A poetry Anthology
I have desired to go
Where springs not fail,
To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail
And a few lilies blow.
And I have asked to be
Where no storms come,
Where the green swell is in the havens dumb,
And out of the swing of the sea.
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)
In Heaven-Haven, Hopkins not only prays for a day when he can be free of the physical stresses of the world, but also the emotional pains. Life is filled with turbulent storms of anger and despair. Hopkins sees Heaven (death) as an escape from the harsh "sharp and sided" reality of life. Life to Hopkins is a sea. One moment a man is rich and happy and the next fate has thrown him a curveball and sent him to the poorhouse. There is no escaping the acrid aspects of life, so Hopkins turns to death.
Throughout the World
Throughout the world, if it were sought,
Fair words enough a man shall find:
They be good cheap, they cost right nought,
Their substance is but only wind:
But well to say and so to mean,
That sweet accord is seldom seen.
Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542)
Wyatt is sharply criticizing society. Words are free for anyone to use and something complimentary or pleasant is so easy to say, yet "seldom" are such words heard. In Wyatt's eyes people are bitter and do not take the time to praise ones fellow person. Wyatt believes that words are valuable and powerful yet ironically are nothing but air. Why are people so harsh when being polite costs nothing more?
Ground Control to Major Tom x2
"Take your protein pills and put your helmet on"
Ground Control to Major Tom
"Commencing countdown engines on Check ignition and may gods love be with you"
This is Ground Control to Major Tom
"you have really made the grade and the papers want to know who judge you where,
now its time to leave the capsule if you dare"
This is Major Tom to Ground Control
"I am stepping through the door and I am floating in the most of peculiar way and the stars look very different today. For here am I sitting in a tin can, far above the world, planet earth is blue and their is nothing I can do..... Though I am across a 100,000 miles, I am feeling very skilled and I think my spaceship knows which way to go. Tell my wife I love her very much."
[G.C.] "She knows"
Ground Control to Major Tom "Your circuits dead their is something wrong.
Can you here me Major Tom ?" (x3)
[Major Tom] "Here am I floating in a tin can far above the world
planet Earth is blue and their is nothing I can do."
David Bowie captures the futility and insignificance of man. Major Tom's epic journey into space has really produced nothing. When Major Tom looks out on the Earth he feels "skilled" and powerful, even though he is a hundred thousand miles away from Earth and powerless to do anything but "float in a tin can." Then at the peek of Major Tom's accomplishment his circuits go dead and he is stuck in space. The once "powerful" Major Tom is now stuck a hundred thousand miles away from Earth with no way of returning. David Bowie realizes the insignificance of man in the Universe and expresses that feeling in this song. The futility which Major Tom suffers from is shared by all humankind.
Grand is the Seen
Grand is the seen, the light to me - grand are the sky and the stars,
Grand is the Earth, and grand are lasting time and space,
and Grand their laws, so multiform, so puzzling, evolutionary;
But grander far the unseen soul of me, comprehending, endowing all those,
Lighting the light, the sky and the stars, delving the Earth, sailing the sea,
(What were all those, indeed, without thee, unseen soul? Of what amount without thee?)
More evolutionary, vast, puzzling, O my soul!
More multiform far - more lasting thou than they.
Walt Whitman begins by expressing his awe of natures deepest mysteries such as "lasting time and space." This reflection leads him to be far more perplexed and mystifies he realizes gives the stars and the sky significance. His "unseen soul" allows him to comprehend and appreciate the true scope and magnitude of the Universe. The gift of man is that "unseen soul." That which separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom.
Would I Were Steadfast as Thou Art
Bright star! Would I were steadfast as thou art-
Not in lone splendor hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round Earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors -
No - yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillowed upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel forever its soft fall and swell,
Awake forever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever - or else swoon to death.
Here to in this poem is mans insignificance portrayed. The bright star, lit through the ages, is not affected by the movement of the seas, the tides of storms, nor the acts of man. The love the man in the poem expresses for this woman is vacillating and exits for just a brief time in the eyes of the star. The man in the poem wants to be as steadfast as the star; to forever be able to hear her sweet breath and feel her "ripening breast." His wish is to live forever, to take in these wonders, or die.
What makes space the final frontier?
A vast emptiness can offer us
Giant boulders and fiery furnaces
do not hand out the meaning of life
they do not cure the cancer in man
nor do they bring an end to war
the knowing eye looks inward
looks for the answers where answers are found
it does not run into a vacuum for substance
The 3rd rock
The "Undiscovered Planet"