Wednesday, July 30, 2014

which one among our men are fakes?

"O Zeus, you've given us the clear criteria to test
if gold is counterfeit: so why is there no stamp of guarantee
marked on the human body to discriminate which ones
among our men are fakes?"

[Medea in Euripides' Medea]

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

the turbid ebb and flow of human misery

In tutorial class today we spent about an hour discussing this poem, dissecting it. I fell in 
love with it.

Now, back to Stendhal and a margarita.


"Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold

The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

rather in things done

"It is not in words
that I should wish my life to be distinguished,
but rather in things done." 
[Theseus to Oedipus in Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus]

no old age for a man's anger

"There is no old age for a man's anger."

[Creon to Oedipus in Sophocles' Oedipus in Colonus]

Monday, July 21, 2014

sing, o barren one, who did not bear

"Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;
break forth into singing and cry aloud,
you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
than the children of her who is married," says the LORD...
Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;
be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
For your Maker is your husband,
the LORD of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
The God of the whole earth he is called.
For the LORD has called you
like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,
like a wife of youth when she is cast off,
says your God.
For a brief moment I deserted you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing anger for a moment
I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,"
says the LORD, your Redeemer. 
[from Isaiah 54]

arctic swell

I shall have to try this in August. I jokes...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

i rest my weary soul in Thee

O Love that will not let me go
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

nothing almost sees miracles but misery

"Nothing almost sees miracles
But misery."  
[Kent in King Lear, Act II, Scene 2]

Sunday, July 13, 2014

love, and be silent

George William Joy's Cordelia
"What shall Cordelia speak? Love, and be silent."

[Cordelia in Shakespeare's King Lear]

Saturday, July 12, 2014

you have overstepped your bounds

"O law! You would climb up into the kingdom of my conscience, and there reign and condemn me for sin, and would take from me the joy of my heart which I have by faith in Christ, and drive me to desperation, that I might be without hope. You have overstepped your bounds. Know your place! You are a guide for my behavior, but you are not Savior and Lord of my heart. For I am baptized, and through the Gospel am called to receive righteousness and eternal life…So trouble me not! For I will not allow you, so intolerable a tyrant and tormentor, to reign in my heart and conscience—for they are the seat and temple of Christ the Son of God, who is the king of righteousness and peace, and my most sweet savior and mediator. He shall keep my conscience joyful and quiet in the sound and pure doctrine of the Gospel, through the knowledge of this passive and heavenly righteousness." 
[Martin Luther]

this persuasion is not from him who calls you

"You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you."  
[Galatians 5:7-8]

Thursday, July 10, 2014

well! I've got to dance.

"Since I'm a mere woman, no different from the others, well! I've got to dance." 
[the character Mathilde de La Mole in Stendhal's The Red and the Black]

Monday, July 07, 2014

beat at this gate

"O Lear, Lear, Lear!
(strikes his head)
Beat at this gate that let thy folly in
And thy dear judgment out!"
[King Lear in Shakespeare's King Lear, Act I, Scene 4]

Sunday, July 06, 2014

love creates equalities

"Love creates equalities; it doesn't search for them."
[Corneille, as quoted in Stendhal's The Red and the Black, Part I, Chapter 14]

for such as we are made of

"Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we:
For such as we are made of, such we be." 
[Shakespeare, Twelfth Night]

woe to anyone who touches it

"The present age, oh Lord! It's like the Ark of the Covenant. Woe to anyone who touches it."  
[Diderot, as quoted in Stendhal's The Red and the Black, Part I, Chapter 27]

nothing but itself

"Real passion always thinks of nothing but itself."  
[from Stendhal's The Red and the Black, Part II, Chapter 1]