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Showing posts from June, 2018

The Art of Memory

  The Art of Memory When we can traverse the plains of memory, stopping at each fire to warm ourselves before we start again on our journey, there is a world inside a world that keeps going on to infinity.  If we are lucky enough to hear the eternal melody that is at work in these moments, many fine hours may come upon us.   But sometimes the solace and hospitality are too much and we live with our new found companions, taking them along wherever we go, as a shadow upon our eyes.  The memories of Thoreau, or the early frontier narratives of Indian captivity, are something that I have felt eternal and unchangeable in human nature, not for any piece of information they have given me, but because my melancholy has always found peace in their environment.  For some the world is old or the world is new, but the point is that we tend to look at it through memory.  One memorable event confounds all future celebrations; we remember so as not to forget, but we do not remember that we are able t

Newly Published Translation!

We have left the solstice behind and our days are now guided by declining light and the heat of summer.  Let us take a moment then to step toward the pleasures of another world and warm ourselves with poetry.  Please scroll down or click on the following link to read the new translation: A Translation of André Chénier’s ‘Elegy XX’ by Douglas Thornton Art, feeble interpretation Of the soul! Art and only verse, While the heart alone is poet! Oppressive to the fruitful mind Are those adornments, which despite Themselves, hide within such words As truth and surety commit To thought, the loss of thought itself. The heart speaks, genius writes: master To obey, his hand turns divine, But only if loved and happy, Freed of torment, only if joy Light-hearted and ardent youth spread Across his face their beaming glow, Will his verse, as clear as amber, Or as flowers blush, find renewed With their fairest looks, a sweetness To the world, and in ripe old age A guide. But m

A Poet's Journal: July 9th, 2013

July 9th, 2013 First blackberries of the season:  I took a handful out of sheer fancy because most were still in flower.  It is pleasant to walk on mornings when there is a coolness to the ground and our feet are wet from the dew; there is a stillness that resides, not from our being alone, but in the change we thought had not yet taken place. Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: July 7th, 2013

July 7th, 2013 There are things that if we do not force may never gain appreciation.  Effort is one of those to which I fear to look upon again when not having correctly adjusted myself to the task, for the most embarrassing or unenjoyable parts are brought to life in just the attempt, that it is enough not to be aware of our faults, but too much to know shame in changing them.  The creative power that we rely on is the reason for our inability; it lacks the truth for what it may actually see, so that what comes through not being able to do, finds power only in what is done; and in the end, what we have truly set our sights on, one day gives us cause to look past it. Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: June 4th, 2013

June 4th, 2013 It is often what we do that becomes most difficult to accept, because life, for most of us, is not filled with any regrets, but one in which decision has been left undecided.  We are not always attached to the ideal, and at times, must make amends with something less worthy, and though it is a compromise, it is something else to believe in rigor, even when we have nothing to show for our efforts.  Modern man is judged by results, and this our claim to importance, so for the less glorious, idleness is looked upon as of something we should be ashamed.  Here is the greatest difficulty to surmount, and the one I find hardest to accept because when one has chosen, and still keeps on choosing, with what elements his life must be made up, and those provide no solace to the curious, or those who await it, he is faced with the reflection of his own idleness, his own stupors, and must find in them the faint glimmer of poetry.  The walls become to us our own means of retireme