Madison Julius Cawein (March 23, 1865 – December 8, 1914) was a poet from Louisville, Kentucky. He was the fifth child of William and Christiana (Stelsly) Cawein. His father made patent medicines from herbs thus, as a child, Cawein became acquainted with and developed a love for local nature.
I'm a highly intelligent, articulate and well-educated human being with an intuitive but enterprising sense of responsibility and a strong moral compass that instinctively demarcates what's right and wrong. Trust, confidentiality and having the courage, regardless of what I do, to formulate and stand by my own personal convictions are key aspects of my life and, unsurprisingly, are also principal characteristics I attach great importance to and naturally expect from those who want to play a meaningful role in my life. I don't suffer fools gladly, in fact not at all and most definitely haven’t got any interest in or time for egotists, time-wasters, attention seekers or the narcissistic. Furthermore, I’m an adult and in my private and professional lives prefer to deal with genuine adults, so anyone who wants to act childishly and thinks they can have any kind of relationship with me, then you’re wrong! And my advice to you in that regard is to go and enrol in a kindergarten as you'll possibly have better luck there. My website is: www.politicoacademic.blogspot.com and my twitter feed if you're interested is: www.twitter.com/DerAkademiker
Edward Estlin Cummings (October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962), popularly known as E. E. Cummings, with the abbreviated form of his name often written by others in lowercase letters as e.e. cummings (in the style of some of his poems—see name and capitalization, below), was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. His body of work encompasses approximately 2,900 poems, two autobiographical novels, four plays and several essays, as well as numerous drawings and paintings. He is remembered as a preeminent voice of 20th century poetry. Born into a Unitarian family, Cummings exhibited transcendental leanings his entire life. As he grew in maturity and age, Cummings moved more toward an "I, Thou" relationship with God. His journals are replete with references to “le bon Dieu” as well as prayers for inspiration in his poetry and artwork (such as “Bon Dieu! may I some day do something truly great. amen.”). Cummings "also prayed for strength to be his essential self ('may I be I is the only prayer--not may I be great or good or beautiful or wise or strong'), and for relief of spirit in times of depression ('almighty God! I thank thee for my soul; & may I never die spiritually into a mere mind through disease of loneliness')." Cummings wanted to be a poet from childhood and wrote poetry daily aged eight to 22, exploring assorted forms. He went to Harvard and developed an interest in modern poetry which ignored conventional grammar and syntax, aiming for a dynamic use of language. On graduating he worked for a book dealer. In 1917, with the first world war ongoing in Europe, Cummings enlisted in the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps, along with his college friend John Dos Passos. Due to an administrative mix-up, Cummings was not assigned to an ambulance unit for five weeks, during which time he stayed in Paris. He fell in love with the city, to which he would return throughout his life. During their service in the ambulance corps, they sent letters home that drew the attention of the military censors, and were known to prefer the company of French soldiers over fellow ambulance drivers. The two openly expressed anti-war views; Cummings spoke of his lack of hatred for the Germans. On September 21, 1917, just five months after his belated assignment, he and a friend, William Slater Brown were arrested by the French military on suspicion of espionage and undesirable activities. They were held for 3½ months in a military detention camp at the Dépôt de Triage, in La Ferté-Macé, Orne, Normandy. They were imprisoned with other detainees in a large room. Cummings' father failed to obtain his son's release through diplomatic channels and in December 1917 wrote a letter to President Wilson. Cummings was released on December 19, 1917, and Brown was released two months later. Cummings used his prison experience as the basis for his novel, The Enormous Room (1922) about which F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "Of all the work by young men who have sprung up since 1920 one book survives—The Enormous Room by e e cummings....Those few who cause books to live have not been able to endure the thought of its mortality." Cummings returned to the United States on New Year's Day 1918. Later in 1918 he was drafted into the army. He served in the 12th Division at Camp Devens, Massachusetts, until November 1918. Cummings returned to Paris in 1921 and remained there for two years before returning to New York. His collection Tulips and Chimneys came in 1923 and his inventive use of grammar and syntax is evident. The book was heavily cut by his editor. XLI Poems, was then published in 1925. With these collections Cummings made his reputation as an avant garde poet. During the rest of the 1920s and 1930s Cummings returned to Paris a number of times, and traveled throughout Europe, meeting, among others, Pablo Picasso. In 1931 Cummings traveled to the Soviet Union, recounting his experiences in Eimi, published two years later. During these years Cummings also traveled to Northern Africa and Mexico and worked as an essayist and portrait artist for Vanity Fair magazine (1924 to 1927). In 1926, Cummings' father was killed in a car accident. Though severely injured, Cummings' mother survived. Cummings detailed the accident in the following passage from his i: six nonlectures series given at Harvard (as part of the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures) in 1952–1953: A locomotive cut the car in half, killing my father instantly. When two brakemen jumped from the halted train, they saw a woman standing - dazed but erect – beside a mangled machine; with blood spouting (as the older said to me) out of her head. One of her hands (the younger added) kept feeling her dress, as if trying to discover why it was wet. These men took my sixty-six year old mother by the arms and tried to lead her toward a nearby farmhouse; but she threw them off, strode straight to my father's body, and directed a group of scared spectators to cover him. When this had been done (and only then) she let them lead her away. His father's death had a profound impact on Cummings, who entered a new period in his artistic life. Cummings began to focus on more important aspects of life in his poetry. He began this new period by paying homage to his father's memory in the poem "my father moved through dooms of love" Final years In 1952, his alma mater, Harvard University awarded Cummings an honorary seat as a guest professor. The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures he gave in 1952 and 1955 were later collected as i: six nonlectures. Cummings spent the last decade of his life traveling, fulfilling speaking engagements, and spending time at his summer home, Joy Farm, in Silver Lake, New Hampshire. He died of a stroke on September 3, 1962, at the age of 67 in North Conway, New Hampshire at the Memorial Hospital. His cremated remains were buried in Lot 748 Althaeas Path, in Section 6, Forest Hills Cemetery and Crematory in Boston. In 1969, his third wife, model and photographer Marion Morehouse Cummings, died and was buried in an adjoining plot. Cummings' papers are held at the Houghton Library at Harvard University and the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Marriages Cummings was married briefly twice. Cummings' first marriage, to Elaine Orr, began as a love affair in 1918 while she was married to Scofield Thayer, one of Cummings' friends from Harvard. During this time he wrote a good deal of his erotic poetry. The affair produced a daughter, Nancy, born on December 20, 1919. Nancy was Cummings' only child. After divorcing Thayer, Elaine married Cummings on March 19, 1924. However, the marriage ended after two months and they were divorced less than nine months later. Elaine left Cummings for a wealthy Irish banker, moved to Ireland, and took Nancy with her. Under the terms of the divorce Cummings was granted custody of Nancy for three months each year, but Elaine refused to abide by the agreement. Cummings did not see his daughter again until 1946. He married his second wife Anne Minnerly Barton on May 1, 1929, and they separated three years later in 1932. That same year, Anne obtained a Mexican divorce that was not officially recognized in the United States until August 1934. The year Cummings and Anne separated, he met Marion Morehouse, a fashion model and photographer. Although it is not clear whether the two were ever legally married, Morehouse lived with Cummings in a common-law marriage until his death in 1962. Morehouse died on May 18, 1969, while living at 4 Patchin Place, Greenwich Village, New York City, where Cummings had resided since September 8, 1924. Political views According to his testimony in EIMI, Cummings had little interest in politics until his trip to the Soviet Union in 1931, after which he shifted rightward on many political and social issues. Despite his radical and bohemian public image, he was a Republican and, later, an ardent supporter of Joseph McCarthy. Poetry Despite Cummings' consanguinity with avant-garde styles, much of his work is quite traditional. Many of his poems are sonnets, albeit often with a modern twist, and he occasionally made use of the blues form and acrostics. Cummings' poetry often deals with themes of love and nature, as well as the relationship of the individual to the masses and to the world. His poems are also often rife with satire. While his poetic forms and themes share an affinity with the romantic tradition, Cummings' work universally shows a particular idiosyncrasy of syntax, or way of arranging individual words into larger phrases and sentences. Many of his most striking poems do not involve any typographical or punctuation innovations at all, but purely syntactic ones. As well as being influenced by notable modernists including Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound, Cummings' early work drew upon the imagist experiments of Amy Lowell. Later, his visits to Paris exposed him to Dada and surrealism, which in turn permeated his work. He began to rely on symbolism and allegory where he once used simile and metaphor. In his later work, he rarely used comparisons that required objects that were not previously mentioned in the poem, choosing to use a symbol instead. Due to this, his later poetry is “frequently more lucid, more moving, and more profound than his earlier.” Cummings also liked to incorporate imagery of nature and death into much of his poetry. While some of his poetry is free verse (with no concern for rhyme or meter), many have a recognizable sonnet structure of 14 lines, with an intricate rhyme scheme. A number of his poems feature a typographically exuberant style, with words, parts of words, or punctuation symbols scattered across the page, often making little sense until read aloud, at which point the meaning and emotion become clear. Cummings, who was also a painter, understood the importance of presentation, and used typography to "paint a picture" with some of his poems. The seeds of Cummings' unconventional style appear well established even in his earliest work. At age six, he wrote to his father: FATHER DEAR. BE, YOUR FATHER-GOOD AND GOOD, HE IS GOOD NOW, IT IS NOT GOOD TO SEE IT RAIN, FATHER DEAR IS, IT, DEAR, NO FATHER DEAR, LOVE, YOU DEAR, ESTLIN. Following his autobiographical novel The Enormous Room, Cummings' first published work was a collection of poems entitled Tulips and Chimneys (1923). This work was the public's first encounter with his characteristic eccentric use of grammar and punctuation. Some of Cummings' most famous poems do not involve much, if any, odd typography or punctuation, but still carry his unmistakable style, particularly in unusual and impressionistic word order. Cummings' work often does not act in accordance with the conventional combinatorial rules that generate typical English sentences (for example, "they sowed their isn't"). His readings of Stein in the early part of the century probably served as a springboard to this aspect of his artistic development. In some respects, Cummings' work is more stylistically continuous with Stein's than with any other poet or writer. In addition, a number of Cummings' poems feature, in part or in whole, intentional misspellings, and several incorporate phonetic spellings intended to represent particular dialects. Cummings also made use of inventive formations of compound words, as in "in Just" which features words such as "mud-luscious", "puddle-wonderful", and "eddieandbill." This poem is part of a sequence of poems entitled Chansons Innocentes; it has many references comparing the "balloonman" to Pan, the mythical creature that is half-goat and half-man. Literary critic R.P. Blackmur has commented that this usage of language is “frequently unintelligible because he disregards the historical accumulation of meaning in words in favour of merely private and personal associations.” Many of Cummings' poems are satirical and address social issues but have an equal or even stronger bias toward romanticism: time and again his poems celebrate love, sex, and the season of rebirth. Cummings also wrote children's books and novels. A notable example of his versatility is an introduction he wrote for a collection of the comic strip Krazy Kat. Controversy Cummings is also known for controversial subject matter, as he has a large collection of erotic poetry. In his 1950 collection Xaipe: Seventy-One Poems, Cummings published two poems containing words that caused an outrage in some quarters. one day a nigger caught in his hand a little star no bigger than not to understand "i'll never let you go until you've made me white" so she did and now stars shine at night. and a kike is the most dangerous machine as yet invented by even yankee ingenu ity(out of a jew a few dead dollars and some twisted laws) it comes both prigged and canted Cummings biographer Catherine Reef notes of the incident: Friends begged Cummings to reconsider publishing these poems, and the book's editor pleaded with him to withdraw them, but he insisted that they stay. All the fuss perplexed him. The poems were commenting on prejudice, he pointed out, and not condoning it. He intended to show how derogatory words cause people to see others in terms of stereotypes rather than as individuals. "America(which turns Hungarian into 'hunky' & Irishman into 'mick' and Norwegian into 'square- head')is to blame for 'kike,'" he said. But readers were still hurt, despite his commentary. Jews, living in the painful aftermath of the Holocaust, felt his very words were antisemitic, in spite of their purpose. William Carlos Williams spoke out in his defense. Plays During his lifetime, Cummings published four plays. HIM, a three-act play, was first produced in 1928 by the Provincetown Players in New York City. The production was directed by James Light. The play's main characters are "Him", a playwright, and "Me", his girlfriend. Cummings said of the unorthodox play: Relax and give the play a chance to strut its stuff—relax, stop wondering what it is all 'about'—like many strange and familiar things, Life included, this play isn't 'about,' it simply is. . . . Don't try to enjoy it, let it try to enjoy you. DON'T TRY TO UNDERSTAND IT, LET IT TRY TO UNDERSTAND YOU.” Anthropos, or the Future of Art is a short, one-act play that Cummings contributed to the anthology Whither, Whither or After Sex, What? A Symposium to End Symposium. The play consists of dialogue between Man, the main character, and three "infrahumans", or inferior beings. The word anthropos is the Greek word for "man", in the sense of "mankind". Tom, A Ballet is a ballet based on Uncle Tom's Cabin. The ballet is detailed in a "synopsis" as well as descriptions of four "episodes", which were published by Cummings in 1935. It has never been performed. Santa Claus: A Morality was probably Cummings' most successful play. It is an allegorical Christmas fantasy presented in one act of five scenes. The play was inspired by his daughter Nancy, with whom he was reunited in 1946. It was first published in the Harvard College magazine the Wake. The play's main characters are Santa Claus, his family (Woman and Child), Death, and Mob. At the outset of the play, Santa Claus' family has disintegrated due to their lust for knowledge (Science). After a series of events, however, Santa Claus' faith in love and his rejection of the materialism and disappointment he associates with Science are reaffirmed, and he is reunited with Woman and Child. Name and capitalization Cummings's publishers and others have sometimes echoed the unconventional orthography in his poetry by writing his name in lowercase and without periods, but normal orthography (uppercase and periods) is supported by scholarship, and preferred by publishers today. Cummings himself used both the lowercase and capitalized versions, though he most often signed his name with capitals. The use of lowercase for his initials was popularized in part by the title of some books, particularly in the 1960s, printing his name in lower case on the cover and spine. In the preface to E. E. Cummings: the growth of a writer critic Harry T. Moore notes " He [Cummings] had his name put legally into lower case, and in his later books the titles and his name were always in lower case." According to his widow, this is incorrect, She wrote of Friedman "you should not have allowed H. Moore to make such a stupid & childish statement about Cummings & his signature." On 27 February 1951, Cummings wrote to his French translator D. Jon Grossman that he preferred the use of upper case for the particular edition they were working on. One Cummings scholar believes that on the rare occasions that Cummings signed his name in all lowercase, he may have intended it as a gesture of humility, not as an indication that it was the preferred orthography for others to use. Critic Edmund Wilson commented "Mr. Cummings’s eccentric punctuation is, also, I believe, a symptom of his immaturity as an artist. It is not merely a question of an unconventional usage: unconventional punctuation may very well gain its effect... the really serious case against Mr. Cummings’s punctuation is that the results which it yields are ugly. His poems on the page are hideous.” Awards During his lifetime, Cummings received numerous awards in recognition of his work, including: Dial Award (1925) Guggenheim Fellowship (1933) Shelley Memorial Award for Poetry (1944) Harriet Monroe Prize from Poetry magazine (1950) Fellowship of American Academy of Poets (1950) Guggenheim Fellowship (1951) Charles Eliot Norton Professorship at Harvard (1952–1953) Special citation from the National Book Award Committee for his Poems, 1923-1954 (1957) Bollingen Prize in Poetry (1958) Boston Arts Festival Award (1957) Two-year Ford Foundation grant of $15,000 (1959) Books The Enormous Room (1922) Tulips and Chimneys (1923) & (1925) (self-published) XLI Poems (1925) is 5 (1926) HIM (1927) (a play) ViVa (1931) EIMI (1933) (Soviet travelogue) No Thanks (1935) Collected Poems (1960) 50 Poems (1940) 1 × 1 (1944) XAIPE: Seventy-One Poems (1950) i—six nonlectures (1953) Harvard University Press Poems, 1923-1954 (1954) 95 Poems (1958) 73 Poems (1963) (posthumous) Fairy Tales (1965) (posthumous) References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._E._Cummings
William Cowper (26 November 1731– 25 April 1800) was an English poet and hymnodist. One of the most popular poets of his time, Cowper changed the direction of 18th century nature poetry by writing of everyday life and scenes of the English countryside. In many ways, he was one of the forerunners of Romantic poetry. Samuel Taylor Coleridge called him “the best modern poet”, whilst William Wordsworth particularly admired his poem Yardley-Oak. He was a nephew of the poet Judith Madan. After being institutionalised for insanity in the period 1763–65, Cowper found refuge in a fervent evangelical Christianity, the inspiration behind his much-loved hymns. He continued to suffer doubt and, after a dream in 1773, believed that he was doomed to eternal damnation. He recovered and wrote more religious hymns. His religious sentiment and association with John Newton (who wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace”) led to much of the poetry for which he is best remembered, and to the series of Olney Hymns. His poem “Light Shining out of Darkness” gave English the phrase: "God moves in a mysterious way/His wonders to perform.” He also wrote a number of anti-slavery poems and his friendship with Newton, who was an avid anti-slavery campaigner, resulted in Cowper being asked to write in support of the Abolitionist campaign. Cowper wrote a poem called 'The Negro’s Complaint’ (1788) which rapidly became very famous, and was often quoted by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the 20th century civil rights movement. He also wrote several other less well known poems on slavery in the 1780s, many of which attacked the idea that slavery was economically viable. Life William Cowper was born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England where his father John Cowper was rector of the Church of St Peter. His mother was Ann Cowper. He and his brother John were the only two of seven children to live past infancy. Ann died giving birth to John on 7 November 1737. His mother’s death at such an early age troubled William deeply and was the subject of his poem, “On the Receipt of My Mother’s Picture,” written more than fifty years later. He grew close to her family in his early years. He was particularly close with her brother Robert and his wife Harriot. They instilled in young William a love of reading and gave him some of his first books– John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and John Gay’s Fables. Cowper was first enrolled in Westminster School in April of 1742 after moving from school to school for a number of years. He had begun to study Latin from a young age, and was an eager scholar of Latin for the rest of his life. Older children bullied Cowper through many of his younger years. At Westminster School he studied under the headmaster John Nicoll. At the time Westminster School was popular amongst families belonging to England’s Whig political party. Many intelligent boys from families of a lower social status also attended, however. Cowper made lifelong friends from Westminster. He read through the Iliad and the Odyssey, which ignited his lifelong scholarship and love for Homer’s epics. He grew skilled at the interpretation and translation of Latin, which he put to use for the rest of his life. He was skilled in the composition of Latin as well and wrote many verses of his own. After education at Westminster School, Cowper was articled to Mr Chapman, solicitor, of Ely Place, Holborn, to be trained for a career in law. During this time, he spent his leisure at the home of his uncle Bob Cowper, where he fell in love with his cousin Theodora, whom he wished to marry. But as James Croft, who in 1825 first published the poems Cowper addressed to Theodora, wrote, “her father, from an idea that the union of persons so nearly related was improper, refused to accede to the wishes of his daughter and nephew.” This refusal left Cowper distraught. In 1763 he was offered a Clerkship of Journals in the House of Lords, but broke under the strain of the approaching examination; he experienced a period of depression and insanity. At this time he tried three times to commit suicide and was sent to Nathaniel Cotton’s asylum at St. Albans for recovery. His poem beginning “Hatred and vengeance, my eternal portions” (sometimes referred to as “Sapphics”) was written in the aftermath of his suicide attempt. After recovering, he settled at Huntingdon with a retired clergyman named Morley Unwin and his wife Mary. Cowper grew to be on such good terms with the Unwin family that he went to live in their house, and moved with them to Olney. There he met curate John Newton, a former captain of slave ships who had devoted his life to the gospel. Not long afterwards, Morley Unwin was killed in a fall from his horse; Cowper continued to live in the Unwin home and became greatly attached to the widow Mary Unwin. At Olney, Newton invited Cowper to contribute to a hymnbook that he was compiling. The resulting volume, known as Olney Hymns, was not published until 1779 but includes hymns such as “Praise for the Fountain Opened” (beginning “There is a fountain fill’d with blood”) and “Light Shining out of Darkness” (beginning “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”) which remain some of Cowper’s most familiar verses. Several of Cowper’s hymns, as well as others originally published in the Olney Hymns, are today preserved in the Sacred Harp, which also collects shape note songs. In 1773, Cowper experienced an attack of insanity, imagining not only that he was eternally condemned to hell, but that God was commanding him to make a sacrifice of his own life. Mary Unwin took care of him with great devotion, and after a year he began to recover. In 1779, after Newton had moved from Olney to London, Cowper started to write poetry again. Mary Unwin, wanting to keep Cowper’s mind occupied, suggested that he write on the subject of The Progress of Error. After writing a satire of this name, he wrote seven others. These poems were collected and published in 1782 under the title Poems by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq. In 1781 Cowper met a sophisticated and charming widow named Lady Austen who inspired new poetry. Cowper himself tells of the genesis of what some have considered his most substantial work, The Task, in his “Advertisement” to the original edition of 1785: …a lady, fond of blank verse, demanded a poem of that kind from the author, and gave him the SOFA for a subject. He obeyed; and, having much leisure, connected another subject with it; and, pursuing the train of thought to which his situation and turn of mind led him, brought forth at length, instead of the trifle which he at first intended, a serious affair—a Volume! In the same volume Cowper also printed “The Diverting History of John Gilpin”, a notable piece of comic verse. John Gilpin was later credited with saving Cowper from becoming completely insane. Cowper and Mary Unwin moved to Weston Underwood, Buckinghamshire in 1786, having become close with his cousin Lady Harriett Hesketh (Theodora’s sister). During this period he started his translations of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey into blank verse. His versions (published in 1791) were the most significant English renderings of these epic poems since those of Alexander Pope earlier in the century. Later critics have faulted Cowper’s Homer for being too much in the mould of John Milton. In 1795 Cowper moved with Mary to Norfolk. They originally stayed at North Tuddenham, then at Dunham Lodge near Swaffham and then Mundesley before finally settling in East Dereham. Mary Unwin died in 1796, plunging Cowper into a gloom from which he never fully recovered. He did continue to revise his Homer for a second edition of his translation. Aside from writing the powerful and bleak poem, “The Castaway”, he penned some English translations of Greek verse and translated some of the Fables of John Gay into Latin. Cowper was seized with dropsy in the spring of 1800 and died. He is buried in the chapel of St Thomas of Canterbury, St Nicholas’s Church, East Dereham. A window in Westminster Abbey honours him. Major works Olney Hymns, 1779, in collaboration with John Newton John Gilpin, 1782 The Task, 1785 Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, 1791 (translations from the Greek). Hymns Cowper is represented with fifteen hymns in The Church Hymn book 1872: 127 Jesus! where’er thy people meet 357 The Spirit breathes upon the word 450 There is a fountain, filled with blood 790 Hark! my soul! it is the Lord 856 To Jesus, the Crown of my hope 871 Far from the world, O Lord! I flee 885 My Lord! how full of sweet content (1782 translation) 932 What various hindrances we meet 945 Oh! for a closer walk with God 965 When darkness long has veiled my mind 1002 ’Tis my happiness below 1009 O Lord! in sorrow I resign (1782 translation) 1029 O Lord! my best desire fulfill 1043 There is a safe and secret place 1060 God of my life! to thee I call References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Cowper
John Clare (13 July 1793 – 20 May 1864) was an English poet, the son of a farm labourer, who came to be known for his celebratory representations of the English countryside and his lamentation of its disruption. His poetry underwent a major re-evaluation in the late 20th century and he is often now considered to be among the most important 19th-century poets. His biographer Jonathan Bate states that Clare was "the greatest labouring-class poet that England has ever produced. No one has ever written more powerfully of nature, of a rural childhood, and of the alienated and unstable self”. Early life Clare was born in Helpston, six miles to the north of the city of Peterborough. In his life time, the village was in the Soke of Peterborough in Northamptonshire and his memorial calls him "The Northamptonshire Peasant Poet". Helpston now lies in the Peterborough unitary authority of Cambridgeshire. He became an agricultural labourer while still a child; however, he attended school in Glinton church until he was twelve. In his early adult years, Clare became a pot-boy in the Blue Bell public house and fell in love with Mary Joyce; but her father, a prosperous farmer, forbade her to meet him. Subsequently he was a gardener at Burghley House. He enlisted in the militia, tried camp life with Gypsies, and worked in Pickworth as a lime burner in 1817. In the following year he was obliged to accept parish relief. Malnutrition stemming from childhood may be the main culprit behind his 5-foot stature and may have contributed to his poor physical health in later life. Early poems Clare had bought a copy of Thomson's Seasons and began to write poems and sonnets. In an attempt to hold off his parents' eviction from their home, Clare offered his poems to a local bookseller named Edward Drury. Drury sent Clare's poetry to his cousin John Taylor of the publishing firm of Taylor & Hessey, who had published the work of John Keats. Taylor published Clare's Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery in 1820. This book was highly praised, and in the next year his Village Minstrel and other Poems were published. Midlife He had married Martha ("Patty") Turner in 1820. An annuity of 15 guineas from the Marquess of Exeter, in whose service he had been, was supplemented by subscription, so that Clare became possessed of £45 annually, a sum far beyond what he had ever earned. Soon, however, his income became insufficient, and in 1823 he was nearly penniless. The Shepherd's Calendar (1827) met with little success, which was not increased by his hawking it himself. As he worked again in the fields his health temporarily improved; but he soon became seriously ill. Earl FitzWilliam presented him with a new cottage and a piece of ground, but Clare could not settle in his new home. Clare was constantly torn between the two worlds of literary London and his often illiterate neighbours; between the need to write poetry and the need for money to feed and clothe his children. His health began to suffer, and he had bouts of severe depression, which became worse after his sixth child was born in 1830 and as his poetry sold less well. In 1832, his friends and his London patrons clubbed together to move the family to a larger cottage with a smallholding in the village of Northborough, not far from Helpston. However, he felt only more alienated. His last work, the Rural Muse (1835), was noticed favourably by Christopher North and other reviewers, but this was not enough to support his wife and seven children. Clare's mental health began to worsen. As his alcohol consumption steadily increased along with his dissatisfaction with his own identity, Clare's behaviour became more erratic. A notable instance of this behaviour was demonstrated in his interruption of a performance of The Merchant of Venice, in which Clare verbally assaulted Shylock. He was becoming a burden to Patty and his family, and in July 1837, on the recommendation of his publishing friend, John Taylor, Clare went of his own volition (accompanied by a friend of Taylor's) to Dr Matthew Allen's private asylum High Beach near Loughton, in Epping Forest. Taylor had assured Clare that he would receive the best medical care. Later life and death During his first few asylum years in Essex (1837–1841), Clare re-wrote famous poems and sonnets by Lord Byron. His own version of Child Harold became a lament for past lost love, and Don Juan, A Poem became an acerbic, misogynistic, sexualised rant redolent of an aging Regency dandy. Clare also took credit for Shakespeare's plays, claiming to be the Renaissance genius himself. "I'm John Clare now," the poet claimed to a newspaper editor, "I was Byron and Shakespeare formerly." In 1841, Clare left the asylum in Essex, to walk home, believing that he was to meet his first love Mary Joyce; Clare was convinced that he was married with children to her and Martha as well. He did not believe her family when they told him she had died accidentally three years earlier in a house fire. He remained free, mostly at home in Northborough, for the five months following, but eventually Patty called the doctors in. Between Christmas and New Year in 1841, Clare was committed to the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum (now St Andrew's Hospital). Upon Clare's arrival at the asylum, the accompanying doctor, Fenwick Skrimshire, who had treated Clare since 1820, completed the admission papers. To the enquiry "Was the insanity preceded by any severe or long-continued mental emotion or exertion?", Dr Skrimshire entered: "After years of poetical prosing." He remained here for the rest of his life under the humane regime of Dr Thomas Octavius Prichard, encouraged and helped to write. Here he wrote possibly his most famous poem, I Am. He died on 20 May 1864, in his 71st year. His remains were returned to Helpston for burial in St Botolph’s churchyard. Today, children at the John Clare School, Helpston's primary, parade through the village and place their 'midsummer cushions' around Clare's gravestone (which has the inscriptions "To the Memory of John Clare The Northamptonshire Peasant Poet" and "A Poet is Born not Made") on his birthday, in honour of their most famous resident. The thatched cottage where he was born was bought by the John Clare Education & Environment Trust in 2005 and is restoring the cottage to its 18th century state. Poetry In his time, Clare was commonly known as "the Northamptonshire Peasant Poet". Since his formal education was brief, Clare resisted the use of the increasingly standardised English grammar and orthography in his poetry and prose. Many of his poems would come to incorporate terms used locally in his Northamptonshire dialect, such as 'pooty' (snail), 'lady-cow' (ladybird), 'crizzle' (to crisp) and 'throstle' (song thrush). In his early life he struggled to find a place for his poetry in the changing literary fashions of the day. He also felt that he did not belong with other peasants. Clare once wrote "I live here among the ignorant like a lost man in fact like one whom the rest seemes careless of having anything to do with—they hardly dare talk in my company for fear I should mention them in my writings and I find more pleasure in wandering the fields than in musing among my silent neighbours who are insensible to everything but toiling and talking of it and that to no purpose.” It is common to see an absence of punctuation in many of Clare's original writings, although many publishers felt the need to remedy this practice in the majority of his work. Clare argued with his editors about how it should be presented to the public. Clare grew up during a period of massive changes in both town and countryside as the Industrial Revolution swept Europe. Many former agricultural workers, including children, moved away from the countryside to over-crowded cities, following factory work. The Agricultural Revolution saw pastures ploughed up, trees and hedges uprooted, the fens drained and the common land enclosed. This destruction of a centuries-old way of life distressed Clare deeply. His political and social views were predominantly conservative ("I am as far as my politics reaches 'King and Country'—no Innovations in Religion and Government say I."). He refused even to complain about the subordinate position to which English society relegated him, swearing that "with the old dish that was served to my forefathers I am content." His early work delights both in nature and the cycle of the rural year. Poems such as Winter Evening, Haymaking and Wood Pictures in Summer celebrate the beauty of the world and the certainties of rural life, where animals must be fed and crops harvested. Poems such as Little Trotty Wagtail show his sharp observation of wildlife, though The Badger shows his lack of sentiment about the place of animals in the countryside. At this time, he often used poetic forms such as the sonnet and the rhyming couplet. His later poetry tends to be more meditative and use forms similar to the folks songs and ballads of his youth. An example of this is Evening. His knowledge of the natural world went far beyond that of the major Romantic poets. However, poems such as I Am show a metaphysical depth on a par with his contemporary poets and many of his pre-asylum poems deal with intricate play on the nature of linguistics. His 'bird's nest poems', it can be argued, illustrate the self-awareness, and obsession with the creative process that captivated the romantics. Clare was the most influential poet, aside from Wordsworth to practice in an older style. Revival of interest in the twentieth century Clare was relatively forgotten during the later nineteenth century, but interest in his work was revived by Arthur Symons in 1908, Edmund Blunden in 1920 and John and Anne Tibble in their ground-breaking 1935 2-volume edition. Benjamin Britten set some of 'May' from A Shepherd's Calendar in his Spring Symphony of 1948, and included a setting of The Evening Primrose in his Five Flower Songs Copyright to much of his work has been claimed since 1965 by the editor of the Complete Poetry (OUP, 9 vols., 1984–2003), Professor Eric Robinson though these claims were contested. Recent publishers have refused to acknowledge the claim (especially in recent editions from Faber and Carcanet) and it seems the copyright is now defunct. The John Clare Trust purchased Clare Cottage in Helpston in 2005, preserving it for future generations. In May 2007 the Trust gained £1.m of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and commissioned Jefferson Sheard Architects to create the new landscape design and Visitor Centre, including a cafe, shop and exhibition space. The Cottage has been restored using traditional building methods and opened to the public. The largest collection of original Clare manuscripts are housed at Peterborough Museum, where they are available to view by appointment. Since 1993, the John Clare Society of North America has organised an annual session of scholarly papers concerning John Clare at the annual Convention of the Modern Language Association of America. Poetry collections by Clare (chronological) * Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery. London, 1820. * The Village Minstrel, and Other Poems. London, 1821. * The Shepherd's Calendar with Village Stories and Other Poems. London, 1827 * The Rural Muse. London, 1835. * Sonnet. London 1841 * First Love * Snow Storm. * The Firetail. * The Badger – Time unknown References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Clare
Vocabulary & words give me joy & a beautiful outlet to create artful expressions of creativity..I’m also a lover of nature & metaphors. I believe nature is our greatest teacher. Using a combination of vocabulary, nature, & metaphor in a variety of writing formats is what I love, from research papers, to public speaking, to story telling & poetry. I typically write in a freestyle format, but am not afraid to venture out & try new styles of poetry. I’ve always loved poetry, & am drawn to poets like Alfred Lord Tennyson, Emily Dickinson & others.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (21 October 1772 – 25 July 1834) was an English poet, Romantic, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as for his major prose work Biographia Literaria. His critical work, especially on Shakespeare, was highly influential, and he helped introduce German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture. He coined many familiar words and phrases, including the celebrated suspension of disbelief. He was a major influence, via Emerson, on American transcendentalism. Throughout his adult life, Coleridge suffered from crippling bouts of anxiety and depression; it has been speculated by some that he suffered from bipolar disorder, a condition as yet unidentified during his lifetime. Coleridge suffered from poor health that may have stemmed from a bout of rheumatic fever and other childhood illnesses. He was treated for these concerns with laudanum, which fostered a lifelong opium addiction. Early life Coleridge was born on 21 October 1772 in the country town of Ottery St Mary, Devon, England. Samuel's father, the Reverend John Coleridge (1718–1781), was a well-respected vicar of the parish and headmaster of Henry VIII's Free Grammar School at Ottery. He had three children by his first wife. Samuel was the youngest of ten by Reverend Coleridge's second wife, Anne Bowden (1726–1809). Coleridge suggests that he "took no pleasure in boyish sports" but instead read "incessantly" and played by himself. After John Coleridge died in 1781, 8-year-old Samuel was sent to Christ's Hospital, a charity school founded in the 16th century in Greyfriars, London, where he remained throughout his childhood, studying and writing poetry. At that school Coleridge became friends with Charles Lamb, a schoolmate, and studied the works of Virgil and William Lisle Bowles. In one of a series of autobiographical letters written to Thomas Poole, Coleridge wrote: "At six years old I remember to have read Belisarius, Robinson Crusoe, and Philip Quarll – and then I found the Arabian Nights' Entertainments – one tale of which (the tale of a man who was compelled to seek for a pure virgin) made so deep an impression on me (I had read it in the evening while my mother was mending stockings) that I was haunted by spectres whenever I was in the dark – and I distinctly remember the anxious and fearful eagerness with which I used to watch the window in which the books lay – and whenever the sun lay upon them, I would seize it, carry it by the wall, and bask, and read.” However, Coleridge seems to have appreciated his teacher, as he wrote in recollections of his schooldays in Biographia Literaria: I enjoyed the inestimable advantage of a very sensible, though at the same time, a very severe master [...] At the same time that we were studying the Greek Tragic Poets, he made us read Shakespeare and Milton as lessons: and they were the lessons too, which required most time and trouble to bring up, so as to escape his censure. I learnt from him, that Poetry, even that of the loftiest, and, seemingly, that of the wildest odes, had a logic of its own, as severe as that of science; and more difficult, because more subtle, more complex, and dependent on more, and more fugitive causes. [...] In our own English compositions (at least for the last three years of our school education) he showed no mercy to phrase, metaphor, or image, unsupported by a sound sense, or where the same sense might have been conveyed with equal force and dignity in plainer words... In fancy I can almost hear him now, exclaiming Harp? Harp? Lyre? Pen and ink, boy, you mean! Muse, boy, Muse? your Nurse's daughter, you mean! Pierian spring? Oh aye! the cloister-pump, I suppose! [...] Be this as it may, there was one custom of our master's, which I cannot pass over in silence, because I think it ... worthy of imitation. He would often permit our theme exercises, ... to accumulate, till each lad had four or five to be looked over. Then placing the whole number abreast on his desk, he would ask the writer, why this or that sentence might not have found as appropriate a place under this or that other thesis: and if no satisfying answer could be returned, and two faults of the same kind were found in one exercise, the irrevocable verdict followed, the exercise was torn up, and another on the same subject to be produced, in addition to the tasks of the day. Throughout his life, Coleridge idealized his father as pious and innocent, while his relationship with his mother was more problematic. His childhood was characterized by attention seeking, which has been linked to his dependent personality as an adult. He was rarely allowed to return home during the school term, and this distance from his family at such a turbulent time proved emotionally damaging. He later wrote of his loneliness at school in the poem Frost at Midnight: "With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt/Of my sweet birthplace." From 1791 until 1794, Coleridge attended Jesus College, Cambridge. In 1792, he won the Browne Gold Medal for an ode that he wrote on the slave trade. In December 1793, he left the college and enlisted in the Royal Dragoons using the false name "Silas Tomkyn Comberbache", perhaps because of debt or because the girl that he loved, Mary Evans, had rejected him. Afterwards, he was rumoured to have had a bout of severe depression. His brothers arranged for his discharge a few months later under the reason of "insanity" and he was readmitted to Jesus College, though he would never receive a degree from Cambridge. Pantisocracy and marriage At the university, he was introduced to political and theological ideas then considered radical, including those of the poet Robert Southey. Coleridge joined Southey in a plan, soon abandoned, to found a utopian commune-like society, called Pantisocracy, in the wilderness of Pennsylvania. In 1795, the two friends married sisters Sarah and Edith Fricker, in St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, but Coleridge's marriage proved unhappy. He grew to detest his wife, whom he only married because of social constraints. He eventually separated from her. Coleridge made plans to establish a journal, The Watchman, to be printed every eight days in order to avoid a weekly newspaper tax. The first issue of the short-lived journal was published in March 1796; it had ceased publication by May of that year. The years 1797 and 1798, during which he lived in what is now known as Coleridge Cottage, in Nether Stowey, Somerset, were among the most fruitful of Coleridge's life. In 1795, Coleridge met poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy. (Wordsworth, having visited him and being enchanted by the surroundings, rented Alfoxton Park, a little over three miles [5 km] away.) Besides the Rime of The Ancient Mariner, he composed the symbolic poem Kubla Khan, written—Coleridge himself claimed—as a result of an opium dream, in "a kind of a reverie"; and the first part of the narrative poem Christabel. The writing of Kubla Khan, written about the Mongol emperor Kublai Khan and his legendary palace at Xanadu, was said to have been interrupted by the arrival of a "Person from Porlock" — an event that has been embellished upon in such varied contexts as science fiction and Nabokov's Lolita. During this period, he also produced his much-praised "conversation" poems This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison, Frost at Midnight, and The Nightingale. In 1798, Coleridge and Wordsworth published a joint volume of poetry, Lyrical Ballads, which proved to be the starting point for the English romantic movement. Wordsworth may have contributed more poems, but the real star of the collection was Coleridge's first version of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. It was the longest work and drew more praise and attention than anything else in the volume. In the spring Coleridge temporarily took over for Rev. Joshua Toulmin at Taunton's Mary Street Unitarian Chapel while Rev. Toulmin grieved over the drowning death of his daughter Jane. Poetically commenting on Toulmin's strength, Coleridge wrote in a 1798 letter to John Prior Estlin, "I walked into Taunton (eleven miles) and back again, and performed the divine services for Dr. Toulmin. I suppose you must have heard that his daughter, (Jane, on 15 April 1798) in a melancholy derangement, suffered herself to be swallowed up by the tide on the sea-coast between Sidmouth and Bere [sic] (Beer). These events cut cruelly into the hearts of old men: but the good Dr. Toulmin bears it like the true practical Christian, – there is indeed a tear in his eye, but that eye is lifted up to the Heavenly Father." In the autumn of 1798, Coleridge and Wordsworth left for a stay in Germany; Coleridge soon went his own way and spent much of his time in university towns. During this period, he became interested in German philosophy, especially the transcendental idealism and critical philosophy of Immanuel Kant, and in the literary criticism of the 18th century dramatist Gotthold Lessing. Coleridge studied German and, after his return to England, translated the dramatic trilogy Wallenstein by the German Classical poet Friedrich Schiller into English. He continued to pioneer these ideas through his own critical writings for the rest of his life (sometimes without attribution), although they were unfamiliar and difficult for a culture dominated by empiricism. In 1799, Coleridge and Wordsworth stayed at Thomas Hutchinson's farm on the Tees at Sockburn, near Darlington. It was at Sockburn that Coleridge wrote his ballad-poem Love, addressed to Sara. The knight mentioned is the mailed figure on the Conyers tomb in ruined Sockburn church. The figure has a wyvern at his feet, a reference to the Sockburn worm slain by Sir John Conyers (and a possible source for Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky). The worm was supposedly buried under the rock in the nearby pasture; this was the 'greystone' of Coleridge's first draft, later transformed into a 'mount'. The poem was a direct inspiration for John Keats' famous poem La Belle Dame Sans Merci. Coleridge's early intellectual debts, besides German idealists like Kant and critics like Lessing, were first to William Godwin's Political Justice, especially during his Pantisocratic period, and to David Hartley's Observations on Man, which is the source of the psychology which is found in Frost at Midnight. Hartley argued that one becomes aware of sensory events as impressions, and that "ideas" are derived by noticing similarities and differences between impressions and then by naming them. Connections resulting from the coincidence of impressions create linkages, so that the occurrence of one impression triggers those links and calls up the memory of those ideas with which it is associated (See Dorothy Emmet, "Coleridge and Philosophy"). Coleridge was critical of the literary taste of his contemporaries, and a literary conservative insofar as he was afraid that the lack of taste in the ever growing masses of literate people would mean a continued desecration of literature itself. In 1800, he returned to England and shortly thereafter settled with his family and friends at Keswick in the Lake District of Cumberland to be near Grasmere, where Wordsworth had moved. Soon, however, he was beset by marital problems, illnesses, increased opium dependency, tensions with Wordsworth, and a lack of confidence in his poetic powers, all of which fuelled the composition of Dejection: An Ode and an intensification of his philosophical studies. Later life and increasing drug use In 1804, he travelled to Sicily and Malta, working for a time as Acting Public Secretary of Malta under the Commissioner, Alexander Ball, a task he performed quite successfully. However, he gave this up and returned to England in 1806. Dorothy Wordsworth was shocked at his condition upon his return. From 1807 to 1808, Coleridge returned to Malta and then travelled in Sicily and Italy, in the hope that leaving Britain's damp climate would improve his health and thus enable him to reduce his consumption of opium. Thomas de Quincey alleges in his Recollections of the Lakes and the Lake Poets that it was during this period that Coleridge became a full-blown opium addict, using the drug as a substitute for the lost vigour and creativity of his youth. It has been suggested, however, that this reflects de Quincey's own experiences more than Coleridge's. His opium addiction (he was using as much as two quarts of laudanum a week) now began to take over his life: he separated from his wife Sarah in 1808, quarrelled with Wordsworth in 1810, lost part of his annuity in 1811, and put himself under the care of Dr. Daniel in 1814. In 1809, Coleridge made his second attempt to become a newspaper publisher with the publication of the journal entitled The Friend. It was a weekly publication that, in Coleridge’s typically ambitious style, was written, edited, and published almost entirely single-handedly. Given that Coleridge tended to be highly disorganized and had no head for business, the publication was probably doomed from the start. Coleridge financed the journal by selling over five hundred subscriptions, over two dozen of which were sold to members of Parliament, but in late 1809, publication was crippled by a financial crisis and Coleridge was obliged to approach "Conversation Sharp", Tom Poole and one or two other wealthy friends for an emergency loan in order to continue. The Friend was an eclectic publication that drew upon every corner of Coleridge’s remarkably diverse knowledge of law, philosophy, morals, politics, history, and literary criticism. Although it was often turgid, rambling, and inaccessible to most readers, it ran for 25 issues and was republished in book form a number of times. Years after its initial publication, The Friend became a highly influential work and its effect was felt on writers and philosophers from J.S. Mill to Emerson. Between 1810 and 1820, this "giant among dwarfs", as he was often considered by his contemporaries, gave a series of lectures in London and Bristol – those on Shakespeare renewed interest in the playwright as a model for contemporary writers. Much of Coleridge's reputation as a literary critic is founded on the lectures that he undertook in the winter of 1810–11 which were sponsored by the Philosophical Institution and given at Scot's Corporation Hall off Fetter Lane, Fleet Street. These lectures were heralded in the prospectus as "A Course of Lectures on Shakespeare and Milton, in Illustration of the Principles of Poetry." Coleridge's ill-health, opium-addiction problems, and somewhat unstable personality meant that all his lectures were plagued with problems of delays and a general irregularity of quality from one lecture to the next. Furthermore, Coleridge's mind was extremely dynamic and his personality was spasmodic. As a result of these factors, Coleridge often failed to prepare anything but the loosest set of notes for his lectures and regularly entered into extremely long digressions which his audiences found difficult to follow. However, it was the lecture on Hamlet given on 2 January 1812 that was considered the best and has influenced Hamlet studies ever since. Before Coleridge, Hamlet was often denigrated and belittled by critics from Voltaire to Dr. Johnson. Coleridge rescued Hamlet and his thoughts on the play are often still published as supplements to the text. In August 1814, Coleridge was approached by Lord Byron's publisher, John Murray, about the possibility of translating Goethe's classic Faust (1808). Coleridge was regarded by many as the greatest living writer on the demonic and he accepted the commission, only to abandon work on it after six weeks. Until recently, scholars have accepted that Coleridge never returned to the project, despite Goethe's own belief in the 1820s that Coleridge had in fact completed a long translation of the work. In September 2007, Oxford University Press sparked a heated scholarly controversy by publishing an English translation of Goethe's work which purported to be Coleridge's long-lost masterpiece (the text in question first appeared anonymously in 1821). In 1817, Coleridge, with his addiction worsening, his spirits depressed, and his family alienated, took residence in the Highgate homes, then just north of London, of the physician James Gillman, first at South Grove and later at the nearby 3 The Grove. Gillman was partially successful in controlling the poet's addiction. Colerdige remained in Highgate for the rest of his life, and the house became a place of literary pilgrimage of writers including Carlyle and Emerson. In Gillman's home, he finished his major prose work, the Biographia Literaria (1817), a volume composed of 23 chapters of autobiographical notes and dissertations on various subjects, including some incisive literary theory and criticism. He composed much poetry here and had many inspirations — a few of them from opium overdose. Perhaps because he conceived such grand projects, he had difficulty carrying them through to completion, and he berated himself for his "indolence". It is unclear whether his growing use of opium (and the brandy in which it was dissolved) was a symptom or a cause of his growing depression. He published other writings while he was living at the Gillman home, notably Sibylline Leaves (1817), Aids to Reflection (1825), and Church and State (1826). He died in Highgate, London on 25 July 1834 as a result of heart failure compounded by an unknown lung disorder, possibly linked to his use of opium. Coleridge had spent 18 years under the roof of the Gillman family, who built an addition onto their home to accommodate the poet. Carlyle described him at Highgate: "Coleridge sat on the brow of Highgate Hill, in those years, looking down on London and its smoke-tumult, like a sage escaped from the inanity of life`s battle ... The practical intellects of the world did not much heed him, or carelessly reckoned him a metaphysical dreamer: but to the rising spirits of the young generation he had this dusky sublime character; and sat there as a kind of Magus, girt in mystery and enigma; his Dodona oak-grove (Mr. Gilman`s house at Highgate) whispering strange things, uncertain whether oracles or jargon." Poetry Despite not enjoying the name recognition or popular acclaim that Wordsworth or Shelley have had, Coleridge is one of the most important figures in English poetry. His poems directly and deeply influenced all the major poets of the age. He was known by his contemporaries as a meticulous craftsman who was more rigorous in his careful reworking of his poems than any other poet, and Southey and Wordsworth were dependent on his professional advice. His influence on Wordsworth is particularly important because many critics have credited Coleridge with the very idea of "Conversational Poetry". The idea of utilizing common, everyday language to express profound poetic images and ideas for which Wordsworth became so famous may have originated almost entirely in Coleridge’s mind. It is difficult to imagine Wordsworth’s great poems, The Excursion or The Prelude, ever having been written without the direct influence of Coleridge’s originality. As important as Coleridge was to poetry as a poet, he was equally important to poetry as a critic. Coleridge's philosophy of poetry, which he developed over many years, has been deeply influential in the field of literary criticism. This influence can be seen in such critics as A.O. Lovejoy and I.A. Richards. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Christabel, and Kubla Khan Coleridge is probably best known for his long poems, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Christabel. Even those who have never read the Rime have come under its influence: its words have given the English language the metaphor of an albatross around one's neck, the quotation of "water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink" (almost always rendered as "but not a drop to drink"), and the phrase "a sadder and a wiser man" (again, usually rendered as "sadder but wiser man"). The phrase "All creatures great and small" may have been inspired by The Rime: "He prayeth best, who loveth best;/ All things great and small;/ For the dear God who loveth us;/ He made and loveth all."Christabel is known for its musical rhythm, language, and its Gothic tale. Kubla Khan, or, A Vision in a Dream, A Fragment, although shorter, is also widely known. Both Kubla Khan and Christabel have an additional "Romantic" aura because they were never finished. Stopford Brooke characterised both poems as having no rival due to their "exquisite metrical movement" and "imaginative phrasing.” The Conversation poems * The Eolian Harp (1795) * Reflections on having left a Place of Retirement (1795) * This Lime-Tree Bower my Prison (1797) * Frost at Midnight (1798) * Fears in Solitude (1798) * The Nightingale: A Conversation Poem (1798) * Dejection: An Ode (1802) * To William Wordsworth (1807) The eight of Coleridge's poems listed above are now often discussed as a group entitled "Conversation poems". The term itself was coined in 1928 by George McLean Harper, who borrowed the subtitle of The Nightingale: A Conversation Poem (1798) to describe the seven other poems as well. The poems are considered by many critics to be among Coleridge's finest verses; thus Harold Bloom has written, "With Dejection, The Ancient Mariner, and Kubla Khan, Frost at Midnight shows Coleridge at his most impressive." They are also among his most influential poems, as discussed further below. Harper himself considered that the eight poems represented a form of blank verse that is "...more fluent and easy than Milton's, or any that had been written since Milton". In 2006 Robert Koelzer wrote about another aspect of this apparent "easiness", noting that Conversation poems such as "... Coleridge's The Eolian Harp and The Nightingale maintain a middle register of speech, employing an idiomatic language that is capable of being construed as un-symbolic and un-musical: language that lets itself be taken as 'merely talk' rather than rapturous 'song'." The last ten lines of "Frost at Midnight" were chosen by Harper as the "best example of the peculiar kind of blank verse Coleridge had evolved, as natural-seeming as prose, but as exquisitely artistic as the most complicated sonnet." The speaker of the poem is addressing his infant son, asleep by his side: Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee, Whether the summer clothe the general earth With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall Heard only in the trances of the blast, Or if the secret ministry of frost Shall hang them up in silent icicles, Quietly shining to the quiet Moon. In 1965, M. H. Abrams wrote a broad description that applies to the Conversation poems: "The speaker begins with a description of the landscape; an aspect or change of aspect in the landscape evokes a varied by integral process of memory, thought, anticipation, and feeling which remains closely intervolved with the outer scene. In the course of this meditation the lyric speaker achieves an insight, faces up to a tragic loss, comes to a moral decision, or resolves an emotional problem. Often the poem rounds itself to end where it began, at the outer scene, but with an altered mood and deepened understanding which is the result of the intervening meditation." In fact, Abrams was describing both the Conversation poems and later poems influenced by them. Abrams' essay has been called a "touchstone of literary criticism". As Paul Magnuson described it in 2002, "Abrams credited Coleridge with originating what Abrams called the 'greater Romantic lyric', a genre that began with Coleridge's 'Conversation' poems, and included Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey, Shelley's Stanzas Written in Dejection and Keats's Ode to a Nightingale, and was a major influence on more modern lyrics by Matthew Arnold, Walt Whitman, Wallace Stevens, and W. H. Auden.” Literary criticism In addition to his poetry, Coleridge also wrote influential pieces of literary criticism including Biographia Literaria, a collection of his thoughts and opinions on literature which he published in 1817. The work delivered both biographical explanations of the author's life as well as his impressions on literature. The collection also contained an analysis of a broad range of philosophical principles of literature ranging from Aristotle to Immanuel Kant and Schelling and applied them to the poetry of peers such as William Wordsworth. Coleridge's explanation of metaphysical principles were popular topics of discourse in academic communities throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and T.S. Eliot stated that he believed that Coleridge was "perhaps the greatest of English critics, and in a sense the last." Eliot suggests that Coleridge displayed "natural abilities" far greater than his contemporaries, dissecting literature and applying philosophical principles of metaphysics in a way that brought the subject of his criticisms away from the text and into a world of logical analysis that mixed logical analysis and emotion. However, Eliot also criticizes Coleridge for allowing his emotion to play a role in the metaphysical process, believing that critics should not have emotions that are not provoked by the work being studied. Hugh Kenner in Historical Fictions, discusses Norman Furman's Coleridge, the Damaged Archangel and suggests that the term "criticism" is too often applied to Biographia Literaria, which both he and Furman describe as having failed to explain or help the reader understand works of art. To Kenner, Coleridge's attempt to discuss complex philosophical concepts without describing the rational process behind them displays a lack of critical thinking that makes the volume more of a biography than a work of criticism. In Biographia Literaria and his poetry, symbols are not merely "objective correlatives" to Coleridge, but instruments for making the universe and personal experience intelligible and spiritually covalent. To Coleridge, the "cinque spotted spider," making its way upstream "by fits and starts," [Biographia Literaria] is not merely a comment on the intermittent nature of creativity, imagination, or spiritual progress, but the journey and destination of his life. The spider's five legs represent the central problem that Coleridge lived to resolve, the conflict between Aristotelian logic and Christian philosophy. Two legs of the spider represent the "me-not me" of thesis and antithesis, the idea that a thing cannot be itself and its opposite simultaneously, the basis of the clockwork Newtonian world view that Coleridge rejected. The remaining three legs—exothesis, mesothesis and synthesis or the Holy trinity—represent the idea that things can diverge without being contradictory. Taken together, the five legs—with synthesis in the center, form the Holy Cross of Ramist logic. The cinque-spotted spider is Coleridge's emblem of holism, the quest and substance of Coleridge's thought and spiritual life. Coleridge and the influence of the Gothic Coleridge wrote reviews of Ann Radcliffe’s books and The Mad Monk, among others. He comments in his reviews: "Situations of torment, and images of naked horror, are easily conceived; and a writer in whose works they abound, deserves our gratitude almost equally with him who should drag us by way of sport through a military hospital, or force us to sit at the dissecting-table of a natural philosopher. To trace the nice boundaries, beyond which terror and sympathy are deserted by the pleasurable emotions, – to reach those limits, yet never to pass them, hic labor, hic opus est." and "The horrible and the preternatural have usually seized on the popular taste, at the rise and decline of literature. Most powerful stimulants, they can never be required except by the torpor of an unawakened, or the languor of an exhausted, appetite... We trust, however, that satiety will banish what good sense should have prevented; and that, wearied with fiends, incomprehensible characters, with shrieks, murders, and subterraneous dungeons, the public will learn, by the multitude of the manufacturers, with how little expense of thought or imagination this species of composition is manufactured." However, Coleridge used these elements in poems such as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798), Christabel and Kubla Khan (published in 1816, but known in manuscript form before then) and certainly influenced other poets and writers of the time. Poems like these both drew inspiration from and helped to inflame the craze for Gothic romance. Mary Shelley, who knew Coleridge well, mentions The Rime of the Ancient Mariner twice directly in Frankenstein, and some of the descriptions in the novel echo it indirectly. Although William Godwin, her father, disagreed with Coleridge on some important issues, he respected his opinions and Coleridge often visited the Godwins. Mary Shelley later recalled hiding behind the sofa and hearing his voice chanting The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Taylor_Coleridge
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936) was an English writer, philosopher, Christian apologist, and literary and art critic. He has been referred to as the "prince of paradox". Of his writing style, Time observed: "Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out." Chesterton created the fictional priest-detective Father Brown, and wrote on apologetics. Even some of those who disagree with him have recognised the wide appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an "orthodox" Christian, and came to identify this position more and more with Catholicism, eventually converting to Roman Catholicism from high church Anglicanism. Biographers have identified him as a successor to such Victorian authors as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, John Henry Newman and John Ruskin.
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, as well as the poems "The Hunting of the Snark" and "Jabberwocky", all examples of the genre of literary nonsense. He is noted for his facility at word play, logic, and fantasy, and there are societies in many parts of the world (including the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States, and New Zealand) dedicated to the enjoyment and promotion of his works and the investigation of his life. Antecedents Dodgson's family was predominantly northern English, with Irish connections. Conservative and High Church Anglican, most of Dodgson's ancestors were army officers or Church of England clergy. His great-grandfather, also named Charles Dodgson, had risen through the ranks of the church to become the Bishop of Elphin. His grandfather, another Charles, had been an army captain, killed in action in Ireland in 1803 when his two sons were hardly more than babies. His mother's name was Frances Jane Lutwidge. The elder of these sons – yet another Charles Dodgson – was Carroll's father. He reverted to the other family tradition and took holy orders. He went to Westminster School, and then to Christ Church, Oxford. He was mathematically gifted and won a double first degree, which could have been the prelude to a brilliant academic career. Instead he married his first cousin in 1827 and became a country parson. Dodgson was born in the little parsonage of Daresbury in Cheshire near the towns of Warrington and Runcorn, the eldest boy but already the third child of the four-and-a-half-year-old marriage. Eight more children were to follow. When Charles was 11, his father was given the living of Croft-on-Tees in North Yorkshire, and the whole family moved to the spacious rectory. This remained their home for the next twenty-five years. Young Charles' father was an active and highly conservative cleric of the Church of England who later became the Archdeacon of Richmond and involved himself, sometimes influentially, in the intense religious disputes that were dividing the church. He was High Church, inclining to Anglo-Catholicism, an admirer of John Henry Newman and the Tractarian movement, and did his best to instill such views in his children. Young Charles was to develop an ambiguous relationship with his father's values and with the Church of England as a whole. Education Home life During his early youth, Dodgson was educated at home. His "reading lists" preserved in the family archives testify to a precocious intellect: at the age of seven the child was reading The Pilgrim's Progress. He also suffered from a stammer – a condition shared by most of his siblings – that often influenced his social life throughout his years. At age twelve he was sent to Richmond Grammar School (now part of Richmond School) at nearby Richmond. Rugby In 1846, young Dodgson moved on to Rugby School, where he was evidently less happy, for as he wrote some years after leaving the place: I cannot say ... that any earthly considerations would induce me to go through my three years again ... I can honestly say that if I could have been ... secure from annoyance at night, the hardships of the daily life would have been comparative trifles to bear. Scholastically, though, he excelled with apparent ease. "I have not had a more promising boy at his age since I came to Rugby", observed R.B. Mayor, then Mathematics master. Oxford He left Rugby at the end of 1849 and matriculated at Oxford in May 1850 as a member of his father's old college, Christ Church. After waiting for rooms in college to become available, he went into residence in January 1851. He had been at Oxford only two days when he received a summons home. His mother had died of "inflammation of the brain" – perhaps meningitis or a stroke – at the age of forty-seven. His early academic career veered between high promise and irresistible distraction. He did not always work hard, but was exceptionally gifted and achievement came easily to him. In 1852 he obtained first-class honours in Mathematics Moderations, and was shortly thereafter nominated to a Studentship by his father's old friend, Canon Edward Pusey. In 1854 he obtained first-class honours in the Final Honours School of Mathematics, graduating Bachelor of Arts. He remained at Christ Church studying and teaching, but the next year he failed an important scholarship through his self-confessed inability to apply himself to study. Even so, his talent as a mathematician won him the Christ Church Mathematical Lectureship in 1855, which he continued to hold for the next twenty-six years. Despite early unhappiness, Dodgson was to remain at Christ Church, in various capacities, until his death. Character and appearance Health challenges The young adult Charles Dodgson was about six feet tall, slender, and had curling brown hair and blue or grey eyes (depending on the account). He was described in later life as somewhat asymmetrical, and as carrying himself rather stiffly and awkwardly, though this may be on account of a knee injury sustained in middle age. As a very young child, he suffered a fever that left him deaf in one ear. At the age of seventeen, he suffered a severe attack of whooping cough, which was probably responsible for his chronically weak chest in later life. Another defect he carried into adulthood was what he referred to as his "hesitation", a stammer he acquired in early childhood and which plagued him throughout his life. The stammer has always been a potent part of the conceptions of Dodgson; it is part of the belief that he stammered only in adult company and was free and fluent with children, but there is no evidence to support this idea. Many children of his acquaintance remembered the stammer while many adults failed to notice it. Dodgson himself seems to have been far more acutely aware of it than most people he met; it is said he caricatured himself as the Dodo in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, referring to his difficulty in pronouncing his last name, but this is one of the many "facts" often-repeated, for which no firsthand evidence remains. He did indeed refer to himself as the dodo, but that this was a reference to his stammer is simply speculation. Although Dodgson's stammer troubled him, it was never so debilitating that it prevented him from applying his other personal qualities to do well in society. At a time when people commonly devised their own amusements and when singing and recitation were required social skills, the young Dodgson was well-equipped to be an engaging entertainer. He reportedly could sing tolerably well and was not afraid to do so before an audience. He was adept at mimicry and storytelling, and was reputedly quite good at charades. Social connections In the interim between his early published writing and the success of the Alice books, Dodgson began to move in the Pre-Raphaelite social circle. He first met John Ruskin in 1857 and became friendly with him. He developed a close relationship with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his family, and also knew William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Arthur Hughes, among other artists. He also knew the fairy-tale author George MacDonald well – it was the enthusiastic reception of Alice by the young MacDonald children that convinced him to submit the work for publication. Politics, religion and philosophy In broad terms, Dodgson has traditionally been regarded as politically, religiously, and personally conservative. Martin Gardner labels Dodgson as a Tory who was "awed by lords and inclined to be snobbish towards inferiors." The Revd W. Tuckwell, in his Reminiscences of Oxford (1900), regarded him as "austere, shy, precise, absorbed in mathematical reverie, watchfully tenacious of his dignity, stiffly conservative in political, theological, social theory, his life mapped out in squares like Alice's landscape." However, Dodgson also expressed interest in philosophies and religions that seem at odds with this assessment. For example, he was a founding member of the Society for Psychical Research. It has been argued by the proponents of the 'Carroll Myth' that these factors require a reconsideration of Gardner's diagnosis, and that perhaps, Dodgson's true outlook was more complex than previously believed (see 'the Carroll Myth' below). Dodgson wrote some studies of various philosophical arguments. In 1895, he developed a philosophical regressus-argument on deductive reasoning in his article "What the Tortoise Said to Achilles", which appeared in one of the early volumes of the philosophical journal Mind. The article was reprinted in the same journal a hundred years later, in 1995, with a subsequent article by Simon Blackburn titled Practical Tortoise Raising. Artistic activities Literature From a young age, Dodgson wrote poetry and short stories, both contributing heavily to the family magazine Mischmasch and later sending them to various magazines, enjoying moderate success. Between 1854 and 1856, his work appeared in the national publications, The Comic Times and The Train, as well as smaller magazines like the Whitby Gazette and the Oxford Critic. Most of this output was humorous, sometimes satirical, but his standards and ambitions were exacting. "I do not think I have yet written anything worthy of real publication (in which I do not include the Whitby Gazette or the Oxonian Advertiser), but I do not despair of doing so some day," he wrote in July 1855. Sometime after 1850, he did write puppet plays for his siblings' entertainment, of which one has survived, La Guida di Bragia. In 1856 he published his first piece of work under the name that would make him famous. A romantic poem called "Solitude" appeared in The Train under the authorship of "Lewis Carroll." This pseudonym was a play on his real name; Lewis was the anglicised form of Ludovicus, which was the Latin for Lutwidge, and Carroll an Irish surname similar to the Latin name Carolus, from which the name Charles comes. Alice In the same year, 1856, a new Dean, Henry Liddell, arrived at Christ Church, bringing with him his young family, all of whom would figure largely in Dodgson's life and, over the following years, greatly influence his writing career. Dodgson became close friends with Liddell's wife, Lorina, and their children, particularly the three sisters: Lorina, Edith and Alice Liddell. He was for many years widely assumed to have derived his own "Alice" from Alice Liddell. This was given some apparent substance by the fact the acrostic poem at the end of Through the Looking Glass spells out her name, and that there are many superficial references to her hidden in the text of both books. It has been pointed out that Dodgson himself repeatedly denied in later life that his "little heroine" was based on any real child, and frequently dedicated his works to girls of his acquaintance, adding their names in acrostic poems at the beginning of the text. Gertrude Chataway's name appears in this form at the beginning of The Hunting of the Snark, and no one has ever suggested this means any of the characters in the narrative are based on her. Though information is scarce (Dodgson's diaries for the years 1858–1862 are missing), it does seem clear that his friendship with the Liddell family was an important part of his life in the late 1850s, and he grew into the habit of taking the children (first the boy, Harry, and later the three girls) on rowing trips accompanied by an adult friend to nearby Nuneham Courtenay or Godstow. It was on one such expedition, on 4 July 1862, that Dodgson invented the outline of the story that eventually became his first and largest commercial success. Having told the story and been begged by Alice Liddell to write it down, Dodgson eventually (after much delay) presented her with a handwritten, illustrated manuscript entitled Alice's Adventures Under Ground in November 1864. Before this, the family of friend and mentor George MacDonald read Dodgson's incomplete manuscript, and the enthusiasm of the MacDonald children encouraged Dodgson to seek publication. In 1863, he had taken the unfinished manuscript to Macmillan the publisher, who liked it immediately. After the possible alternative titles Alice Among the Fairies and Alice's Golden Hour were rejected, the work was finally published as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1865 under the Lewis Carroll pen-name, which Dodgson had first used some nine years earlier. The illustrations this time were by Sir John Tenniel; Dodgson evidently thought that a published book would need the skills of a professional artist. The overwhelming commercial success of the first Alice book changed Dodgson's life in many ways. The fame of his alter ego "Lewis Carroll" soon spread around the world. He was inundated with fan mail and with sometimes unwanted attention. Indeed, according to one popular story, Queen Victoria herself enjoyed Alice In Wonderland so much that she suggested he dedicate his next book to her, and was accordingly presented with his next work, a scholarly mathematical volume entitled An Elementary Treatise on Determinants. Dodgson himself vehemently denied this story, commenting "...It is utterly false in every particular: nothing even resembling it has occurred"; and it is unlikely for other reasons: as T.B. Strong comments in a Times article, "It would have been clean contrary to all his practice to identify [the] author of Alice with the author of his mathematical works". He also began earning quite substantial sums of money but continued with his seemingly disliked post at Christ Church. Late in 1871, a sequel – Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There – was published. (The title page of the first edition erroneously gives "1872" as the date of publication.) Its somewhat darker mood possibly reflects the changes in Dodgson's life. His father had recently died (1868), plunging him into a depression that lasted some years. The Hunting of the Snark In 1876, Dodgson produced his last great work, The Hunting of the Snark, a fantastical "nonsense" poem, exploring the adventures of a bizarre crew of tradesmen, and one beaver, who set off to find the eponymous creature. The painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti reputedly became convinced the poem was about him. Photography In 1856, Dodgson took up the new art form of photography, first under the influence of his uncle Skeffington Lutwidge, and later his Oxford friend Reginald Southey. He soon excelled at the art and became a well-known gentleman-photographer, and he seems even to have toyed with the idea of making a living out of it in his very early years. A recent study by Roger Taylor and Edward Wakeling exhaustively lists every surviving print, and Taylor calculates that just over fifty percent of his surviving work depicts young girls, though this may be a highly distorted figure as approximately 60% of his original photographic portfolio is now missing, so any firm conclusions are difficult. Dodgson also made many studies of men, women, male children and landscapes; his subjects also include skeletons, dolls, dogs, statues and paintings, and trees. His pictures of children were taken with a parent in attendance and many of the pictures were taken in the Liddell garden, because natural sunlight was required for good exposures. He also found photography to be a useful entrée into higher social circles. During the most productive part of his career, he made portraits of notable sitters such as John Everett Millais, Ellen Terry, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Julia Margaret Cameron, Michael Faraday and Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Dodgson abruptly ceased photography in 1880. Over 24 years, he had completely mastered the medium, set up his own studio on the roof of Tom Quad, and created around 3, images. Fewer than 1, have survived time and deliberate destruction. He reported that he stopped taking photographs because keeping his studio working was difficult (he used the wet collodion process) and commercial photographers (who started using the dry plate process in the 1870s) took pictures more quickly. With the advent of Modernism, tastes changed, and his photography was forgotten from around 1920 until the 1960s. Inventions To promote letter writing, Dodgson invented The Wonderland Postage-Stamp Case in 1889. This was a cloth-backed folder with twelve slots, two marked for inserting the then most commonly used penny stamp, and one each for the other current denominations to one shilling. The folder was then put into a slip case decorated with a picture of Alice on the front and the Cheshire Cat on the back. All could be conveniently carried in a pocket or purse. When issued it also included a copy of Carroll's pamphletted lecture, Eight or Nine Wise Words About Letter-Writing. Reconstructed nyctograph, with scale demonstrated by a 5 euro cent. Another invention is a writing tablet called the nyctograph for use at night that allowed for note-taking in the dark; thus eliminating the trouble of getting out of bed and striking a light when one wakes with an idea. The device consisted of a gridded card with sixteen squares and system of symbols representing an alphabet of Dodgson's design, using letter shapes similar to the Graffiti writing system on a Palm device. Among the games he devised outside of logic there are a number of word games, including an early version of what today is known as Scrabble. He also appears to have invented, or at least certainly popularised, the Word Ladder (or "doublet" as it was known at first); a form of brain-teaser that is still popular today: the game of changing one word into another by altering one letter at a time, each successive change always resulting in a genuine word. For instance, CAT is transformed into DOG by the following steps: CAT, COT, DOT, DOG. Other items include a rule for finding the day of the week for any date; a means for justifying right margins on a typewriter; a steering device for a velociam (a type of tricycle); new systems of parliamentary representation; more nearly fair elimination rules for tennis tournaments; a new sort of postal money order; rules for reckoning postage; rules for a win in betting; rules for dividing a number by various divisors; a cardboard scale for the college common room he worked in later in life, which, held next to a glass, ensured the right amount of liqueur for the price paid; a double-sided adhesive strip for things like the fastening of envelopes or mounting things in books; a device for helping a bedridden invalid to read from a book placed sideways; and at least two ciphers for cryptography. Mathematical work Within the academic discipline of mathematics, Dodgson worked primarily in the fields of geometry, matrix algebra, mathematical logic and recreational mathematics, producing nearly a dozen books under his real name. Dodgson also developed new ideas in the study of elections (e.g., Dodgson's method) and committees; some of this work was not published until well after his death. He worked as a mathematics tutor at Oxford, an occupation that gave him some financial security. Later years Over the remaining twenty years of his life, throughout his growing wealth and fame, his existence remained little changed. He continued to teach at Christ Church until 1881, and remained in residence there until his death. His last novel, the two-volume Sylvie and Bruno, was published in 1889 and 1893 respectively. It achieved nowhere near the success of the Alice books. Its intricacy was apparently not appreciated by contemporary readers. The reviews and its sales, only 13, copies, were disappointing. The only occasion on which (as far as is known) he travelled abroad was a trip to Russia in 1867 as an ecclesiastical together with the Reverend Henry Liddon. He recounts the travel in his "Russian Journal", which was first commercially published in 1935. On his way to Russia and back Lewis Carroll also saw different cities in Belgium, Germany, the partitioned Poland, and France. He died on 14 January 1898 at his sisters' home, "The Chestnuts" in Guildford, of pneumonia following influenza. He was two weeks away from turning 66 years old. He is buried in Guildford at the Mount Cemetery. Controversies and mysteries "Carroll Myth” Since 1999 a group of scholars, notably Karoline Leach, Hugues Lebailly and Sherry L. Ackerman, John Tufail, Douglas Nickel and others, argue that what Leach terms the "Carroll Myth" has wildly distorted biographical perception of his life and his work. Leach's book, In the Shadow of the Dreamchild, raised a considerable amount of controversy. In brief the claim is that: * In general terms Dodgson's life has been simplified and 'infantilised' by a combination of inaccurate biography and the longstanding unavailability of key evidence, which allowed legends to proliferate unchecked. * By the time the evidence did become available the 'mythic' image of the man had become so embedded in scholastic and popular thinking it remained unquestioned, despite the fact the evidence failed to support it. * If the evidence is examined dispassionately it shows many of the most famous legends about the man (e.g. his 'paedophilia', and his exclusive adoration of small girls) are untrue, or at least grossly simplified. In more detail, Lebailly has endeavoured to set Dodgson's child-photography within the "Victorian Child Cult", which perceived child-nudity as essentially an expression of innocence. Lebailly claims that studies of child nudes were mainstream and fashionable in Dodgson's time and that most photographers, including Oscar Gustave Rejlander and Julia Margaret Cameron, made them as a matter of course. Lebailly continues that child nudes even appeared on Victorian Christmas cards, implying a very different social and aesthetic assessment of such material. Lebailly concludes that it has been an error of Dodgson's biographers to view his child-photography with 20th or 21st century eyes, and to have presented it as some form of personal idiosyncrasy, when it was in fact a response to a prevalent aesthetic and philosophical movement of the time. Leach's reappraisal of Dodgson focused in particular on his controversial sexuality. She argues that the allegations of paedophilia rose initially from a misunderstanding of Victorian morals, as well as the mistaken idea, fostered by Dodgson's various biographers, that he had no interest in adult women. She termed the traditional image of Dodgson "the Carroll Myth". She drew attention to the large amounts of evidence in his diaries and letters that he was also keenly interested in adult women, married and single, and enjoyed several scandalous (by the social standards of his time) relationships with them. She also pointed to the fact that many of those he described as "child-friends" were girls in their late teens and even twenties. She argues that suggestions of paedophilia evolved only many years after his death, when his well-meaning family had suppressed all evidence of his relationships with women in an effort to preserve his reputation, thus giving a false impression of a man interested only in little girls. Similarly, Leach traces the claim that many of Carroll's female friendships ended when the girls reached the age of 14 to a 1932 biography by Langford Reed. The concept of the Carroll Myth has produced polarised reactions from Carroll scholars. In 2004 Contrariwise, the Association for new Lewis Carroll studies. was established, and those such as Carolyn Sigler and Cristopher Hollingsworth have joined the ranks of those calling for a major reassessment. But the concept of the Myth has been opposed by some leading Carroll scholars, in particular Morton N. Cohen and Martin Gardner (their comments, and those of more positive reviewers, can be found on Karoline Leach's own page). Biographer Jenny Woolf, while agreeing that Carroll's image has been comprehensively misrepresented in the past, believes that this can be attributed partly to Carroll's own behaviour and in particular his tendency to self-caricature in later life. Ordination Dodgson had been groomed for the ordained ministry in the Anglican Church from a very early age and was expected, as a condition of his residency at Christ Church, to take holy orders within four years of obtaining his master's degree. He delayed the process for some time but eventually took deacon's orders on 22 December 1861. But when the time came a year later to progress to priestly orders, Dodgson appealed to the dean for permission not to proceed. This was against college rules and initially Dean Liddell told him he would have to consult the college ruling body, which would almost undoubtedly have resulted in his being expelled. For unknown reasons, Dean Liddell changed his mind overnight and permitted Dodgson to remain at the college in defiance of the rules. Uniquely amongst senior students of his time Dodgson never became a priest. There is currently no conclusive evidence about why Dodgson rejected the priesthood. Some have suggested his stammer made him reluctant to take the step, because he was afraid of having to preach. Wilson quotes letters by Dodgson describing difficulty in reading lessons and prayers rather than preaching in his own words. But Dodgson did indeed preach in later life, even though not in priest's orders, so it seems unlikely his impediment was a major factor affecting his choice. Wilson also points out that the then Bishop of Oxford, Samuel Wilberforce, who ordained Dodgson, had strong views against clergy going to the theatre, one of Dodgson's great interests. Others have suggested that he was having serious doubts about Anglicanism. He was interested in minority forms of Christianity (he was an admirer of F.D. Maurice) and "alternative" religions (theosophy). Dodgson became deeply troubled by an unexplained sense of sin and guilt at this time (the early 1860s) and frequently expressed the view in his diaries that he was a "vile and worthless" sinner, unworthy of the priesthood, and this sense of sin and unworthiness may well have affected his decision to abandon being ordained to the priesthood. Missing diaries At least four complete volumes and around seven pages of text are missing from Dodgson's 13 diaries. The loss of the volumes remains unexplained; the pages have been deliberately removed by an unknown hand. Most scholars assume the diary material was removed by family members in the interests of preserving the family name, but this has not been proven. Except for one page, the period of his diaries from which material is missing is between 1853 and 1863 (when Dodgson was 21–31 years old). This was a period when Dodgson began suffering great mental and spiritual anguish and confessing to an overwhelming sense of his own sin. This was also the period of time when he composed his extensive love poetry, leading to speculation that the poems may have been autobiographical. Many theories have been put forward to explain the missing material. A popular explanation for one particular missing page (27 June 1863) is that it might have been torn out to conceal a proposal of marriage on that day by Dodgson to the 11-year-old Alice Liddell; there has never been any evidence to suggest this was so, and a paper discovered by Karoline Leach in the Dodgson family archive in 1996 offers some evidence to the contrary. This paper, known as the "cut pages in diary document", was compiled by various members of Carroll's family after his death. Part of it may have been written at the time the pages were destroyed, though this is unclear. The document offers a brief summary of two diary pages that are now missing, including the one for 27 June 1863. The summary for this page states that Mrs. Liddell told Dodgson there was gossip circulating about him and the Liddell family's governess, as well as about his relationship with "Ina", presumably Alice's older sister, Lorina Liddell. The "break" with the Liddell family that occurred soon after was presumably in response to this gossip. An alternative interpretation has been made regarding Carroll's rumoured involvement with "Ina": Lorina was also the name of Alice Liddell's mother. What is deemed most crucial and surprising is that the document seems to imply Dodgson's break with the family was not connected with Alice at all. Until a primary source is discovered, the events of 27 June 1863 remain inconclusive. Migraine and epilepsy In his diary for 1880, Dodgson recorded experiencing his first episode of migraine with aura, describing very accurately the process of 'moving fortifications' that are a manifestation of the aura stage of the syndrome. Unfortunately there is no clear evidence to show whether this was his first experience of migraine per se, or if he may have previously suffered the far more common form of migraine without aura, although the latter seems most likely, given the fact that migraine most commonly develops in the teens or early adulthood. Another form of migraine aura, Alice in Wonderland Syndrome, has been named after Dodgson's little heroine, because its manifestation can resemble the sudden size-changes in the book. Also known as micropsia and macropsia, it is a brain condition affecting the way objects are perceived by the mind. For example, an afflicted person may look at a larger object, like a basketball, and perceive it as if it were the size of a golf ball. Some authors have suggested that Dodgson may have suffered from this type of aura, and used it as an inspiration in his work, but there is no evidence that he did. Dodgson also suffered two attacks in which he lost consciousness. He was diagnosed by three different doctors; a Dr. Morshead, Dr. Brooks, and Dr. Stedman, believed the attack and a consequent attack to be an "epileptiform" seizure (initially thought to be fainting, but Brooks changed his mind). Some have concluded from this he was a lifetime sufferer of this condition, but there is no evidence of this in his diaries beyond the diagnosis of the two attacks already mentioned. Some authors, in particular Sadi Ranson, have suggested Carroll may have suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy in which consciousness is not always completely lost, but altered, and in which the symptoms mimic many of the same experiences as Alice in Wonderland. Carroll had at least one incidence in which he suffered full loss of consciousness and awoke with a bloody nose, which he recorded in his diary and noted that the episode left him not feeling himself for "quite sometime afterward". This attack was diagnosed as possibly "epileptiform" and Carroll himself later wrote of his "seizures" in the same diary. Most of the standard diagnostic tests of today were not available in the nineteenth century. Recently, Dr Yvonne Hart, consultant neurologist at the Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, considered Dodgson's symptoms. Her conclusion, quoted in Jenny Woolf's The Mystery of Lewis Carroll, is that Dodgson very likely had migraine, and may have had epilepsy, but she emphasises that she would have considerable doubt about making a diagnosis of epilepsy without further information. Suggestions of paedophilia Stuart Dodgson Collingwood (Dodgson's nephew and biographer) wrote: And now as to the secondary causes which attracted him to children. First, I think children appealed to him because he was pre-eminently a teacher, and he saw in their unspoiled minds the best material for him to work upon. In later years one of his favourite recreations was to lecture at schools on logic; he used to give personal attention to each of his pupils, and one can well imagine with what eager anticipation the children would have looked forward to the visits of a schoolmaster who knew how to make even the dullest subjects interesting and amusing. Despite comments like this, Dodgson's friendships with young girls and psychological readings of his work – especially his photographs of nude or semi-nude girls – have all led to speculation that he was a paedophile. This possibility has underpinned numerous modern interpretations of his life and work, particularly Dennis Potter's play Alice and his screenplay for the motion picture, Dreamchild, Robert Wilson's Alice, and a number of recent biographies, including Michael Bakewell's Lewis Carroll: A Biography (1996), Donald Thomas's Lewis Carroll: A Portrait with Background (1995), and Morton N. Cohen's Lewis Carroll: A Biography (1995). All of these works more or less unequivocally assume that Dodgson was a paedophile, albeit a repressed and celibate one. Cohen claims Dodgson's "sexual energies sought unconventional outlets", and further writes: We cannot know to what extent sexual urges lay behind Charles's preference for drawing and photographing children in the nude. He contended the preference was entirely aesthetic. But given his emotional attachment to children as well as his aesthetic appreciation of their forms, his assertion that his interest was strictly artistic is naïve. He probably felt more than he dared acknowledge, even to himself. Cohen notes that Dodgson "apparently convinced many of his friends that his attachment to the nude female child form was free of any eroticism", but adds that "later generations look beneath the surface" (p. 229). Cohen and other biographers argue that Dodgson may have wanted to marry the 11-year-old Alice Liddell, and that this was the cause of the unexplained "break" with the family in June 1863. There has never been significant evidence to support the idea, however, and the 1996 discovery of the "cut pages in diary document" (see above) seems to make it highly probable that the 1863 "break" had nothing to do with Alice, but was perhaps connected with rumours involving her older sister Lorina (born 11 May 1849, so she would have been 14 at the time), her governess, or her mother who was also nicknamed "Ina". Some writers, e.g., Derek Hudson and Roger Lancelyn Green, stop short of identifying Dodgson as a paedophile, but concur that he had a passion for small female children and next to no interest in the adult world. The basis for Dodgson's interest in female children has been challenged in the last ten years by several writers and scholars (see the 'Carroll Myth' above). Literary works * La Guida di Bragia, a Ballad Opera for the Marionette Theatre (around 1850) * A Tangled Tale * Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) * Facts * Rhyme? And Reason? (also published as Phantasmagoria) * Pillow Problems * Sylvie and Bruno * Sylvie and Bruno Concluded * The Hunting of the Snark (1876) * Three Sunsets and Other Poems * Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (includes "Jabberwocky" and "The Walrus and the Carpenter") (1871) * What the Tortoise Said to Achilles Mathematical works * A Syllabus of Plane Algebraic Geometry (1860) * The Fifth Book of Euclid Treated Algebraically (1858 and 1868) * An Elementary Treatise on Determinants, With Their Application to Simultaneous Linear Equations and Algebraic Equations * Euclid and his Modern Rivals (1879), both literary and mathematical in style * Symbolic Logic Part I * Symbolic Logic Part II (published posthumously) * The Alphabet Cipher (1868) * The Game of Logic * Some Popular Fallacies about Vivisection * Curiosa Mathematica I (1888) * Curiosa Mathematica II (1892) * The Theory of Committees and Elections, collected, edited, analysed, and published in 1958, by Duncan Black References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Carroll
William James “Billy” Collins (born March 22, 1941) is an American poet, appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. He is a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York and is the Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute, Florida. Collins was recognized as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library (1992) and selected as the New York State Poet for 2004 through 2006. He is (in 2015) a teacher in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton. Early years Collins was born in Manhattan to William and Katherine Collins and grew up in Queens and White Plains. Collins was a very late child who parents were both 39 at the time, which was very late back then. William, his dad was from a big family from Ireland and Katherine his mom was from Canada. Katherine Collins was a nurse who stopped working to raise the couple’s only child. Mrs. Collins had the ability to recite verses on almost any subject, which she often did, and cultivated in her young son the love of words, both written and spoken. Billy Collins attended Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains and received a B.A. in English from the College of the Holy Cross in 1963; he received his M.A. and Ph.D in Romantic Poetry from the University of California, Riverside. His professors at Riverside included Victorian scholar and poet Robert Peters. In 1975 Collins founded The Mid-Atlantic Review with his friend Walter Blanco and Steve Bailey. As a kid in middle school Collins was writing dark, Gothic-poetry. Collins started to get more into poetry because his dad would bring Poetry magazine home from his work. There he came under the influence of contemporary poets like Karl Shapiro, Howard Nemerov and Reed Whittemore.During his adolescence he was influence by Beat Generation with poems like “Howl”; who were a group of authors around the 50’s after WWII who would write about materialism, human condition and religion. Career Collins is a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College in the Bronx, where he joined the faculty in 1968. Additionally, he is a founding Advisory Board member of the CUNY Institute for Irish-American Studies at Lehman College. He also has taught and served as a visiting writer at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York as well as teaching workshops across the U.S. and in Ireland. Collins is a member of the faculty of SUNY Stony Brook Southampton, where (2015) he teaches poetry workshops. Collins was named U.S. Poet Laureate in 2001 and held the title until 2003. Collins served as Poet Laureate for the State of New York from 2004 until 2006. Collins enjoyed a stint with the Winter Park Institute in Winter Park, Florida, an affiliate of Rollins College. Named the Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Winter Park Institute, his affiliation that began in 2008 ended in 2015 when the college’s interim president, Craig MacAllaster, emailed Collins saying his contract would not be renewed because of budget issues. Collins invited friends of his to be guests at the Institute, including such luminaries as Pulitzer Prize winners Jules Feiffer and Marsha Norman, Paul Simon, Sir Paul McCartney, and Jane Pauley. In 2012, Collins became Poetry Consultant for Smithsonian Magazine. During the summer of 2013, Collins guest hosted Garrison Keillor’s popular daily radio broadcast, The Writer’s Alamanac, on NPR. Collins has been invited to read at The White House three times—in 2001, 2011, and 2014. In 2014 he traveled to Russia as a cultural emissary of the U.S. State Department. In 2013 and 2015, Collins toured with the singer-songwriter Aimee Mann, performing on stage with her in a music-poetry-conversation format. Collins and Paul Simon have engaged in four onstage conversations about poetry, music, and lyrics, starting in 2008. The conversations were held in 2008 at New York’s 92nd Street Y and The Winter Park Institute, in 2013 at the Chautauqua Institution, and in 2013 at Emory University as part of the Richard Ellman Lectures in Modern Literature, where Simon was the 2013 Richard Ellman Lecturer. Collins presented a TED talk, Everyday moments, caught in time at TED 2012. Collins, as one of the Favorite 100 TED speakers of all time, was invited to give another TED talk at TED 2014 in Vancouver, Canada. As U.S. Poet Laureate, Collins read his poem The Names at a special joint session of the United States Congress on September 6, 2002, held to remember the victims of the 9/11 attacks. Though, unlike their British counterparts, U.S. poets laureate are not asked or expected to write occasional poetry, Collins was asked by the Librarian of Congress to write a poem especially for that event. Collins initially refused to read “The Names” in public, though he has read it two times in public since 2002. He vowed not to include it in any of his books, refusing to capitalize on the 9/11 attacks. However, “The Names” was included in the The Poets Laureate Anthology put out by the Library of Congress, for which Collins wrote the foreword. The only book-published version of “The Names”, it contains a number of regrettable typographical errors. The poem also appeared in the New York Times, September 6, 2002. Collins finally agreed to include “The Names” in his new and selected volume Aimless Love in 2013. As Poet Laureate, Collins instituted the program Poetry 180 for high schools. Collins chose 180 poems for the program and the accompanying book, Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry—one for each day of the school year. Collins edited a second anthology, 180 More Extraordinary Poems for Every Day to refresh the supply of available poems. The program is online, and poems are available there for no charge. In 1997, Collins recorded The Best Cigarette, a collection of 34 of his poems, that would become a bestseller. In 2005, the CD was re-released under a Creative Commons license, allowing free, non-commercial distribution of the recording. He also recorded two of his poems for the audio versions of Garrison Keillor’s collection Good Poems (2002). Collins has appeared on Keillor’s radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, numerous times, where he gained a portion of his large following. In 2005, Collins recorded Billy Collins Live: A Performance in New York City. Collins was introduced by his friend, actor Bill Murray. Billy Collins has been called “The most popular poet in America” by the New York Times. When he moved from the University of Pittsburgh Press to Random House, the advance he received shocked the poetry world—a six-figure sum for a three-book deal, virtually unheard of in poetry. The deal secured for Collins through his literary agent, Chris Calhoun, then of Sterling Lord Literistic, with the editor Daniel Menaker, remained the talk of the poetry world, and indeed the literary world, for quite some time. Over the years, the U.S. magazine Poetry has awarded Collins several prizes in recognition of poems they publish. During the 1990s, Collins won five such prizes. The magazine also selected him as “Poet of the Year” in 1994. In 2005 Collins was the first annual recipient of its Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts and in 1993, from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. A major accomplishment of his is in 2002, Collins was asked to write a poem commemorating the first anniversary of the fall of the Twin Towers on September 11. The reading was in front of a joint session of Congress held outside of Washington D.C. One of his most critically acclaimed works, “Fishing on the Susquehanna in July” has been added to the preserved works of the United States Native American literary registry as being deemed a culturally significant poem. The poem has been included on national Advance Placement exams for high school students. In 2012, Collins appeared as himself in an episode of the PBS animated series Martha Speaks. Collins is on the editorial board at The Alaska Quarterly Review. Most recently he contributed to the 30th anniversary edition. He is on the advisory board at the Southern Review, and is similarly named in other journals. Awards and honors 1983 Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts 1986 Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts 1991 National Poetry Series publication prize. Winner for Questions About Angels 1992 New York Public Library “Literary Lion” 1993 Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation 1994 Poetry magazine’s “Poet of the Year” 1995 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, Academy of American Poets. Shortlist for The Art of Drowning 2001 American Irish Historical Society Cultural Award 2001–2003 United States Poet Laureate 2004–2006 New York State Poet Laureate 2005 Mark Twain Award for Humor in Poetry 2013 Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize in American Poetry 2014 Norman Mailer Prize for Poetry Other Awards include these from Poetry magazine: The Oscar Blumenthal Prize The Bess Hokin Prize The Frederick Bock Prize The Levinson Prize Poetry collections * Pokerface (1977) * Video Poems (1980) * The Apple That Astonished Paris. University of Arkansas Press. 1988. ISBN 978-1-55728-024-4. See also version printed by University of Arkansas Press, 2006, ISBN 978-1-55728-823-3 * The Art of Drowning. University of Pittsburgh Press. 1995. ISBN 978-0-8229-5567-2. * Picnic, Lightning. University of Pittsburgh Press. 1998. ISBN 978-0822956709. * Questions About Angels. University of Pittsburgh Press. 1999. ISBN 978-0822956983. * Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes. Picador. 2000. ISBN 978-0330376501. * Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems. Random House. 2001–2002. ISBN 978-0-375-75519-4. * Nine Horses. Random House, Inc. 2002. ISBN 978-1-58836-278-0. * The Trouble with Poetry. 2005. ; Random House, Inc., 2007, ISBN 978-0-375-75521-7 * She Was Just Seventeen. Modern Haiku Press. 2006. ISBN 978-0974189420. * Ballistics. 2008. ISBN 978-1-4000-6491-5. * Horoscopes for the Dead. Random House. 2011. ISBN 978-1-4000-6492-2. * Aimless Love. Random House. 2013. ISBN 978-0-6796-4405-7. * Voyage. Bunker Hill Publishing. 2014. ISBN 978-1-59373-154-0. References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Collins
I've been writing all my life, since I could read and hold a pen. Its only been in the last couple of years that friends and writing colleagues have encouraged me to submit work for publication. Slowly I've been finding success in getting work recognised in magazines and journals and at spoken word events. I'll post here as regularly as I can, posting poems that are new that I like or have achieved some success. I hope the writing engenders some understanding and encouragement #poetatheart
Leonard Norman Cohen (21 September 1934 – 10 November 2016) was a Canadian Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist. His work often explores religion, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships. Cohen has been inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. In 2011, Cohen received a Prince of Asturias Award for literature. The critic Bruce Eder wrote an assessment of Cohen's overall career in popular music, writing, “[Cohen is] one of the most fascinating and enigmatic … singer/songwriters of the late '60s … [and] has retained an audience across four decades of music-making … Second only to Bob Dylan (and perhaps Paul Simon) [in terms of influence], he commands the attention of critics and younger musicians more firmly than any other musical figure from the 1960s who is still working at the outset of the 21st century.” The Academy of American Poets has commented more broadly on Cohen's overall career in the arts, including his work as a poet, novelist, and songwriter, stating that “[Cohen's] successful blending of poetry, fiction, and music is made most clear in Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs, published in 1993, which gathered more than two hundred of Cohen's poems … several novel excerpts, and almost sixty song lyrics … While it may seem to some that Leonard Cohen departed from the literary in pursuit of the musical, his fans continue to embrace him as a Renaissance man who straddles the elusive artistic borderlines.” Early life Cohen was born on 21 September 1934 in Westmount, an English-speaking area of Montreal, Quebec, into a middle-class Jewish family. His mother, Marsha (Masha) Klonitsky, was the daughter of a Talmudic writer, Rabbi Solomon Klonitsky-Kline of Lithuanian Jewish ancestry. His paternal grandfather, whose family had emigrated from Poland, was Lyon Cohen, founding president of the Canadian Jewish Congress. His father, Nathan Cohen, who owned a substantial clothing store, died when Cohen was nine years old. On the topic of being a Kohen, Cohen has said that, "I had a very Messianic childhood." He told Richard Goldstein in 1967, "I was told I was a descendant of Aaron, the high priest." Cohen attended Roslyn Elementary School and, from 1948, Westmount High School, where he was involved with the student council and studied music and poetry. He became especially interested in the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca. As a teenager, he learned to play the guitar, and formed a country-folk group called the Buckskin Boys. Although he initially played a regular acoustic guitar, he soon switched to playing a classical guitar after meeting a young Spanish flamenco guitar player who taught him "a few chords and some flamenco." Cohen frequented Saint-Laurent Boulevard where he went for fun, and ate at places such as the Main Deli Steak House. According to journalist David Sax, the Main Deli was where Cohen and one of his cousins would go to "...watch the gangsters, pimps, and wrestlers dance around the night." Cohen also enjoyed visiting the previously raucous bars of Old Montreal as well as Saint Joseph's Oratory, which had the closest restaurant near Westmont where he and his friend Mort Rosengarten could go for coffee and a smoke. After moving out of Westmount, Cohen purchased a place in the previous working-class neighborhood of Montreal's Little Portugal on Saint-Laurent Boulevard where he read his poetry at various surrounding clubs. It is also during his time there in the small neighborhood that he wrote the lyrics to what would become some of his most famous songs. Poetry and novels In 1951, Cohen enrolled at McGill University, where he became president of the McGill Debating Union and won the Chester MacNaghten Literary Competition for the poems "Sparrows" and "Thoughts of a Landsman". Cohen published his first poems in March 1954 in the magazine CIV/n. The issue also included poems by Cohen's poet-professors (who were also on the editorial board), Irving Layton and Louis Dudek. Cohen graduated from McGill the following year with a B.A. degree. His literary influences during this time included William Butler Yeats, Irving Layton (who taught political science at McGill and became both Cohen's mentor and friend), Walt Whitman, Federico Garcia Lorca, and Henry Miller. His first published book of poetry, Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956), was published by Dudek as the first book in the McGill Poetry Series the year after Cohen's graduation. The book contained "poems written largely when Cohen was between the ages of fifteen and twenty", and Cohen dedicated the book to his late father. The well-known Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye wrote a review of the book in which he gave Cohen "restrained praise". After completing his undergraduate degree, Cohen spent a term in McGill's law school and then a year (1956–1957) at the School of General Studies at Columbia University. Cohen described his graduate school experience as "passion without flesh, love without climax”. Consequently, Cohen left New York and returned to Montreal in 1957, working various odd jobs and focusing on the writing of fiction and poetry, including the poems for his next book, The Spice-Box of Earth (1961), which was the first book that Cohen published through the Canadian publishing company McClelland & Stewart. Fortunately for Cohen, his father's will provided him with a modest trust income, sufficient to allow him to pursue his literary ambitions for the time, and The Spice-Box of Earth was successful in helping to expand the audience for Cohen's poetry, helping him reach out to the poetry scene in Canada, outside the confines of McGill University. The book also helped Cohen gain critical recognition as an important new voice in Canadian poetry. One of Cohen's biographers, Ira Nadel, stated that "reaction to the finished book was enthusiastic and admiring...the critic Robert Weaver found it powerful and declared that Cohen was 'probably the best young poet in English Canada right now.'" Cohen continued to write poetry and fiction throughout much of the 1960s and preferred to live in quasi-reclusive circumstances after he bought a house on Hydra, a Greek island in the Saronic Gulf. While living and writing on Hydra, Cohen published the poetry collection Flowers for Hitler (1964), and the novels The Favourite Game (1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966). His novel The Favourite Game was an autobiographical bildungsroman about a young man who discovers his identity through writing. Beautiful Losers received a good deal of attention from the Canadian press and stirred up controversy because of a number of sexually graphic passages. In 1966 Cohen also published Parasites of Heaven, a book of poems. Both Beautiful Losers and Parasites of Heaven received mixed reviews and sold few copies. Subsequently, Cohen published less, with major gaps, concentrating more on recording songs. In 1978, he published his first book of poetry in many years, Death of a Lady's Man (not to be confused with the album he released the previous year with the similar title, Death of a Ladies' Man). It wasn't until 1984 that Cohen published his next book of poems, Book of Mercy, which won him the Canadian Authors Association Literary Award for Poetry. The book contains 50 prose-poems, influenced by the Hebrew Bible and Zen writings. Cohen himself referred to the pieces as "prayers". In 1993, Cohen published Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs, and in 2006, after 10 years of delays, additions and rewritings, Book of Longing. The Book of Longing is dedicated to the poet Irving Layton. Also, during the late 1990s and 2000s, many of Cohen's new poems and lyrics were first published on the fan website The Leonard Cohen Files, including the original version of the poem "A Thousand Kisses Deep" (which Cohen later adapted for a song). Cohen's writing process, as he told an interviewer in 1998, is "like a bear stumbling into a beehive or a honey cache: I'm stumbling right into it and getting stuck, and it's delicious and it's horrible and I'm in it and it's not very graceful and it's very awkward and it's very painful and yet there's something inevitable about it". In 2011, Cohen was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for literature. References Wikipedia – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Cohen
As a perpetual and chronic daydreamer I've always enjoyed the art of summoning emotion with written word. But it wasn't until recently that I was stricken by a very sudden, and equally deep, passion for writing poetry. It seems that we make good companions so I suppose we'll continue to occupy one another for a while longer... As a writer, I hope to publish a book of poems in the future. More importantly, I hope to paint a unique picture, stir emotion, or raise a few questions within my readers. If I can accomplish this, I have certainly achieved my goal and consider it a job well done. As a reader, I hope to experience literature that is capable of delivering me from this reality to place me within the realm of another, thereby offering a temporary escape from a world that is mine. I hope to discover phrases that might cause my perception to shift into something unfamiliar. Reaching the outer limits of my mind to the birthplace of epiphany. And if not, I simply wish to learn something new to me... Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts, and feel free to leave some of your own . After all, feedback is fuel for inspiration... And now... A QUOTE: “Fortune comes a crawlin', calliope woman, spinning that curious sense of your own.” ~ ~ Jerry Garcia
Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343 – 25 October 1400), known as the Father of English literature, is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages and was the first poet to have been buried in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey. While he achieved fame during his lifetime as an author, philosopher, alchemist and astronomer, composing a scientific treatise on the astrolabe for his ten year-old son Lewis, Chaucer also maintained an active career in the civil service as a bureaucrat, courtier and diplomat. Among his many works, which include The Book of the Duchess, the House of Fame, the Legend of Good Women and Troilus and Criseyde, he is best known today for The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer is a crucial figure in developing the legitimacy of the vernacular, Middle English, at a time when the dominant literary languages in England were French and Latin. Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London sometime around 1343, though the precise date and location of his birth remain unknown. His father and grandfather were both London vintners; several previous generations had been merchants in Ipswich. (His family name derives from the French chausseur, meaning "shoemaker".) In 1324 John Chaucer, Geoffrey's father, was kidnapped by an aunt in the hope of marrying the twelve-year-old boy to her daughter in an attempt to keep property in Ipswich. The aunt was imprisoned and the £250 fine levied suggests that the family was financially secure—bourgeois, if not elite. John Chaucer married Agnes Copton, who, in 1349, inherited properties including 24 shops in London from her uncle, Hamo de Copton, who is described in a will dated 3 April 1354 and listed in the City Hustings Roll as "moneyer"; he was said to be moneyer at the Tower of London. In the City Hustings Roll 110, 5, Ric II, dated June 1380, Geoffrey Chaucer refers to himself as me Galfridum Chaucer, filium Johannis Chaucer, Vinetarii, Londonie' . While records concerning the lives of his contemporary poets, William Langland and the Pearl Poet are practically non-existent, since Chaucer was a public servant, his official life is very well documented, with nearly five hundred written items testifying to his career. The first of the "Chaucer Life Records" appears in 1357, in the household accounts of Elizabeth de Burgh, the Countess of Ulster, when he became the noblewoman's page through his father's connections. She was married to Lionel, Duke of Clarence, the second surviving son of the king, Edward III, and the position brought the teenage Chaucer into the close court circle, where he was to remain for the rest of his life. He also worked as a courtier, a diplomat, and a civil servant, as well as working for the king, collecting and inventorying scrap metal. In 1359, in the early stages of the Hundred Years' War, Edward III invaded France and Chaucer travelled with Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, Elizabeth's husband, as part of the English army. In 1360, he was captured during the siege of Rheims. Edward paid £16 for his ransom, a considerable sum, and Chaucer was released. After this, Chaucer's life is uncertain, but he seems to have travelled in France, Spain, and Flanders, possibly as a messenger and perhaps even going on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Around 1366, Chaucer married Philippa (de) Roet. She was a lady-in-waiting to Edward III's queen, Philippa of Hainault, and a sister of Katherine Swynford, who later (ca. 1396) became the third wife of John of Gaunt. It is uncertain how many children Chaucer and Philippa had, but three or four are most commonly cited. His son, Thomas Chaucer, had an illustrious career, as chief butler to four kings, envoy to France, and Speaker of the House of Commons. Thomas's daughter, Alice, married the Duke of Suffolk. Thomas's great-grandson (Geoffrey's great-great-grandson), John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, was the heir to the throne designated by Richard III before he was deposed. Geoffrey's other children probably included Elizabeth Chaucy, a nun at Barking Abbey. Agnes, an attendant at Henry IV's coronation; and another son, Lewis Chaucer. Chaucer’s “Treatise on the Astrolabe” was written for Lewis. Chaucer probably studied law in the Inner Temple (an Inn of Court) at this time. He became a member of the royal court of Edward III as a varlet de chambre, yeoman, or esquire on 20 June 1367, a position which could entail a wide variety of tasks. His wife also received a pension for court employment. He travelled abroad many times, at least some of them in his role as a valet. In 1368, he may have attended the wedding of Lionel of Antwerp to Violante Visconti, daughter of Galeazzo II Visconti, in Milan. Two other literary stars of the era were in attendance: Jean Froissart and Petrarch. Around this time, Chaucer is believed to have written The Book of the Duchess in honour of Blanche of Lancaster, the late wife of John of Gaunt, who died in 1369. Chaucer travelled to Picardy the next year as part of a military expedition; in 1373 he visited Genoa and Florence. Numerous scholars such as Skeat, Boitani, and Rowland suggested that, on this Italian trip, he came into contact with Petrarch or Boccaccio. They introduced him to medieval Italian poetry, the forms and stories of which he would use later. The purposes of a voyage in 1377 are mysterious, as details within the historical record conflict. Later documents suggest it was a mission, along with Jean Froissart, to arrange a marriage between the future King Richard II and a French princess, thereby ending the Hundred Years War. If this was the purpose of their trip, they seem to have been unsuccessful, as no wedding occurred. In 1378, Richard II sent Chaucer as an envoy (secret dispatch) to the Visconti and to Sir John Hawkwood, English condottiere (mercenary leader) in Milan. It has been speculated that it was Hawkwood on whom Chaucer based his character the Knight in the Canterbury Tales, for a description matches that of a fourteenth-century condottiere. A possible indication that his career as a writer was appreciated came when Edward III granted Chaucer "a gallon of wine daily for the rest of his life" for some unspecified task. This was an unusual grant, but given on a day of celebration, St George's Day, 1374, when artistic endeavours were traditionally rewarded, it is assumed to have been another early poetic work. It is not known which, if any, of Chaucer's extant works prompted the reward, but the suggestion of him as poet to a king places him as a precursor to later poets laureate. Chaucer continued to collect the liquid stipend until Richard II came to power, after which it was converted to a monetary grant on 18 April 1378. Chaucer obtained the very substantial job of Comptroller of the Customs for the port of London, which he began on 8 June 1374. He must have been suited for the role as he continued in it for twelve years, a long time in such a post at that time. His life goes undocumented for much of the next ten years, but it is believed that he wrote (or began) most of his famous works during this period. He was mentioned in law papers of 4 May 1380, involved in the raptus of Cecilia Chaumpaigne. What raptus means is unclear, but the incident seems to have been resolved quickly and did not leave a stain on Chaucer's reputation. It is not known if Chaucer was in the city of London at the time of the Peasants' Revolt, but if he was, he would have seen its leaders pass almost directly under his apartment window at Aldgate. While still working as comptroller, Chaucer appears to have moved to Kent, being appointed as one of the commissioners of peace for Kent, at a time when French invasion was a possibility. He is thought to have started work on The Canterbury Tales in the early 1380s. He also became a Member of Parliament for Kent in 1386. There is no further reference after this date to Philippa, Chaucer's wife, and she is presumed to have died in 1387. He survived the political upheavals caused by the Lords Appellants, despite the fact that Chaucer knew some of the men executed over the affair quite well. On 12 July 1389, Chaucer was appointed the clerk of the king's works, a sort of foreman organising most of the king's building projects. No major works were begun during his tenure, but he did conduct repairs on Westminster Palace, St. George's Chapel, Windsor, continue building the wharf at the Tower of London, and build the stands for a tournament held in 1390. It may have been a difficult job, but it paid well: two shillings a day, more than three times his salary as a comptroller. Chaucer was also appointed keeper of the lodge at the King’s park in Feckenham, which was a largely honorary appointment. In September 1390, records say that he was robbed, and possibly injured, while conducting the business, and it was shortly after, on 17 June 1391, that he stopped working in this capacity. Almost immediately, on 22 June, he began as Deputy Forester in the royal forest of North Petherton, Somerset. This was no sinecure, with maintenance an important part of the job, although there were many opportunities to derive profit. He was granted an annual pension of twenty pounds by Richard II in 1394. It is believed that Chaucer stopped work on the Canterbury Tales sometime towards the end of this decade. Not long after the overthrow of his patron, Richard II, in 1399, Chaucer's name fades from the historical record. The last few records of his life show his pension renewed by the new king, and his taking of a lease on a residence within the close of Westminster Abbey on 24 December 1399. Although Henry IV renewed the grants assigned to Chaucer by Richard, Chaucer's own The Complaint of Chaucer to his Purse hints that the grants might not have been paid. The last mention of Chaucer is on 5 June 1400, when some monies owed to him were paid. He is believed to have died of unknown causes on 25 October 1400, but there is no firm evidence for this date, as it comes from the engraving on his tomb, erected more than one hundred years after his death. There is some speculation—most recently in Terry Jones' book Who Murdered Chaucer? : A Medieval Mystery—that he was murdered by enemies of Richard II or even on the orders of his successor Henry IV, but the case is entirely circumstantial. Chaucer was buried in Westminster Abbey in London, as was his right owing to his status as a tenant of the Abbey's close. In 1556, his remains were transferred to a more ornate tomb, making Chaucer the first writer interred in the area now known as Poets' Corner. Work Chaucer's first major work, The Book of the Duchess, was an elegy for Blanche of Lancaster (who died in 1369). It is possible that this work was commissioned by her husband John of Gaunt, as he granted Chaucer a £10 annuity on 13 June 1374. This would seem to place the writing of The Book of the Duchess between the years 1369 and 1374. Two other early works by Chaucer were Anelida and Arcite and The House of Fame. Chaucer wrote many of his major works in a prolific period when he held the job of customs comptroller for London (1374 to 1386). His Parlement of Foules, The Legend of Good Women and Troilus and Criseyde all date from this time. Also it is believed that he started work on The Canterbury Tales in the early 1380s. Chaucer is best known as the writer of The Canterbury Tales, which is a collection of stories told by fictional pilgrims on the road to the cathedral at Canterbury; these tales would help to shape English literature. The Canterbury Tales contrasts with other literature of the period in the naturalism of its narrative, the variety of stories the pilgrims tell and the varied characters who are engaged in the pilgrimage. Many of the stories narrated by the pilgrims seem to fit their individual characters and social standing, although some of the stories seem ill-fitting to their narrators, perhaps as a result of the incomplete state of the work. Chaucer drew on real life for his cast of pilgrims: the innkeeper shares the name of a contemporary keeper of an inn in Southwark, and real-life identities for the Wife of Bath, the Merchant, the Man of Law and the Student have been suggested. The many jobs that Chaucer held in medieval society—page, soldier, messenger, valet, bureaucrat, foreman and administrator—probably exposed him to many of the types of people he depicted in the Tales. He was able to shape their speech and satirise their manners in what was to become popular literature among people of the same types. Chaucer's works are sometimes grouped into first a French period, then an Italian period and finally an English period, with Chaucer being influenced by those countries' literatures in turn. Certainly Troilus and Criseyde is a middle period work with its reliance on the forms of Italian poetry, little known in England at the time, but to which Chaucer was probably exposed during his frequent trips abroad on court business. In addition, its use of a classical subject and its elaborate, courtly language sets it apart as one of his most complete and well-formed works. In Troilus and Criseyde Chaucer draws heavily on his source, Boccaccio, and on the late Latin philosopher Boethius. However, it is The Canterbury Tales, wherein he focuses on English subjects, with bawdy jokes and respected figures often being undercut with humour, that has cemented his reputation. Chaucer also translated such important works as Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy and The Romance of the Rose by Guillaume de Lorris (extended by Jean de Meun). However, while many scholars maintain that Chaucer did indeed translate part of the text of Roman de la Rose as The Romaunt of the Rose, others claim that this has been effectively disproved. Many of his other works were very loose translations of, or simply based on, works from continental Europe. It is in this role that Chaucer receives some of his earliest critical praise. Eustache Deschamps wrote a ballade on the great translator and called himself a "nettle in Chaucer's garden of poetry". In 1385 Thomas Usk made glowing mention of Chaucer, and John Gower, Chaucer's main poetic rival of the time, also lauded him. This reference was later edited out of Gower's Confessio Amantis and it has been suggested by some that this was because of ill feeling between them, but it is likely due simply to stylistic concerns. One other significant work of Chaucer's is his Treatise on the Astrolabe, possibly for his own son, that describes the form and use of that instrument in detail and is sometimes cited as the first example of technical writing in the English language. Although much of the text may have come from other sources, the treatise indicates that Chaucer was versed in science in addition to his literary talents. Another scientific work discovered in 1952, Equatorie of the Planetis, has similar language and handwriting compared to some considered to be Chaucer's and it continues many of the ideas from the Astrolabe. Furthermore, it contains an example of early European encryption. The attribution of this work to Chaucer is still uncertain. Selected Works The Canterbury Tales Troilus and Criseyde Treatise on the Astrolabe The Legend of Good Women Parlement of Foules Anelida and Arcite The House of Fame The Book of the Duchess Roman de la Rose Translation of Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy (as Boece) References Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Chaucer
Raymond Clevie Carver, Jr. (May 25, 1938– August 2, 1988) was an American short-story writer and poet. Carver contributed to the revitalization of the American short story in literature during the 1980s. Early life Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon, a mill town on the Columbia River, and grew up in Yakima, Washington, the son of Ella Beatrice (née Casey) and Clevie Raymond Carver. His father, a sawmill worker from Arkansas, was a fisherman and heavy drinker. Carver’s mother worked on and off as a waitress and a retail clerk. His one brother, James Franklin Carver, was born in 1943. Carver was educated at local schools in Yakima, Washington. In his spare time, he read mostly novels by Mickey Spillane or publications such as Sports Afield and Outdoor Life, and hunted and fished with friends and family. After graduating from Yakima High School in 1956, Carver worked with his father at a sawmill in California. In June 1957, at age 19, he married 16-year-old Maryann Burk, who had just graduated from a private Episcopal school for girls. Their daughter, Christine La Rae, was born in December 1957. Their second child, a boy named Vance Lindsay, was born a year later. He supported his family by working as a delivery man, janitor, library assistant, and sawmill laborer. During their marriage, Maryann also supported the family by working as an administrative assistant and a high school English teacher, salesperson, and waitress. Writing career Carver became interested in writing in Paradise, California, where he had moved with his family to be close to his mother-in-law. While attending Chico State College, he enrolled in a creative writing course taught by the novelist John Gardner, a recent doctoral graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop who became a mentor and had a major influence on Carver’s life and career. Carver’s first published story, “The Furious Seasons”, appeared in 1961. More florid than his later work, the story strongly bore the influence of William Faulkner. “Furious Seasons” was later used as a title for a collection of stories published by Capra Press, and is now in the recent collection, No Heroics, Please and Call If You Need Me. It is a common misconception that Carver was influenced by Ernest Hemingway, as both writers exhibit a similar economical and plain prose style. In his essay “On Influence”, however, Carver states clearly that, while he was an admirer of Hemingway’s fiction, he never saw him as an influence, citing instead the work of Lawrence Durrell. Carver continued his studies under the short-story writer Richard Cortez Day (like Gardner, a recent PhD alumnus of the Iowa program) at Humboldt State College in Arcata, California. After electing not to take the foreign language courses required by the English program, he received his B.A. in general studies in 1963. During this period he was first published and served as editor for Toyon, the university’s literary magazine, in which he published several of his own pieces under his own name as well as the pseudonym John Vale. With his B– average—exacerbated by his penchant to forsake coursework for literary endeavors—ballasted by a sterling recommendation from Day, Carver was accepted into the Iowa Writers’ Workshop on a $1,000 fellowship for the 1963–1964 academic year. Homesick for California and unable to fully acclimate to the program’s upper middle class milieu, he only completed 12 credits out of the 30 required for a M.A. degree or 60 for the M.F.A. degree. Although he was awarded a fellowship for a second year of study from program director Paul Engle after Maryann Carver personally interceded and compared her husband’s plight to Tennessee Williams’ deleterious experience in the program three decades earlier, Carver decided to leave the program at the end of the semester. Maryann (who postponed completing her education to support her husband’s educational and literary endeavors) eventually graduated from San Jose State College in 1970 and taught English at Los Altos High School until 1977, when she enrolled in the University of California, Santa Barbara’s doctoral program in English. In the mid-1960s, Carver and his family resided in Sacramento, California, where he briefly worked at a bookstore before taking a position as a night custodian at Mercy Hospital. He did all of the janitorial work in the first hour and then wrote at the hospital through the rest of the night. He audited classes at what was then Sacramento State College, including workshops with poet Dennis Schmitz. Carver and Schmitz soon became friends, and Carver wrote and published his first book of poems, Near Klamath, under Schmitz’s guidance. With the appearance of Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? in Martha Foley’s annual Best American Short Stories anthology and the impending publication of Near Klamath by the English Club of Sacramento State College, 1967 was a landmark year for Carver. He briefly enrolled in the library science graduate program at the University of Iowa that summer but returned to California following the death of his father. Shortly thereafter, the Carvers relocated to Palo Alto, California, so he could take his first white-collar job at Science Research Associates (a subsidiary of IBM), where he worked intermittently as a textbook editor and public relations director through 1970. Following a 1968 sojourn to Israel, the Carvers relocated to San Jose, California; as Maryann finished her undergraduate degree, he continued his graduate studies in library science at San Jose State through the end of 1969 before failing once again to take a degree. Nevertheless, he established vital literary connections with Gordon Lish and the poet/publisher George Hitchcock during this period. After the publication of “Neighbors” in the June 1971 issue of Esquire at the instigation of Lish (by now ensconced as the magazine’s fiction editor), Carver began to teach at the University of California, Santa Cruz at the behest of provost James B. Hall (an Iowa alumnus and early mentor to Ken Kesey at the University of Oregon), commuting from his new home in Sunnyvale, California. Following a succession of failed applications, he received a $4,000 Stegner Fellowship to study in the prestigious non-degree graduate creative writing program at Stanford University during the 1972–1973 term, where he cultivated friendships with Kesey-era luminaries Ed McClanahan and Gurney Norman in addition to contemporaneous fellows Chuck Kinder, Max Crawford, and William Kittredge. The fellowship enabled the Carvers to buy a house in Cupertino, California. He took on another teaching job at the University of California, Berkeley that year and briefly rented a pied-à-terre in the city; this development was largely precipitated by his instigation of an extramarital affair with Diane Cecily, a University of Montana administrator and mutual friend of Kittredge who would subsequently marry Kinder. During his years of working at miscellaneous jobs, rearing children, and trying to write, Carver started abusing alcohol. By his own admission, he essentially gave up writing and took to full-time drinking. In the fall semester of 1973, Carver was a visiting lecturer in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop with John Cheever, but Carver stated that they did less teaching than drinking and almost no writing. With the assistance of Kinder and Kittredge, he attempted to simultaneously commute to California and maintain his lectureship at Santa Cruz; after missing all but a handful of classes due to the inherent logistical hurdles of this arrangement (including various alcohol-related illnesses), Hall gently enjoined Carver to resign his position. The next year, after leaving Iowa City, Carver went to a treatment center to attempt to overcome his alcoholism, but continued drinking for three years. His first short story collection, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?, was published in 1976. The collection itself was shortlisted for the National Book Award, though it sold fewer than 5,000 copies that year. After being hospitalized three times (between June 1976 and February or March 1977), Carver began his “second life” and stopped drinking on June 2, 1977, with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous. While he continued to regularly smoke marijuana and later experimented with cocaine at the behest of Jay McInerney during a 1980 visit to New York City, Carver believed he would have died of alcoholism at the age of 40 had he not overcome his drinking. Carver was nominated again in 1984 for his third major-press collection, Cathedral, the volume generally perceived as his best. Included in the collection are the award-winning stories “A Small, Good Thing”, and “Where I’m Calling From”. John Updike selected the latter for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories of the Century. For his part, Carver saw Cathedral as a watershed in his career, in its shift towards a more optimistic and confidently poetic style. Personal life and death Decline of first marriage The following excerpt from Scott Driscoll’s review of Maryann Burk Carver’s 2006 memoir describes the decline of Maryann and Raymond’s marriage. The fall began with Ray’s trip to Missoula, Mont., in '72 to fish with friend and literary helpmate Bill Kittredge. That summer Ray fell in love with Diane Cecily, an editor at the University of Montana, whom he met at Kittredge’s birthday party. “That’s when the serious drinking began. It broke my heart and hurt the children. It changed everything.” “By fall of '74", writes Carver, “he was more dead than alive. I had to drop out of the Ph.D. program so I could get him cleaned up and drive him to his classes”. Over the next several years, Maryann’s husband physically abused her. Friends urged her to leave Raymond. “But I couldn’t. I really wanted to hang in there for the long haul. I thought I could outlast the drinking. I’d do anything it took. I loved Ray, first, last and always.” Carver describes, without a trace of rancor, what finally put her over the edge. In the fall of '78, with a new teaching position at the University of Texas at El Paso, Ray started seeing Tess Gallagher, a writer from Port Angeles, who would become his muse and wife near the end of his life. “It was like a contretemps. He tried to call me to talk about where we were. I missed the calls. He knew he was about to invite Tess to Thanksgiving.” So he wrote a letter instead. “I thought, I’ve gone through all those years fighting to keep it all balanced. Here it was, coming at me again, the same thing. I had to get on with my own life. But I never fell out of love with him.” Second marriage Carver met the poet Tess Gallagher at a writers’ conference in Dallas, Texas, in November 1977. Beginning in January, 1979, Carver and Gallagher lived together in El Paso, Texas; in a borrowed cabin near Port Angeles, Washington; and in Tucson, Arizona. In 1980, the two moved to Syracuse, New York, where Gallagher had been appointed the coordinator of the creative writing program at Syracuse University; Carver taught as a professor in the English department. He and Gallagher jointly purchased a house in Syracuse, at 832 Maryland Avenue. In ensuing years, the house became so popular that the couple had to hang a sign outside that read “Writers At Work” in order to be left alone. In 1982, Carver and first wife, Maryann, were divorced. He married Gallagher in 1988 in Reno, Nevada. Six weeks later, on August 2, 1988, Carver died in Port Angeles, Washington, from lung cancer at the age of 50. In the same year, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In December 2006, Gallagher published an essay in The Sun magazine, titled “Instead of Dying”, about alcoholism and Carver’s having maintained his sobriety. The essay is an adaptation of a talk she initially delivered at the Welsh Academy’s Academi Intoxication Conference in 2006. The first lines read: “Instead of dying from alcohol, Raymond Carver chose to live. I would meet him five months after this choice, so I never knew the Ray who drank, except by report and through the characters and actions of his stories and poems.” Death On August 2, 1988, Carver died from lung cancer at the age of 50. He is buried at Ocean View Cemetery in Port Angeles, Washington. The inscription on his tombstone reads: LATE FRAGMENT And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so? I did. And what did you want? To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth. His poem “Gravy” is also inscribed. As Carver’s will directed, Tess Gallagher assumed the management of his literary estate. Memorials In Carver’s birth town of Clatskanie, Oregon, a memorial park and statue were constructed in the late 2000s spearheaded by the local Friends of the Library, using mostly local donations. Tess Gallagher was present at the dedication. It is located in the old town on the corner of Lillich and Nehalem Streets, across from the library. A block away, the building where Raymond Carver was born still stands. There is a plaque of Carver in the foyer. Legacy and posthumous publications The novelist Chuck Kinder published Honeymooners: A Cautionary Tale (2001), a roman à clef about his friendship with Carver in the 1970s. Carver’s high school sweetheart and first wife, Maryann Burk Carver, wrote a memoir of her years with Carver, What it Used to be Like: A Portrait of My Marriage to Raymond Carver (2006). The New York Times Book Review and San Francisco Chronicle named Carol Sklenicka’s unauthorized biography, Raymond Carver: A Writer’s Life (2009), published by Scribner, one of the Best Ten Books of that year; and the San Francisco Chronicle deemed it: “exhaustively researched and definitive biography”. Carver’s widow, Tess Gallagher, refused to engage with Sklenica. His final (incomplete) collection of seven stories, titled Elephant in Britain (included in “Where I’m Calling From”) was composed in the five years before his death. The nature of these stories, especially “Errand”, have led to some speculation that Carver was preparing to write a novel. Only one piece of this work has survived– the fragment “The Augustine Notebooks”, first printed in No Heroics, Please. Tess Gallagher published five Carver stories posthumously in Call If You Need Me; one of the stories ("Kindling") won an O. Henry Award in 1999. In his lifetime Carver won five O. Henry Awards; these winning stories were “Are These Actual Miles” (originally titled “What is it?”) (1972), “Put Yourself in My Shoes” (1974), “Are You A Doctor?” (1975), “A Small, Good Thing” (1983), and “Errand” (1988). Tess Gallagher fought with Knopf for permission to republish the stories in What We Talk About When We Talk About Love as they were originally written by Carver, as opposed to the heavily edited and altered versions that appeared in 1981 under the editorship of Gordon Lish. The book, entitled Beginners, was released in hardback on October 1, 2009 in Great Britain, followed by its U.S. publication in the Library of America edition that collected all of Carver’s short fiction in a single volume. Literary characteristics Carver’s career was dedicated to short stories and poetry. He described himself as “inclined toward brevity and intensity” and “hooked on writing short stories” (in the foreword of Where I’m Calling From, a collection published in 1988 and a recipient of an honorable mention in the 2006 New York Times article citing the best works of fiction of the previous 25 years). Another stated reason for his brevity was "that the story [or poem] can be written and read in one sitting." This was not simply a preference but, particularly at the beginning of his career, a practical consideration as he juggled writing with work. His subject matter was often focused on blue-collar experience, and was clearly reflective of his own life. Characteristics of minimalism are generally seen as one of the hallmarks of Carver’s work, although, as reviewer David Wiegand notes: Carver never thought of himself as a minimalist or in any category, for that matter. “He rejected categories generally,” Sklenicka says. “I don’t think he had an abstract mind at all. He just wasn’t built that way, which is why he’s so good at picking the right details that will stand for many things.” Carver’s editor at Esquire, Gordon Lish, was instrumental in shaping Carver’s prose in this direction– where his earlier tutor John Gardner had advised Carver to use fifteen words instead of twenty-five, Lish instructed Carver to use five in place of fifteen. Objecting to the “surgical amputation and transplantation” of Lish’s heavy editing, Carver eventually broke with him. During this time, Carver also submitted poetry to James Dickey, then poetry editor of Esquire. Carver’s style has also been described as dirty realism, which connected him with a group of writers in the 1970s and 1980s that included Richard Ford and Tobias Wolff (two writers with whom Carver was closely acquainted), as well as others such as Ann Beattie, Frederick Barthelme, and Jayne Anne Phillips. With the exception of Beattie, who wrote about upper-middle-class people, these were writers who focused on sadness and loss in the everyday lives of ordinary people—often lower-middle class or isolated and marginalized people. Works Fiction Collections * Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? (first published 1976) * Furious Seasons and other stories (1977) * What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (1981) * Cathedral (1983) * Elephant (1988)– this title only published in Great Britain; included as a section of Where I’m Calling From: New & Selected Stories in the U.S. Compilations * Where I’m Calling From: New & Selected Stories (1988) * Short Cuts: Selected Stories (1993)– published to accompany the Robert Altman film Short Cuts * Collected Stories (2009)– complete short fiction including Beginners Poetry Collections * Near Klamath (1968) * Winter Insomnia (1970) * At Night The Salmon Move (1976) * Fires (1983) * Where Water Comes Together With Other Water (1985) * Ultramarine (1986) * A New Path To The Waterfall (1989) * Gravy (Unknown year) Compilations * In a Marine Light: Selected Poems (1988) * All of Us: The Collected Poems (1996) Screenplays * Dostoevsky (1985, with Tess Gallagher) Films and theatre adaptations * Short Cuts directed by Robert Altman (1993), based on nine Carver short stories and a poem * Everything Goes directed by Andrew Kotatko (2004), starring Hugo Weaving and Abbie Cornish, based on Carver’s short story “Why Don’t You Dance?” * Whoever Was Using This Bed, also directed by Andrew Kotatko (2016), starring Jean-Marc Barr, Radha Mitchell and Jane Birkin, based on Carver’s short story of the same name * Jindabyne directed by Ray Lawrence (2006), based on Carver’s short story “So Much Water So Close to Home” * “After The Denim” directed by Gregory D. Goyins (2010) starring Tom Bower and Karen Landry, based on Carver’s short story “If It Please You” * Everything Must Go directed by Dan Rush (2010), and starring Will Ferrell, based on Carver’s short story “Why Don’t You Dance?” * Carver a production directed by William Gaskill at London’s Arcola Theatre in 1995, adapted from five Carver short stories including “What’s In Alaska?” “Put Yourself in My Shoes” and “Intimacy” * Studentova žena (Croatian) directed by Goran Kovač, based on “The Student’s Wife” * Carousel (Croatian) directed by Toma Zidić, inspired by “Ashtray” * Men Who Don’t Work directed by Alexander Atkins and Andrew Franks, based on “What Do You Do in San Francisco?” * Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, depicts the mounting of a Broadway production of “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” as its central storyline. The film’s main character, Riggan Thomson, attributes his choice of acting as a profession to a complimentary note he once received from Raymond Carver written on a cocktail napkin. The film also preludes with Carver’s poem “Late Fragment.” In February 2015, Birdman won four Oscars, including the Academy Award for Best Picture. Musical adaptions * Everything’s Turning to White is a folk rock track written and performed by Paul Kelly on the album So Much Water So Close to Home (1989), which was based on Carver’s short story of the same name. References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Carver
Bliss Carman FRSC (April 15, 1861– June 8, 1929) was a Canadian poet who lived most of his life in the United States, where he achieved international fame. He was acclaimed as Canada’s poet laureate during his later years. In Canada, Carman is classed as one of the Confederation Poets, a group which also included Charles G.D. Roberts (his cousin), Archibald Lampman, and Duncan Campbell Scott. “Of the group, Carman had the surest lyric touch and achieved the widest international recognition. But unlike others, he never attempted to secure his income by novel writing, popular journalism, or non-literary employment. He remained a poet, supplementing his art with critical commentaries on literary ideas, philosophy, and aesthetics.” Life He was born William Bliss Carman in Fredericton, in the Maritime province of New Brunswick. “Bliss” was his mother’s maiden name. He was the great grandson of United Empire Loyalists who fled to Nova Scotia after the American Revolution, settling in New Brunswick (then part of Nova Scotia). His literary roots run deep with an ancestry that includes a mother who was a descendant of Daniel Bliss of Concord, Massachusetts, the great-grandfather of Ralph Waldo Emerson. His sister married the botanist and historian William Francis Ganong. And on his mother’s side he was a first cousin to Charles (later Sir Charles) G. D. Roberts. Education and early career Carman was educated at the Fredericton Collegiate School and the University of New Brunswick (UNB), from which he received a B.A. in 1881. At the Collegiate School he came under the influence of headmaster George Robert Parkin, who gave him a love of classical literature and introduced him to the poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Algernon Charles Swinburne. His first published poem was in the UNB Monthly in 1879. He then spent a year at Oxford and the University of Edinburgh (1882–1883), but returned home to receive his M.A. from UNB in 1884. After the death of his father in January 1885 and his mother in February 1886, Carman enrolled in Harvard University (1886–1887). At Harvard he moved in a literary circle that included American poet Richard Hovey, who would become his close friend and his collaborator on the successful Vagabondia poetry series. Their circle included Herbert Copeland and F. Holland Day, who would later form the Boston publishing firm Copeland & Day that would launch Vagabondia. After Harvard Carman briefly returned to Canada, but was back in Boston by February 1890. “Boston is one of the few places where my critical education and tastes could be of any use to me in earning money,” he wrote. “New York and London are about the only other places.” Unable to find employment in Boston, he moved to New York City and became literary editor of the New York Independent at the grand sum of $20/week. There he could help his Canadian friends get published, in the process “introducing Canadian poets to its readers.” However, Carman was never a good fit at the semi-religious weekly, and he was summarily dismissed in 1892. "Brief stints would follow with Current Literature, Cosmopolitan, The Chap-Book, and The Atlantic Monthly, but after 1895 he would be strictly a contributor to the magazines and newspapers, never an editor in any department.” To make matters worse, Carman’s first book of poetry, 1893's Low Tide on Grand Pré, was not a success; no Canadian company would publish it, and the U.S. edition stiffed when its publisher went bankrupt. Literary success At this low point, Songs of Vagabondia, the first Hovey-Carman collaboration, was published by Copeland & Day in 1894. It was an immediate success. “No one could have been more surprised at the tremendous popularity of these care-free celebrations (the first of the three collections went through seven rapid editions) than the young authors, Richard Hovey and Bliss Carman.” Songs of Vagabondia would ultimately "go through sixteen printings (ranging from 500 to 1000 copies) over the next thirty years. The three Vagabondia volumes that followed fell slightly short of that record, but each went through numerous printings. Carman and Hovey quickly found themselves with a cult following, especially among college students, who responded to the poetry’s anti-materialistic themes, its celebration of individual freedom, and its glorification of comradeship.” The success of Songs of Vagabondia prompted another Boston firm, Stone & Kimball, to reissue Low Tide... and to hire Carman as the editor of its literary journal, The Chapbook. The next year, though, the editor’s job went West (with Stone & Kimball) to Chicago, while Carman opted to remain in Boston. “In Boston in 1895, he worked on a new poetry book, Behind the Arras, which he placed with a prominent Boston publisher (Lamson, Wolffe).... He published two more books of verse with Lamson, Wolffe." He also began writing a weekly column for the Boston Evening Transcript, which ran from 1895 to 1900. In 1896 Carman met Mary Perry King, who became the greatest and longest-lasting female influence in his life. Mrs. King became his patron: “She put pence in his purse, and food in his mouth, when he struck bottom and, what is more, she often put a song on his lips when he despaired, and helped him sell it.” According to Carman’s roommate, Mitchell Kennerley, "On rare occasions they had intimate relations at 10 E. 16 which they always advised me of by leaving a bunch of violets—Mary Perry’s favorite flower—on the pillow of my bed." If he knew of the latter, Dr. King did not object: "He even supported her involvement in the career of Bliss Carman to the extent that the situation developed into something close to a ménage à trois" with the Kings. Through Mrs. King’s influence Carman became an advocate of ‘unitrinianism,’ a philosophy which "drew on the theories of François-Alexandre-Nicolas-Chéri Delsarte to develop a strategy of mind-body-spirit harmonization aimed at undoing the physical, psychological, and spiritual damage caused by urban modernity." This shared belief created a bond between Mrs. King and Carman but estranged him somewhat from his former friends. In 1899 Lamson, Wolffe was taken over by the Boston firm of Small, Maynard & Co., who had also acquired the rights to Low Tide... "The rights to all Carman’s books were now held by one publisher and, in lieu of earnings, Carman took a financial stake in the company. When Small, Maynard failed in 1903, Carman lost all his assets.” Down but not out, Carman signed with another Boston company, L.C. Page, and began to churn out new work. Page published seven books of new Carman poetry between 1902 and 1905. As well, the firm released three books based on Carman’s Transcript columns, and a prose work on unitrinianism, The Making of Personality, that he’d written with Mrs. King. "Page also helped Carman rescue his ‘dream project,’ a deluxe edition of his collected poetry to 1903.... Page acquired distribution rights with the stipulation that the book be sold privately, by subscription. The project failed; Carman was deeply disappointed and became disenchanted with Page, whose grip on Carman’s copyrights would prevent the publication of another collected edition during Carman’s lifetime.” Carman also picked up some needed cash in 1904 as editor-in-chief of the 10-volume project, The World’s Best Poetry. Later years After 1908 Carman lived near the Kings’ New Canaan, Connecticut, estate, “Sunshine”, or in the summer in a cabin near their summer home in the Catskills, “Moonshine.” Between 1908 and 1920, literary taste began to shift, and his fortunes and health declined. “Although not a political activist, Carman during the First World War was a member of the Vigilantes, who supported American entry into the conflict on the Allied side.” By 1920, Carman was impoverished and recovering from a near-fatal attack of tuberculosis. That year he revisited Canada and “began the first of a series of successful and relatively lucrative reading tours, discovering ‘there is nothing worth talking of in book sales compared with reading.’” “'Breathless attention, crowded halls, and a strange, profound enthusiasm such as I never guessed could be,' he reported to a friend. ‘And good thrifty money too. Think of it! An entirely new life for me, and I am the most surprised person in Canada.’” Carman was feted at "a dinner held by the newly-formed Canadian Authors’ Association at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montreal on 28 October 1921 where he was crowned Canada’s Poet Laureate with a wreath of maple leaves.” The tours of Canada continued, and by 1925 Carman had finally acquired a Canadian publisher. "McClelland & Stewart (Toronto) issued a collection of selected earlier verses and became his main publisher. They benefited from Carman’s popularity and his revered position in Canadian literature, but no one could convince L.C. Page to relinquish its copyrights. An edition of collected poetry was published only after Carman’s death, due greatly to the persistence of his literary executor, Lorne Pierce.” During the 1920s, Carman was a member of the Halifax literary and social set, The Song Fishermen. In 1927 he edited The Oxford Book of American Verse. Carman died of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 68 in New Canaan, and was cremated in New Canaan. “It took two months, and the influence of New Brunswick’s Premier J.B.M. Baxter and Canadian Prime Minister W.L.M. King, for Carman’s ashes to be returned to Fredericton.” “His ashes were buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Fredericton, and a national memorial service was held at the Anglican cathedral there.” Twenty-five years later, on May 13, 1954, a scarlet maple tree was planted at his gravesite, to grant his request in his 1892 poem “The Grave-Tree”: Let me have a scarlet maple For the grave-tree at my head, With the quiet sun behind it, In the years when I am dead. Writing Low Tide on Grand Pré As a student at Harvard, Carman “was heavily influenced by Royce, whose spiritualistic idealism, combined with the transcendentalism of Ralph Waldo Emerson, lies centrally in the background of his first major poem, ”Low Tide on Grand Pré" written in the summer and winter of 1886." “Low Tide...” was published in the Spring, 1887 Atlantic Monthly, giving Carman a literary reputation while still at Harvard. It was also included in the 1889 anthology, Songs of the Great Dominion. Literary critic Desmond Pacey considered “Low Tide...” to be “the most nearly perfect single poem to come out of Canada. It will withstand any amount of critical scrutiny.” “Low Tide...” served as the title poem for Carman’s first book. “The poems in this volume have been collected with reference to their similarity of tone,” Carman wrote in his preface; a nostalgic tone of pervading loss and melancholy. Three outstanding examples are “The Eavesdropper,” “In Apple Time” and “Wayfaring.” However, “none can equal the artistry of the title poem. What is more, although Carman would publish over thirty other volumes during his lifetime, none of them contains anything that surpasses this poem he wrote when he was barely twenty-five years old.” Vagabondia Carman rose to prominence in the 1890s, a decade the poetry of which anthologist Louis Untermeyer has called marked by “a cheerless evasion, a humorous unconcern; its most representative craftsmen were, with four exceptions, the writers of light verse.” The first two of those four exceptions were Richard Hovey and Bliss Carman. For Untermeyer: "The poetry of this period... is dead because it detached itself from the world.... But... revolt openly declared itself with the publication of Songs from Vagabondia (1894), More Songs from Vagabondia (1896), and Last Songs from Vagabondia (1900).... It was the heartiness, the gypsy jollity, the rush of high spirits, that conquered. Readers of the Vagabondia books were swept along by their speed faster than by their philosophy.” Even modernists loved Vagabondia. In the "October, 1912 issue of the London Poetry Review, Ezra Pound noted that he had ‘greatly enjoyed The Songs of Vagabondia by Mr. Bliss Carman and the late Richard Hovey.’” Carman’s most famous poem from the first volume is arguably “The Joys of the Open Road.” More Songs... contains “A Vagabond Song,” once familiar to a generation of Canadians. "Canadian youngsters who were in grade seven anytime between the mid-1930s and the 1950s were probably exposed to... 'A Vagabond Song’ [which] appeared in The Canada Book of Prose and Verse, Book One, the school reader that was used in nearly every province" (and was edited by Lorne Pierce). In 1912 Carman would publish Echoes from Vagabondia as a solo work. (Hovey had died in 1900). More of a remembrance book than part of the set, it has a distinct elegiac tone. It contains the lyric “The Flute of Spring”. Behind the Arras With Behind the Arras (1895), Carman continued his practice of “bringing together poems that were ‘in the same key.’ Whereas Low Tide on Grand Pré is elegiacal and melancholy, Songs from Vagabondia is mostly light and jaunty, while Behind the Arras is philosophical and heavy.” “Behind the Arras” the poem is a long meditation that uses the speaker’s house and its many rooms as a symbol of life and its choices. The poem does not succeed: “there are so many asides that the allegory is lost along with any point the poet hoped to make.” Ballad of Lost Haven In keeping with the “same key” idea, Carman’s Ballad of Lost Haven (1897) was a collection of poetry about the sea. Its notable poems include the macabre sea shanty, The Gravedigger. By the Aurelian Wall “By the Aurelian Wall” is Carman’s elegy to John Keats. It served as the title poem of his 1898 collection, a book of formal elegies. In the last poem in the book, “The Grave-Tree,” Carman writes about his own death. The Pipes of Pan “Pan, the goat-god, traditionally associated with poetry and with the fusion of the earthly and the divine, becomes Carman’s organizing symbol in the five volumes issued between 1902 and 1905" under the above title. Under the influence of Mrs. King, Carman had begun to write in both prose and poetry about the ideas of ‘unitrinianism,’ "a strategy of mind-body-spirit harmonization aimed at undoing the physical, psychological, and spiritual damage caused by urban modernity... therapeutic ideas [which] resulted in the five volumes of verse assembled in Pipes of Pan." The Dictionary of Canadian Biography (DCB) calls the series “a collection that contains many superb lyrics but, overall, evinces the dangers of a soporific aesthetic.” The 'superb lyrics’ include the much-anthologized “The Dead Faun” from Volume I, From the Book of Myths; “From the Green Book of the Bards”, the title poem of Volume II; “Lord of My Heart’s Elation” from the same volume; and many of the erotic poems of Volume III, Songs of the Sea Children (such as LIX “I loved you when the tide of prayer”). As a whole, though, the Pan series shows (perhaps more than any other work) the truth of Northrop Frye’s 1954 observation that Carman “badly needs a skillful and sympathetic selection.” Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics There were no such problems with Carman’s next book. Perhaps because of the underlying concept, Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics (1904) has a structure and unity that helps make it what has been called Carman’s “finest volume of poetry.” Sappho was an Ancient Greek poet from the island of Lesbos, who was included in the Greek canon of nine lyric poets. Most of her poetry, which was well-known and greatly admired throughout antiquity, has been lost, but her reputation has endured, supported by the surviving fragments of some of her poems. Carman’s method, as Charles G.D. Roberts saw it in his Introduction to the book,"apparently, has been to imagine each lost lyric as discovered, and then to translate it; for the indefinable flavor of the translation is maintained throughout, though accompanied by the fluidity and freedom of purely original work." It was a daunting task, as Roberts admits: “It is as if a sculptor of to-day were to set himself, with reverence, and trained craftsmanship, and studious familiarity with the spirit, technique, and atmosphere of his subject, to restore some statues of Polyclitus or Praxiteles of which he had but a broken arm, a foot, a knee, a finger upon which to build.” Yet, on the whole, Carman succeeded. “Written more or less contemporaneously with the love poems in Songs of the Sea Children, the Sappho reconstructions continue the amorous theme from a feminine point of view. Nevertheless, the feelings ascribed to Sappho are pure Carman in their sensitive and elegiac melancholy.” Virtually all of the lyrics are of high quality; some often-quoted are XXIII ("I loved thee, Atthis, in the long ago,"), LIV ("How soon will all my lovely days be over"), LXXIV ("If death be good"), LXXXII ("Over the roofs the honey-coloured moon"). “Next to Low Tide on Grand Pré, Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics seems to be the collection that continues to find the most favour among Carman’s critics. D.M.R. Bentley, for example, calls it ‘undoubtedly one of the most attractive, engaging and satisfying works of any of the Confederation poets.’” Bentley argued that "the brief, crisp lyrics of the Sappho volume almost certainly contributed to the aesthetic and practice of Imagism. Later work In his review of 1954's Selected Poems of Bliss Carman, literary critic Northrop Frye compared Carman and the other Confederation Poets to the Group of Seven: “Like the later painters, these poets were lyrical in tone and romantic in attitude; like the painters, they sought for the most part uninhabited landscape.” But Frye added: “The lyrical response to landscape is by itself, however, a kind of emotional photography, and like other forms of photography is occasional and epigrammatic.... Hence the lyric poet, after he has run his gamut of impressions, must die young, develop a more intellectualized attitude, or start repeating himself. Carman’s meeting of this challenge was only partly successful.” It is true that Carman had begun to repeat himself after Sappho. "Much of Carman’s writing in poetry and prose during the decade preceding World War I is as repetitive as the title of Echoes from Vagabondia (1912) intimates" says the DCB. What had made his poetry so remarkable at the beginning– that every new book was completely new– was gone. However, Carman’s career was by no means over. He "published four other collections of new poetry during his lifetime and two more were ready for publication at the time of his death: The Rough Rider, and Other Poems (1908), A Painter’s Holiday, and Other Poems (1911), April Airs (1916), Far Horizons (1925), Sanctuary (1929), and Wild Garden (1929). James Cappon’s comment on Far Horizons applies almost equally to the other five volumes: ‘There is nothing new in its poetic quality which has the sweet sadness of age rehearsing old tunes with an art which is now very smooth though with less vivacity than it used to have.’” Not only did Carman continue to write, but he continued to write fine poems: poems such as “The Old Grey Wall” (April Airs), the Wilfred Campbell-ish “Rivers of Canada” (Far Horizons), “The Ghost-yard of the Goldenrod” and “The Ships of Saint John” (Later Poems, 1926), and “The Winter Scene” (Sanctuary: The “Sunshine House” sonnets). The best of these have the same nostalgic air of melancholy and loss with which Carman began in “Low Tide...,” but now even more poignant as the poet approached his own death. Recognition In 1906 Carman received honorary degrees from UNB and McGill University. He was elected a corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1925. The Society awarded him its Lorne Pierce Gold Medal in 1928. He was awarded a medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1929. In 1945, Carman was recognized as a Person of National Historic Significance by the government of Canada. Carman is honored by a sculpture erected on the UNB campus in 1947, which portrays him with fellow poets Sir Charles G.D. Roberts and Francis Joseph Sherman. There is a middle school named after him in Fredericton, New Brunswick (Bliss Carman Middle School). There is also a school named after him in Toronto, Ontario. “Bliss Carman Heights” (an extension of the Skyline Acres subdivision) is a subdivision located in Fredericton, New Brunswick overlooking the Saint John River. It consists of Essex Street, Gloucester Crescent, Reading Street, Ascot Court, and Ascot Drive. An extension of the Bliss Carman Heights subdivision is named “Poet’s Hill” and consists of Bliss Carman Drive, Poets Lane and Windflower Court (named for one of Carman’s poems of the same name). In October 1916, American composer Leo Sowerby was inspired to write his best-known organ piece, “Comes Autumn Time,” after reading Carman’s poem, “Autumn,” in the Literature section of the Sunday Edition of the Chicago Tribune on October 16 of that year. Publications Poetry collections * Low Tide on Grand Pre: A Book Of Lyrics. New York: Charles L. Webster. 1893. - Low Tide on Grand Pré: A Book of Lyrics at Google Books * Carman, Bliss; Hovey, Richard (1894). Songs From Vagabondia. Tom B. Meteyard, Illus. Boston: Copeland & Day. – Songs from Vagabondia at Google Books– A Vagabondia Songs (2013 Reprint) at Google Books * A Seamark: A Threnody for Robert Louis Stevenson. Boston: Copeland & Day. 1895. - A Seamark: A Threnody for Robert Louis Stevenson at Google Books * Behind The Arras: A Book Of The Unseen. Tom B. Meteyard, Illus. Boston: Lamson, Wolffe. 1895. * Ballads of Lost Haven: A Book Of The Sea. Boston: Lamson, Wolffe. 1897. * By The Aurelian Wall: And Other Elegies. Boston: Lamson, Wolffe. 1898. * Carman, Bliss; Hovey, Richard (1896). More Songs From Vagabondia. Tom B. Meteyard, Illus. Boston: Copeland & Day. – More Songs from Vagabondia at Google Books– A Vagabondia Songs (2013 Reprint) at Google Books * A Winter Holiday. Boston: Small, Maynard. 1899. * Carman, Bliss; Hovey, Richard (1901). Last Songs From Vagabondia. Tom B. Meteyard, Illus. Boston: Small, Maynard. – Last Songs from Vagabondia at Google Books– A Vagabondia Songs (2013 Reprint) at Google Books * Ballads and Lyrics. London: A.H. Bullen. 1902. * Ode on the Coronation of King Edward. Boston: L.C. Page. 1902. * Pipes Of Pan: From the Book of Myths. Boston: L.C. Page. 1902. - Pipes Of Pan: From the Book of Myths at Google Books * Pipes Of Pan: From the Green Book of the Bards. Boston: L.C. Page. 1903. - Pipes Of Pan: From the Green Book of the Bards at Google Books * Pipes Of Pan: Songs of the Sea Children. Boston: L.C. Page. 1904. - Pipes Of Pan: Songs of the Sea Children at Google Books * Pipes Of Pan: Songs From a Northern Garden. Boston: L.C. Page. 1904. - Pipes Of Pan: Songs From a Northern Garden at Google Books * Pipes Of Pan: From the Book of Valentines. Boston: L.C. Page. 1905. - Pipes Of Pan: From the Book of Valentines at Google Books * Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics. Intro. by Charles G.D. Roberts. Boston: L.C. Page. 1904. * Poems. (London: Chiswick P, 1905). * The Rough Rider: And Other Poems. New York: M. Kennerley. 1909. * A Painter’s Holiday, and Other Poems. New York: F.F. Sherman. 1911. * Echoes From Vagabondia. Boston: Small, Maynard. 1912. * April Airs: A Book Of New England Lyrics. Boston: Small, Maynard. 1916. * Carman, Bliss; King, Mary Perry (1918). The Man of The Marne: And Other Poems. New Canaan, Connecticut: Ponus Press. * The Vengeance of Noel Brassard: A Tale of the Acadian Expulsion (PDF). Cambridge, Massachusetts: The University Press. 1919. * Far Horizons. Boston: Small, Maynard and Company. 1925. - Far Horizons at Google Books * Later Poems. Toronto: McClelland & Steward. 1926. * Sanctuary: Sunshine House Sonnets. Whitman Bailey, Illus. Toronto: McClelland & Steward. 1929. * Wild Garden. Toronto: McClelland & Steward. 1929. * Bliss Carman’s Poems. New York: Dodd, Mead. 1931. - Bliss Carman’s Poems at Google Books * Pierce, Lorne, ed. (1954). The Selected Poems Of Bliss Carman. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart. * A Vision Of Sappho. Toronto: Canadiana House. 1968. * The Poems of Bliss Carman. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart. 1976. ISBN 978-0-7710-9509-2. * Souster, Raymond; Lochhead, Douglas, eds. (1985). Windflower: Poems Of Bliss Carman. Ottawa: Tecumseh. ISBN 978-0-919662-07-0. Drama * Bliss Carman and Mary Perry King. Daughters of Dawn: A Lyrical Pageant of Series of Historical Scenes for Presentation With Music and Dancing. (New York: M. Kennerley, 1913). * Bliss Carman and Mary Perry King. Earth Deities: And Other Rhythmic Masques. (New York: M. Kennerley, 1914). Prose collections * The Kinship Of Nature. Boston: L. C. Page. 1904. * The Poetry Of Life. Boston: L. C. Page. 1905. - The poetry of life (1906 ed.) at Google Books * The Friendship of Art. Boston: L. C. Page. 1908. - The Friendship of Art (Scholar’s Choice ed.). ISBN 978-1-2981-9930-0. * The Making of Personality. Boston: L. C. Page. 1908. - The Making of Personality at Google Books * Talks on Poetry and Life; Being a Series of Five Lectures Delivered Before the University of Toronto, December 1925 (Speech). transcribed by Blanche Hume. 1926. * Pierce, Lorne, ed. (1931). Bliss Carman’s Scrap-Book: A Table Of Contents. Toronto: Ryerson. * Gundy, H. Pearson, ed. (1982). Letters of Bliss Carman. Kingston, Ontario: McGill-Queen’s University Press. Edited * The World’s Best Poetry (10 volumes). New York: The University Society. 1904. - The World’s best poetry, Volume 1 at Google Books * The Oxford Book of American Verse (U.S. ed.). New York: Albert & Charles Boni. 1927. * Carman, Bliss; Pierce, Lorne, eds. (1935). Our Canadian Literature: Representative Verse, English and French. Toronto: Ryerson. Archive * Bliss Carman Papers, 1889–1927 (2 linear ft.) are housed in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives at Stanford University Libraries Sources * "Bliss Carman’s Letters To Margaret Lawrence, 1927-1929". Post-Confederation Poetry: Texts And Contexts. Ed. D.M.R. Bentley. London: Canadian Poetry P, 1995. * Bliss Carman: A Reappraisal. Ed. Gerald Lynch. Ottawa: University Of Ottawa Press, 1990. * Letters of Bliss Carman. Ed. H. Pearson Gundy. Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University P, 1981. * Hugh McPherson. The Literary Reputation Of Bliss Carman: A Study In The Development Of Canadian Taste In Poetry. 1950. * Muriel Miller. Bliss Carman, A Portrait. Toronto: Ryerson, 1935. * Muriel Miller. Bliss Carman: Quest And Revolt. St. John’s, Nfld.: Jesperson P, 1985. * Donald G Stephens. Bliss Carman. 1966. * Donald G. Stephens. The Influence Of English Poets Upon The Poetry Of Bliss Carman. 1955. * Margaret A. Stewart. Bliss Carman: Poet, Philosopher, Teacher. 1976. Further reading * Robert Gibbs, “Voice and Persona in Carman and Roberts,” in Atlantic Provinces Literature Colloquium Papers [ed. by Kenneth MacKinnon] (1977) * Nelson-McDermott, C. (Fall–Winter 1990). “Passionate Beauty: Carman’s Sappho Poems”. Canadian Poetry: Studies/Documents/Reviews (Canadian Poetry Press) 27: 40–45. * Malcolm Ross, “A Strange Aesthetic Ferment,” Canadian Literature, 68-69 (Spring-Summer 1976) * John Robert Sorfleet, "Transcendentalist, Mystic, Evolutionary Idealist: Bliss Carman 1886-1894," in Colony and Confederation [ed. George Woodcock](1974) * Thomas B. Vincent, “Bliss Carman: A Life in Literary Publishing,” Historical Perspectives on Canadian Publishing, McMaster.ca. Web. * Symons, Arthur (Fall–Winter 1995). Ware, Tracy, ed. “Arthur Symons’ Reviews of Bliss Carman”. Canadian Poetry: Studies/Documents/Reviews (Canadian Poetry Press) 37: 100–113. * Terry Whalen, Canadian Writers and Their Work: Volume Two [ed. Robert Lecker, Ellen Quigley, & Jack David] (1983) References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bliss_Carman
Aleister Crowley (/ˈkroʊli/; born Edward Alexander Crowley; 12 October 1875– 1 December 1947) was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer. He founded the religion and philosophy of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century. Born to a wealthy Plymouth Brethren family in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Crowley rejected this fundamentalist Christian faith to pursue an interest in Western esotericism. He was educated at the University of Cambridge, where he focused his attentions on mountaineering and poetry, resulting in several publications. Some biographers allege that here he was recruited into a British intelligence agency, further suggesting that he remained a spy throughout his life. In 1898 he joined the esoteric Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, where he was trained in ceremonial magic by Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and Allan Bennett. Moving to Boleskine House by Loch Ness in Scotland, he went mountaineering in Mexico with Oscar Eckenstein, before studying Hindu and Buddhist practices in India. He married Rose Edith Kelly and in 1904 they honeymooned in Cairo, Egypt, where Crowley claimed to have been contacted by a supernatural entity named Aiwass, who provided him with The Book of the Law, a sacred text that served as the basis for Thelema. Announcing the start of the Æon of Horus, The Book declared that its followers should adhere to the code of “Do what thou wilt” and seek to align themselves with their Will through the practice of magick. After an unsuccessful attempt to climb Kanchenjunga and a visit to India and China, Crowley returned to Britain, where he attracted attention as a prolific author of poetry, novels, and occult literature. In 1907, he and George Cecil Jones co-founded a Thelemite order, the A∴A∴, through which they propagated the religion. After spending time in Algeria, in 1912 he was initiated into another esoteric order, the German-based Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), rising to become the leader of its British branch, which he reformulated in accordance with his Thelemite beliefs. Through the O.T.O., Thelemite groups were established in Britain, Australia, and North America. Crowley spent the First World War in the United States, where he took up painting and campaigned for the German war effort against Britain, later revealing that he had infiltrated the pro-German movement to assist the British intelligence services. In 1920 he established the Abbey of Thelema, a religious commune in Cefalù, Sicily where he lived with various followers. His libertine lifestyle led to denunciations in the British press, and the Italian government evicted him in 1923. He divided the following two decades between France, Germany, and England, and continued to promote Thelema until his death. Crowley gained widespread notoriety during his lifetime, being a recreational drug experimenter, bisexual and an individualist social critic. He was denounced in the popular press as “the wickedest man in the world” and a Satanist. Crowley has remained a highly influential figure over Western esotericism and the counter-culture, and continues to be considered a prophet in Thelema. In 2002, a BBC poll ranked him as the seventy-third greatest Briton of all time. Early life Youth: 1875–94 Crowley was born as Edward Alexander Crowley at 30 Clarendon Square in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, on 12 October 1875. His father, Edward Crowley (1834–87), was trained as an engineer, but his share in a lucrative family brewing business, Crowley’s Alton Ales, had allowed him to retire before his son was born. His mother, Emily Bertha Bishop (1848–1917), came from a Devonshire-Somerset family and had a strained relationship with her son; she described him as “the Beast”, a name that he revelled in. The couple had been married at London’s Kensington Registry Office in November 1874, and were evangelical Christians. Crowley’s father had been born a Quaker, but had converted to the Exclusive Brethren, a faction of a Christian fundamentalist group known as the Plymouth Brethren, with Emily joining him upon marriage. Crowley’s father was particularly devout, spending his time as a travelling preacher for the sect and reading a chapter from the Bible to his wife and son after breakfast every day. Following the death of their baby daughter in 1880, in 1881 the Crowleys moved to Redhill, Surrey. At the age of 8, Crowley was sent to H.T. Habershon’s evangelical Christian boarding school in Hastings, and then to Ebor preparatory school in Cambridge, run by the Reverend Henry d’Arcy Champney, whom Crowley considered a sadist. In March 1887, when Crowley was 11, his father died of tongue cancer. Crowley described this as a turning point in his life, and he always maintained an admiration of his father, describing him as “his hero and his friend”. Inheriting a third of his father’s wealth, he began misbehaving at school and was harshly punished by Champney; Crowley’s family removed him from the school when he developed albuminuria. He then attended Malvern College and Tonbridge School, both of which he despised and left after a few terms. He became increasingly sceptical regarding Christianity, pointing out inconsistencies in the Bible to his religious teachers, and went against the Christian morality of his upbringing by smoking, masturbating, and having sex with prostitutes from whom he contracted gonorrhea. Sent to live with a Brethren tutor in Eastbourne, he undertook chemistry courses at Eastbourne College. Crowley developed interests in chess, poetry, and mountain climbing, and in 1894 climbed Beachy Head before visiting the Alps and joining the Scottish Mountaineering Club. The following year he returned to the Bernese Alps, climbing the Eiger, Trift, Jungfrau, Mönch, and Wetterhorn. Cambridge University: 1895–98 Having adopted the name of Aleister over Edward, in October 1895 Crowley began a three-year course at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was entered for the Moral Science Tripos studying philosophy. With approval from his personal tutor, he changed to English literature, which was not then part of the curriculum offered. Crowley spent much of his time at university engaged in his pastimes, becoming president of the chess club and practising the game for two hours a day; he briefly considered a professional career as a chess player. Crowley also embraced his love of literature and poetry, particularly the works of Richard Francis Burton and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Many of his own poems appeared in student publications such as The Granta, Cambridge Magazine, and Cantab. He continued his mountaineering, going on holiday to the Alps to climb every year from 1894 to 1898, often with his friend Oscar Eckenstein, and in 1897 he made the first ascent of the Mönch without a guide. These feats led to his recognition in the Alpine mountaineering community. Crowley had his first significant mystical experience while on holiday in Stockholm in December 1896. Several biographers, including Lawrence Sutin, Richard Kaczynski, and Tobias Churton, believed that this was the result of Crowley’s first same-sex sexual experience, which enabled him to recognise his bisexuality. At Cambridge, Crowley maintained a vigorous sex life, largely with female prostitutes, from one of whom he caught syphilis, but eventually he took part in same-sex activities, despite their illegality. In October 1897, Crowley met Herbert Charles Pollitt (1871-1942), president of the Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club, and the two entered into a relationship. They broke apart because Pollitt did not share Crowley’s increasing interest in Western esotericism, a breakup that Crowley would regret for many years. Pollitt, collector and connoisseur, assumed the Christian name Jerome. He began to correspond with Oscar Wilde in 1898; Aubrey Beardsley designed him a bookplate for his use. In 1897, Crowley travelled to St Petersburg in Russia, later claiming that he was trying to learn Russian as he was considering a future diplomatic career there. Biographers Richard Spence and Tobias Churton suggested that Crowley had done so as an intelligence agent under the employ of the British secret service, speculating that he had been enlisted while at Cambridge. In October 1897, a brief illness triggered considerations of mortality and “the futility of all human endeavour”, and Crowley abandoned all thoughts of a diplomatic career in favour of pursuing an interest in the occult. In March 1898, he obtained A.E. Waite’s The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts (1898), and then Karl von Eckartshausen’s The Cloud Upon the Sanctuary (1896), furthering his occult interests. In 1898 Crowley privately published 100 copies of his poem Aceldama: A Place to Bury Strangers In, but it was not a particular success. That same year he published a string of other poems, including White Stains, a Decadent collection of erotic poetry that was printed abroad lest its publication be prohibited by the British authorities. In July 1898, he left Cambridge, not having taken any degree at all despite a “first class” showing in his 1897 exams and consistent “second class honours” results before that. The Golden Dawn: 1898–99 In August 1898, Crowley was in Zermatt, Switzerland, where he met the chemist Julian L. Baker, and the two began discussing their common interest in alchemy. Back in London, Baker introduced Crowley to George Cecil Jones, Baker’s brother in-law, and a fellow member of the occult society known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which had been founded in 1888. Crowley was initiated into the Outer Order of the Golden Dawn on 18 November 1898 by the group’s leader, Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers. The ceremony took place in the Golden Dawn’s Isis-Urania Temple held at London’s Mark Masons Hall, where Crowley took the magical motto and name “Frater Perdurabo”, which he interpreted as “I shall endure to the end”. Biographers Richard Spence and Tobias Churton have suggested that Crowley joined the Order under the command of the British secret services to monitor the activities of Mathers, who was known to be a Carlist. Crowley moved into his own luxury flat at 67–69 Chancery Lane and soon invited a senior Golden Dawn member, Allan Bennett, to live with him as his personal magical tutor. Bennett taught Crowley more about ceremonial magic and the ritual use of drugs, and together they performed the rituals of the Goetia, until Bennett left for South Asia to study Buddhism. In November 1899, Crowley purchased Boleskine House in Foyers on the shore of Loch Ness in Scotland. He developed a love of Scottish culture, describing himself as the “Laird of Boleskine”, and took to wearing traditional highland dress, even during visits to London. He continued writing poetry, publishing Jezebel and Other Tragic Poems, Tales of Archais, Songs of the Spirit, Appeal to the American Republic, and Jephthah in 1898–99; most gained mixed reviews from literary critics, although Jephthah was considered a particular critical success. Crowley soon progressed through the lower grades of the Golden Dawn, and was ready to enter the group’s inner Second Order. He was unpopular in the group; his bisexuality and libertine lifestyle had gained him a bad reputation, and he had developed feuds with some of the members, including W.B. Yeats. When the Golden Dawn’s London lodge refused to initiate Crowley into the Second Order, he visited Mathers in Paris, who personally admitted him into the Adeptus Minor Grade. A schism had developed between Mathers and the London members of the Golden Dawn, who were unhappy with his autocratic rule. Acting under Mathers’ orders, Crowley– with the help of his mistress and fellow initiate Elaine Simpson– attempted to seize the Vault of the Adepts, a temple space at 36 Blythe Road in West Kensington, from the London lodge members. When the case was taken to court, the judge ruled in favour of the London lodge, as they had paid for the space’s rent, leaving both Crowley and Mathers isolated from the group. Spence suggested that the entire scenario was part of an intelligence operation to undermine Mathers’ authority. Mexico, India, Paris, and marriage: 1900–03 In 1900, Crowley travelled to Mexico via the United States, settling in Mexico City and taking a local woman as his mistress. Developing a love of the country, he continued experimenting with ceremonial magic, working with John Dee’s Enochian invocations. He later claimed to have been initiated into Freemasonry while there, and he wrote a play based on Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser as well as a series of poems, published as Oracles (1905). Eckenstein joined him later that year, and together they climbed several mountains, including Iztaccihuatl, Popocatepetl, and Colima, the latter of which they had to abandon owing to a volcanic eruption. Spence has suggested that the purpose of the trip might have been to explore Mexican oil prospects for British intelligence. Leaving Mexico, Crowley headed to San Francisco before sailing for Hawaii aboard the Nippon Maru. On the ship he had a brief affair with a married woman named Mary Alice Rogers; saying he had fallen in love with her, he wrote a series of poems about the romance, published as Alice: An Adultery (1903). Briefly stopping at Japan and Hong Kong, Crowley reached Ceylon, where he met with Allan Bennett, who was there studying Shaivism. The pair spent some time in Kandy before Bennett decided to become a Buddhist monk in the Theravada tradition, travelling to Burma to do so. Crowley decided to tour India, devoting himself to the Hindu practice of raja yoga, from which he claimed to have achieved the spiritual state of dhyana. He spent much of this time studying at the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madura, and also wrote poetry which was published as The Sword of Song (1904). He contracted malaria, and had to recuperate from the disease in Calcutta and Rangoon. In 1902, he was joined in India by Eckenstein and several other mountaineers: Guy Knowles, H. Pfannl, V. Wesseley, and Jules Jacot-Guillarmod. Together the Eckenstein-Crowley expedition attempted K2, which had never been climbed. On the journey, Crowley was afflicted with influenza, malaria, and snow blindness, and other expedition members were also struck with illness. They reached an altitude of 20,000 feet (6,100 m) before turning back. Arriving in Paris in November 1902, he hung out with his friend and future brother-in-law, the painter Gerald Kelly, and through him became a fixture of the Parisian arts scene, authoring a series of poems on the work of an acquaintance, the sculptor Auguste Rodin, published as Rodin in Rime (1907). One of those frequenting this milieu was W. Somerset Maugham, who after briefly meeting Crowley later used him as a model for the character of Oliver Haddo in his novel The Magician (1908). Returning to Boleskine in April 1903, in August Crowley wed Gerald’s sister Rose Edith Kelly in a “marriage of convenience” to prevent her entering an arranged marriage; the marriage appalled the Kelly family and damaged his friendship with Gerald. Heading on a honeymoon to Paris, Cairo, and then Ceylon, Crowley fell in love with Rose and worked to prove his affections. While on his honeymoon, he wrote her a series of love poems, published as Rosa Mundi and other Love Songs (1906), as well as authoring the religious satire Why Jesus Wept (1904). Developing Thelema Egypt and The Book of the Law: 1904 In February 1904, Crowley and Rose arrived in Cairo. Claiming to be a prince and princess, they rented an apartment in which Crowley set up a temple room and began invoking ancient Egyptian deities, while studying Islamic mysticism and Arabic. According to Crowley’s later account, Rose regularly became delirious and informed him “they are waiting for you”. On 18 March, she explained that “they” were the god Horus, and on 20 March proclaimed that “the Equinox of the Gods has come”. She led him to a nearby museum, where she showed him a seventh-century BCE mortuary stele known as the Stele of Ankh-ef-en-Khonsu; Crowley thought it important that the exhibit’s number was 666, the number of the beast in Christian belief, and in later years termed the artefact the “Stele of Revealing.” According to Crowley’s later statements, on 8 April he heard a disembodied voice that claimed to be that of Aiwass, the messenger of Horus, or Hoor-Paar-Kraat. Crowley said that he wrote down everything the voice told him over the course of the next three days, and titled it Liber L vel Legis or The Book of the Law. The book proclaimed that humanity was entering a new Aeon, and that Crowley would serve as its prophet. It stated that a supreme moral law was to be introduced in this Aeon, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law,” and that people should learn to live in tune with their Will. This book, and the philosophy that it espoused, became the cornerstone of Crowley’s religion, Thelema. Crowley said that at the time he had been unsure what to do with The Book of the Law. Often resenting it, he said that he ignored the instructions which the text commanded him to perform, which included taking the Stele of Revealing from the museum, fortifying his own island, and translating the book into all the world’s languages. According to his account, he instead sent typescripts of the work to several occultists he knew, putting the manuscript away and ignoring it. Kangchenjunga and China: 1905–06 Returning to Boleskine, Crowley came to believe that Mathers had begun using magic against him, and the relationship between the two broke down. On 28 July 1905, Rose gave birth to Crowley’s first child, a daughter named Lilith, with Crowley authoring the pornographic Snowdrops From a Curate’s Garden to entertain his recuperating wife. He also founded a publishing company through which to publish his poetry, naming it the Society for the Propagation of Religious Truth in parody of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Among its first publications were Crowley’s Collected Works, edited by Ivor Back. His poetry often received strong reviews (either positive or negative), but never sold well. In an attempt to gain more publicity, he issued a reward of £100 for the best essay on his work. The winner of this was J. F. C. Fuller, a British Army officer and military historian, whose essay, The Star in the West (1907), heralded Crowley’s poetry as some of the greatest ever written. Crowley decided to climb Kangchenjunga in the Himalayas of Nepal, widely recognised as the world’s most treacherous mountain. Assembling a team consisting of Jacot-Guillarmod, Charles Adolphe Reymond, Alexis Pache, and Alcesti C. Rigo de Righi, the expedition was marred by much argument between Crowley and the others, who thought that he was reckless. They eventually mutinied against Crowley’s control, with the other climbers heading back down the mountain as nightfall approached despite Crowley’s warnings that it was too dangerous. Subsequently, Pache and several porters were killed in an accident, something for which Crowley was widely blamed by the mountaineering community. Spending time in Moharbhanj, where he took part in big game hunting and wrote the homoerotic work The Scented Garden, Crowley met up with Rose and Lilith in Calcutta before being forced to leave India after shooting dead a native man who tried to mug him. Briefly visiting Bennett in Burma, Crowley and his family decided to tour Southern China, hiring porters and a nanny for the purpose. Spence has suggested that this trip to China was orchestrated as part of a British intelligence scheme to monitor the region’s opium trade. Crowley smoked opium throughout the journey, which took the family from Tengyueh through to Yungchang, Tali, Yunnanfu, and then Hanoi. On the way he spent much time on spiritual and magical work, reciting the “Bornless Ritual”, an invocation to his Holy Guardian Angel, on a daily basis. While Rose and Lilith returned to Europe, Crowley headed to Shanghai to meet old friend Elaine Simpson, who was fascinated by The Book of the Law; together they performed rituals in an attempt to contact Aiwass. Crowley then sailed to Japan and Canada, before continuing to New York City, where he unsuccessfully solicited support for a second expedition up Kangchenjunga. Upon arrival in Britain, Crowley learned that his daughter Lilith had died of typhoid in Rangoon, something he later blamed on Rose’s increasing alcoholism. Under emotional distress, his health began to suffer, and he underwent a series of surgical operations. He began short-lived romances with actress Vera “Lola” Neville (née Snepp) and author Ada Leverson, while Rose gave birth to Crowley’s second daughter, Lola Zaza, in February 1907. The A∴A∴ and the Holy Books of Thelema: 1907–09 With his old mentor George Cecil Jones, Crowley continued performing the Abramelin rituals at the Ashdown Park Hotel in Coulsdon, Surrey. Crowley claimed that in doing so he attained samadhi, or union with Godhead, thereby marking a turning point in his life. Making heavy use of hashish during these rituals, he wrote an essay on “The Psychology of Hashish” (1909) in which he championed the drug as an aid to mysticism. He also claimed to have been contacted once again by Aiwass in late October and November 1907, adding that Aiwass dictated two further texts to him, “Liber VII” and “Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente”, both of which were later classified in the corpus of Holy Books of Thelema. Crowley wrote down more Thelemic Holy Books during the last two months of the year, including “Liber LXVI”, “Liber Arcanorum”, “Liber Porta Lucis, Sub Figura X”, “Liber Tau”, “Liber Trigrammaton” and “Liber DCCCXIII vel Ararita”, which he again claimed to have received from a preternatural source. Crowley stated that in June 1909, when the manuscript of The Book of the Law was rediscovered at Boleskine, he developed the opinion that Thelema represented objective truth. Crowley’s inheritance was running out. Trying to earn money, he was hired by George Montagu Bennett, the Earl of Tankerville, to help protect him from witchcraft; recognising Bennett’s paranoia as being based in his cocaine addiction, Crowley took him on holiday to France and Morocco to recuperate. In 1907, he also began taking in paying students, whom he instructed in occult and magical practice. Victor Neuburg, whom Crowley met in February 1907, became his sexual partner and closest disciple; in 1908 the pair toured northern Spain before heading to Tangier, Morocco. The following year Neuburg stayed at Boleskine, where he and Crowley engaged in sadomasochism. Crowley continued to write prolifically, producing such works of poetry as Ambergris, Clouds Without Water, and Konx Om Pax, as well as his first attempt at an autobiography, The World’s Tragedy. Recognising the popularity of short horror stories, Crowley wrote his own, some of which were published, and he also published several articles in Vanity Fair, a magazine edited by his friend Frank Harris. He also wrote Liber 777, a book of magical and Qabalistic correspondences that borrowed from Mathers and Bennett. In November 1907, Crowley and Jones decided to found an occult order to act as a successor to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, being aided in doing so by Fuller. The result was the A∴A∴. The group’s headquarters and temple were situated at 124 Victoria Street in central London, and their rites borrowed much from those of the Golden Dawn, but with an added Thelemic basis. Its earliest members included solicitor Richard Noel Warren, artist Austin Osman Spare, Horace Sheridan-Bickers, author George Raffalovich, Francis Henry Everard Joseph Feilding, engineer Herbert Edward Inman, Kenneth Ward, and Charles Stansfeld Jones. In March 1909, Crowley began production of a biannual periodical titled The Equinox. He billed this periodical, which was to become the “Official Organ” of the A∴A∴, as “The Review of Scientific Illuminism”. Crowley had become increasingly frustrated with Rose’s alcoholism, and in November 1909 he divorced her on the grounds of his own adultery. Lola was entrusted to Rose’s care; the couple remained friends and Rose continued to live at Boleskine. Her alcoholism worsened, and as a result she was institutionalised in September 1911. Algeria and the Rites of Eleusis: 1909–11 In November 1909, Crowley and Neuburg travelled to Algeria, touring the desert from El Arba to Aumale, Bou Saâda, and then Dā'leh Addin, with Crowley reciting the Quran on a daily basis. During the trip he invoked the thirty aethyrs of Enochian magic, with Neuburg recording the results, later published in The Equinox as The Vision and the Voice. Following a mountaintop sex magic ritual, Crowley also performed an invocation to the demon Choronzon involving blood sacrifice, considering the results to be a watershed in his magical career. Returning to London in January 1910, Crowley found that Mathers was suing him for publishing Golden Dawn secrets in The Equinox; the court found in favour of Crowley. The case was widely reported on in the press, with Crowley gaining wider fame. Crowley enjoyed this, and played up to the sensationalist stereotype of being a Satanist and advocate of human sacrifice, despite being neither. The publicity attracted new members to the A∴A∴, among them Frank Bennett, James Bayley, Herbert Close, and James Windram. The Australian violinist Leila Waddell soon became Crowley’s lover. Deciding to expand his teachings to a wider audience, Crowley developed the Rites of Artemis, a public performance of magic and symbolism featuring A∴A∴ members personifying various deities. It was first performed at the A∴A∴ headquarters, with attendees given a fruit punch containing peyote to enhance their experience. Various members of the press attended, and reported largely positively on it. In October and November 1910, Crowley decided to stage something similar, the Rites of Eleusis, at Caxton Hall, Westminster; this time press reviews were mixed. Crowley came under particular criticism from West de Wend Fenton, editor of The Looking Glass newspaper, who called him “one of the most blasphemous and cold-blooded villains of modern times”.i Fenton’s articles suggested that Crowley and Jones were involved in homosexual activity; Crowley did not mind, but Jones unsuccessfully sued for libel. Fuller broke off his friendship and involvement with Crowley over the scandal, and Crowley and Neuburg returned to Algeria for further magical workings. The Equinox continued publishing, and various books of literature and poetry were also published under its imprint, like Crowley’s Ambergris, The Winged Beetle, and The Scented Garden, as well as Neuburg’s The Triumph of Pan and Ethel Archer’s The Whirlpool. In 1911, Crowley and Waddell holidayed in Montigny-sur-Loing, where he wrote prolifically, producing poems, short stories, plays, and 19 works on magic and mysticism, including the two final Holy Books of Thelema. In Paris, he met Mary Desti, who became his next “Scarlet Woman”, with the two undertaking magical workings in St. Moritz; Crowley believed that one of the Secret Chiefs, Ab-ul-Diz, was speaking through her. Based on Desti’s statements when in trance, Crowley wrote the two-volume Book 4 (1912–13) and at the time developed the spelling “magick” in reference to the paranormal phenomenon as a means of distinguishing it from the stage magic of illusionists. Ordo Templi Orientis and the Paris Working: 1912–14 In early 1912, Crowley published The Book of Lies, a work of mysticism that biographer Lawrence Sutin described as “his greatest success in merging his talents as poet, scholar, and magus”. The German occultist Theodor Reuss later accused him of publishing some of the secrets of his own occult order, the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), within The Book. Crowley convinced Reuss that the similarities were coincidental, and the two became friends. Reuss appointed Crowley as head of the O.T.O’s British branch, the Mysteria Mystica Maxima (MMM), and at a ceremony in Berlin Crowley adopted the magical name of Baphomet and was proclaimed "X° Supreme Rex and Sovereign Grand Master General of Ireland, Iona, and all the Britons". With Reuss’ permission, Crowley set about advertising the MMM and re-writing many O.T.O. rituals, which were then based largely on Freemasonry; his incorporation of Thelemite elements proved controversial in the group. Fascinated by the O.T.O’s emphasis on sex magic, Crowley devised a magical working based on anal sex and incorporated it into the syllabus for those O.T.O. members who had been initiated into the eleventh degree. In March 1913 Crowley acted as producer for The Ragged Ragtime Girls, a group of female violinists led by Waddell, as they performed at London’s Old Tivoli theatre. They subsequently performed in Moscow for six weeks, where Crowley had a sadomasochistic relationship with the Hungarian Anny Ringler. In Moscow, Crowley continued to write plays and poetry, including “Hymn to Pan”, and the Gnostic Mass, a Thelemic ritual that became a key part of O.T.O. liturgy. Churton suggested that Crowley had travelled to Moscow on the orders of British intelligence to spy on revolutionary elements in the city. In January 1914 Crowley and Neuburg settled in to an apartment in Paris, where the former was involved in the controversy surrounding Jacob Epstein’s new monument to Oscar Wilde. Together Crowley and Neuburg performed the six-week “Paris Working”, a period of intense ritual involving strong drug use in which they invoked the gods Mercury and Jupiter. As part of the ritual, the couple performed acts of sex magic together, at times being joined by journalist Walter Duranty. Inspired by the results of the Working, Crowley authored Liber Agapé, a treatise on sex magic. Following the Paris Working, Neuburg began to distance himself from Crowley, resulting in an argument in which Crowley cursed him. United States: 1914–19 By 1914 Crowley was living a hand-to-mouth existence, relying largely on donations from A∴A∴ members and dues payments made to O.T.O. In May he transferred ownership of Boleskine House to the MMM for financial reasons, and in July he went mountaineering in the Swiss Alps. During this time the First World War broke out. After recuperating from a bout of phlebitis, Crowley set sail for the United States aboard the RMS Lusitania in October 1914. Arriving in New York City, he moved into a hotel and began earning money writing for the American edition of Vanity Fair and undertaking freelance work for the famed astrologer Evangeline Adams. In the city, he continued experimenting with sex magic, through the use of masturbation, female prostitutes, and male clients of a Turkish bathhouse; all of these encounters were documented in his diaries. Professing to be of Irish ancestry and a supporter of Irish independence from Great Britain, Crowley began to espouse support for Germany in their war against Britain. He became involved in New York’s pro-German movement, and in January 1915 German spy George Sylvester Viereck employed him as a writer for his propagandist paper, The Fatherland, which was dedicated to keeping the US neutral in the conflict. In later years, detractors denounced Crowley as a traitor to Britain for this action. In reality, Crowley was a double agent, working for the British intelligence services to infiltrate and undermine Germany’s operation in New York. Many of his articles in The Fatherland were hyperbolic, for instance comparing Kaiser Wilhelm II to Jesus Christ; in July 1915 he orchestrated a publicity stunt– reported on by The New York Times– in which he declared independence for Ireland in front of the Statue of Liberty; the real intention was to make the German lobby appear ridiculous in the eyes of the American public. It has been argued that he encouraged the German Navy to destroy the Lusitania, informing them that it would ensure the US stayed out of the war, while in reality hoping that it would bring the US into the war on Britain’s side. Crowley entered into a relationship with Jeanne Robert Foster, with whom he toured the West Coast. In Vancouver, headquarters of the North American O.T.O., he met with Charles Stansfeld Jones and Wilfred Talbot Smith to discuss the propagation of Thelema on the continent. In Detroit he experimented with anhalonium at Parke-Davis, then visited Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, San Diego, Tijuana, and the Grand Canyon, before returning to New York. There he befriended Ananda Coomaraswamy and his wife Alice Richardson; Crowley and Richardson performed sex magic in April 1916, following which she became pregnant and then miscarried. Later that year he took a “magical retirement” to a cabin by Lake Pasquaney owned by Evangeline Adams. There, he made heavy use of drugs and undertook a ritual after which he proclaimed himself “Master Therion”. He also wrote several short stories based on J.G. Frazer’s The Golden Bough and a work of literary criticism, The Gospel According to Bernard Shaw. In December he moved to New Orleans, his favourite US city, before spending February 1917 with evangelical Christian relatives in Titusville, Florida. Returning to New York, he moved in with artist and A∴A∴ member Leon Engers Kennedy, in May learning of his mother’s death. After the collapse of The Fatherland, Crowley continued his association with Viereck, who appointed him contributing editor of arts journal The International. Crowley used it to promote Thelema, but it soon ceased publication. He then moved to the studio apartment of Roddie Minor, who became his partner and Scarlet Woman. Through their rituals, Crowley believed that they were contacted by a preternatural entity named Alamantrah. The relationship soon ended. In 1918, Crowley went on a magical retreat in the wilderness of Esopus Island on the Hudson River. Here, he began a translation of the Tao Te Ching, painted Thelemic slogans on the riverside cliffs, and– he later claimed– experienced past life memories of being Ge Xuan, Pope Alexander VI, Alessandro Cagliostro, and Eliphas Levi. Back in New York, he moved to Greenwich Village, where he took Leah Hirsig as his lover and next Scarlet Woman. He took up painting as a hobby, exhibiting his work at the Greenwich Village Liberal Club and attracting the attention of the New York Evening World. With the financial assistance of sympathetic Freemasons, Crowley revived The Equinox with the first issue of volume III, known as “The Blue Equinox”. He spent mid-1919 on a climbing holiday in Montauk before returning to London in December. Abbey of Thelema: 1920–23 Now destitute and back in London, Crowley came under attack from the tabloid John Bull, which labelled him traitorous “scum” for his work with the German war effort; several friends aware of his intelligence work urged him to sue, but he decided not to. When he was suffering from asthma, a doctor prescribed him heroin, to which he soon became addicted. In January 1920, he moved to Paris, renting a house in Fontainebleau with Leah Hirsig; they were soon joined in a ménage à trois by Ninette Shumway, and also by Leah’s newborn daughter Anne “Poupée” Leah. Crowley had ideas of forming a community of Thelemites, which he called the Abbey of Thelema after the Abbaye de Thélème in François Rabelais’ satire Gargantua and Pantagruel. After consulting the I Ching, he chose Cefalù (on Sicily, Italy) as a location, and after arriving there, began renting the old Villa Santa Barbara as his Abbey on 2 April. Moving to the commune with Hirsig, Shumway, and their children Hansi, Howard, and Poupée, Crowley described the scenario as “perfectly happy... my idea of heaven.” They wore robes, and performed rituals to the sun god Ra at set times during the day, also occasionally performing the Gnostic Mass; the rest of the day they were left to follow their own interests. Undertaking widespread correspondences, Crowley continued to paint, wrote a commentary on The Book of the Law, and revised the third part of Book 4. He offered a libertine education for the children, allowing them to play all day and witness acts of sex magic. He occasionally travelled to Palermo to visit rent boys and buy supplies, including drugs; his heroin addiction came to dominate his life, and cocaine began to erode his nasal cavity. There was no cleaning rota, and wild dogs and cats wandered throughout the building, which soon became unsanitary. Poupée died in October 1920, and Ninette gave birth to a daughter, Astarte Lulu Panthea, soon afterwards. New followers continued to arrive at the Abbey to be taught by Crowley. Among them was film star Jane Wolfe, who arrived in July 1920, where she was initiated into the A∴A∴ and became Crowley’s secretary. Another was Cecil Frederick Russell, who often argued with Crowley, disliking the same-sex sexual magic that he was required to perform, and left after a year. More conducive was the Australian Thelemite Frank Bennett, who also spent several months at the Abbey. In February 1922, Crowley returned to Paris for a retreat in an unsuccessful attempt to kick his heroin addiction. He then went to London in search of money, where he published articles in The English Review criticising the Dangerous Drugs Act 1920 and wrote a novel, Diary of a Drug Fiend, completed in July. On publication, it received mixed reviews; he was lambasted by the Sunday Express, which called for its burning and used its influence to prevent further reprints. Subsequently, a young Thelemite named Raoul Loveday moved to the Abbey with his wife Betty May; while Loveday was devoted to Crowley, May detested him and life at the commune. She later said that Loveday was made to drink the blood of a sacrificed cat, and that they were required to cut themselves with razors every time they used the pronoun “I”. Loveday drank from a local polluted stream, soon developing a liver infection resulting in his death in February 1923. Returning to London, May told her story to the press. John Bull proclaimed Crowley “the wickedest man in the world” and “a man we’d like to hang”, and although Crowley deemed many of their accusations against him to be slanderous, he was unable to afford the legal fees to sue them. As a result, John Bull continued its attack, with its stories being repeated in newspapers throughout Europe and in North America. The Fascist government of Benito Mussolini learned of Crowley’s activities and in April 1923 he was given a deportation notice forcing him to leave Italy; without him, the Abbey closed. Later life Tunisia, Paris, and London: 1923–29 Crowley and Hirsig went to Tunis, where, dogged by continuing poor health, he unsuccessfully tried again to give up heroin, and began writing what he termed his “autohagiography”, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. They were joined in Tunis by the Thelemite Norman Mudd, who became Crowley’s public relations consultant. Employing a local boy, Mohammad ben Brahim, as his servant, Crowley went with him on a retreat to Nefta, where they performed sex magic together. In January 1924, Crowley travelled to Nice, France, where he met with Frank Harris, underwent a series of nasal operations, and visited the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man, and had a positive opinion of its founder, George Gurdjieff. Destitute, he took on a wealthy student, Alexander Zu Zolar, before taking on another American follower, Dorothy Olsen. Crowley took Olsen back to Tunisia for a magical retreat in Nefta, where he also wrote To Man (1924), a declaration of his own status as a prophet entrusted with bringing Thelema to humanity. After spending the winter in Paris, in early 1925 Crowley and Olsen returned to Tunis, where he wrote The Heart of the Master (1938) as an account of a vision he experienced in a trance. In March Olsen became pregnant, and Hirsig was called to take care of her; she miscarried, following which Crowley took Olsen back to France. Hirsig later distanced herself from Crowley, who then denounced her. According to Crowley, Reuss had named him head of the O.T.O. upon his death, but this was challenged by a leader of the German O.T.O., Heinrich Tränker. Tränker called the Hohenleuben Conference in Thuringia, Germany, which Crowley attended. There, prominent members like Karl Germer and Martha Küntzel championed Crowley’s leadership, but other key figures like Albin Grau, Oskar Hopfer, and Henri Birven backed Tränker by opposing it, resulting in a split in the O.T.O. Moving to Paris, where he broke with Olsen in 1926, Crowley went through a large number of lovers over the following years, with whom he experimented in sex magic. Throughout, he was dogged by poor health, largely caused by his heroin and cocaine addictions. In 1928, Crowley was introduced to young Englishman Israel Regardie, who embraced Thelema and became Crowley’s secretary for the next three years. That year, Crowley also met Gerald Yorke, who began organising Crowley’s finances but never became a Thelemite. He also befriended Thomas Driberg; Driberg did not accept Thelema either. It was here that Crowley also published one of his most significant works, Magick in Theory and Practice, which received little attention at the time. In December 1929 Crowley met the Nicaraguan Maria Teresa Sanchez. Crowley was deported from France by the authorities, who disliked his reputation and feared that he was a German agent. So that she could join him in Britain, Crowley married Sanchez in August 1929. Now based in London, Mandrake Press agreed to publish his autobiography in a limited edition six-volume set, also publishing his novel Moonchild and book of short stories The Stratagem. Mandrake went into liquidation in November 1930, before the entirety of Crowley’s Confessions could be published. Mandrake’s owner P.R. Stephenson meanwhile wrote The Legend of Aleister Crowley, an analysis of the media coverage surrounding him. Berlin and London: 1930–38 In April 1930, Crowley moved to Berlin, where he took Hanni Jaegar as his magical partner; the relationship was troubled. In September he went to Lisbon in Portugal to meet the poet Fernando Pessoa. There, he decided to fake his own death, doing so with Pessoa’s help at the Boca do Inferno rock formation. He then returned to Berlin, where he reappeared three weeks later at the opening of his art exhibition at the Gallery Neumann-Nierendorf. Crowley’s paintings fitted with the fashion for German Expressionism; few of them sold, but the press reports were largely favourable. In August 1931, he took Bertha Busch as his new lover; they had a violent relationship, and often physically assaulted one another. He continued to have affairs with both men and women while in the city, and met with famous people like Aldous Huxley and Alfred Adler. After befriending him, in January 1932 he took the communist Gerald Hamilton as a lodger, through whom he was introduced to many figures within the Berlin far left; it is possible that he was operating as a spy for British intelligence at this time, monitoring the communist movement. Crowley left Busch and returned to London, where he took Pearl Brooksmith as his new Scarlet Woman. Undergoing further nasal surgery, it was here in 1932 that he was invited to be guest of honour at Foyles’ Literary Luncheon, also being invited by Harry Price to speak at the National Laboratory of Psychical Research. In need of money, he launched a series of court cases against people whom he believed had libelled him, some of which proved successful. He gained much publicity for his lawsuit against Constable and Co for publishing Nina Hamnett’s Laughing Torso (1932)– a book he thought libelled him– but lost the case. The court case added to Crowley’s financial problems, and in February 1935 he was declared bankrupt. During the hearing, it was revealed that Crowley had been spending three times his income for several years. Crowley developed a platonic friendship with Deidre Patricia O’Doherty; she offered to bear his child, who was born in May 1937. Named Randall Gair, Crowley nicknamed him Aleister Atatürk. Crowley continued to socialise with friends, holding curry parties in which he cooked particularly spicy food for them. In 1936, he published his first book in six years, The Equinox of the Gods, which contained a facsimile of The Book of the Law and was considered to be volume III, number 3, of The Equinox periodical. The work sold well, resulting in a second print run. In 1937 he gave a series of public lectures on yoga in Soho. Crowley was now living largely off contributions supplied by the O.T.O.'s Agape Lodge in California, led by rocket scientist John Whiteside “Jack” Parsons. Crowley was intrigued by the rise of Nazism in Germany, and influenced by his friend Martha Küntzel believed that Adolf Hitler might convert to Thelema; when the Nazis abolished the German O.T.O. and imprisoned Germer, who fled to the US, Crowley then lambasted Hitler as a black magician. Second World War and death: 1939–47 When the Second World War broke out, Crowley wrote to the Naval Intelligence Division offering his services, but they declined. He associated with a variety of figures in Britain’s intelligence community at the time, including Dennis Wheatley, Roald Dahl, Ian Fleming, and Maxwell Knight, and claimed to have been behind the “V for Victory” sign first used by the BBC; this has never been proven. In 1940, his asthma worsened, and with his German-produced medication unavailable, he returned to using heroin, once again becoming addicted. As the Blitz hit London, Crowley relocated to Torquay, where he was briefly hospitalised with asthma, and entertained himself with visits to the local chess club. Tiring of Torquay, he returned to London, where he was visited by American Thelemite Grady McMurtry, to whom Crowley awarded the title of “Hymenaeus Alpha”. He stipulated that though Germer would be his immediate successor, McMurty should succeed Germer as head of the O.T.O. after the latter’s death. With O.T.O. initiate Lady Frieda Harris, Crowley developed plans to produce a tarot card set, designed by him and painted by Harris. Accompanying this was a book, published in a limited edition as The Book of Thoth by Chiswick Press in 1944. To aid the war effort, he wrote a proclamation on the rights of humanity, Liber Oz, and a poem for the liberation of France, Le Gauloise. Crowley’s final publication during his lifetime was a book of poetry, Olla: An Anthology of Sixty Years of Song. Another of his projects, Aleister Explains Everything, was posthumously published as Magick Without Tears. In April 1944 Crowley briefly moved to Aston Clinton in Buckinghamshire, where he was visited by the poet Nancy Cunard, before relocating to Hastings in Sussex, where he took up residence at the Netherwood boarding house. He took a young man named Kenneth Grant as his secretary, paying him in magical teaching rather than wages. He was also introduced to John Symonds, whom he appointed to be his literary executor; Symonds thought little of Crowley, later publishing negative biographies of him. Corresponding with the illusionist Arnold Crowther, it was through him that Crowley was introduced to Gerald Gardner, the future founder of Gardnerian Wicca. They became friends, with Crowley authorising Gardner to revive Britain’s ailing O.T.O. Another visitor was Eliza Marian Butler, who interviewed Crowley for her book The Myth of the Magus. Other friends and family also spent time with him, among them Doherty and Crowley’s son Aleister Atatürk. On 1 December 1947, Crowley died at Netherwood of chronic bronchitis aggravated by pleurisy and myocardial degeneration, aged 72. His funeral was held at a Brighton crematorium on 5 December; about a dozen people attended, and Louis Wilkinson read excerpts from the Gnostic Mass, The Book of the Law, and “Hymn to Pan”. The funeral generated press controversy, and was labelled a Black Mass by the tabloids. Crowley’s ashes were sent to Germer in the US, who buried them in his garden in Hampton, New Jersey. Beliefs and thought Crowley’s thought was not always cohesive, and was influenced by a variety of sources, ranging from eastern religious movements and practices like Hindu yoga and Buddhism, scientific naturalism, and various currents within Western esotericism, among them ceremonial magic, alchemy, astrology, Rosicrucianism, Kabbalah, and the Tarot. Philosopher John Moore opined that Crowley’s thought was rooted in Romanticism and the Decadent movement, an assessment shared by historian Alex Owen, who noted that Crowley adhered to the “modus operandi” of the decadent movement throughout his life. Crowley believed that the twentieth century marked humanity’s entry to the Aeon of Horus, a new era in which humans would take increasing control of their destiny. He believed that this Aeon follows on from the Aeon of Osiris, in which paternalistic religions like Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism dominated the world, and that this in turn had followed the Aeon of Isis, which had been maternalistic and dominated by goddess worship. Thelema revolves around the idea that human beings each have their own True Will that they should discover and pursue, and that this exists in harmony with the Cosmic Will that pervades the universe. The moral code of “Do What Thou Wilt” is believed by Thelemites to be the faith’s ethical law, although academic Marco Pasi noted that this was not anarchistic or libertarian in structure, as Crowley saw individuals as part of a wider societal organism. Crowley believed in the objective existence of magic, which he chose to spell “Magick”. In his book Magick in Theory and Practice, Crowley defined Magick as “the Science and Art of causing change to occur in conformity with Will”. He also told his disciple Karl Germer that “Magick is getting into communication with individuals who exist on a higher plane than ours. Mysticism is the raising of oneself to their level.” Crowley saw Magick as a third way between religion and science, giving The Equinox the subtitle of “The Method of Science; the Aim of Religion”. Both during his life and after it, Crowley has been widely described as a Satanist, usually by detractors. Crowley stated he did not consider himself a Satanist, nor did he worship Satan, as he did not accept the Christian world view in which Satan was believed to exist. He was also accused of advocating human sacrifice, largely because of a passage in Book 4 in which he stated that “A male child of perfect innocence and high intelligence is the most satisfactory victim”. This was intended as a veiled reference to male masturbation. Personal life Crowley biographer Martin Booth asserted that Crowley was “self-confident, brash, eccentric, egotistic, highly intelligent, arrogant, witty, wealthy, and, when it suited him, cruel”. Similarly, Richard Spence noted that Crowley was “capable of immense physical and emotional cruelty”. Biographer Lawrence Sutin noted that Crowley exhibited “courage, skill, dauntless energy, and remarkable focus of will” while at the same time showing a "blind arrogance, petty fits of bile, [and] contempt for the abilities of his fellow men". The Thelemite Lon Milo DuQuette noted that Crowley “was by no means perfect” and “often alienated those who loved him dearest.” Crowley enjoyed being outrageous and flouting conventional morality, with John Symonds noting that he “was in revolt against the moral and religious values of his time”. Crowley’s political thought was subjected to an in-depth study by academic Marco Pasi, who noted that for Crowley, socio-political concerns were subordinate to metaphysical and spiritual ones. Pasi argued that it was difficult to classify Crowley as being either on the political left or right, but he was perhaps best categorised as a “conservative revolutionary” despite not being affiliated with the German-based conservative revolutionary movement. Pasi noted that Crowley sympathised with extreme ideologies like Nazism and Marxism-Leninism, in that they wished to violently overturn society, and hoped that both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union might adopt Thelema. Crowley described democracy as an “imbecile and nauseating cult of weakness”, and commented that The Book of the Law proclaimed that “there is the master and there is the slave; the noble and the serf; the 'lone wolf’ and the herd”. In this attitude he was influenced by the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and by Social Darwinism. Crowley also saw himself as an aristocrat, describing himself as Laird Boleskine; he had contempt for most of the British aristocracy, and once described his ideology as “aristocratic communism”. Crowley was bisexual, and exhibited a sexual preference for women. In particular he had an attraction toward “exotic women”, and claimed to have fallen in love on multiple occasions; Kaczynski stated that “when he loved, he did so with his whole being, but the passion was typically short-lived”. Even in later life, he was able to attract young bohemian women to be his lovers, largely due to his charisma. During same-sex anal intercourse, he usually played the passive role, which Booth believed “appealed to his masochistic side”. Crowley argued that gay and bisexual people should not suppress their sexual orientation, commenting that a person “must not be ashamed or afraid of being homosexual if he happens to be so at heart; he must not attempt to violate his own true nature because of public opinion, or medieval morality, or religious prejudice which would wish he were otherwise.” On other issues he adopted a more conservative attitude; he opposed abortion on moral grounds, believing that no woman following her True Will would ever desire one. Views on race and gender Biographer Lawrence Sutin stated that “blatant bigotry is a persistent minor element in Crowley’s writings”. Sutin thought Crowley “a spoiled scion of a wealthy Victorian family who embodied many of the worst John Bull racial and social prejudices of his upper-class contemporaries”, noting that he “embodied the contradiction that writhed within many Western intellectuals of the time: deeply held racist viewpoints courtesy of their culture, coupled with a fascination with people of colour”. Crowley insulted his close Jewish friend Victor Neuburg using anti-Semitic slurs, and he had mixed opinions about Jews as a group. Although he praised their “sublime” poetry and stated that their “imagination, romance, loyalty, probity and humanity”, he also thought that centuries of persecution had led some Jews to exhibit “avarice, servility, falseness, cunning and the rest”. He was also known to praise various ethnic and cultural groups, for instance he thought that the Chinese people exhibited a “spiritual superiority” to the English, and praised Muslims for exhibiting “manliness, straightforwardness, subtlety, and self-respect”. Crowley also exhibited a “general misogyny” that Booth believed arose from his bad relationship with his mother. Sutin noted that Crowley “largely accepted the notion, implicitly embodied in Victorian sexology, of women as secondary social beings in terms of intellect and sensibility”. Crowley described women as “moral inferiors” who had to be treated with “firmness, kindness and justice”. Legacy and influence Crowley has remained an influential figure, both amongst occultists and in popular culture, particularly that of Britain, but also of other parts of the world. In 2002, a BBC poll placed Crowley seventy-third in a list of the 100 Greatest Britons. Richard Cavendish has written of him that “In native talent, penetrating intelligence and determination, Aleister Crowley was the best-equipped magician to emerge since the seventeenth century.” Wouter Hanegraaff asserted that Crowley was an extreme representation of “the dark side of the occult”, while philosopher John Moore opined that Crowley stood out as a “Modern Master” when compared with other prominent occult figures like George Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky, Rudolf Steiner, or Helena Blavatsky, also describing him as a “living embodiment” of Oswald Spengler’s “Faustian Man”. Biographer Tobias Churton considered Crowley “a pioneer of consciousness research”, and Sutin thought that he had made “distinctly original contributions” to the study of yoga in the West. Thelema continued to develop and spread following Crowley’s death. In 1969, the O.T.O. was reactivated in California under the leadership of Grady Louis McMurtry; in 1985 its right to the title was unsuccessfully challenged in court by a rival group, the Society Ordo Templi Orientis, led by Brazilian Thelemite Marcelo Ramos Motta. Another American Thelemite was the filmmaker Kenneth Anger, who had been influenced by Crowley’s writings from a young age. In the United Kingdom, Kenneth Grant propagated a tradition known as Typhonian Thelema through his organisation, the Typhonian O.T.O., later renamed the Typhonian Order. Also in Britain, an occultist known as Amado Crowley claimed to be Crowley’s son; this has been refuted by academic investigation. Amado argued that Thelema was a false religion created by Crowley to hide his true esoteric teachings, which Amado claimed to be propagating. Several Western esoteric traditions other than Thelema were also influenced by Crowley. Gerald Gardner, founder of Gardnerian Wicca, made use of much of Crowley’s published material when composing the Gardnerian ritual liturgy, and the Australian witch Rosaleen Norton was also heavily influenced by Crowley’s ideas. L. Ron Hubbard, the American founder of Scientology, was involved in Thelema in the early 1940s (with Jack Parsons), and it has been argued that Crowley’s ideas influenced some of Hubbard’s work. Two prominent figures in religious Satanism, Anton LaVey and Michael Aquino, were also influenced by Crowley’s work. Crowley also had a wider influence in British popular culture. He was included as one of the figures on the cover art of The Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), and his motto of “Do What Thou Wilt” was inscribed on the vinyl of Led Zeppelin’s album Led Zeppelin III (1970). Led Zeppelin co-founder Jimmy Page bought Boleskine in 1971, and part of the band’s film The Song Remains the Same was filmed in the grounds. He sold it in 1992. David Bowie made reference to Crowley in the lyrics of his song “Quicksand” (1971), while Ozzy Osbourne and his lyricist Bob Daisley wrote a song titled “Mr Crowley” (1980). Bibliography References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleister_Crowley
I have loved poetry for a number of years but in past 10 years have started to write my own but still a beginner in learning the craft.My favourate poets are Emily Dickinson,William Blake, Robert Frost, Katherine Mansfield and Christina Rossetti. I also like to read ( historical, biographical, Christian), listen to classical music but also like other types of music, watching films on DVD. I am 60 and have been happily married for 24 years to Christine and love to regular attend church, watch films and enjoy the countryside together. MY TESTIMONY I am a Christian and have been for over 30 years, so here's my story. First of all I was adopted at six months of age and have had a severe stammer all of my life although not particularly bad before starting school. I met my first wife Jean when I was in mid 20s, Jean was a Christian who attended the Salvation Army where I first heard the gospel and believed it but only in my head. After a series of decisions made for Jesus which proved to be flawed and false but I started to read the Bible but I was still not willing to accept the gospel offer of salvation. Jean and I got married in 1981 and after less than a year of marriage Jean died suddenly, on that evening of Jean's passing I prayed for God to forgive me of my sins and received Christ becoming a new creature in Christ. Some nine years later having met Christine we got married in 1990 and have been very happily married for 24 years. God has been faithful to us in many ways directing, leading and guiding us in all His ways. We always think on Jeremiah Ch. 29 v. 11-14 which God has used so often in our lives together in giving us a future and a hope in Him for God knows the plans He has for us all. God has been helpful to me so often to fight through my stammer and been able to accept my situation helping me and reminding me so often His love overcomes all things. My favourate text is Hebrews Ch. 13 v.6. 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’ In august, 2012 I had been made redundant but have great peace in my heart the the Lord Jesus is with me and surrounding me in His love and wisdom for the future and great assurance of His will for me.
James Dennis "Jim" Carroll (August 1, 1949 – September 11, 2009) was an American author, poet, autobiographer, and punk musician. Carroll was best known for his 1978 autobiographical work The Basketball Diaries, which was made into the 1995 film of the same name, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Carroll. Carroll was born to a working-class family of Irish descent, and grew up on New York City's Lower East Side. When he was about eleven (in the sixth grade) his family moved north to Inwood in Upper Manhattan where he attended Good Shepherd School. He was taught by the LaSalle Christian Brothers, and his brother in the sixth grade noted that he could write and encouraged him to do so. In fall 1963, he entered public school, but was soon awarded a scholarship to the elite Trinity School. He attended Trinity from 1964–1968. Apart from being interested in writing, Carroll was an all-star basketball player throughout his grade school and high school career. He entered the "Biddy League" at age 13 and participated in the National High School All Star Game in 1966. During this time, Carroll was living a double life as a heroin addict who prostituted himself to afford his habit but he was also writing poems and attending poetry workshops at St. Mark's Poetry Project. He briefly attended Wagner College and Columbia University. Literary career While still in high school, Carroll published his first collection of poems, Organic Trains. Already attracting the attention of the local literati, his work began appearing in the Poetry Project's magazine The World in 1967. Soon his work was being published in elite literary magazines like Paris Review in 1968, and Poetry the following year. In 1970, his second collection of poems, 4 Ups and 1 Down was published, and he started working for Andy Warhol. At first, he was writing film dialogue and inventing character names; later on, Carroll worked as the co-manager of Warhol's Theater. Carroll's first publication by a mainstream publisher (Grossman Publishers), the poetry collection Living at the Movies, was published in 1973. In 1978, Carroll published The Basketball Diaries, an autobiographical book concerning his life as a teenager in New York City's hard drug culture. Diaries is an edited collection of the diaries he kept between the ages of twelve and sixteen, detailing his sexual experiences, high school basketball career, and his addiction to heroin, which began when he was 13. In 1987, Carroll wrote a second memoir entitled Forced Entries: The Downtown Diaries 1971–1973, continuing his autobiography into his early adulthood in the New York City music and art scene as well as his struggle to kick his drug habit. After working as a musician, Carroll returned to writing full-time in the mid-1980s and began to appear regularly on the spoken word circuit. Starting in 1991, Carroll performed readings from his then-in-progress first novel, The Petting Zoo. Music career In 1978, after he moved to California to get a fresh start since kicking his heroin addiction, Carroll formed The Jim Carroll Band, a New Wave/punk rock group, with encouragement from Patti Smith, with whom he once shared an apartment in New York City, along with Robert Mapplethorpe. The band was originally called Amsterdam, and was based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The musicians were Steve Linsley (bass), Wayne Woods (drums), Brian Linsley and Terrell Winn (guitars). They released a single "People Who Died", from their 1980 debut album, Catholic Boy. The album featured contributions from Allen Lanier and Bobby Keys. In 1982 the song appeared in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, from which Carroll received royalties until his death in 2009. The song also appeared in the 1985 Kim Richards vehicle Tuff Turf starring James Spader and Robert Downey Jr., which also featured a cameo appearance by the band, as well as 2004's Dawn of the Dead. It was featured in the 1995 film The Basketball Diaries (based on Jim Carroll's autobiography), and was covered by John Cale on his Antártida soundtrack. A condensed, 2-minute, version of the song was made into an animated music video by Daniel D. Cooper, an independent filmmaker/animator, in 2010. The song's title was based on a poem by Ted Berrigan. Later albums were Dry Dreams (1982) and I Write Your Name (1983), both with contributions from Lenny Kaye and Paul Sanchez. Carroll also collaborated with musicians Lou Reed, Blue Öyster Cult, Boz Scaggs, Ray Manzarek of The Doors, Pearl Jam, Electric Light Orchestra and Rancid. Death Carroll, 60, died of a heart attack at his Manhattan home on September 11, 2009. He was reportedly working at his desk when he died. Poetry * Organic Trains (1967) * 4 Ups and 1 Down (1970) * Living at the Movies (1973) * The Book of Nods (1986) * Fear of Dreaming (1993) * Void of Course: Poems 1994–1997 (1998) ISBN 0-14-058909-0 Prose * The Basketball Diaries (1978) * Forced Entries: The Downtown Diaries 1971-1973 (1987) * The Petting Zoo (2010) References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Carroll