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Posts Tagged ‘imagination’

In Imitation of Dante’s Divine Comedy

Much was my confusion simulated
By dream within the life and yet the three
Stood a solemn wake about by the bedstead. 48

‘Why three’, I spoke, ‘and perhaps my soul free
Ranging in his sphere did send you hither
Or unbidden, least on truth shall we agree? 51

Choose what theme, although I may yet gather
from discourse what dreams do speak are fleeting
Its substance being laid neither here nor there’. 54

‘Why three?’, Why not five or one for asking
If you concede soul its circumference
Why settle for form and not unbound nothing? 57

In Conception what form you place summons
shades o’ meaning to which soul is but token,
As windswept clouds can toss pell mell a sense- 60

From shapes the eye will find names well spoken
But the wind casts it spell,- and what you read
Yet will vary, but fall within your ken. 63

The Sibyl spoke truly and she my rede
forestalled with words, ‘Look in your mirror
If we be the three Graces,- you concede 66

So much for the soul, it tells no error-
In the glass what form you would take
Paris must fit and here is our answer: 69

Art must but choose chaos so I would make
Names Raphael Michelangelo but
Two digits o’ selfsame Hand from it rake: 72

And so are we One in three forms strut
Imagination without Hand a lie
And without Art, we,- No more than a slut 75.

(To be continued)

Benny

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How does one define imagination? death defying power given to man. Homer still lives!

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Shakespeare’s life is equated with the Elizabethan Age. Such is his genius. One might wonder how can a young lad with modicum of education, -typical grammar school syllabus with its devotion to Ovid, Bible and Prayer Book , unlike his contemporary Marlow who went to the University, surpass all others to be the representative man of the Age. It is such a serious question that defies a rational answer and many scholars have hazarded a theory to aver Bacon as the real author. As with every theory it has its supporters but literature is not respecter of class or scholarship. It has to smell life in its naturalness, even coarseness has its part. Scholarship can make a horse run to win the Derby but cannot make it fly like Pegasus. Here is the difference between Shakespeare and his rivals. His line trots and when flies it takes our breath away.

So what was the secret of William Shakespeare? I shall come to it by and by. Beginning as a player he became the most celebrated playwright of the Age. It was a time when poets were considered a cut above the players similar to the subtle social distinctions that marked a composer than a flautist in the Baroque Age. He made wise career moves in taking shares of the Lord Chamberlain’s Company at its inception in 1594 and his star rose as with the fortunes of the Company. Its popularity was such its players were elevated to be regarded as the King’s Men on James I accession in 1603. He ended up as part owner of the Blackfriar’s theatre. In short his sound business acumen made him as the Stratford lad who made good in the City of London.

Intelligence he had aplenty as his life in bare essentials would prove. His imagination was of such ethereal quality that he could put words in the mouth of Mercutio and we feel we know Queen Mab as though from direct experience. Never has any one excelled in poetic fancies as shown in the plays like Othello or Antony and Cleopatra. One can imagine it coming out like a single sweep of imagination, theme and coloring adding to the line- richness and vibrancy as the Renaissance palette of a Tintorotto or a Vernese. In the latter play especially ‘his language reaches heights and depths never reached before or excelled since.’

Not poppy, nor mandragora,

Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,

Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep..” (Ot.AcIII sc.3: 330)

Negative capability as defined by John Keats explains the ability of Shakespeare, whose academic credentials were merely rudimentary, to have excelled himself in writing plays that bear his name. The Bard of Avon despite his negative capability made up by exercising his imagination. Such is imagination and it belongs to the inner world.

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How rational mind may lay bare our world in terms of use and purpose is like putting together a newspaper which once read is outdated. Mere facts help one negotiate his world adequately. Shakespeare’s King Lear or Hamlet and Macbeth hold freshness that is beyond fads and facts. Works such as these are drawn by imagination,- or in a manner of speaking, lay bare the truth that animates human soul. Imagination ranging through inner world can give human experience various shades of meaning and reveal them to others. The Bard surpassed himself and his lines consequently acquired beauty and truth to delight great many.

benny

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 I wrote a sci-fi novel where the protagonist a mad scientist found a way to suck out all air from body by injecting a serum. As a result it knocked out oxygen from body:blood in the veins turned to dust, lungs exploded and the patients died agonizing death. In order to bring out the psychic terror I formatted book,- 450 pages of it, from the first to the last page without any space between paragraphs,words, letters.

Oh the horror of thinking it up! Much more was in the horror of injecting my hopped- up imagination into the veins of each sentence and sustaining it as pages  churned one  after the other, and when I wrote finis at the end it was such a relief I leapt to open wide the shuttered windows. My penthouse of the Kiss-the-sky Apts on Steve Canyon Dr. had always its spectacular sunsets and the deep gulches I could look down and look at shoppers crawling like ants. Relief of finishing the book had shot glad oil into my system I almost jumped from my perch in deliriously happy frame.

The clocks from the interior chimed mournfully as a hearse wending its precious cargo, or whatever left of it to its rest.  The spell was broken, readers! I gathered all the pages into a  stack -a scene out of Giotto,- Deposition of Christ from the cross and rang up Bela Lugosi of a literary agent. He read a few pages and shuddered. I guess he had looked almost death in the face and dared not keep at it. He looked at me as though I had an axe bloodied and was practicing my swing at him. In a sweat he beat it. Straight to my publishers, I can vouch for.

The Book at last was out two weeks before Halloween. Whoever lined up to read  a sci-fi didn’t reach the end of the line. One look at the blurb splashed as Dead or Alive poster in the B- western movies had sent them helter-skelter.

The writing experience killed something in me. No more I could look at a page without seeing lines maddening whirl of typefaces marching on a Walpurgis Night. What the hell I lived through a hell of sci-fi that I had lit up.

benny

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1.
Problem of universe is a step into the unknown. Imagination works where Nature is the medium. Between mind and reality it builds a bridge.

2.
Mind compresses and focuses on a specific problem at any time; memory of a smell rides piggyback on Now to the past.
When we look at past with rose-tinted glass we are less harsh as from a wider experience in life; mind can focus only one idea at a time.

3.
Nothing new under the sun; a free-masonry of ideas at the unconscious end and you fit idea rationally to time-space. Mind is a state of awareness.
Here is one to round this post off. Positive intelligence permeates everything from Time-Space framework. If in imagination I make an image and call it God how can you prove me wrong? It merely bridges through evidences I glean in nature. God being Time and Space (Eternal God and Omnipresent) does not need imagination whereas I would need it to serve any given purpose on hand.
Mind as I defined is an awareness and it is called Cosmic Mind. Thus Nebuchadnezzar may dream and Daniel can interpret it to him because the medium is common. The unconscious part of the human brain is the seat of will. We follow our desires and will, and find reasons to justify our actions rationally. In the post of Number Game I mentioned the extra-ordinary way in which late Srinivasa Ramanujan wrote down mathematical functions that came to him in dreams before his death. You find what you seek. His knock on the door of mathematical problems was heard. That is all.
How do we limit our life experience to insignificant level when we dismiss what our conscious mind cannot digest! Instead we should use both parts of our brain to get the best out of life.

I wish you a Happy New Year to you all.
benny

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