October Quotes

This month a few poems, revolving round my favourite themes;

Night Thoughts, by David Gascoyne

Fear, fear: you speak of fear.
What is this fear? Is it the fear we dare not fear,
That fear of fear itself, or fear of other’s fear,
Such fear as ends
In passionate untruth, self-justifying falsehood without end?
Demonic fear
Of individual guilt, of being caught, of doing wrong,
And fear of failure or of being found a fool,
And fear of anything that might contrast with me
And thus reveal my insufficiency,
My lack, my weakness, my inferiority,
In showing up my difference from itself;
Fear of uncertainty and loss, fear of all change,
Fear of all strangeness and all strangers; and above all else the fear
Of Love, of being loved, of being asked for love,
Of being loved yet knowing one has no love to return ;
Fear of forgiveness –
Fear of that love which is so great it can forgive
And the exhausting fear of Death and Mystery,
The Mystery of Death, of Life and Death,
The huge appalling Mystery of everything;
Arid fear of Nothing,
Yes, after all the fear of Nothing really,
Fear of Nothing, Nothing.
Fear of Nothing, Nothing, absolutely Nothing.

World’s End, by Jacob von Hoddis

Whisked from the Bourgeois’ pointy head hat flies,
Throughout the heavens, reverberating screams,
Down tumble roofers, shattered ‘cross roof beams
And on the coast – one reads – floodwaters rise.
The storm is here, rough seas come merrily skipping
Upon the land, thick dams to rudely crush.
Most people suffer colds, their noses dripping
While railroad trains from bridges headlong rush.

from Richard II, by William Shakespeare

For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings;
How some have been deposed; some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed;
Some poison’d by their wives: some sleeping kill’d;
All murder’d: for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be fear’d and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable, and humour’d thus
Comes at the last and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!

In Broken Images, by Robert Graves

He is quick, thinking in clear images;
I am slow, thinking in broken images.

He becomes dull, trusting to his clear images;
I become sharp, mistrusting my broken images.

Trusting his images, he assumes their relevance;
Mistrusting my images, I question their relevance.

Assuming their relevance, he assumes the fact;
Questioning their relevance, I question the fact.

When the fact fails him, he questions his senses;
When the fact fails me, I approve my senses.

He continues, quick and dull in his clear images;
I continue, slow and sharp in my broken images

He in a new confusion of his understanding;
I in a new understanding of my confusion.

from Faust, by Goethe

In the endless self-repeating
Flows for ever more the Same;
Myriad arches, springing, meeting,
Hold at rest the mighty Frame;
Streams from all things love of living,
Grandest star and humblest clod;
All the straining, all the striving,
Is eternal rest in God.