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A Poet's Journal: June 18th, 2012 Part 2

June 18th, 2012

Part 2

This, indeed, is what I find myself contemplating sometimes; and last night, this uneasiness coming upon me, for the first time in all my years of existence I realized that humanity is neither necessary to this world, and that if the human race one day becomes no more, the renewal of energy of which I have been speaking, will no longer turn its powers upon our intellectual force. But that means there is an intonation of dimension in us, and if there be something of the eternal, like this energy, then it is a part of eternity itself. But can we really reflect upon the eternal movement which makes up the loss of that creative force once started in another world, or by another people? If the power of the past elaborates into idea this renewing energy, human sentiment, the imagination, the words with which we describe our actions, and the poetic mode of thinking, are the smoke of a blazing fire kindled in the anterior realms of our consciousness, and as our percepti…
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A Poet's Journal: June 18th, 2012 Part 1

June 18th, 2012

Part 1

During those moments of oncoming sleep when the solemn hours of the night show the world in its most deepest origins comes a terrible uneasiness, and a sudden rush, proceeding from the realization of some eternal and defining moment, not in my life, but to the universe as a whole, though I specifically know that through the sound darkness of my eyes and the fullest depths of my imagination these things have gained purpose. How must we come to know ourselves again in this reality in which we are always becoming? It is too easy to believe the human race perpetual and immediate to this world, and necessary before all other things, and that which is lost, forever placed within something anew: but what if the traces of those ancient tribes of our ancestors still hold the stock, not of our physical and daily lives, but of our mental and capricious whims?  Energy itself, being always present, has somehow formed within the confines of this air our body, and the power of…

A New Translation of Catullus!

Here is a new translation of Catullus: please scroll down to read or visit the Society of Classical Poets by clicking on the following link: A Translation of Catullus’s ‘Ad Sirmium Insulam’ by Douglas Thornton

The important events in the life of Gaius Valerius Catullus (84-54 B.C.) are recounted through the poems he has left.  The particular poem below was written on his return from Asia Minor, where he had attempted at a public career by following Memmius, the patron of the poet Lucretius, into the province of Bithynia.  But his hopes being dashed, he took refuge after the long journey at his home in the present-day village of Sirmione, in northern Italy, on Lake Garda.

Ad Sirmium Insulam

Of the islands which in stagnant
Waters and vast seas Neptune holds,
Sirmio--the pearl of islands!--
Now my heart with you rejoices
Safe and sound, still scarce believing
Thynia and Bithynian
Fields have gone.  What more fortunate
Care, after so many struggles,
When the mind shrugs off its burden,