WB Yeats remarked (in ‘At Straftford on Avon, Essays and Intrroductions’) I have often had the fancy that there is some one myth for every man, which, if we but knew it, would make us understand all he did and thought.
A child who has read Phillip Pullman books will know this in the concept of the Daemon, a type of personal divinty (that Socrates claimed looked after him); what my granny would have called a guardian (pronounced ‘garjan’) angel. Beth has her minotaur.
On the week of the poet’s birthday, clearly this freshly cast contemplative minotaur is balancing all and bringing all to mind…
I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.
-An Irish Aman Foresees his death
Another freshly minted bonze has our hero looking up, drawn into the firmament. His mind, no doubt, is on the little rover on Mars….
There is absolutely nothing lonelier
than the little Mars rover
never shutting down, digging up
rocks, so far away from Bond street
in a light rain. I wonder
if he makes little beeps? If so
he is lonelier still. He fires a laser
into the dust. He coughs. A shiny
thing in the sand turns out to be his.
Matthew Rohrer, There is absolutely nothing lonelier
And finally..if you can make it to Bath on Saturday evening, Beth Carter will be here between 6 and 8.
Good weather and a cooling evening is virtually guaranteed. Come along for a cool drink, even if you have to slouch your way here……
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,