Hello Cruel World
Monday, October 28, 2002
A poem of love & beauty, regret, despair & fear.
In part his regret is for the breakdown in religious faith in the west,
of which he remembers the good parts, perhaps never having
been very badly affected by the bad parts.
Many people still feel that you can't find meaning in life or a moral
centre without some sort of organized religion/ideology. Alas,
there doesn't seem to be general agreement about just which one,
which leads to even more 'armies clash[ing]'. It is depressing
that so many humans still feel that they need some sort of official
imprimatur [sacred or profane], without which they have 'neither joy,
nor love, nor light, /Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain' and
far more depressing still that - supposedly in search of these -
so much pain, such lack of peace and destruction of joy, love &
light is created (check out William Blake sometime on this if you have
a month or two spare).
Link to this poem at www.poets.org.
Here you will be able to find more about the poet, as well as many
other poets & their poetry.
Dover Beach (1867)
by Matthew Arnold
The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
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Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, English, photography, reading, natural history, land use, town planning, sustainability.