The War On Dust

luka

Well-known member
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Partly on watching interstellar. Partly as sunlight and return of spring. Housework in the revelation of Light. Partly in light of dispute/misunderstanding with Padraig. Partly Barry and Reynolds pretetending to not yndersrand poetry. This as symbol takes on some of its freight from the Bible. Dust to dust. You can't wriggle free from that but equally dust as symbol is of course not reducible to its biblical context. It is an ever present in human life. It is the residue. Dust is the revenge of the left behind and the superceded. The revenge of the replaced and forgotten. The spiteful subsistence of the dead. And dust is symbol of the duty, always resented, hugely, due to Life and its maintenance. Always wiping it clean. Patiently removing the dust again and again so the inscription can be read.
We are always at war with dust because it is implacable. It is a function of life. Its desideratum. It always threatens to overwhelm us,to bury us. But still we treat it tenderly knowing that everything we are now will soon be dust.
 

luka

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That's just a sketch to give a
Sense of how this stuff operates when we read for instance

That world, and those who peopled it, buried under grey dust, wrapped in the grey sheet.

But of course the elegy is here also for the elegiac tone as such.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Dust is largely dead skin cells, isn't it? Plus a bit of pollution.

Philip Pullman makes a great deal out of dust in his Northern Lights trilogy. It's a stand in for life energy IIRC
 

droid

Beast of Burden
It's also most probably the source of us. Cometary excreta and galaxy spanning cosmic detritus.


 

luka

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What you two are both getting at is important. It's the coincidentia oppositorum. That's how Pullman is using it
 

luka

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This is a large part of how thought operates in poetry and as poetry.
 

luka

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Spirit sallies into grey nexus.
Ghosts hold forth their begging bowls. Particulate matter in the throat. Damp. Neither salvation nor retribution visit here. BRAIN FRENZY. pewter. The soft decisions of a spider's feet. Gossamer and grey lace. The grey tide of grey dust. This, is another forgetting.
 

luka

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Staff member
What would it mean to let it catch you? that, is the recurring question. What would it mean to stop running? To make yourself the centre of that sadness. To have it surge outward from that fixed point in all directions, the world caught up in it, sticky as honey, grey with dust.
 

yyaldrin

in je ogen waait de wind
he would take his chosen film to a cinema in leicester square
set it in motion then sit alone in the huge plush interior, smoking a cigarette or two
purely for nostalgia’s sake, to see the smoke rising through the film beam


it's not just smoke, it's also dust, omnipresent, magic, floating in every direction. we can hear it too, the little crackles when playing old vinyls. it's physical time.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
On Adam last thus judgment he pronounc'd:
"Because thou hast heark'n'd to the voice of thy wife,
And eaten of the tree concerning which
I charg'd thee, saying, 'Thou shalt not eat thereof,'
Curs'd is the ground for thy sake: thou in sorrow
Shalt eat thereof all the days of thy life:
Thorns also and thistles it shall bring thee forth
Unbid, and thou shalt eat th' herb of th' field:
5In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,
Till thou return unto the ground; for thou
Out of the ground wast taken: know thy birth,
For dust thou art, and shalt to dust return."

Paradise Lost

And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

The Waste Land
 

luka

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Staff member
Very good corpsey now let me show you another trick

"Do not love this man. He makes
Fridays unbearable, with the
ominous dullness of the gateway
to the Spanish garden. His
herb-set teeth are impossible"


JH Prynne. The Bee Target on his Shoulder.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
okay

1. I like the mixture of registers from 'Do not love...' to 'He makes Fridays unbearable' (Biblical to collequial?)
2. I like the deferred rhyme of 'impossible' and 'unbearable'. (There's a sort of buried rhyme between 'gateway' and 'makes', innthere?)

Not sure what 'herb-set' teeth might mean. To do with his Spanish garden?
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Dust in a ray of sunlight is one of those beautiful spectacles we forget to appreciate

Or at least I have

https://youtu.be/-YNuW7Iolpc

Like clouds, a reminder of the mutability of all things, the destruction and creation, chaos and apparent order.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
okay

1. I like the mixture of registers from 'Do not love...' to 'He makes Fridays unbearable' (Biblical to collequial?)
2. I like the deferred rhyme of 'impossible' and 'unbearable'. (There's a sort of buried rhyme between 'gateway' and 'makes', innthere?)

Not sure what 'herb-set' teeth might mean. To do with his Spanish garden?
The reason I thought of this poem was the herbs in your quote from the bible. Thw favourite verse of grim puritans like my ancestors. Csn hear the Ian Paisley in it!
 

luka

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Staff member
The Spanish garden brings Quixote into it and with that the full heft of that symbolic apparatus. Christ. The Idiot. The Holy Fool. The Imagination triumphant. Or the imagination in its bathetic aspect, tilting at windmills
 
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