Sunday, May 9, 2010

For Miss Prothero (and Dylan Thomas)

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:23 AM


The Ninth Gate

Friday's post "Religion at Harvard" continues…

Image-- List of nine religions in the chapters of Prothero's 'God is Not One'

This list may be of some use to
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, who, like Prothero,
spoke recently at Harvard Book Store.

See also Rosalind Krauss on Grids,
An Education, and Plan 9 from Outer Space.

Readers more advanced than Harvard audiences
may wish to compare yesterday's linked-to story
"Loo Ree" with the works of Alison Lurie
in particular, Imaginary Friends and Familiar Spirits.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 PM

Rhetorical questions by art critic Michael Glover

"Has this kind of abstraction to do with ideas
of the spiritual? Are we supposed to see behind
what we have here some kind of evidence of
superhuman energies at work in the universe?
Is this some kind of manifestation of the force
that through the green fuse drives the flower—
to quote a line from Dylan Thomas?"

Rhetorical answer —

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:48 AM

"I want you on the Swansea lathe today."
— Boss of the Christ figure in "The Machinist" (2004)

Related material in this journal—

Dylan Thomas and Modern Times

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Wednesday December 29, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

The Dark Door

From Log24.net, Dec. 22, 2003:

“One, two, three, and we began to sing, our voices high and seemingly distant in the snow-felted darkness round the house that was occupied by nobody we knew. We stood close together, near the dark door.



Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the Feast of Stephen.”

Dylan Thomas,
A Child’s Christmas in Wales

“The day after Christmas
turned out to be a living nightmare.”

Arthur C. Clarke, Dec. 27, 2004

Adapted from the logo of the
Arthur C. Clarke Foundation:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04B/041229-Logo2.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Dabo claves regni caelorum.  By silent shore
Ripples spread from castle rock.  The metaphor
For metamorphosis no keys unlock.

“Endgame,” Steven H. Cullinane,
November 7, 1986

Monday, December 22, 2003

Monday December 22, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM

Sequel to previous 4 entries:

A Christmas Carol
by Dylan Thomas

Current phase of the moon,
from the U.S. Naval Observatory:

And I remember that we went singing carols once, a night or two before Christmas Eve, when there wasn’t the shaving of a moon to light the secret, white-flying streets. At the end of a long road was a drive that led to a large house, and we stumbled up the darkness of the drive that night, each one of us afraid, each one holding a stone in his hand in case, and all of us too brave to say a word. The wind made through the drive-trees noises as of old and unpleasant and maybe web-footed men wheezing in caves. We reached the black bulk of the house.

‘What shall we give them?’ Dan whispered.

‘”Hark the Herald”? ‘‘Christmas comes but Once a Year”?’

‘No,’ Jack said: ‘We’ll sing “Good King Wenceslas.” I’ll count three.’

One, two, three, and we began to sing, our voices high and seemingly distant in the snow-felted darkness round the house that was occupied by nobody we knew. We stood close together, near the dark door.


Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the Feast of Stephen.

And then a small, dry voice, like the voice of someone who has not spoken for a long time, suddenly joined our singing: a small, dry voice from the other side of the door: a small, dry voice through the keyhole. And when we stopped running we were outside our house; the front room was lovely and bright; the gramophone was playing; we saw the red and white balloons hanging from the gas-bracket; uncles and aunts sat by the fire; I thought I smelt our supper being fried in the kitchen. Everything was good again, and Christmas shone through all the familiar town.

‘Perhaps it was a ghost,’ Jim said.

‘Perhaps it was trolls,’ Dan said, who was always reading.

‘Let’s go in and see if there’s any jelly left,’ Jack said. And we did that.

From Quite Early One Morning:
roadcasts by Dylan Thomas
 (first published 1952)
Perhaps it was William Randolph Hearst.

Monday December 22, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:16 PM

Cambria, California (AP)

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.5 rocked the California coast from Los Angeles to San Francisco on Monday.

“Would you like something to read?”

Dylan Thomas,
   A Child’s Christmas in Wales

Monday, October 27, 2003

Monday October 27, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:28 AM

Dream of Heaven, continued

“…I am going up the hill on the grass behind juniper trees birches the road dusty she is coming up the other side yes there she is look it is who is it not Berty no Molly no a girl with red hair comes through the oak trees beautiful loves me puts out her hand kisses me we are kissing become one face floating in air with wings one fused face with wings Turner sunset and this and this and this and this and this WINGbeat and WINGbeat where whirled and well where whirled and well where whirled and well —”

Great Circle, by Conrad Aiken, 1933.
    Pp. 297-298 in paperback published by
    Arbor House, New York, 1984.

For related material, see the poems of Conrad Aiken, the 1947 novel Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry, and the 1936 poem “Altarwise by Owl-Light,” by Dylan Thomas, whose birthday is today.

Surrealist postscripts:

The above dream contains a Turner sunset; a critic once called the work of Turner “pictures of nothing.”  For details, see my entry of 8/23.

The time of this entry, 8:28, is a reference to the date, 8/28, of the Feast of St. Augustine, who was puzzled, as many still are, by the nature of time.  For details, see my entry of 8/28.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Tuesday April 15, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 PM

Green and Burning

After posting the 2:42 PM entry at a public library this afternoon, I picked up the following at a “Friends of the Library” used-book sale:

The Green and Burning Tree:
On the Writing and Enjoyment
of Children’s Books

by Eleanor Cameron (Little, Brown and Company, Boston and Toronto, 1969).

Cameron, on page 73, gives the source of her title; it is from the Mabinogion:

“And they saw a tall tree by the side of the river, one half of which was in flames from the root to the top, and the other half was green and in full leaf.”

Cameron finds the meaning of this symbol in Dylan Thomas: His Life and Work, by John Ackerman (Oxford University Press, 1964), p. 6:

“Another important feature of the old Welsh poetry is an awareness of the dual nature of reality, of unity in disunity, of the simultaneity of life and death, of time as an eternal moment rather than as something with a past and future.”

For part of a Nobel Prize lecture on this topic — time as an eternal moment — see Architecture of Eternity, a journal note from December 8, 2002.

That lecture is from an author, Octavio Paz, who wrote in Spanish.  Here are some other words in that language:

Mi verso es de un verde claro,
Y de un carmín encendido.

My verse is a clear green,
And a burning crimson.

These lyrics to the song “Guantanamera” (see Palm Sunday) were on my mind this afternoon when Cameron’s book caught my eye.

Green and crimson are, of course, also the colors of Christmas, or “Christ Mass.”  In view of the fact that Cameron’s book is about children’s literature, this leads, like it or not, to the following meditation.

From a religious site:

Matthew 18:3 – And said, Truly I say to you, Unless you are converted, and become like little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Mark 10:15 – Truly I say to you, Whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall not enter it at all.

Luke 18:17 – Truly I say to you, Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall by no means enter it.

A meditation from a less religious site:

“What I tell you three times is true.”

Finally, from what I now consider 

  • in view of the song lyrics quoted above,
  • in view of the fact that it deals with a Cuban movie also titled “Guantanamera,”
  • in view of Cameron’s remarks on Bergman’s “The Seventh Seal” (p. 129), and
  • in view of my April 7 entry on mathematics and art,

to be an extremely religious site, a picture:

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