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Discussion of other topics not necessarily Keats or poetry-related, i.e. other authors, literature, film, music, the arts etc.

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Postby Discovery » Thu Feb 09, 2006 11:59 pm

I like the message implied by this little anecdote from Plutarch,

Alexander hopes Diogenes will visit him as many others have, but Diogenes 'contined to live an untroubled life in Craneium, without paying the slightest attention to Alexander, so Alexander paid him a visit and found him relaxing in the sun. Diogenes raised himself up a bit when the huge crowd of people appeared and looked at Alexander , who greeted him and asked him if there was anything he wanted. "Yes", replied Diogenes, "move aside a little, out of my sunlight". The story goes that Alexander was so struck at being held in such contempt, and so impressed with the man's haughty detachment, that while the members of his retinue were ridiculing and mocking Diogenes as they left, he said, "But as for me, if I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes".

Plutarch, Alexander, 14.
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Postby Saturn » Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:10 am

I love this little anecdote too.

It's probably untrue but many of Plutarch's stories were wriiten with a moral in mind, to illustrate a philosophical point, not necessarily to recount what actually happened. He is very entertaining though.

Thanks for sharing that Nathaniel :D
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Saturn » Sat Feb 11, 2006 12:01 am

“…Love’s attack is so precipitous
that life itself all but abandons me:
nothing survives except one lonely spirit,
allowed to live because it speaks of you.
With hope of help to come I gather courage,
and deathly languid, drained of all defences,
I come to you expecting to be healed;
and if I raise my eyes to look at you,
within my heart a tremor starts to spread,
driving out life, stopping my pulses’ beat.”
Dante Alighieri, La Vita Nuova, XVI.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Saturn » Sat Feb 11, 2006 10:52 pm

“Who is to say what is normal in a king? Deferred to, agreed with, acquiesced in.
Who could flourish on such a daily diet of compliance? To be curbed, stood up to, in a
word, thwarted, exercises the character, elasticates the spirit, makes it pliant. It is the
want of such exercise that makes rulers rigid.”
Alan Bennett, The Madness of George III, P 40.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Saturn » Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:10 am

“…one should ruin one’s opponent’s seriousness with laughter and his laughter with seriousness…Irony is more gentlemanly than buffoonery, as the ironical man makes a jest for his own amusement, the buffoon for another’s.”
Aristotle, Rhetoric, Bk. III, 1419b.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Saturn » Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:45 am

Here's Monday and Tuesday's quotes:

“Not to know what happened before you were born is to be a child for ever. What is the life of man unless history binds it to the past?"
Cicero, de oratore 120

“Godlike the man who
sits at her side, who
watches and catches
that laughter
which (softly) tears me
to tatters: nothing is
left of me, each time
I see her…”
Catullus, No. LI.
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Postby Discovery » Wed Feb 15, 2006 3:57 pm

What you said on the 9th about many of Plutarch's stories being written with a moral in mind made me think of a couple of quotes from Aristophanes, which are concerned with the moral obligations of a poet (of course these were very different for a poet in Aristophanes time, but still interesting I think).

Aeschylus: That is the kind of thing a poet should go in for. You see, from the very earliest times the really great poet has been the one who had a useful lesson to teach.

and again...

Aeschylus: No, no, such things do happen. But the poet should keep quiet about them (making reference to themes and stories explored by Euripides), not put them on the stage for everyone to copy. Schoolboys have a master to teach them, grown-ups have the poets. We have a duty to see that what we teach them is right and proper.

Both Aristophanes' Frogs




[/u]
Last edited by Discovery on Wed Feb 15, 2006 4:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Discovery » Wed Feb 15, 2006 4:00 pm

Oh, and I love that quote from Cicero that you posted. I will use it against those who think that history is boring and doesn't matter!
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Postby Saturn » Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:42 pm

This is one of my favourite pieces of poetry and always brings a lump to the throat.

I think everyone can relate to this - lost friends, lovers, family members...

“Alas! they had been friends in Youth;
But whispering tongues can poison truth;
And constancy lives in realms above;
And life is thorny; and youth is vain;
And to be wroth with one we love
Doth work like madness in the brain…
…Each spake words of high disdain
And insult to his heart’s best brother.
They parted – ne’er to meet again!
But neither found another
To free the hollow heart from paining
They stood aloof, the scars remaining,
Like cliffs which had been rent asunder;
A dreary sea now flows between;
But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder,
Shall wholly do away, I ween,
The marks of that which once hath been.”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Christabel Pt.II, 408-13, 416-26.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Saturn » Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:40 pm

I wish I had follwed this advice when I was young :?

“Avoid speculation
about the future; count as credit the days
chance deals; youth should not spurn
the dance or sweet desire;

this is your green time, not your white
and morose. In field or piazza,
now is the proper season for
for trading soft whispers in the dark;

the tell-tale complaisant laugh
of a girl in some secret nook;
the pledge removed from an arm
or a helpfully helpless finger.”
Horace, Odes, ‘Vides ut alta’,Bk. I, IX, 13-24.
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Postby Saturn » Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:34 pm

“…good people are, in their youth, thought by immoral people to be gullible simpletons: they don’t contain within themselves standards of behaviour which are compatible with anything which is bad.”
Plato, Republic, 409a-b.
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Postby Saturn » Sat Feb 18, 2006 10:26 pm

“Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!

Some kill their love when they are young,
And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
The dead so soon grow cold.

Some love too little, some too long,
Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
Yet each man does not die.”
Oscar Wilde, ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Saturn » Mon Feb 20, 2006 11:35 am

“Swift as the feet of Pegasus, Time will gather
All to itself –
All that the sun looks down upon,
From east to west;
All that the blue sea touches
With its morning and its evening tides.

Onward we speed to our fate –
As fast as the twelve signs speeding through the sky,
As the stars’ king turning the cycle of the years,
As Hecate, running her chequered course –
Onward we speed.
To reach the river, by whose name
The gods themselves take oath, that is
To be no more.

As smoke from burning fire floats away,
A quickly vanishing dark smudge;
As clouds, one moment lowering, are dispersed
By cold north winds;
So will this spirit, this master of our being,
Pass away.

There is nothing after death; and death is nothing –
Only the finishing post of life’s short race.
Ambitious, give up your hopes; anxious your fears.
Vast Chaos, and the hungry mouth of Time,
Consume us all.”
Seneca, The Trojan Women, Act II.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Saturn » Mon Feb 20, 2006 10:56 pm

“The languor of Youth – how unique and quintessential it is! How quickly, how irrecoverably, lost! The zest, the generous affections, the illusions, the despair, all the traditional attributes of Youth – all save this – come and go with us through life. These things are a part of life itself; but languor – the relaxation of yet unwearied sinews, the mind sequestered and self-regarding – that belongs to Youth alone and dies with it.”
Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited, Bk. I, Ch. 4.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Saturn » Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:56 pm

“If a ruler is going to pass judgement on the life and existence of a man, who is part of the world and makes up the number of living beings, he ought to reflect long and earnestly, and not be carried away by passion to commit an act that cannot be undone.”
AMMIANIUS MARCELLINUS, Bk. XXIX, 2.18.
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