Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Man I Am Not Yet

I aspire to be a man of poetry, one so well-versed in the great works that gems can trickle from my soul like something very poetic if only I could think of the word right now.

Alas, I have not invested enough to give me the stamina to read through the 700+ pages of Selected Works of Wordsworth that has sat somewhere in my home lo the last decade largely unread. But I did manage a few brief spurts and marked a few choice phrases I want to remember before I give up for the present and consign the work to the Salvation Army:

"Hope itself was all I knew of pain"

"Much done, and much designed, and more desired" -- if that doesn't describe a mother's work, I don't know what does

"The eye that marks the gliding creature sees
How graceful pride can be, and how majestic, ease."

 (all three from "An Evening Walk")

The close to "Anecdote for Fathers":
"O dearest, dearest boy! my heart
For better love would seldom yearn,
Could I but teach the hundredth part
Of what from thee I learn."

From "The Tables Turned"

Up! up! my Friend and quit your books;
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble? ...

Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There's more of wisdom in it. ...

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can. ...

Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.


And if more I had read, more I would have marked;
And if more marked, I would not now mark it in the pile.
  -- Derrill