August 8, 2010

Ode on Solitude

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--Description: 18th C, Pope A., Life, Nature Peace--



Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

Blest! who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health
of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.


Alexander Pope

--Did You Know: (21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744) Pope is generally regarded as the greatest English poet of the eighteenth century, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. He is the third most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson. Pope was a master of the heroic couplet. Pope was born in London to Alexander Pope (senior, a linen merchant) and Edith Pope (née Turner), who were both Catholics. Pope's education was affected by the penal law in force at the time upholding the status of the established Church of England, which banned Catholics from teaching on pain of perpetual imprisonment. Pope was taught to read by his aunt, then went to Twyford School in about 1698–9. He then went to two Catholic schools in London. Such schools, while illegal, were tolerated in some areas

--Word of the Day: desultory\DES-uhl-tor-ee\, adjective:
1. Jumping or passing from one thing or subject to another without order or rational connection; disconnected; aimless.
2. By the way; as a digression; not connected with the subject.
3. Coming disconnectedly or occurring haphazardly; random.
4. Disappointing in performance or progress.
Quote:
The shadows on the perfect lawn were straight and angular; they were the shadows of an old man sitting in a deep wicker-chair near the low table on which the tea had been served, and of two younger men strolling to and fro, in desultory talk, in front of him.
-Henry James Jr., "The Portrait of a Lady", The Atlantic Monthly, November 1880

--Quote of the Day: There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall.
-Colette, Freedom, 1908

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