Poetry: Sonnet – To Magic

My inspiration was from Edgar Allen Poe’s Sonnet — to Science (click to read it). Reading Poe’s poem gave me chills of guilt. While not anti-magic, I’m pro-science. Knowledge makes the universe more interesting. We will never know or understand everything. Magic and scientific exploration will go on. Yet, I do share Poe’s lament.

 

 

Sonnet – To Magic

Magic! True father of science thou art!
…Who brightens all things with thy happy cries.
Why say thou to poetic scientific hearts,
…A scolder, who brightens our dullest eyes?
How should we love thee? Or how deem thee wise,
…Who of magic wouldst leave him to his thing?
To see for answers in the quelled skies,
…Albeit he soared with daunted left wing?
Did thou set Diana into her car,
…And give Hamadryad her tree of wood
And seek shelter on some happier star?
…Hast magic not set the Naiad to flood,
The Elfin to green grass, given to me
…Summer dreams beneath the tamarind tree?

(Bill Reynolds © 9 May 2018)

With magic and science, look both ways and be mindful of many gaps.

 

Love is the biggest magic of all.

**Note: I am not a fan of analyzing poetry, but my editor questioned some lines. This explanation relates back to Poe’s sonnet. “Line nine, Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car? refers to the Roman goddess of hunting and virginity, who rides the moon across the sky at night. With science, people saw that the moon, instead of being a carriage for a goddess, was actually a lifeless rock, so science metaphorically dragged her off the moon. The next two lines talk about the Hamadryad, which is a nymph from Greek and Roman mythology that lives in a tree and dies when the tree dies. Science, however, believes the tree lives without such creatures, and so the idea of the Hamadryad has been driven away.”

 

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A2Z Challenge — H is for Hamadryads

If you’re a tree hugger, all is well. If you’re an arborist, even better. But if yer a tree chopper, you might want to be sure these little darlin’s don’t really exist. If you kill the tree, you kill the Hamadryad of that tree. That pisses off the gods and you know what that means, right?

Hamadryads live in the trees, more precisely in an individual tree. They are a specific type of dryad, which are a type of nymph. A nymph is a minor female nature deity usually associated with a specific location or landform.

They are different from other goddesses in that they are divine spirits who animate nature. They are beautiful young maidens who love to dance and sing. Their amorous freedom makes them very different from wives and daughters of the Greek polis. Now we know why those guys were hugging those trees.

Nymphs are beloved and can be found in forests by lakes and streams, and in or on trees.

Hamadryads are born bonded to a certain tree. If the tree dies, the hamadryad associated with it dies as well. For that reason, dryads and the gods punished any mortals who harmed trees.

I feel a twinge when I read Poe’s sonnet to science. To a degree, the poet is scolding science and, in a way, me.

He pines well for the wonderfulness of fantasy and nature’s unknown wonders. He is right.

Sonnet—To Science (By Edgar Allan Poe)

Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet’s heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise,
Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies,
Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car,
And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
To seek a shelter in some happier star?
Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?

Source: The Complete Poems and Stories of Edgar Allan Poe (Pub: Alfred A Knopf, 1946)

Look both ways as you walk the woods
and recall within each tree lives a Hamadryad to protect.
Mind the gaps and morn the loss of so many trees.

 

Aspects of My Dream

Aspects of My Dream

There was a time in my life when I thought I didn’t dream. Since I recalled none, there were no dreams. Discussion over, right?

Wrong, Billy Boy! Since childhood, I have always dreamed, probably every night, and have had more than my share of nightmares. Even as an adult, I’ve physically acted out dream events in voice or movement, concerning and confusing my wife. If I have had one dream every night since birth, that’s over 26,000 dreams. Many nights there were more than one or two.

 

At the end of this post I’ll drop a link to a down-to-earth piece about dream interpretation, if you want some P-h-and-D ideas.

There are a lot of things written about dreams. I find most of it to be irrational BS and schemes for cash. But, I do think there is physiological meaning in dreams, and I find dream analysis to be a fun and healthy experience. Extensive metaphor and symbolism seem to be what dreams are made of, although I have had some dreams closely parallel real-life events, and were likely triggered by past or pending events.

My dreams are virtually always dreams about challenge, during which I’m motivated to overcome difficulty or an obstacle. I have faced danger, been stuck, or wanted to move away from a situation in which I found myself. Most of my dreams involve other people, but not always those I know. I have had a few pleasant dreams and my awakening to reality was disappointing. But mostly, I’m ready for the dreams to end.

Usually, I enter my dream by finding myself in an ongoing situation. There’s no introduction or preface. It’s like I’m teleported into a situation that “I” was already in, but have just became aware or conscious of.

Last night I arrived into my dream feeling a little cold. I found a discarded jacket and decided to wear it. But I was self-conscious that it was not “my” jacket, and that someone may claim it. As I walked past people, I felt their judging stares. They seemed to know it was not my jacket and that I ought not to be wearing it.

I was walking with a crowd. Along with many others, I walked into a building that looked much like the inside of church. We sat on long benches like pews. The walls were bare, there were no church-like activities such as singing, praying, or preaching. A man sitting near me was constantly watching me. I saw him and spoke to him, but he never talked. He just stared at me. And he looked pissed off – grumpy for sure. In real life, he’d be a weirdo stalker for which I’d summon the law. But in this dream, I simply moved on.

Deciding to leave the building, I stood and walked to the exit doors. A group of people surrounded the doors and were making half-hearted efforts to leave the building. None seemed to be leaving. I noticed a door with nobody near it. I grabbed the handle and opened the big heavy wooden door. That is when I discovered my exit blocked by a wall. I could see over the shoulder-high obstruction. So, I grasped the top with both hands, pulled myself up, and swung one leg over. I noticed others doing the same, then jumping and walking away. As I swung the other leg over, I jumped from the wall and joined others walking.

I was out of the building, away from the weird guy, and happy about it. I felt relieved. Then, I stopped and turned to look back. I could see the others standing behind the wall looking at me. They didn’t speak, but I was sure they wanted out – to be free. I told them how easy it was to climb over the wall. I offered to help, and I told them that fear was holding them back. With that, some climbed the wall and jumped out. Others just stood there. They didn’t try. It was not the wall that kept them trapped, it was that they didn’t try to leave. I walked away a second time.

I began to feel guilty about the people who were not motivated enough to try. Again, I went back. I considered jumping the wall back into the building, but I suspected I would not be able to leave if I tried to help others. They were afraid to come out. I was afraid to go back in. For the third time I walked away. As I looked around I noticed a pretty lady also walking away. She nodded knowingly and smiled.

Awake, I looked at the clock: 5:30 AM. I decided to sleep more, pondering where I would go, where anyone would go after leaving that building. As I was dozing back into dreamland, I analyzed my dream. I wanted to know where I was going. What would come next?

Are dreams stories with built-in conflicts? Was my dream just one more? Was it simply a story I dreamed up in my sleep? Or did it have deeper psychological meaning? Is there something in my real life that precipitated the dream?

Does everything in a dream represent something real in my world or in my mind?
Why am I always younger in my dreams?

To read one of several interesting articles about dream analysis in Psychology Today, click here.

One of my favorite dream poems:

Also this: click here to read a Mary Oliver poem about dreams.

When you dream,
look both ways for what the dream tells you about the past,
and what you may be thinking about for the future.
Dreams are not logical, so mind the gaps.

My Last Dream: Your Final Kiss

Lay your kiss upon my lips,
this parting now so ends our mix,
this love of ours death has eclipsed.
You’re not wrong, of us to deem
that our days were but a dream;
‘tis not our lust yet flown away,
so little time we’re here to stay,
in this night, the last we share,
we end this passion that we bear.
Did it happen as it so seemed?
Did it happen as in my dreams?
Was it true, now comes to this?
Press your love upon my lips.

I stand alone before you now,
into your care, my final vow –
my life I offer to your hand
eternal love’s last grains of sand,
slipping slowly where you stand.
Weep not for us, lost to the deep,
from your breast let love not seep.
It was a dream, and as we dreamed
our heart’s desire was as it seemed.
Before I die, my one last wish,
Upon my lips – your final kiss.

Bill Reynolds 7/7/2017

Inspired by Poe’s A Dream Within a Dream…Listen to it while reading my poem again. You’ll see…

Look both ways and mind the gaps, but remember to live.