A Common-Place Jotting: Coleridge

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge (18th c.) had a “vision in a dream,” as he called it, and immediately upon waking, he wrote down the poem Kubla Khan which he said came to him fully constructed like the dream. He kept it hidden for many years, reading it in private until, at the prompting of Lord Byron, he finally published it in 1816.

Kubla Khan became, of course, one of his most famous and memorable poems. It begins by describing the mythical kingdom of Xanadu where the most fantastic pleasures of natural beauty were enjoyed. By the end of the poem we are left with same longing for Xanadu that the poet experiences, a longing to revive within ourselves such inspiration as that of “a young Abyssinian maid” as she plays on her dulcimer:

A damsel with a dulcimer
   In a vision once I saw:
   It was an Abyssinian maid
   And on her dulcimer she played,
   Singing of Mount Abora.
   Could I revive within me
   Her symphony and song,
   To such a deep delight ’twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

 

A Common-Place Jotting: Tintern Abbey

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember

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Tintern Abbey in 1794, a watercolour by J. M. W. Turner

From William Wordsworth’s  Lines Written (or Composeda Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798: this benediction of nature’s guardian light on his sister, with whom he went on a walking tour, inspiring this homage to nature:

.  .  . and this prayer I make,
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; ’tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall e’er prevail against us, or disturb
Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold
Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
And let the misty mountain-winds be free
To blow against thee: and, in after years,
When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure; when thy mind
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then,
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations!

 

Here is Love

Dyma gariad fel y moroedd (Here is love vast as the ocean)

Welsh hymn by William Rees; Translator, William Edwards

Here is love, vast as the ocean,
lovingkindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our ransom,
shed for us his precious blood.
Who his love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing his praise?
He can never be forgotten,
throughout heav’n’s eternal days.

On the mount of crucifixion,
fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
poured incessant from above,
And heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
kissed a guilty world in love.

Mirror and Light

Are You not the Light, O Lord, and we but the mirror? Disperse the clouds that obstruct Thy light and be Thou our vision. Amen.

Mirrorl and Light

“Unless the LORD builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.”

Psalm 127:1-2 (ESV) A Song of Ascents

Last Night’s Full Moon

Joseph’s 2020 Home Photo Challenge

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Last night’s full moon

Tonight’s too cloudy and sometimes stormy, but last night’s clouds rolling in didn’t quite obstruct the distant moon, fixed in the sky to remind us of God’s sovereignty.

He holds the kingdoms of the world in his hand.

 

Saturday Symphony #4

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Jude’s Ponderous Thought this week:

THE MUSIC OF MY SOUL

~Write about your favourite musical instrument(s) and the things it/they make you feel~

The first drawn note says she’s a player. It may be a fiddle or a violin.

She either makes you hold your breath or draw it in.

Stings your brain with brandywine or stretches your heart till nothing’s outside it.

Classical is like geometric chemistry, lovers’ hands touching.

Bluegrass frees your feet to where the stars are spinning.

I take my pick. It’s gotta be strings.