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The Italian Renaissance is that cultural and artistic civilization, which had Florence as one of its main centers. "God, make me want more than I can get" Michelangelo Buonarroti.

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Dante At Verona

Behold, even I, even I am Beatrice.
(Div. Com. Purg. xxx.)
OF Florence and of Beatrice
Servant and singer from of old,
O'er Dante's heart in youth had toll'd
The knell that gave his Lady peace;
And now in manhood flew the dart
Wherewith his City pierced his heart.
Yet if his Lady's home above
Was Heaven, on earth she filled his soul;
And if his City held control
To cast the body forth to rove,
The soul could soar from earth's vain throng,
And Heaven and Hell fulfil the song.
Follow his feet's appointed way;—
But little light we find that clears
The darkness of the exiled years.
Follow his spirit's journey:—nay,
What fires are blent, what winds are blown
On paths his feet may tread alone?
Yet of the twofold life he led
In chainless thought and fettered will
Some glimpses reach us,—somewhat still
Of the steep stairs and bitter bread,—
Of the soul's quest whose stern avow
For years had made him haggard now.
Alas! the Sacred Song whereto
Both heaven and earth had set their hand
Not only at Fame's gate did stand
Knocking to claim the passage through,
But toiled to ope that heavier door
Which Florence shut for evermore.
Shall not his birth's baptismal Town
One last high presage yet fulfil,
And at that font in Florence still
His forehead take the laurel-crown?
O God! or shall dead souls deny
The undying soul its prophecy?
Aye, 'tis their hour. Not yet forgot
The bitter words he spoke that day
When for some great charge far away
Her rulers his acceptance sought.
And if I go, who stays?”—so rose
His scorn:—“and if I stay, who goes?”
“Lo! thou art gone now, and we stay”
(The curled lips mutter): “and no star
Is from thy mortal path so far
As streets where childhood knew the way.
To Heaven and Hell thy feet may win,
But thine own house they come not in.”

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Satan Absolved

(In the antechamber of Heaven. Satan walks alone. Angels in groups conversing.)
Satan. To--day is the Lord's ``day.'' Once more on His good pleasure
I, the Heresiarch, wait and pace these halls at leisure
Among the Orthodox, the unfallen Sons of God.
How sweet in truth Heaven is, its floors of sandal wood,
Its old--world furniture, its linen long in press,
Its incense, mummeries, flowers, its scent of holiness!
Each house has its own smell. The smell of Heaven to me
Intoxicates and haunts,--and hurts. Who would not be
God's liveried servant here, the slave of His behest,
Rather than reign outside? I like good things the best,
Fair things, things innocent; and gladly, if He willed,
Would enter His Saints' kingdom--even as a little child.

[Laughs. I have come to make my peace, to crave a full amaun,
Peace, pardon, reconcilement, truce to our daggers--drawn,
Which have so long distraught the fair wise Universe,
An end to my rebellion and the mortal curse
Of always evil--doing. He will mayhap agree
I was less wholly wrong about Humanity
The day I dared to warn His wisdom of that flaw.
It was at least the truth, the whole truth, I foresaw
When He must needs create that simian ``in His own
Image and likeness.'' Faugh! the unseemly carrion!
I claim a new revision and with proofs in hand,
No Job now in my path to foil me and withstand.
Oh, I will serve Him well!
[Certain Angels approach. But who are these that come
With their grieved faces pale and eyes of martyrdom?
Not our good Sons of God? They stop, gesticulate,
Argue apart, some weep,--weep, here within Heaven's gate!
Sob almost in God's sight! ay, real salt human tears,
Such as no Spirit wept these thrice three thousand years.
The last shed were my own, that night of reprobation
When I unsheathed my sword and headed the lost nation.
Since then not one of them has spoken above his breath
Or whispered in these courts one word of life or death
Displeasing to the Lord. No Seraph of them all,
Save I this day each year, has dared to cross Heaven's hall
And give voice to ill news, an unwelcome truth to Him.
Not Michael's self hath dared, prince of the Seraphim.
Yet all now wail aloud.--What ails ye, brethren? Speak!
Are ye too in rebellion? Angels. Satan, no. But weak
With our long earthly toil, the unthankful care of Man.

Satan. Ye have in truth good cause.

Angels. And we would know God's plan,
His true thought for the world, the wherefore and the why
Of His long patience mocked, His name in jeopardy.

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Amours de Voyage, Canto V

There is a city, upbuilt on the quays of the turbulent Arno,
Under Fiesole's heights,--thither are we to return?
There is a city that fringes the curve of the inflowing waters,
Under the perilous hill fringes the beautiful bay,--
Parthenope, do they call thee?--the Siren, Neapolis, seated
Under Vesevus's hill,--are we receding to thee?--
Sicily, Greece, will invite, and the Orient;--or are we turn to
England, which may after all be for its children the best?

I. Mary Trevellyn, at Lucerne, to Miss Roper, at Florence.

So you are really free, and living in quiet at Florence;
That is delightful news; you travelled slowly and safely;
Mr. Claude got you out; took rooms at Florence before you;
Wrote from Milan to say so; had left directly for Milan,
Hoping to find us soon;--if he could, he would, you are certain.--
Dear Miss Roper, your letter has made me exceedingly happy.
You are quite sure, you say, he asked you about our intentions;
You had not heard as yet of Lucerne, but told him of Como.--
Well, perhaps he will come; however, I will not expect it.
Though you say you are sure,--if he can, he will, you are certain.
O my dear, many thanks from your ever affectionate Mary.

II. Claude to Eustace.

Florence.

Action will furnish belief,--but will that belief be the true one?
This is the point, you know. However, it doesn't much matter.
What one wants, I suppose, is to predetermine the action,
So as to make it entail, not a chance belief, but the true one.
Out of the question, you say; if a thing isn't wrong we may do it.
Ah! but this wrong, you see--but I do not know that it matters.
Eustace, the Ropers are gone, and no one can tell me about them.

Pisa.

Pisa, they say they think, and so I follow to Pisa,
Hither and thither inquiring. I weary of making inquiries.
I am ashamed, I declare, of asking people about it.--
Who are your friends? You said you had friends who would certainly know them.

Florence.

But it is idle, moping, and thinking, and trying to fix her
Image once more and more in, to write the whole perfect inscription

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Expostulations Of The Child-Man, The Pope In Italian Miniatures - A Mystery

The pope in Italian
exclaims, 'Bring me! '
and the echoes bring to him
his bounded wants.

The pope in Italian
twirls his fake mustache, hides behind curtains layered
thick, plots the Blessed Virgin tied upon the tracks, his
dramatic rescue of Her, the imagined headline, Greatest Of Popes.

The pope in Italian
embraces a Statue of St. Micheal when the
guards are not looking, whispers the hour of
the deed, pleads for advancement of the plot.

The pope in Italian
blesses conspiring shadows in mirrored tiles reflecting back, the
guards pretend not to notice his continual muttering, the halting gait,
the concealed silk handkerchief purposefully dropped, they wink at each other.

The pope in Italian
drunk with authority privately erases Sacred Texts with
a child's thick pencil, pardons his large fines for overdue books,
cancels the Vatican subscription to Mystery Magazine.

The pope in Italian
questions Michelangelo 'of hammers, of stone and nakedness,
the heart of the matter, ' whistles when the Artist answers,
and looks away, fingers crossed.

The pope in Italian
wears a black beret, feels his tragedy,
'another fig in hand, ' refills his goblet,
calls for a clean ashtray, another pack of Gauloises.*

The pope in Italian
feeling frisky, ice skates, holds high
his brocaded robes revealing the boyish legs, white,
they are so white, like necks of swans.

The pope in Italian
dreams again he is a young
bomber pilot dropping heavy kisses
backed up in the bomb-bay.

The pope in Italian
hides sullen behind the Golden Chair, carves his
initials there, the fateful date in Roman numerals, and
QUID EST QUOD OMNES PEGGY LEE (Is that all there is, Peggy Lee?) .

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A Map Of Culture

Culture


Contents

What is Culture?

The Importance of Culture

Culture Varies

Culture is Critical

The Sociobiology Debate

Values, Norms, and Social Control

Signs and Symbols

Language

Terms and Definitions

Approaches to the Study of Culture

Are We Prisoners of Our Culture?



What is Culture?


I prefer the definition used by Ian Robertson: 'all the shared products of society: material and nonmaterial' (Our text defines it in somewhat more ponderous terms- 'The totality of learned, socially transmitted behavior. It includes ideas, values, and customs (as well as the sailboats, comic books, and birth control devices) of groups of people' (p.32) .

Back to Contents

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Poem: Will You Travel With Me To Heaven?

When you wake up in the morning
From a dream you think is okay
You see your spouse and family
Get ready for another day


The dream you saw, the things you see
The bed on which you soundly sleep
Your kids all grown up, your husband
And old memories that you keep


Who do you think created them?
Were they created from nothing?
If there is no god who made these
All, then what's the point of living?


D'you think we were made from nothing
Then from nothing we live for fun
To eat and drink, to love and hate
Then when we die, what comes is none?

The eyes with which your body sees
Those sockets that keep your eyeballs
The mouth you use for food and speech
The way you answer random calls


The languages you use to speak
And another –your mother tongue-
The way you carry yourself, and
How you breathe through your heart and lungs


The muscles that stretch when you smile
Your friends who often make you laugh
The words you try to understand
And how you sign your name so fast


Your kids who once stayed in your womb
The months you carried them in you
Your feelings when you saw their first
Walk and when they smile back at you


The food you eat and cook each day
The rainfalls that fall from above
The earth you walk on each night and

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Nazim Hikmet

Gioconda And Si-Ya-U

to the memory of my friend SI-YA-U,
whose head was cut off in Shanghai

A CLAIM

Renowned Leonardo's
world-famous
"La Gioconda"
has disappeared.
And in the space
vacated by the fugitive
a copy has been placed.

The poet inscribing
the present treatise
knows more than a little
about the fate
of the real Gioconda.
She fell in love
with a seductive
graceful youth:
a honey-tongued
almond-eyed Chinese
named SI-YA-U.
Gioconda ran off
after her lover;
Gioconda was burned
in a Chinese city.

I, Nazim Hikmet,
authority
on this matter,
thumbing my nose at friend and foe
five times a day,
undaunted,
claim
I can prove it;
if I can't,
I'll be ruined and banished
forever from the realm of poesy.

1928


Part One
Excerpts from Gioconda's Diary

15 March 1924: Paris, Louvre Museum

At last I am bored with the Louvre Museum.

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Washed Away Under Work Loads

artists feel frustrated
when achieving not
when producing art not
not realizing images
in shifting vision mind

artists should
be producing art
no time for cooking
no time for cleaning
no time for hair cut

artists should not
not be able to keep up
with fermenting ideas
rain weather changes
haunting wake up calls

not creating art
is wasting artistic souls
is wasting artistic lives
in dry season droughts
withering artistic minds

work income human activities
life necessity farming for wages
dependent on salary climates
fifty sixty wage slave hours
is change devastating for artists

this drought no time for artistic activities
is crop failure starvation of artistic minds
leading to artistic suffering on massive scales
droughts are caused by lack of fertility rains
extended over long periods of wage slave times

slight brief rains slight artistic showers
is normality artistic not enough spring rains
to ground absorb artistic evaporated minds
artist is dehydrated lacking soul rejuvenations
plants animals need sustaining life waters

artists need self generated creativity waters
least art dies death of artistic dehydrations
art is main ingredient in artistic food chains
plants die from lack of water therefore animals
eating these plants will also die in drought cycles

artists true artists deprived of art wither drought dies
in mind soul lacking artistic flowering rejuvenations

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Eighth Book

ONE eve it happened when I sate alone,
Alone upon the terrace of my tower,
A book upon my knees, to counterfeit
The reading that I never read at all,
While Marian, in the garden down below,
Knelt by the fountain (I could just hear thrill
The drowsy silence of the exhausted day)
And peeled a new fig from that purple heap
In the grass beside her,–turning out the red
To feed her eager child, who sucked at it
With vehement lips across a gap of air
As he stood opposite, face and curls a-flame
With that last sun-ray, crying, 'give me, give,'
And stamping with imperious baby-feet,
(We're all born princes)–something startled me,–
The laugh of sad and innocent souls, that breaks
Abruptly, as if frightened at itself;
'Twas Marian laughed. I saw her glance above
In sudden shame that I should hear her laugh,
And straightway dropped my eyes upon my book,
And knew, the first time, 'twas Boccaccio's tales,
The Falcon's,–of the lover who for love
Destroyed the best that loved him. Some of us
Do it still, and then we sit and laugh no more.
Laugh you, sweet Marian! you've the right to laugh,
Since God himself is for you, and a child!
For me there's somewhat less,–and so, I sigh.

The heavens were making room to hold the night,
The sevenfold heavens unfolding all their gates
To let the stars out slowly (prophesied
In close-approaching advent, not discerned),
While still the cue-owls from the cypresses
Of the Poggio called and counted every pulse
Of the skyey palpitation. Gradually
The purple and transparent shadows slow
Had filled up the whole valley to the brim,
And flooded all the city, which you saw
As some drowned city in some enchanted sea,
Cut off from nature,–drawing you who gaze,
With passionate desire, to leap and plunge,
And find a sea-king with a voice of waves,
And treacherous soft eyes, and slippery locks
You cannot kiss but you shall bring away
Their salt upon your lips. The duomo-bell
Strikes ten, as if it struck ten fathoms down,
So deep; and fifty churches answer it
The same, with fifty various instances.
Some gaslights tremble along squares and streets
The Pitti's palace-front is drawn in fire:

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Seventh Book

'THE woman's motive? shall we daub ourselves
With finding roots for nettles? 'tis soft clay
And easily explored. She had the means,
The moneys, by the lady's liberal grace,
In trust for that Australian scheme and me,
Which so, that she might clutch with both her hands,
And chink to her naughty uses undisturbed,
She served me (after all it was not strange,;
'Twas only what my mother would have done)
A motherly, unmerciful, good turn.

'Well, after. There are nettles everywhere,
But smooth green grasses are more common still;
The blue of heaven is larger than the cloud;
A miller's wife at Clichy took me in
And spent her pity on me,–made me calm
And merely very reasonably sad.
She found me a servant's place in Paris where
I tried to take the cast-off life again,
And stood as quiet as a beaten ass
Who, having fallen through overloads, stands up
To let them charge him with another pack.

'A few months, so. My mistress, young and light,
Was easy with me, less for kindness than
Because she led, herself, an easy time
Betwixt her lover and her looking-glass,
Scarce knowing which way she was praised the most.
She felt so pretty and so pleased all day
She could not take the trouble to be cross,
But sometimes, as I stooped to tie her shoe,
Would tap me softly with her slender foot
Still restless with the last night's dancing in't,
And say 'Fie, pale-face! are you English girls
'All grave and silent? mass-book still, and Lent?
'And first-communion colours on your cheeks,
'Worn past the time for't? little fool, be gay!'
At which she vanished, like a fairy, through
A gap of silver laughter.
'Came an hour
When all went otherwise. She did not speak,
But clenched her brows, and clipped me with her eyes
As if a viper with a pair of tongs,
Too far for any touch, yet near enough
To view the writhing creature,–then at last,
'Stand still there, in the holy Virgin's name,
'Thou Marian; thou'rt no reputable girl,
'Although sufficient dull for twenty saints!
'I think thou mock'st me and my house,' she said;
'Confess thou'lt be a mother in a month,

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Old Pictures in Florence

I

The morn when first it thunders in March,
The eel in the pond gives a leap, they say:
As I leaned and looked over the aloed arch
Of the villa-gate this warm March day,

No flash snapped, no dumb thunder rolled
In the valley beneath where, white and wide
And washed by the morning water-gold,
Florence lay out on the mountain-side.

II

River and bridge and street and square
Lay mine, as much at my beck and call,
Through the live translucent bath of air,
As the sights in a magic crystal ball.
And of all I saw and of all I praised,
The most to praise and the best to see
Was the startling bell-tower Giotto raised:
But why did it more than startle me?

III

Giotto, how, with that soul of yours,
Could you play me false who loved you so?
Some slights if a certain heart endures
Yet it feels, I would have your fellows know!
I' faith, I perceive not why I should care
To break a silence that suits them best,
But the thing grows somewhat hard to bear
When I find a Giotto join the rest.

IV

On the arch where olives overhead
Print the blue sky with twig and leaf,
(That sharp-curled leaf which they never shed)
'Twixt the aloes, I used to lean in chief,
And mark through the winter afternoons,
By a gift God grants me now and then,
In the mild decline of those suns like moons,
Who walked in Florence, besides her men.

V

They might chirp and chaffer, come and go
For pleasure or profit, her men alive—
My business was hardly with them, I trow,

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Our God is a God of mercy and of grace. (Gerald Albright's Kicking it up #6)

God, I just do not understand why
You treat me so good everyday.
In spite of all of my sins and all of my mistakes,
You are still good to me.
Yes, you are; my God really is.

My God is so wonderful.
He has provided for all of my needs.
He created the sun to shine brightly everyday.
God has supplied the very air that I breathe.
Yes, He does.

My God is so good to me each day.
He has provided for all of my needs.
God sends out the cooling invisible breeze.
He produced all of the food that I eat.
Yes he does; now help me say it.

Our God is a God of mercy.
He truly deserves all of our praise.
Our God is a God of mercy and of grace.
O’ Yes, I know that our God is.

Our God is a God of mercy.
He wakes us up every single day.
Our God is a God of mercy and of grace.
O’ Yes, I know that our God is.

My God is so wonderful.
He provides me with His grace each day.
All I need to do is confess my sins to Him,
He has promised to forgive every one.
Yes, He does.
All that God has ask me to do
Is give to Him all of my praise every day.
By the life that I have chosen to live
I must show the world that my God is.
Now open your mouth and help me praise Him.

Our God is a God of mercy.
He truly deserves all of our praise.
Our God is a God of mercy and of grace.
O’ Yes, I know that our God is.

Our God is a God of mercy.
He wakes us up every single day.
Our God is a God of mercy and of grace.
O’ Yes, I know that our God is.

Our God is a God of mercy and of grace.

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Michaelangelo

(Emmylou Harris/Rodney Crowell)
Last night I dreamed about you
I dreamed that you were older
You were looking like Picasso
With a scar across your shoulder
You were kneeling by the river
You were digging up the bodies
Buried long ago
Michelangelo
Last night I dreamed about you
I dreamed you were a pilgrim
On a highway out alone to find
The mother of your children
Who were still unborn and waiting
In the wings of some desire
Abandoned long ago
Michelangelo
Were you there at Armageddon
Was Paris really burning
Could I have been the one to pull you
From the point of no returning
And did I hear you calling out my name
Or was it forgotten long ago
Michelangelo
Last night I dreamed about you
I dreamed that you were riding
On a blood red painted pony
Up where the heavens were dividing
And the angels turned to ashes
You came tumbling with them to earth
So Far below
Michelangelo
Last night I dreamed about you
I dreamed that you were dying
In a field of thorn and roses
With a hawk about you crying
For the warrior slain in battle
From an arrow driven deep inside you
Long ago
Michelangelo
Did you suffer at the end
Would there be no one to remember
Did you banish all the old ghosts
With the terms of surrender
And could you hear me calling out your name
Well I guess that I will never know
Michelangelo
Last night I dreamed about you
I dreamed that you were weeping
And your tears poured down like diamonds

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Jubilate Agno: Fragment B, Part 2

LET PETER rejoice with the MOON FISH who keeps up the life in the waters by night.

Let Andrew rejoice with the Whale, who is array'd in beauteous blue and is a combination of bulk and activity.

Let James rejoice with the Skuttle-Fish, who foils his foe by the effusion of his ink.

Let John rejoice with Nautilus who spreads his sail and plies his oar, and the Lord is his pilot.

Let Philip rejoice with Boca, which is a fish that can speak.

Let Bartholomew rejoice with the Eel, who is pure in proportion to where he is found and how he is used.

Let Thomas rejoice with the Sword-Fish, whose aim is perpetual and strength insuperable.

Let Matthew rejoice with Uranoscopus, whose eyes are lifted up to God.

Let James the less, rejoice with the Haddock, who brought the piece of money for the Lord and Peter.

Let Jude bless with the Bream, who is of melancholy from his depth and serenity.

Let Simon rejoice with the Sprat, who is pure and innumerable.

Let Matthias rejoice with the Flying-Fish, who has a part with the birds, and is sublimity in his conceit.

Let Stephen rejoice with Remora -- The Lord remove all obstacles to his glory.

Let Paul rejoice with the Scale, who is pleasant and faithful!, like God's good ENGLISHMAN.

Let Agrippa, which is Agricola, rejoice with Elops, who is a choice fish.

Let Joseph rejoice with the Turbut, whose capture makes the poor fisher-man sing.

Let Mary rejoice with the Maid -- blessed be the name of the immaculate CONCEPTION.

Let John, the Baptist, rejoice with the Salmon -- blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus for infant Baptism.

Let Mark rejoice with the Mullet, who is John Dore, God be gracious to him and his family.

Let Barnabus rejoice with the Herring -- God be gracious to the Lord's fishery.

Let Cleopas rejoice with the Mackerel, who cometh in a shoal after a leader.

Let Abiud of the Lord's line rejoice with Murex, who is good and of a precious tincture.

Let Eliakim rejoice with the Shad, who is contemned in his abundance.

Let Azor rejoice with the Flounder, who is both of the sea and of the river,

Let Sadoc rejoice with the Bleak, who playeth upon the surface in the Sun.

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VII. Pompilia

I am just seventeen years and five months old,
And, if I lived one day more, three full weeks;
'T is writ so in the church's register,
Lorenzo in Lucina, all my names
At length, so many names for one poor child,
—Francesca Camilla Vittoria Angela
Pompilia Comparini,—laughable!
Also 't is writ that I was married there
Four years ago: and they will add, I hope,
When they insert my death, a word or two,—
Omitting all about the mode of death,—
This, in its place, this which one cares to know,
That I had been a mother of a son
Exactly two weeks. It will be through grace
O' the Curate, not through any claim I have;
Because the boy was born at, so baptized
Close to, the Villa, in the proper church:
A pretty church, I say no word against,
Yet stranger-like,—while this Lorenzo seems
My own particular place, I always say.
I used to wonder, when I stood scarce high
As the bed here, what the marble lion meant,
With half his body rushing from the wall,
Eating the figure of a prostrate man—
(To the right, it is, of entry by the door)
An ominous sign to one baptized like me,
Married, and to be buried there, I hope.
And they should add, to have my life complete,
He is a boy and Gaetan by name—
Gaetano, for a reason,—if the friar
Don Celestine will ask this grace for me
Of Curate Ottoboni: he it was
Baptized me: he remembers my whole life
As I do his grey hair.

All these few things
I know are true,—will you remember them?
Because time flies. The surgeon cared for me,
To count my wounds,—twenty-two dagger-wounds,
Five deadly, but I do not suffer much—
Or too much pain,—and am to die to-night.

Oh how good God is that my babe was born,
—Better than born, baptized and hid away
Before this happened, safe from being hurt!
That had been sin God could not well forgive:
He was too young to smile and save himself.
When they took two days after he was born,
My babe away from me to be baptized
And hidden awhile, for fear his foe should find,—

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Renaissance Eyes

(don dixon)
Are you alone, renaissance eyes
I wont tell my family stolen from, renaissance eyes
Is theat your car, renaissance eyes, yeah
Have you ever taken dancing lessons, renaissance eyes
Chorus:
Drench you in a passion
And dress you with a passion
Though the vision haunts you
Im the one who wants you to love me with those eyes
Love me with those eyes
Oh, is that you car, renaissance eyes
I once had a car but it was stolen, renaissance eyes
Tell me you name, renaissance eyes
Do you ever think about the future, renaissance eyes
Chorus
Oh spend my days with her copies Ive collected
All my nights, all my nights with a sliver screen
Nothing wrong with the way that I respect her
Shes more than an, more than an ordinary queen
Chorus
When the days are short
And the nights are long
And I wait for you to love me with those eyes
Love me with those eyes, eyes, eyes
Love me with those eyes, eyes
Love me with those eyes

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Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau, Saviour of Society

Epigraph

Υδραν φονεύσας, μυρίων τ᾽ ἄλλων πόνων
διῆλθον ἀγέλας . . .
τὸ λοίσθιον δὲ τόνδ᾽ ἔτλην τάλας πόνον,
. . . δῶμα θριγκῶσαι κακοῖς.

I slew the Hydra, and from labour pass'd
To labour — tribes of labours! Till, at last,
Attempting one more labour, in a trice,
Alack, with ills I crowned the edifice.

You have seen better days, dear? So have I
And worse too, for they brought no such bud-mouth
As yours to lisp "You wish you knew me!" Well,
Wise men, 't is said, have sometimes wished the same,
And wished and had their trouble for their pains.
Suppose my Œdipus should lurk at last
Under a pork-pie hat and crinoline,
And, latish, pounce on Sphynx in Leicester Square?
Or likelier, what if Sphynx in wise old age,
Grown sick of snapping foolish people's heads,
And jealous for her riddle's proper rede, —
Jealous that the good trick which served the turn
Have justice rendered it, nor class one day
With friend Home's stilts and tongs and medium-ware,—
What if the once redoubted Sphynx, I say,
(Because night draws on, and the sands increase,
And desert-whispers grow a prophecy)
Tell all to Corinth of her own accord.
Bright Corinth, not dull Thebes, for Lais' sake,
Who finds me hardly grey, and likes my nose,
And thinks a man of sixty at the prime?
Good! It shall be! Revealment of myself!
But listen, for we must co-operate;
I don't drink tea: permit me the cigar!
First, how to make the matter plain, of course —
What was the law by which I lived. Let 's see:
Ay, we must take one instant of my life
Spent sitting by your side in this neat room:
Watch well the way I use it, and don't laugh!
Here's paper on the table, pen and ink:
Give me the soiled bit — not the pretty rose!
See! having sat an hour, I'm rested now,
Therefore want work: and spy no better work
For eye and hand and mind that guides them both,
During this instant, than to draw my pen
From blot One — thus — up, up to blot Two — thus —
Which I at last reach, thus, and here's my line
Five inches long and tolerably straight:

[...] Read more

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The Door Of Humility

ENGLAND
We lead the blind by voice and hand,
And not by light they cannot see;
We are not framed to understand
The How and Why of such as He;

But natured only to rejoice
At every sound or sign of hope,
And, guided by the still small voice,
In patience through the darkness grope;

Until our finer sense expands,
And we exchange for holier sight
The earthly help of voice and hands,
And in His light behold the Light.

I

Let there be Light! The self-same Power
That out of formless dark and void
Endued with life's mysterious dower
Planet, and star, and asteroid;

That moved upon the waters' face,
And, breathing on them His intent,
Divided, and assigned their place
To, ocean, air, and firmament;

That bade the land appear, and bring
Forth herb and leaf, both fruit and flower,
Cattle that graze, and birds that sing,
Ordained the sunshine and the shower;

That, moulding man and woman, breathed
In them an active soul at birth
In His own image, and bequeathed
To them dominion over Earth;

That, by whatever is, decreed
His Will and Word shall be obeyed,
From loftiest star to lowliest seed;-
The worm and me He also made.

And when, for nuptials of the Spring
With Summer, on the vestal thorn
The bridal veil hung flowering,
A cry was heard, and I was born.

II

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Artistic

Artistic
It's artistic
Grace in your movement
Is artistic.

Artistic
It's artistic
Sweetness in your voice
Is artistic.

Artistic
It's artistic
Gleam in your eye
Is artistic.

I'm filled with inspiration
In my dormant artistic pursuit...

With brush in hand
I'll paint your every move

With hidden treasure of words
I'll weave poems of what you say

And I'll move as you command
By the gleam of your eye.

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I Saw It Myself (Short Verse Drama)

Dramatis Personae: Adrian, his wife Ester, his sisters Rebecca and Johanna, his mother Elizabeth, the high priest Chiapas, the disciple Simon Peter, the disciple John, Mary Magdalene, worshipers, priests, two angels and Jesus Christ.

Act I

Scene I.- Adrian’s house in Jerusalem. Adrian has just returned home after a business journey in Galilee, in time to attend the Passover feast. He sits at the table with his wife Ester and his sisters, Rebecca and Johanna. It’s just before sunset on the Friday afternoon.

Adrian. (Somewhat puzzled) Strange things are happening,
some say demons dwell upon the earth,
others angelic beings, miracles take place
and all of this when they had put a man to death,
had crucified a criminal. Everybody knows
the cross is used for degenerates only!

Rebecca. (With a pleasant voice) Such harsh words used,
for a good, a great man brother?
They say that without charge
he healed the sick, brought back sight,
cured leprosy, even made some more food,
from a few fishes and loafs of bread…

Adrian. (Somewhat harsh) They say many things!
That he rode into Jerusalem
to be crowned as the new king,
was a rebel against the state,
even claimed to be
the very Son of God,
now that is blasphemy
if there is no truth to it!

Johanna. I met him once.
He’s not the man
that you make him, brother.
There was a strange tranquilly to Him.
Some would say a divine presence,
while He spoke of love that is selfless,
visited the sick, the poor
and even the destitute, even harlots.

Adrian. (Looks up) There you have it!
Harlots! Tax collecting thieves!
A man is know by his friends,
or so they say and probably
there is some truth to it.

Ester. Husband, do not be so quick to judge.
I have seen Him myself, have seen
Roman soldiers marching Him to the hill
to take His life, with a angry crowd
following and mocking Him.

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