Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Blind Bard

The Blind Bard
Laijon Liu 20170718

The sunlight or the thunderbolts blinded you
or the nights you are terrified to see
thru your wandering years you have met
so many goddesses, giants and nymphs
your wine cup holds the churning seas
by that sacred spring you recall the past
sword dancers in circles at wedding feasts
battles and games are divine sacrifice
men want fame, boys to be heroes
heroes to be gods, and gods are mad
Ha! Huge smoke rises from the Mount Olympus
carcass on the beach, corpses clogged the ditches
all that for a tale, a tale we all love
and then we perish, leave a beautiful ruin

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Quiet Passion - How Dickinson Fights and Retreats

A Quiet Passion - How Dickinson Fights and Retreats
Laijon Liu 20170716

A Quiet Passion is a great film. of course Emily Dickinson is my hero (not Heroine) she must be pleased to be equal, that shows how a talented poet(not poetess) deal with her life and society in 19th century. If she were a man, she would accomplish so much more, but what's for a woman is the marriage grave that time. They are educated, for a purpose to serve their future husbands, and brainwashed by men's religious system that only a few unknowingly unwashed :), so she finds herself another grave, that second floor bedroom she picks, it's quiet small world, or her own castle, but in her space she shares bed alone, or writes or muses at her own hours choosing, morning three 'o clock that quiet dark waiting hours to dawn, would she imagine what's in store for her another 50 years if she could live long? she imagined the heaven, the sea, and questioned the Hope, the time eternal to the field of gazing grains of the sunset, that Death comes with his scythe for the autumn reap .... but would she cheer or despise the young girl's hands that lit the candle at both ends? Let that non-existent fire warm her cold body.

In Winter in my Room
I came upon a Worm --
Pink, lank and warm --
But as he was a worm
And worms presume
Not quite with him at home --
Secured him by a string
To something neighboring
And went along.

A Trifle afterward
A thing occurred
I'd not believe it if I heard
But state with creeping blood --
A snake with mottles rare
Surveyed my chamber floor
In feature as the worm before
But ringed with power --

The very string with which
I tied him -- too
When he was mean and new
That string was there --

I shrank -- "How fair you are"!
Propitiation's claw --
"Afraid," he hissed
"Of me"?
"No cordiality" --
He fathomed me --
Then to a Rhythm Slim
Secreted in his Form
As Patterns swim
Projected him.

That time I flew
Both eyes his way
Lest he pursue
Nor ever ceased to run
Till in a distant Town
Towns on from mine
I set me down
This was a dream. 

Her poems are difficult. but her voice always troubles readers, playful natural nursery rhyme like beats, moderate, self-controlled, polite, ladylike-protesting, a world of images, yet she could never receive that crumb of Hope.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

And her same period, many people love Walt Whitman, but he is a man, he could go many places and do many thing fit, so they are great poets, but their environment put them in very different world, Walt sings of myself, of us, of America that he experiences as a white man that time; poor Emily's song shows another scope like hearing a funeral dirge daily and tick tuck hourly:

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading - treading - till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through -

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum -
Kept beating - beating - till I thought
My mind was going numb -

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space - began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here -

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down -
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing - then -

Many American compare the two greats, I like both, but I love Emily more. and this film captures her feeling a lot, and her thoughts too. She is a Great Poet, her thoughts are her true melody.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

On Greek Classic 02

On Greek Classic 02

The Roles of the Greek Gods and Goddesses

Nature: sky, lightning, thunder
Society: law, order, justice, ruler
Family: Father, husband, king

Nature: probably mother earth
Society: cities, marriage, bearing offspring,
Family: Mother, wife, queen

Nature: seas, earthquakes, and tidal wave
Society: probably voyage, since Greek were called Sea People (Odysseus exp.)
Family: uncle

Nature: fertility, nature, and the seasons
Society: agriculture, pregnancy
Family: Aunt

Nature: Hearth
Society: Domesticity
Psych: relation matters, family dealing
Family: Aunt

Society: defense and strategic warfare, handicrafts and science
Psych: knowledge, reason, intelligent activity, literature
Family: child, sibling

Nature: light, the sun
Society: poetry, music and arts, medicine and healing
Psych: prophecy, philosophy, inspiration
Family: child, sibling

Nature: the moon, all animals
Society: hunt, archery
Psych: virginity
Family: Child, sibling

Nature: violent phenomenon
Society: war, bloodshed
Psych: violence, longing for bloodshed
Family: Child, sibling

Nature: pleasure, beauty
Society: sexual activity
Psych: sensual love, desire
Family: child, sibling

Nature: fire
Society: blacksmith
Psych: craftsman art, forge tool and weapon
Family: child, sibling

Society: commerce, communication, borders, eloquence, diplomacy, thieves and games
Psych: Social art, rhetoric, trickery, art of deal :D
Family: child, sibling

Nature: wine
Society: theater, entertaining business, celebrations, party
Psych: ecstasy
Family: child, sibling
(this god entered Olympus late, probably b/c entertainment was developed late in Ancient Greek)

It’s really fascinating how creative the Ancient Greek are, their religion system is created thru their understanding of Nature, Society, and their Inner Experience. Gods and goddesses not only dwell in heaven, in Nature, also in their social and day to day activities, and even clever that the nature of gods and goddesses possess their emotion and thoughts. I guess they tell the patron god of their each child according to his/her early-shown talent, and every child has different talent in unique art, like speech, craft, poetry, sport… (special interests or good grade subjects at school)and even bad temperament and lusty character prove he is Ares possessed for that moment or oh no! He is gonna be horny like Zeus when he grows up…. Athena is Odysseus and Penelope’s patron goddess, and cities pick their own patron goddess, more like todays team mascots, national animal, on society level. Iliad and Odyssey often show 3 stages of gods and goddesses function, they argue and deal in heaven, Olympus; and appear in physical body fighting on the battlefield with men, Aphrodite can’t handle the hardcore bestial nature of war, cried like baby, probably suggests the formula sex and physical violence don't go well together, so that’s how we unconsciously produce the famous slogan “Make Love Not War”; also in men’s psych, Achilles holds his sword, that moment of hesitation to strike Agamemnon, his mind hears Athena’s advice; Hector going nuts, Ajax going nuts, Achilles going berserk, all possessed by Ares in that particular moment of fight, later they could not explain their madness, but Odysseus seems never lost his mind in critical time… the two epics are like classic, surreal, futuristic blended stories, gods and goddesses are one dysfunctional Modern family, husband comes home late from a local bar, and wife has already schemed with her children to carry out her revenge, and dramas and fight begin, but the family relationship never really breaks down, they need each other, just like all their nature and symbol must play the parts of the whole, so their civilization progresses along with their dramas, grudges, and love too.

Also, Athena is a goddess, female symbol, but she plays the old sister role, she is goddess in war, represents victory, how ancient Greek pick goddess (female symbol) for war nature really progressive than today Conservative; not only that, Athena also reigns in wisdom: knowledge, reason, intelligent activity, literature. Artemis is another female deity, goddess of hunt, it's boy's sport too that today's conservative may tell us how to think, she is the tomboy goes into the woods night and and brings back the game early morning. Aphrodite is the talk of the town, boys love her, she loves them back, women hate her and call her names, but she cares less because she does what she wants, and she likes it. so Feminism is not new thing, rather very old one.

And the boys, oh, boys, they are a bunch of bums and losers. Apollo is a dude spends more time in front of mirror while working on his poetry, music and arts, it's like he has audition everyday, but much of his artistic flare wont get his love to fall for him, so he hugs a laurel tree, he even composes poem for that tree, becomes a tree hugger, his medicine and healing specialty is like family secret remedy, and in ancient time the medicine = quack, that's a little more effective than a prayer with olive oil rubbing, so good for nothing, that's him. Ares, well, using Homer's words, everybody hates Ares. yeah, he is the one always bad tempered, rash, disturbs a perfect afternoon family gathering, and gets a talk to or a slap by other siblings to calm down. Hermes, well, a little brother dresses dandy, stands on the street corner, swindles people selling his stolen or fake junks, a smooth guy, doing a lot of business, tricks everyone and flight by night, like he has wings on his foot. Dionysus is a drunken stupor or wild singing and dancing, running a theater business to the ground, so people move his parties to the wilderness.

So this is the family. Progressive Left, Democratic too. Joke aside, how people create their deities also shows their faith of society, that each god, each goddess possesses unique function to construct a complete heaven, just as their men, have individual voices and parts in war or peace. Polytheism allows different ideas to develop and permit other faith to coexist.

Scholars state that ancient Greeks consider their gods and goddesses seriously, but in Homer's time people may not see gods that serious as their ancestors do (even tho they offer rites like today religious people in many parts of the world), that might show from 2 epic poems why gods and goddesses are rather comical, immature and short-tempered being, just like how human experience their own daily emotion. Or I want to believe that the singers thru generations and the first epic compilers share the same concept of the main tune, that they purposely describe gods and goddess as childish, might be they want to guide listeners from the vanity of the idol figurine worship, or they discover new art that human art better and contain more flesh than the cold statue gods. From the beginning of Iliad, the four parallel narratives: Achilles' godly anger, the collapse of old ranking order from moral standard (Agamemnon), the old human sacrifice ritual, the catalog of ships that harken back to the golden period of Greek... are all reminiscent, dark, foolish and savory or old glory to the listeners. I assume there are many other stories, like how Troy fall, how Achilles die... but the compiler of Iliad or(Homer) only focus on the the beginning 4 themes to start, unless he could not find other pieces fill the missing parts of the epic, Troy falls. But Achilles and Odysseus are men on two inner journeys: Achilles struggles with doubts about warrior being(fighting in war), the cost / sacrifice of being great, it's a confusing belief, even for Achilles himself; Odysseus strives to go home, deal with longing, the suffering to be happy, there's nothing wrong for his goal; and today these two heroes still reign in our ambition, but Odysseus is more matured and learned than Achilles, Achilles learns about himself after slaying Hector, and dies in battle as listeners all know, only his name remains; Odysseus crawls onto his home shore, finally returns, a satisfying ending. Probably Homer's time people realize that Odysseus is their new hero to replace the old hero, Achilles.

Monday, July 3, 2017

On Greek Classic 01

On Greek Classic
Laijon Liu 20170702

I love Greek Classic. Homer's Iliad and Odyssey are or is truly great literature, and I believe these two works are done by the Ancient Greek, a group of people, thru oral tradition, and after some years compiled and revised by a single author, there's no need to end the endless long war of the authorship, that's not the most important, to me the most important part is these works are somehow should be read as whole, that tales from the wall of Troy spread to the voyager's home, Ithaca. When the Greek in their dark time, whatever nature phenomenons unexplained they tribute to gods or goddesses, of course that include the human inner feelings, emotions cannot be logically explained, maybe parts of that they want to easily memorize, thru invented system of stories and causes, they consciously developed their ways of understanding their world, societies and their inner life experiences, so the Olympian gods and goddess claim victory over the titans of raw rough chaotic nature symbols, and amongst all their new gods and goddesses they created their heroes, sons and daughters of gods and men, later, human heroes, after they gained much learning of unexplained and confident of their surroundings. Iliad and Odyssey show how they explained their wars, dealing, concepts, and emotions, in Iliad gods are more dominate, Achilles resembles both man of fate and character of invincible god; in Odyssey, Odysseus, a bloodline of men, but more and more as one of us, more shrewd and humbled with fears, more vulnerable, batterd and traumatized by our world. Gods shifting their power to men from Iliad to Odyssey, Olympus is not center stage of the world any more, but at Troy, men's battlefield, by the campfires, in the trenches; and at Ithaca, on the fingertips of waving woman, by the cold hearth that long parted couple first time met, in the court of feasting hallway; both tales set off and end by women, Helen at Troy, Penelope at home, and both women are seemed worth to fight and die for; Men know their best choice, not a ruler of cities that Hera can offer, not champion of the world that Athena guarantees, but only love, makes sweet home that satisfies men's heart, so that completes them. The old ruling system also declined, Agamemnon lost his leadership by robbing Achilles, and later paid tributes to him as equal, Odysseus, the king of Ithaca, but his Troy conquering fame could not protect his own household... All great Classic are Modern, I believe.

I've just watched the Wonder Woman, it packed a lot of action, film tech. I love that early film kung fu girl, so cute, cheered my day. the main actress is hot period. And the later part of film that Ares, the god of war, existed in an illusion, that's correctly depicted, never certain individual, Ares and along with all Greek deities exist in both Nature, the Outside World, and the inner world of men. Ares stood on both side of the battle, also other Gods, that Homer's Iliad painted, the gods characters fight on both sides, often, they fight among themselves too, and also explains the a few deeply moving parts of Iliad, how Hector, Achilles, Priam killing each other, and mutilated corpse to vent hatred, and held each other cried like long lost friend, for What they must fight and hurt each other that way, for What? so that answer Ancient Greek can only tribute to the Gods. Also, the film throws the Love word at viewers, and Greek Love, is not Aphrodite, Aphrodite gives sexual desire, appetite for fresh meat, yuk; later the Paul in new testament refer Christ the Unknown God, the God of Love, but Christ was not known by Homer time Greeks; so I guess the only suspect of God of Love in Ancient Greek should be Zeus, Zeus is the Ultimate Player known by men and gods, but Zeus also gives order to Prometheus to create man, and Zeus' main role is to maintain the order of heavens and mankind, so after hogging on some women or a heifer/swan he comes home dumps a bag of grocery on the table and shouts at the ceiling telling his children to come down clean the rooms, I guess. That love is more real today.

Again, I really love great classics, Homer, Bible, Spring and Autumn, Hamlet, and a few more, they are like time capsules, you open them up, wind and test or play them, often find some strange features or functions that do new tricks.