Have fun my dear, my dear, have fun–Hafiz
I have conversed with the spiritual Sun. I saw him on Primrose Hill—William Blake
Our news from London and Paris and those who “converse” with the sun on how to live a life. In the shadow of Notre Dame Cathedral, a stone’s throw from Shakespeare & Co., the bookstore which nurtured, indulged, saved, and launched what turned out to be great writers, and the marvelous and really important thing was that they are not acclaimed writers at the time, they were wannabes, perhaps, just struggling and ambitious and uncertain and outrageous people with writing and books and art on their minds, looking for their peoples—and doing things strangely–it was a center where such types could convene, a kind of home, and that’s what it still is today, rooms and rooms of battered splattered and new books, milling writers from around the world, where you as an emergent writer today can stay in a loft upstairs, continuing the tradition of support for literary artists, and from this vantage, we glance across the blue celery river, and we reflect on Notre Dame Cathedral, what inspired not only Victor Hugo to play his literary blues on these towers, his beloved prophetic hunchback, but Sir Christopher Wren –what turned him into Sir Christopher Wren really, to imagine St. Paul’s Cathedral, London’s “eye-conic” structure, literally by Shakespeare and company, and the visionary artists in the basement of St. Paul’s Cathedral, whose own crypts flock round his corner of bones like angels, which 2 brings us to the fierce joys and demands on our delighted souls, our charged consciences, for how to live our life, that’s why we care about poetry, isn’t it—the question Joseph Conrad states, the question is not to be or not to be so much as how to be—visions of William Blake, Sir Peter Shaffer, Hafiz, Joyce Cary, Shelley, and even—yes, T.S. Eliot, and James Joyce, they’re about serious joy, serious about possible and necessary joy, and it’s all about the struggle with anything that weighs us down, constricts our spirits, out of the infinity of things that do that in harried and sorrowful and stressed lives. We can try to be little, unnoticed, on the down-low, hide, cower. Or we can rise, rise like the sun, so let’s, let us arise and go now—did you know Shakespeare coined “arouse”—let us go then, you and I, let us arise and go now, let’s go straight into morning, half past morning on an autumn day, sun like an orange in a fried fish shop, so says W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Joyce Cary’s Gulley Jimson, high on Blake, walking along the Thames, and so say I, for our Poetry Slow Down, making the morning last—slow down, you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last, just kickin down the cobblestones–, because you know you move too fast! And we’re talking about how to live like it’s morning, I’m Professor Barbara Mossberg, live here from the Paris Lyric, in the Second Arrondissement, and we’re produced by Mr. Zappa Johns, making it work for radiomonterey.com, podcast at barbaramossberg.com, thank you for joining me in a little jet lagged meditations on not just how to live but how to enjoy.
© Barbara Mossberg
September 4, 2016