Sunday, December 19, 2010

And for me, keep this day.

I had the rare but ultimately fortunate idea of cleaning up my old schoolbooks cupboard again, since Mum kept insisting I clean it or she wud throw the whole lot of books away.

I found this old scrapbook I used to keep, in which I loved to record interesting lines from the books I'd read. Or snatches of a brilliant poem. You know the feeling?

When you read a certain line and are gobsmacked by the truth and beauty and goodness of it?

That happened to me again as I found several tonight.

And now that my blog has replaced that scrapbook, I deposit them all safely here lest the pencil-writing fades and I lose those lovely thoughts.

Hook: And now, Peter Pan, you shall die.
Peter: To die would be an awfully big adventure.

Peter Pan,
J. M. Barrie

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

Auguries of Innocence,
William Blake
(I didn't actually read this one, I heard it quoted by Captain Picard in a Star Trek movie and immediately loved it and googled it on the first incarnation of my computer on a 56kbps connection and it took an hour for it to load. I still remember how frantically I searched for these lines then.)

How happy is the blameless vestal's lot,
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each prayer accepted, and each wish resigned...

Eloisa to Abelard,
Alexander Pope
(I didn't read this either. It's from the movie. This was on the last page of the book, and since I'd grown up written with a ball-pen with ink that is now dreadfully smudged.)

Under the spreading chestnut tree,
I sold you and you sold me.
There lie they and here lie we
Under the spreading chestnut tree.

George Orwell
(I still remember how excited I was when I brought this book home in a terribly tattered but delightfully complete edition that my surly school librarian had handed to me. I finished it in three hours and realised for the first time in my life, what it means to be truly free.)

My words fly up,
My thoughts remain below;
Words without thoughts,
Never to heaven go.

William Shakespeare
(I shall never be the same for having read this. I have never read words written like this before or after. I had always expected Shakespeare to be a snob's delight. I had never thought I'd be so bowled over by the wrenching depth of his writing.)

And finally, last and definitely not the least,

I sit beside the fire
And think of all that I have seen,
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been.
Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were,
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire
And think of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see.
For still there are so many things
That I have never seen.
In every wood, in every spring
There is a different green.

I sit beside the fire
And think of people long ago,
And people who will see a world
That I shall never know.
But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door.

Bilbo Baggins singing "I sit beside the fire and think.."
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,
J. R. R. Tolkien

(I'd read this in tenth standard when the first movie was about to release. I was moved by the profound wistfulness and latent wanderlust in what is deceptively simple verse. This is written on the very last page. I shudnt really put this here becoz I have it nearly memorized. But it's fitting that it acted as a bookend both there and here.)


T. said...

its incredible that u posted this today coz i was going through the play after u wrote ur previous post and even i was struck by these lines i think they were the queens in our play so they mustve been the kings in d original english

it was something like this

mere lafz toh kinara chhod aasmanon ko chhoona chahenge
par soch zameen par rakh kya shabd kabhi ud paayenge?

its almost a literal translation n yet it lacks the elegance of the original of course im not saying im shakespeare still isha mustve hated me for making her mouth that purple prose ahahahaha

Tangled up in blue... said...

Haaye re mere Shakespeare, tu kitna mast translate kiya hai yeh! :D And fishing for compliments so obviously? :P Very bad, very bad. Well, I shall play up to your artiste ego now, shall I? It is lovely even in Hindi.

And yes, I dont think Isha ever did forgive you. :D

Tangled up in blue... said...

oh oh I meant Premchand! :P

T. said...

Ego ki baat nahin hai yaar but ill graciously accept your compliments :P thanks cookie!! n best of luck for exams :-)

Tangled up in blue... said...

Thanks, Tawf! :) I need all the luck I can get what with my practical timetable!

S. Susan Deborah said...

How the hell did you become a medico? You should have been a literature student, like me.

Joy always,

Tangled up in blue... said...

Aww Susan! I ask myself that sometimes. :) But you know what I tell myself, you don't need to earn a degree in order to be a student and lover of a subject. Hai na, Professor? ;)

Ramya said...

i used to have a scrapbook too - it even had a name and was divided into five sections. it also had a large collection of assorted varieties of dried leaves that surprised me every time i opened the book.

i loved the last poem. haven't read this one before.

Devz said...

You reminded me of my own diary. It was a collection of quotes, memorable lines from my favorite books, interesting conversation with friends, poems and just about everything.

I remember on the first page i had written
"If this diary should ever roam,
Box it's ears and send it home."

P.S: I am still waiting for someone to send it home. :(

Tangled up in blue... said...

ramya, my mum had a book of bird-feathers when she was a kid. And, The Lord of the Rings has unexpected depths that dont get the kind of attention the fantastic creatures and the epic story gets.

JM, I hope it finds its way back home. I realised I stood the chance of losing the contents of my notebook which is why I recanted them here. :)