All posts tagged: Visions

Face at the Bottom of the World: Hagiwara Sakutaro.

Duel Both earth and sky are greenesses, Greens that explode and expand: Shoes flash like fish as I tread the seas And hang like fish when I stand, And happiness swims in the shadow of trees As the light blade hangs from my hand. Moonlight and Jellyfish I swim in the moonlight, swim to snare Jellyfish swarming, flocks of phlegm. My hands stream out, forgoing me: Further and further they extend Among those moving mirrors where, Coiling, the seaweeds cumber them; Where, in the mooned alembic sea, My flesh turns glassy, glassily. A thing transparent, a chilly thing, Flows in the water, knows no end… My soul near frozen, shivering, Sinks in the sea, is almost drowned, Drowned in its very trance of prayer While swarming everywhere around, Swarming round me everywhere, The jellyfish in trembles of pure blue Swim out, swim through That moonlight they are turning to…. I shall have to balance these excerpts from  The Face at the Bottom of the World with a woman poet, when I get two minutes. In the …

Julian of Norwich, a literary midwifery

When Julian of Norwich describes her mystical experiences and her visions in her Revelation of Love, she describes them in three parts, thusly: ‘That is to sey, be bodily sight and by word formyd in my understonding and be gostly sight. But the gostly sight I cannot ne may not show it as hopinly ne as fully as I woulde’ There are sixteen ‘Shewings’- ‘Showings’, a term that midwives and those experienced in the process of birthing would recognise as the first indications of imminent birth. Julian Of Norwich was an anchoress, she went through a process and experience of visionary state which she then communicated in a non-theological manner. The visions emanated from her experiences in spiritual writing and in an illness that threatened her life. The writing is astounding in descriptive terms, this is how a vision began: ‘and the bodily sight stinted and the gostly sight dwellid in mine understonding. and I desired as I durst to see more’. The introductory to the folio editions and mss of Julian of Norwich is …

‘The Fountain’ by Denise Levertov.

Don’t say, don’t say there is no water to solace the dryness at our hearts. I have seen The fountain springing out of the rock wall and you drinking there. And I too before your eyes found footholds and climbed to drink the cool water. The woman of that place, shading her eyes, frowned as she watched-but not because she grudged the water, only because she was waiting to see we drank our fill and were refreshed. Don’t say, don’t say there is no water. The fountain is there among it’s scalloped grey and green stones, it is still there and always there with it’s quiet song and strange power to spring in us, up and out through the rock. by Denise Levertov. This poem was sent via Chaikhana, One of my favourite poems is ‘Your Childhood in Menton’, by Federico Garcia Lorca- published in ‘Poet in New York‘.

Hildegard of Bingen

I read the story of Hildegard many years before I had heard the music. I have published a link to the ‘irupert’  Hildegard site on the right column of links, and an image of ‘ O Vos Felices Radices’. I first heard ‘The origin of Fire’ in Mayo at a point just South West of the Reek, which is the local name for Croagh Patrick, on those few days that led to the New Year in 2005 , just after the Aceh Tsunami (which very directly effected a close family member). We seemed to have appalling percussive weather and had gone (possibly insanely) to a local beach near the base of the reek, we were literally blown out of the car. On arriving home and being truely miserable, someone had put on a Hildegard disc and had lit candles. There was the smell of cooking. The room filled with her song and the news emerging from Phuket was good, we did not know that there was another dying being accomplished and that the Hildegard was an oasis of calm and beauty in that horrible time. I would encourage everyone …

XLII- Sonnets From the Portuguese By Elizabeth Barrett-Browning

My future will not copy fair my past- I wrote that once; and thinking at my side My ministering life-angel justified The word by his appealing look upcast To the white throne of God, I turned at last, And ther, instead, saw thee , not unallied To angels in thy soul! Then I, long tried By natural ills, received the comfort fast, While budding, at thy sight, my pilgrim’s staff Gave out green leaves with morning dew impearled. I seek no copy now of life’s first half: Leave here the pages with long musing curled, And write me  my new future’s epigraph, New angel mine, unhoped for in the world! . Of course Elizabeth Barrett Browning‘s rhyme schemes drove the establishment cracked, the mention of her name for the Laureateship ( after the death of Wordsworth) was not truly in earnest but it was good discussions began….. The Sonnets from the Portuguese were written to Robert and handed to him after their elopement , when he was in deep grief over a death in his family. and 341 …