The Song of the Stars by Clark Ashton Smith

 From the final reach of the upper night
To the nether darks where the comets die,
From the outmost bourn of the reigns of light
To the central gloom of the midmost sky,
In our mazeful gyres we fly.
And our flight is a choral chant of flame,
That ceaseless fares to the outer void,
With the undersong of the peopled spheres,
The voices of comet and asteroid,
And the wail of the spheres destroyed.
Forever we sing to a god unseen –
In the dark shall our voices fail?
The void is his robe inviolate,
The night is his awful veil –
How our fires grow dim and pale!

From the ordered gyres goes ever afar
Our song of flame o’er the void unknown,
Where circles nor world, nor comet, nor star.
Shall it die ere it reach His throne?

On the shoreless deeps of the seas of gloom
Sailing, we venture afar and wide,
Where ever await the tempests of doom,
Where the silent maelstroms lurk and hide,
And the darkling reefs abide.
And the change and ruin of stars is a song
That rises and ebbs in a tide of fire –
A music whose notes are of dreadful flame,
Whose harmonies ever leap high’r
Where the suns and the worlds expire.
Is such music not fit for a god?
Yet ever the deep is a dark,
And ever the night is a void,
Nor brightens a word nor a mark
To show if our God may hark.

From the gyres of change goes ever afar
Our flaming chant o’er the deep unknown,
The song of the death of planet and star.
Shall it die ere it reach His throne?

In our shadows of light the planets sweep,
And endure for the span of our prime –
Globed atoms that hazard the termless deep
With races that bow to the law of Time,
And yet cherish a dream sublime.
And they cry to the god behind the veil.
Yet how should their voices pass the night,
The silence that waits in the rayless void,
If he hear not our music of light,
And the thundrous song of our might?
And they strive in the gloom for truth –
Yet how should they pierce the veil,
When we, with our splendors of flame,
In the darkness faint and fail,
Our fires how feeble and pale!

From the ordered gyres goes ever afar
Our song of flame o’er the void unknown,
Where circles nor world, nor comet, nor star,
Shall it die ere it reach His throne?

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The Naming of Cats in TS Eliot’s Own Voice

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Margaret Atwood’s Creative Process

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Happy Birthday, Myrtle Reed!

Today is author, Myrtle Reed’s birthday! First a quick bit from the wikipedia, then on to quotes.

From Wikipedia: Myrtle Reed (September 27, 1874 – August 17, 1911) was an American author, poet, journalist, and philanthropist. She wrote a number of bestsellers and even published a series of cookbooks under the pseudonym Olive Green.

“Penetrate deeply in the secret existence of anyone about you, even of the man or woman whom you count happiest, and you will come upon things they spend all their efforts to hide. Fair as the exterior may be, if you go in, you will find bare places, heaps of rubbish that can never be taken away, cold hearths, desolate altars, and windows veiled with cobwebs.”

“When we come to the sundown road, we need all the love we have managed to take with us from the summit of the hill.”

“It always seems to me as if the lavender was a little woman in a green dress, with a lavender bonnet and a white kerchief. She’s one of those strong, sweet, wholesome people, who always rest you, and her sweetness lingers long after she goes away.”

“When a little pleasure has flashed for a moment against the dark, I have made that jewel mine. I have hundreds of them … I call it my Necklace of Perfect Joy. When the world goes wrong, I have only to close my eyes and remember all the links in my chain, set with gems, some large and some small, but all beautiful with the beauty which never fades. It is all I can take with me when I go. My material possessions must stay behind, but my Necklace of Perfect Joy will bring me happiness to the end, when I put it on, to be nevermore unclasped.”

“A letter has distinct advantages. You can say all you want to say before the other person has a chance to put in a word.”

“I have a friend, physically magnificent, who combines within himself the intellect of a philosopher, the diplomacy of a statesman, the executive ability of the general of an army, the courtesy of a Chesterfield – and the emotions of a rabbit.”

“No woman need fear the effect of absence upon the man who honestly loves her. The needle of the compass, regardless of intervening seas, points forever toward the north. Pitiful indeed is she who fails to be a magnet and blindly becomes a chain.”

Portrait of Myrtle Reed.jpg

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Unguarded Gates by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

WIDE open and unguarded stand our gates,
Named of the four winds, North, South, East, and West;
Portals that lead to an enchanted land
Of cities, forests, fields of living gold,
Vast prairies, lordly summits touched with snow,
Majestic rivers sweeping proudly past
The Arab’s date-palm and the Norseman’s pine—
A realm wherein are fruits of every zone,
Airs of all climes, for, lo! throughout the year
The red rose blossoms somewhere—a rich land,
A later Eden planted in the wilds,
With not an inch of earth within its bound
But if a slave’s foot press it sets him free.
Here, it is written, Toil shall have its wage,
And Honor honor, and the humblest man
Stand level with the highest in the law.
Of such a land have men in dungeons dreamed,
And with the vision brightening in their eyes
Gone smiling to the fagot and the sword.

Wide open and unguarded stand our gates,
And through them presses a wild motley throng—
Men from the Volga and the Tartar steppes,
Featureless figures of the Hoang-Ho,
Malayan, Scythian, Teuton, Kelt, and Slav,
Flying the Old World’s poverty and scorn;
These bringing with them unknown gods and rites,—
Those, tiger passions, here to stretch their claws.
In street and alley what strange tongues are loud,
Accents of menace alien to our air,
Voices that once the Tower of Babel knew!

O Liberty, white Goddess! is it well
To leave the gates unguarded? On thy breast
Fold Sorrow’s children, soothe the hurts of fate,
Lift the down-trodden, but with hand of steel
Stay those who to thy sacred portals come
To waste the gifts of freedom. Have a care
Lest from thy brow the clustered stars be torn
And trampled in the dust. For so of old
The thronging Goth and Vandal trampled Rome,
And where the temples of the Cæsars stood
The lean wolf unmolested made her lair.

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Quotes About Hidden Things

“I don’t like the idea of being surrounded by hidden things; people you can’t see in buildings and cars.” -Will Oldham

“Most people have come to prefer certain of lifes experiences and deny and reject others, unaware of the value of the hidden things that may come wrapped in plain and even ugly paper. In avoiding all pain and seeking comfort at all costs, we may be left without intimacy or compassion; in rejecting change and risk we often cheat ourselves of the quest; in denying our suffering we may never know our strength or our greatness” – Rachel Naomi Remen

“Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” – Confucius

“I feel that a picture that stays with you is made up of a hundred or more hidden things. They’re things that the audience is not conscious of, but that accumulate.” – Vincente Minnelli

“There can be…no power…to disclose…the secrets that may be buried with a human heart. The heart, making itself guilty of such secrets, must perforce hold them until the day when all hidden things be revealed.” -Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

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A Conversation with Ray Bradbury

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