“This wind, into which I am climbing, is fragrant of beyonds and distances, of watersheds and foreign languages, of mountains and southern places. It is full of promise.” ― Hermann Hesse, Wandering I was very lucky yesterday, while mooching through piles of 2nd hand books at a Spanish fleamarket, to spy and purchase a copy … Continue reading The Wandering and Watercolours of Hermann Hesse
"So, for once, let’s forget her beauty, and the string of amorous famous writers who sought her out. Never mind that she starred in an anti-racist silent film with Paul Robeson. Never mind she held her own throughout psychoanalysis with Freud, himself. Never mind her exotic travels, her busy androgyny, her splendid daughter, her voluntary … Continue reading Hilda Doolittle (H.D.) poet (1886–1961) – The Mysteries Remain
" Specialism consists in seeing the things of the material world as well as those of the spiritual world in their original and consequential ramifications. The highest human genius is that which starts from the shadows of abstraction to advance into the light of specialism. (Specialism, species, sight, speculation, seeing all, and that at one … Continue reading “He was an illumination thrown upon life.”
“One of her most interesting poems, ‘On Imagination’, employs art as a means of freeing the mind and the muse, conceptualized as a figure she calls Fancy. Her poem proposes an alternative hierarchy where Fancy acts a deity that enjoys unfettered freedom, despite the tight poetical structure of the heroic couplet form, likely read in the works of the near-contemporary and widely read British poet, Alexander Pope. In ‘On Imagination’, Wheatley constructs a liberated world outside of slavery, flying on the wings of Fancy, another word for the imagination, to free herself from the bonds imposed by Winter, an allegorical figure representing slavery.”
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By Laura Linker
Phillis Wheatley (1753-84), an eighteenth-century black slave taught to read by her owners, composed over 100 poems in her lifetime, many of them drawing on the Bible as a source of infallible authority. The first slave to publish a book, Wheatley often urges America to repent of its participation in the slave trade. (She was also the originator of ‘Columbia’ as a term for America, which she invented in her 1776 poem ‘To His Excellency George Washington’.) Steeped in western canonical authors, including Ovid, Virgil, Shakespeare, and Milton, she draws on classical and religious allusions to challenge legal and social limitations that denigrate slaves, adopting established poetical forms only to use them as sites of resistance. Her poetry demonstrates remarkable technique and learning.
One of her most interesting poems, ‘On Imagination’, employs art as a means of freeing the mind and the muse, conceptualized as a figure…
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My interest in the esoteric began in earnest when I was studying Egyptology and came across some literature from the Ptolemeic period of Ancient Egypt; stories about one of the sons of Ramesses II, who had lived centuries earlier. This prince, Khaemwaset, was already a fascinating historical character, as among other major works, he … Continue reading The Language of the Birds and the Book of Thoth.