Re: In Memory of My Father

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Just popping in
Joined:
2005/9/17
From: George Town Tasmania Australia
Posts: 16

Two prose-poems that talk around "the father." It has been a year since I posted my first piece here.


____________________


MY ILLUMINANTS



Virginia Woolf, in an essay on reading a book, gave some useful advice which applies equally to reading poetry. Firstly, reading for the pure love of reading is its own reward and should be done without advice, following our own instincts, reason and conclusions. Secondly, due to the complexity of the art of reading, it requires the rarest imagination, finesse of perception and judgement. Thirdly, our taste, our sympathy, our nerve of sensation, our idiosyncrasy, our sense of intimacy with the poet, these are our illuminants. Fourthly, we should compare what we read with the best that is available in the field. Fifthly, the poet usually makes no claim to be ‘great,’ nor does he see his poetry as a work of art, only the record of a fleeting, a vanished, a forgotten moment in a life, in a faltering and feeble accent, the relic of someone’s days cast out to moulder.-Ron Price with thanks to Virginia Woolf, "How Should One Read A Book?" Gateway to the Great Books, William Benton, toronto, 1963, pp. 5-14.


These fleeting, soon-to-be-forgotten days,


recorded here in diverse ways,


are set out to convey a tone, a mood,


not just bare facts or some common good.


From the years when I was first made,


during that momentous Ten Year Crusade,


to that dark heart of an age of transition


when I felt an overwhelming sense of mission.


And ever onward through a paradigmatic shift


when I began to enjoy through His grace that gift:


to interpret, to console, to sustain, to kindle my soul,


to delight, to help me define and understand my goal.


I laid it all beside His word and forms,


brought it all together fresh as early morns.


Through the darkest hours before the dawn,


I had a light to guide me until the storm had gone.


Ron Price


15 November 2000


REWRITING THE NARRATIVE OF THE SELF

Before the first years of my pioneering in the early sixties, in my late teens, it was broadly expected that a man would get married and support a wife; anyone who did not do so was regarded as in some way suspect. During these past four decades many men, millions of them in the West, became wary of being drawn into marriage and meeting its economic demands.1 Beginning, perhaps, with the beatniks and hippies, who seemed to scorn the work-ethic and conventional domestic relationships, a formerly patrilineal, nuclear, family slowly developed matrilineal tendencies with the children possessing the major tie to the mother and her family. The father’s role became more periferal, indifferent. The loser, so often in these new arrangements, was the exploited single mother and her children. Sexual experimentation, since these early sixties, led to matrilineal family structures and a high degree of sexual freedom for the male. There was for millions of these people, necessarily, a cognitive and emotional coming to terms with their psychological past, a rewriting of the narrative of self.2

-Ron Price with thanks to 1Linda and John Walbridge, "Baha’i Laws on the Status of Men," World Order, Fall 1984, pp. 34-35; 2Anthony Giddens, The Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality, Love and Eroticism in Modern Societies, Polity Press, 1992, p. 103 and p.151.


 


There have been millions


rewriting their self,


their who and what


they are and were,


then and now,


redefining, reorganizing,


their story. For the story


must go on and only they


could write it; only they


could keep it going


in the face of biological,


social, economic, spiritual


constraints, the sine qua non,


of their lives. And so does my


story go on from those years....


Those inter regnum years1

when we went off to Dundas


and began to create and


consolidate nuclei,


crystallize assemblies,2

all across the land


and then another land,


in diverse theaters,


winning fresh recruits,


slowly yet steadily


during that elongated


prelude—for it has all


been part of that prelude--


before that revolutionizing


and enigmatic mass conversion.3

 



1



2



3


Ron Price


16 January 2000


ibid., p.117. This ‘prelude’ has witnessed ‘entry-by-troops’, a process which began, as far as I know in the decade before I went pioneering, that is, in the Ten Year Crusade: 1953-1963. The first entry-by-troops I know of occurred in Canada among Indian tribes in the prairie provinces. in the mid-1950s. Shoghi Effendi, Citadel of Faith, p.115. term given to the years November 1957 to April 1963 in the history of the Baha’i Faith.





Posted on 2006/12/16 9:34


_________________
I have been married for 37 years. My wife is a Tasmanian, aged 58. We’ve had 3 children: ages in 2005-39, 35 and 28. I am 60, a Canadian who moved to Australia in 1971 and have written 3 books--all available on the internet. I retired from part-time ...


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