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Unpublished Poetry Series: The Thunder-Spirit

  The Thunder-Spirit Night time--the orange Clouds withhold oncoming rain; Afar the thunder Lingers to oblivion: Restless are the ways That fulfill unspoken dreams Their lives amongst us, As time that summons passing As a startled bird To wake us in the moonlight Of a winter sleep. Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: October 2nd, 2012 (Audio)

October 2nd, 2012 What is it that we conceal when we look towards ideal moments? What appears to us comes as part of a world that we can only vaguely conceive, but one in which we imagine a whole set of circumstances, accomplishing this or that with greater or lesser conviction until we arrive at some culminating point where perfection is grasped for just a moment. And yet we know that if something perfect must exist it is only because imperfection exists and the whole way unto the ideal is a series of sufferings. But we must not consider through all our pains there will bloom within us an everlasting peace; for just as a door and four walls may lead us to expect shelter, the rain may still come in. When it happens though, when we find entrance into a warm and inviting home, the essence of that ideal is always hard to grasp and we despair over the contrast of perception and imagination only to turn upon that thing that was always concealed within us and within the event. It is st

A Poet's Journal: September 29th, 2012 (Free Audio Reading)

September 29th, 2012 To be heroic in this world, one must be prepared to ask, 'What if?'  And the answer that he shall always receive will be, 'Either...  Or.....'  However, I do not mean this to sound as if one must take his lessons directly from the philosopher's mouth; I rather mean that his decision should not escape him in that vital moment.  Nor should this be taken all the way to the extreme of single-mindedness, lest the mountain feel its own avalanche and not stand firm enough against it.  Thus, the inheritance of our whole future comes with a sign over it that says: know thyself.  But the currency of this expression is no longer the reason for which we rise from bed, so that our curiosity has given up on the abstract, and that only where we see the light will we let ourselves be guided.  What was for us once a question is now an answer wherefrom we move away and cry out in longing, 'What if?' Douglas Thornton

A New Translation of Catullus!

Here is a new translation of Catullus: please scroll down to read or visit the Society of Classical Poets by clicking on the following link:  A Translation of Catullus’s ‘Ad Sirmium Insulam’ by Douglas Thornton The important events in the life of Gaius Valerius Catullus (84-54 B.C.) are recounted through the poems he has left.  The particular poem below was written on his return from Asia Minor, where he had attempted at a public career by following Memmius, the patron of the poet Lucretius, into the province of Bithynia.  But his hopes being dashed, he took refuge after the long journey at his home in the present-day village of Sirmione, in northern Italy, on Lake Garda. Ad Sirmium Insulam Of the islands which in stagnant Waters and vast seas Neptune holds, Sirmio--the pearl of islands!-- Now my heart with you rejoices Safe and sound, still scarce believing Thynia and Bithynian Fields have gone.  What more fortunate Care, after so many struggles, When the mind shrug

Anectahi's Chant

Here is an excerpt from a poem entitled Anectahi's Chant published in Woodland Poems. Anectahi's Chant The hearts of men rest Far from where they sleep And dream profusely In the night; absence Is the only joy That moves their spirits Closer to the form Each impression hides. Obscure be the ways In which their visions Turn truth in the mind To rename its fate, And by this, conceive Of present worth, false Entangled judgements Not to be escaped.

A First Attempt in Latin Translation

Cicero's Pro Achia  ch. 7. On the utility of literature in his defence of the poet Archias : I will admit that many men have existed who were excellent in mind and in virtue, but had no learning, and by the habit of their natures, on account of some divinity, moderated themselves by their own gravity. Though of course, I will add that, when we speak of honour and virtue he has always been more valued who was strong in mind but without learning than he who had the required education but not the character to go along with it. Yet I will contend to this that when a certain method and conformity of learning approaches to a select and distinguished character, how illustrious and of such singular nature these men appear before us. From this, we should count him who our fathers saw, that divine man Africanus, then C. Laelius, L. Furius, both moderate and virtuous men; then that most firm and most learned man of the times, M. Cato the elder; all of whom, were it not adjudged that