Sunday, October 05, 2008

As We Wish Our Souls to Be

Opening Lines from Shelley's "Julian and Maddalo":

I RODE one evening with Count Maddalo

Upon the bank of land which breaks the flow

Of Adria towards Venice. A bare strand

Of hillocks, heaped from ever-shifting sand,

Matted with thistles and amphibious weeds,

Such as from earth's embrace the salt ooze breeds,

Is this; an uninhabited sea-side,

Which the lone fisher, when his nets are dried,

Abandons; and no other object breaks

The waste but one dwarf tree and some few stakes

Broken and unrepaired, and the tide makes

A narrow space of level sand thereon,

Where 't was our wont to ride while day went down.

This ride was my delight. I love all waste

And solitary places; where we taste

The pleasure of believing what we see

Is boundless, as we wish our souls to be;

And such was this wide ocean, and this shore

More barren than its billows; and yet more

Than all, with a remembered friend I love

To ride as then I rode;--for the winds drove

The living spray along the sunny air

Into our faces; the blue heavens were bare,

Stripped to their depths by the awakening north;

And from the waves sound like delight broke forth

Harmonizing with solitude, and sent

Into our hearts aƫrial merriment.

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Blogger Devil Mood said...

How lovely this is :)

"The pleasure of believing what we see Is boundless, as we wish our souls to be" - it even reminds me of my holidays. *sigh* Even that common thought occured to me - it's impossible for anything bad to happen at this place (but it wasn't Tiffany's, only the coast).

11:48 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

DM, it's good to hear from you again. Of course, going back to Shelley was inspired by your recommendation of Jude Morgan's Passion. With my recent bouts with the grunge, it's been slower going than I'd like, but I'm about three-quarters through. Even this far in, I find I'm fascinated at how Keats has still not appeared. I've done more reading of Keats than the other two, so I can feel him around; not to mention that he is a fellow Scorp. At this point, I find myself most drawn to Mary Godwin and Lady Caroline Lamb: I feel the struggle of her brilliance and madness, and the courage of her honesty.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Devil Mood said...

Oh I understand - I was worried about Keats not appearing too. I looked at the book and it appeared to be ending and I asked: where is he?
But he'll be there :)

I loved Caroline and the way she addresses the reader :)

12:34 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

DM, it fits that Keats' presence should be so ghostly, dead so young, living through his after.

The opening pages with Mary's mother are awesome as well.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Tammie Lee said...

In reading this piece, I feel as though I have just taken a journey into a vast and spacious land. My heart is full in an endless way,I thank you.

11:16 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Tammie: It was nice to re-discover Shelley after many years of staying ensconced with contemporary poets.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

This resonates with me, Paschal. I've seen such scenes before along the Texas coast and byways. Was all of that Shelley's or was some of it yours? When it talked about the lone fisher and the one dwarf tree and a few broken stakes I remembered your Blue Heron poem which I still keep because it is worth rereading. So is this. Thank you!

Peace & Hope!

PS. I especially felt the phrases "I love all waste and solitary places", "believing what we see is boundless, as we wish our souls to be; and such was this wide ocean, and this shore More barren than its billows; and yet more Than all."

Most excellent!

6:47 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Lee: The poem excerpt is all Shelley: Julian and Maddalo are actually pseudonyms for Shelley and Byron: Julian for Shelley and (Count) Maddalo for Byron. Reading Shelley over the past couple of weeks, it was a nice enough (and manageable) chunk to include in the blog.

10:47 PM  

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