Re: Death Once Dead, there's No More Dieing Then-Shakespeare

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Just popping in
From: George Town Tasmania Australia
Posts: 16
I write here of a larger context for grief and suffering:

"The idea of modern total war," writes sociologist Robert Nisbet, "was born in the famous decree of the National Convention, August 23, 1793." This decree resulted in the creation of a mass army, a citizen army, the first in human history in France. Karl von Clausewitz's book On War followed forty years after. Clausewitz wrote, according to Nisbet, "the single most influential book written in modern times on war" in the years 1817 to 1827. On War, a book on strategy and tactics, on the philosophy of war and the relation between society and the individual, was begun one hundred years before another book on war, a spiritual war, The Tablets of the Divine Plan. In 1793, too, Shaykh Ahmad left his home in Bahrain to begin the process of that spiritual, that total war, a war of quite a different character, characterized in those Tablets by what you might call 'a military metaphor.'-Ron Price with thanks to Robert Nisbet, The Social Philosophers: Community and Conflict in Western Thought, Heinemann, London, 1973, p.70.

Sharper than blades of steel
and hotter than summer heat,
placed somewhere inside,
pervasive, subtle, natural
as the weather, unassuming,
unobtrusive, you'd never know
or guess that this was war.
Reposing on that green,
Isle of Faithfulness
in that place of honour
in the central square,
a crystal concentrate
of exquiste power---
slowly the people came,
citizens from everywhere,
feeling its intolerable beauty,
growing accustomed to its ways.
This was no temperate, limited
engagement, no indecisive contest,
a gentle war, silent, you would not
have called it war or death, but life,
ideal forces, lordly confirmations,
rushing from hidden ramparts,
strong fortifications,
impregnable castles
razed to the ground,
the lines of the legions
breaking through,
breaking through.

1 October 2002


In the first months of my pioneering experience, September to December 1962, I seemed to gravitate to solitude and introspection. There has been a vein of this tendency to the private throughout these past forty years. And now that I am retired from the world of employment, have far less community responsibilities than in earlier years and have developed a proclivity for writing poetry, I can give this predisposition to the solitary a full run with rich inner satisfactions. This morning I was reading about John Keats, Robert Owen and 'the war poets' and their propensity for isolation from other men. The feeling of great fellowship with the poets of history was a strong part of their inner attitude.

Keats, some say, was burnt up by his own imagination; Owen was destroyed by war; Hardy lost the little optimism he had left. Classical culture and Christianity were not enough for these poets, not enough to build their poetic philosophy upon. Many of these war poets died young. Many required a period of study, intercourse with kindred spirits and isolation. I have had my study, my intercourse with the poets of old and with everyday man; and I have had my isolation: now it is my pleasure to write. As Owen said in a letter to his mother: The tugs have left me. I feel a great swelling of the open sea taking my galleon. It's about time after forty years of pioneering. -Ron Price, Notes on the War Poets, Thornlie Campus SEMC, Thornlie WA, 1994.

This is a letter I will probably never mail(and I never did) but I must write it anyway to get a few things off my chest. I suppose what I write was precipitated by watching a recent movie Saving Private Ryan, starring Tom Hanks. The movie showed, possibly better than any has since movies started their journey a hundred years ago, the horror of war. With the aid of the best in sound technology and cinematography and a gripping storyline the eyes, the ears and the emotions were mixed and stirred as they never have before in a war movie. As is so often the case with film, description was wonderful; analysis was lacking. The audience was left, as it so often is, to figure out the whys and wherefores.

This letter, as a result of the intensity and emotion of the film, may be equally intense, overly emotive, over-the-top as they say in Australia. But I trust this letter will convey a slice of truth as did the movie. Some notes, some musical themes, in this poetic autobiography that I send in the form of booklets of poetry like this one, are created and played for the listening ear of a future reader whom I have in my mind

Posted on 2007/3/16 12:04

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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