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Sunday, 22 September 2019 - 9:51am

Published by Matthew Davidson on Sun, 22/09/2019 - 9:51am in

This week, I have been mostly reading:

Auden

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 16/09/2019 - 2:43am in

Tags 

reading, poetry

The robot, Bender, is adrift in space. His body is populated by 'Shrimpkins'
Bender might say, “Greetings to my yeasts and bacterias”

The picture above is from an episode of Futurama I watched with my boys. The robot, Bender, is adrift in space. His body is populated by ‘Shrimpkins’.

Auden wrote “A New Year Greeting” the year I was born. It was in response to an article entitled, “Life on the Human Skin“. I think it is rather fine.

A New Year Greeting

After an article by Mary J. Marples
in Scientific American, January, 1969

On this day tradition allots
to taking stock of our lives,
my greetings to all of you, Yeasts,
Bacteria, Viruses,
Aerobics and Anaerobics:
A Very Happy New Year
to all for whom my ectoderm
is as Middle-Earth to me.

For creatures your size I offer
a free choice of habitat,
so settle yourselves in the zone
that suits you best, in the pools
of my pores or the tropical
forests of arm-pit and crotch,
in the deserts of my fore-arms,
or the cool woods of my scalp.

Build colonies: I will supply
adequate warmth and moisture,
the sebum and lipids you need,
on condition you never
do me annoy with your presence,
but behave as good guests should,
not rioting into acne
or athlete's-foot or a boil.

Does my inner weather affect
the surfaces where you live?
Do unpredictable changes
record my rocketing plunge
from fairs when the mind is in tift
and relevant thoughts occur
to fouls when nothing will happen
and no one calls and it rains.

I should like to think that I make
a not impossible world,
but an Eden it cannot be:
my games, my purposive acts,
may turn to catastrophes there.
If you were religious folk,
how would your dramas justify
unmerited suffering?

By what myths would your priests account
for the hurricanes that come
twice every twenty-four hours,
each time I dress or undress,
when, clinging to keratin rafts,
whole cities are swept away
to perish in space, or the Flood
that scalds to death when I bathe?

Then, sooner or later, will dawn
a Day of Apocalypse,
when my mantle suddenly turns
too cold, too rancid, for you,
appetising to predators
of a fiercer sort, and I
am stripped of excuse and nimbus,
a Past, subject to Judgement.

1969

Sunday, 15 September 2019 - 12:36pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Sun, 15/09/2019 - 12:36pm in

This fortnight, I have been mostly reading:

Prison

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 09/09/2019 - 9:03am in

Tags 

reading

I remember another time when I was young. In my homeland traveling by train. A group of passengers sprinkled throughout the open-plan carriage talked amongst themselves. They appeared to know each other from their intersecting lives in suburbia. This was obviously their regular commute. Rereading Saint-Exupéry I am reminded of how I felt at the time and still do,

I heard them talking to one another in murmurs and whispers. They talked about illness, money, shabby domestic cares. Their talk painted the walls of the dismal prison in which these men had locked themselves up. And suddenly I had a vision of the face of destiny.

On that mundane train journey many years ago I still remember the conviction of feeling that I did not want to become like these people. I did not want to become imprisoned by my insecurities. As Saint-Exupéry goes on to say,

You rolled yourself up into a ball in your genteel security, in routine, in the stifling conventions or provincial life, raising a modest rampart against the [winds and the sands and the stars](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind,_Sand_and_Stars).

I did not fly away like Saint-Exupéry never to return. I am still here and not on an errant planet.

Sunday, 1 September 2019 - 12:22pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Sun, 01/09/2019 - 12:22pm in

This week, I have been mostly reading:

Sunday, 25 August 2019 - 4:44pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Sun, 25/08/2019 - 4:44pm in

This week, I have been mostly reading:

Sunday, 18 August 2019 - 12:46pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Sun, 18/08/2019 - 12:46pm in

This week, I have been mostly reading:

Sunday, 11 August 2019 - 6:55pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Sun, 11/08/2019 - 6:55pm in

This week, I have been mostly reading:

Sunday, 14 July 2019 - 6:11pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Sun, 14/07/2019 - 6:11pm in

This week, I have been mostly reading:

Sunday, 30 June 2019 - 7:35pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Sun, 30/06/2019 - 7:35pm in

This week, I have been mostly reading:

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