Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Reduced to a State of Near Savage Torpor

My sun hat of three years fell apart finally, sweated through too many times, holes, and now the velcro strap won't velcro snap, below, self-portrait with sunburn from Saturday hike past, suntan lotion left in car, and general mood (with Doctor Sevrin ears and fine metaphors abounding), now abandoned, not the mood, me


Tom Clark

Poetry, Woodsworth
wrote, will have no
easy time of it when
the discriminating

powers of the mind
are so blunted that
all voluntary
exertion dies, and

the general
public is reduced
to a state of near
savage torpor, morose,

stuporous, with
no attention span
whatsoever; nor will
the tranquil rustling

of the lyric, drowned out
by the heavy, dull
of persons in cities,

where a uniformity
of occupations breeds
cravings for sensation
which hourly visual

communication of
instant intelligence
gratifies like crazy,
likely survive this age.


  1. speaking of wordsworth and "the discriminating power of the mind" -

    Theories of the mind: Wordsworth's anticipation of neural Darwinism
    MG Miller - Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature - 1995
    The major postulates of Neural Darwinism, Gerald M. Edelman's recent revolutionary theory of how the mind works, are shown to have been intuited in william Wordsworth's poetry.

    alan richardson goes further into the topic in british romanticism and the science of the mind

  2. The Tables Turned
    By William Wordsworth

    Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
    Or surely you'll grow double:
    Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
    Why all this toil and trouble?

    The sun above the mountain's head,
    A freshening lustre mellow
    Through all the long green fields has spread,
    His first sweet evening yellow.

    Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
    Come, hear the woodland linnet,
    How sweet his music! on my life,
    There's more of wisdom in it.

    And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
    He, too, is no mean preacher:
    Come forth into the light of things,
    Let Nature be your teacher.

    She has a world of ready wealth,
    Our minds and hearts to bless—
    Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
    Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

    One impulse from a vernal wood
    May teach you more of man,
    Of moral evil and of good,
    Than all the sages can.

    Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
    Our meddling intellect
    Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:—
    We murder to dissect.

    Enough of Science and of Art;
    Close up those barren leaves;
    Come forth, and bring with you a heart
    That watches and receives.

  3. Thank you for reminding me. Need to re-read "Lyric ballads".