Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Price of Experience


What is the price of experience?  Do men buy it for a song?
Or for illuminated verse, unmetered, unrhymed and long?
Can wisdom be found in the apostrophe truncating
Cascading lines that wand'r contemplating?
Can a poem bridle life's urgent restrictions,
In hand-written text or illustrat'd editions?
No! For truth to emerge, it must puncture the skin
And grind down the slave from without, not within.
Wisdom is gain'd in forests, not of simile but trees.
But for song, sketch or haircut one can buy expertise.

CALLOUS, n.  Reality, metaphorically.

20 comments:

Minka said...

songs of innocence and experience. Blake. Well done.

Since your verse is metred, rhymed and short, I take it you did find that the journey from innocence to experience is not a one -way street,nor is it the only one, nor is there one way of driving-ask the Brits!- metaphorically speaking of course.

callous, somethign worth removing

Omnipotent Poobah said...

callous - The thick skin of the uncaring.

The Old Mule said...

callous: a circle around the sun.

the amoeba said...

CALLOUS, n. Having made the acquaintance of Outrageous Fortune, often enough to be toughened against her hand weapons, but not so well that she learns of the toughening and reaches for a bazooka.

Or a wildfire. We trust that you're not posting from a fallout shelter ...

Nessa said...

Callous: A disease cured at the plastic surgeon's office with lasers or with a prescription from a shrink.

pia said...

Yes Doug can see you with calloused mind and body posting from a homeland security shelter

AP3 said...

Thinking of you and hoping you're not in the midst of a horrible experience.

G said...

Boy that Omnipotent One sure comes up with some gems.

I remember a FarSide cartoon I think, "The Callous Sophisticate".

I'll have to google that.

TLP said...

Callouses are lice from California.

tsduff said...

TLP - brilliant!

Callous - One who is impervious to the begging eyes of their dog.

You're poem is great - and I love the picture even more.

actonbell said...

Great poem! Is that guy in the picture trying to catch a falling star? That'll give him a callous.

Thanks for the update:)

jewrlz--back to work tomorrow

Minka said...

wow, you added that picture after I came along. Beautiful. By who is it? Blake?

the amoeba said...

Minka, the pic is indeed by Blake. look here.

cooper said...

callous, n.
What one becomes when the eye of the hurricane and the world passes.

Are you free of danger?

I hear that with no national guard, or equipment things are a little dicey there.

Jamie Dawn said...

My son has many callouses from many, many hours of guitar playing. Those are his battle scars for greatness.

Nice poem for today. Made me think which is a good thing, I think.

mireille said...

"For truth to emerge, it must puncture the skin..."

Wow, that is good. Really, really good. And so much more effective if the skin is thick.

xoxo

The OE said...

Callous: A promise to make a telephone call later, usually spoken by an Italian from Brooklyn

Doug said...

Minka, can you ask a Brit anything without metaphor?

Poobah, I prefer "differently concerned."

Mule, thank you for reminding me who the real poet is round here.

Amoeba, I posted from the 26th floor of a hotel, but if it helps, I rescued an orphan in the elevator.

Nessa, stay away from lazers and shrinks. Got it.

Pia, I don' need no steenkeeng badges!

Thanks, Aral. Actually the room service was warm at best.

G, that sounds fun. Does he know William Blake?

TLP, I prefer "Peciophiliic-American"

Terry, William Blake is just a wonder. I would see through his eyes.

Actonbell, it sure would. It's the ghost of a flea, a la Blake.

Right, Minka, see Amoeba's link.

OC, Thanks, pard.

Cooper, I was fortunate not to need the national guard. They mace me every time.

Jamie Dawn, making you think is no accomplishment. If you were thinking about something besides your family and truffles then I'm sort of proud.

Mireille, it goes all the way down to the stone.

OE, you tawkin' to me?

Doug said...

Cliff's Note Times:

Here is Blake's The Price of Experience:

What is the price of experience? Do men buy it for a song?
Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No, it is bought with the price
Of all a man hath, his house, his wife, his children.
Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy,
And in the wither'd field where the farmer plows for bread in vain.

It is an easy thing to triumph in the summer's sun
And in the vintage and to sing on the waggon loaded with corn.
It is an easy thing to talk of prudence to the afflicted,
To speak the laws of prudence to the houseless wanderer,
To listen to the hungry raven's cry in wintry season
When the red blood is fill'd with wine and with the marrow of lambs.

It is an easy thing to laugh at wrathful elements,
To hear the dog howl at the wintry door, the ox in the slaughterhouse moan;
To see a god on every wind and a blessing on every blast;
To hear sounds of love in the thunder-storm and destroys our enemies' house;
To rejoice in the blight that covers his field, and the sickness that cuts off his children,
While our olive and vine sing and laugh round our door, and our children bring fruits and flowers.

Then the groan and the dolour are quite forgotten, and the slave grinding at the mill,
And the captive in chains, and the poor in the prison, and the soldier in the field
When the shatter'd bone hath laid him groaning among the happier dead.
It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity:
Thus could I sing and thus rejoice: but it is not so with me.

Minka said...

cliff note time was good to have. Also thanks to OC for his link to the painting, I absolutely did not see what the owner of that blog described.

For me the painting represents the tiny blood-sucking insect of man, viewing himself as the giant at the center of the universe, although it seems that the universe is placed within the constraints of his own home...

I love Blake's title though: "The Ghost of a Flea"