Charlotte Bronte – Life

LIFE, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
O why lament its fall?
Rapidly, merrily,
Life’s sunny hours flit by,
Gratefully, cheerily
Enjoy them as they fly!
What though Death at times steps in,
And calls our Best away?
What though sorrow seems to win,
O’er hope, a heavy sway?
Yet Hope again elastic springs,
Unconquered, though she fell;
Still buoyant are her golden wings,
Still strong to bear us well.
Manfully, fearlessly,
The day of trial bear,
For gloriously, victoriously,
Can courage quell despair!

Charlotte Bronte

on Gaddafi

A few days ago a mate of mine put his facebook status as:

“This might not be popular of me, but I think Gaddafi (evil though he was) should have got a fair trial rather than just beaten to death…”

it had a fair amount of likes and a number of comments, most in agreement, including one saying that it would have given some answers regarding Lockerbie, the IRA etc.  I was going to comment but seemed to be going against the flow of everyone else.
Whilst I agree with the sentiment I really struggle to see what a trial, fair or otherwise, would achieve for either Gaddafi or the Libyan people.  I sincerely doubt that any answers about Lockerbie or the IRA would have been forthcoming.  Found in a drain, allegedly offering gold in order to be let go, the Mad Dog was hardly offering to come quietly, contrite and ready to renounce all he had done in his time at the top.

To me, any answers that Gaddafi did provide should have been first and foremost for the Libyan people, who had suffered under his regime.

What I struggled with though was the images of him splashed all over the news websites and internet.  The Guardian in particular showed the pictures in their blog as they came in, with an apology underneath, after you had already taken in his bloody face,  that it was a pretty gruesome picture..  From what I understand having pictures of corpses is more commonplace in non-western press, but for me I still couldn’t quite get used to looking at what was quite probably a corpse, to the point where I just stopped reading the updates.  It didn’t help that although no one could confim if he was alive or not, they could tell us that he had a golden pistol.

So, while I think he should have been called to account for his crimes, he died in the manner in which he lived, and I would be interested to know how many people who commented on that facebook status would still feel the same compassion had they lived under his rule for 40 years.

Edward Thomas – October

The green elm with the one great bough of gold
Lets leaves into the grass slip, one by one, —
The short hill grass, the mushrooms small milk-white,
Harebell and scabious and tormentil,
That blackberry and gorse, in dew and sun,
Bow down to; and the wind travels too light
To shake the fallen birch leaves from the fern;
The gossamers wander at their own will.
At heavier steps than birds’ the squirrels scold.
The rich scene has grown fresh again and new
As Spring and to the touch is not more cool
Than it is warm to the gaze; and now I might
As happy be as earth is beautiful,
Were I some other or with earth could turn
In alternation of violet and rose,
Harebell and snowdrop, at their season due,
And gorse that has no time not to be gay.
But if this be not happiness, — who knows?
Some day I shall think this a happy day,
And this mood by the name of melancholy
Shall no more blackened and obscured be.

Edward Thomas

John Keats – Ode to Autumn

As the cold weather sets in, a bit belatedly, here’s John Keats Ode to Autumn
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,-
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Inspiration Information

Quite unashamedly nicking the title of the great club night run by Phil Asher and Patrick Forge; I wanted to do some posts on some of my favourite and inspiring people, both present and historical, who I would most love to meet and chat to.

I have a fairly short list so far, but there are others I will probably add to it as time goes by:

Maxi Jazz
Hernando Cortes
Admiral Cochrane
Mary Kingsley
Jorge Ben Jor
Jorge Amado
David Attenborough

A bit of a heavy Latin American twist in there, but it’s an area of the world that I love and whose history and culture fascinates me.
First up Maxi Jazz…coming soon