

Yet let us not to fear give way
Heeding instead our loving hearts
Whose designated respective parts
Are 'Monst' and 'Owlet' - like we say!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Poem 8: Julius Caesar

Ye all powerful Gaius J. Caesar
'Twas not as mere elected liar

But rather as victorious general
Friend and beloved of the immortals

That you came to rule your home
The squalid polity of Rome

Under the auspices of Jupiter
God of gods then and after.

Jealousy you caused
As conqueror of Gaul

And once your enemy defeated
Gnaeus Pompey the ill fated

You fancied yourself King
Against Senatorial liking

- For power achieved through merit
Threatens others who wish to wield it. 

Yet be not in death vainly furious
Ye violently slain Julius

For to the conspirators' dismay
Your glory lasted to this day

Unchecked by Time's passing by
And remembered yearly the month of July. 

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Poem 7: Idler's Confession

Addicted to leisure
- Such is my pleasure -

I flout the norm
As an idler born 

Of legal Society
- The established hierarchy -

Bringing light poetry
In a flight of frivolity 

To a world of deception
- At least in my perception. 

Untied to dire workplace 
'Tis creative fire I chase

Whether it be music's charm
In that there is no harm 

Or Literature's meanderings
Treasure to the soul's wanderings. 

The secret of freedom
The true meaning

Is listen to your heart
- Don't play a part! -

Unlearning the fear
Instilled at early year 

Of those who make the rules
- The purpose of School -

That you may at length laugh
At Authority's life denying path.   

Monday, 11 January 2016

Poem 6: Petty Minds

Petty minds only to power respond
- reason enough from them to abscond -

Ever trapped in Society's jar

Like the wretched slaves that they are

Enemies of all that is fair
- especially that which is rare. 

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Poem 5: Radiant Flare

O grand astre solaire
Heaven's radiant flare

Beamer of shine
Over all that is fine

Let us stand tall
And in fear not fall

At the dark clod feet
- we are but meek -

Of chiefs whose held philosophy
Makes Pity a tragic mockery;

Worshippers of ringed Saturn
- Chronos of the evil turn -

Who frustrate men's needs
- as is their wont indeed -

Through the Machiavellian act
Of twisting Present Day's facts

Whether covering the flaws
Of falsely waged wars

Or bringing under control
The mind of manipulable souls.

O Leaders of Mankind!
At length you will find

That Time's ruler - the Sun -
In the field of life cannot be undone.  

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Poem 4: Academe

Academe, a broken dream
Turned mindless machine. 

I advise you not take too close a look
And instead make use of printed books

For to the board of examiners
Compliance is all that matters.

Academe, a broken dream
Turned mindless machine. 

What can it claim of originality
When inertia stalls creativity?

They say it's about the exam
As single outcome of the plan

When the end should be to illuminate
And in matters of reality to elucidate

Like strong hearted thinkers
Who in lecture halls to not linger.

Academe, a broken dream
Turned mindless machine. 

I think the home of talk
Ought go for a walk

Since those who can see
Know well the conspiracy

That knowledge paid money
Is worth not one penny. 

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Poem 3: Heartfelt Mission

Routine enslavement
to technical enhancement

Has left not a human
Free from coercion.

I mean taxing Government
And banking establishments

Make all ends united
To keep folk divided. 

No judge can deny
That laws are just lies

Bringing unjust benefit
To those they see fit.

The evidence is ample
And this is an example

That nothing ever foils
The crimes of Big Oil.

As the evil now flows
Let us, friends, grow

That we may resist
And in fear not desist

From this heartfelt mission
- the end of corruption - 

As we walk up the slope
To the beat of gentle hope. 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Poem 2: Love and Love

Love, a mirror,
An illusory flight,

Tainted, scarred,
Reflecting self,

Pale witness
To Love... I mean:

Fear's fear
And Nature's Law. 

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Thought 66: Skull and Bones

Skull and Bones is a US secret society which is a breeding ground for the elite, particularly the CIA. The Bushes were members as was John Kerry. What is relevant about the skull and bones metaphor is that the skull is present - thought - the bones are present - action - but the heart is not present - care. That is, the aim of this secret society - like so many others - is enforced psychopathy. 

We live overwhelmingly in a head-based society cut off from the heart chakra which reflects I think in the true dissonance and lack of harmony of much of the modern world - in its culture, art, entertainment, architecture, language and so forth. The machine-like reality of the modern world and of the modern workplace also pinpoints why psychopaths - the successful ones that is - reach such high positions in the various areas of culture or, should I say, control. 

This is brought into even sharper relief when we consider the trans-human agenda where humans will be part organic, part machine drones that are slaves to the system. The word robot itself comes from the Tcheque word robota meaning slave worker or drone. And it is scary how far we have come to this reality in our head based, emotionless and machine like society where drudgery and exploitation are the norm. 

Unless true human transformation happens we are headed for the world of The Hunger Games where the many will be hoarded in human settlements, microchipped and slaves whereas the self-appointed elite will live in their luxurious Capitol cities. Researcher David Icke goes into much detail about this plan for the world, called Agenda 21 - 21 as in the 21st century. 

The human cost of this detachment from the heart centre is too great for words. I would suggest that a great deal of mental illness results from the impersonal, psychopathic and inhuman exploitation of 'human resources' who are used up for whatever ends they are forced to by the mind and system manipulators who, unlike the great majority, are not held back by conscience or heart consciousness.

The world is crazy and demented because it is run by crazy and demented people and those who free themselves from mind control will often fall victims to the rigged nature of the psychopathic game called civilisation. I myself have only been able to create music, art and thought because I am not economically at the mercy of a job, being on government welfare - although to be sure I am at the complete mercy of the State.

I am writing these thoughts as I am struggling to cope with the drudgery of academia as a mere undergraduate student. University is not about gaining knowledge about the world but about conforming to a set course in order to get a degree (of programming) which shows one's ability to submit to a structured and hierarchy-based system of non knowledge, that is, head based nonsense of pure intellect divorced from creativity or holistic intelligence. 

Academia is a self perpetuating non entity of empty discourse which kills curiosity and open mindedness and hides its ignorance through thinly veiled jargon and rules of research. Hence its association with boredom. To graduate is no sign of intelligence - which is innate - but of the ability to comply with heartless drivel that passes off as knowledge. 

Conforming - as one must to survive - to the system means cutting off your emotional centre and heart chakra to 'get the job done', however harmful and destructive it proves to be. Great and independent creators - like Nicola Tesla and Philip K Dick to take two examples - died penniless as they refused to comply to the machine consciousness of the system in order to create true value for the world. 

If humanity is to evolve at all and free itself from the psychopathic control grid it must engage en masse in non compliance with the inverted reality of culture where education destroys knowledge, food destroys the body, art destroys beauty, medicine destroys health, politics destroys freedom and work destroys human relations. 

Poem 1: Dark Truth

Darkness is ever
To finite awareness

That sees not light
Where shadow is cast

Turning away 
- Blind -

From that which is:
The liberating claim.