Wednesday, 19 January 2011

We are the music makers

Thought I'd start off this post with the first line from one of my favourite poems, "Ode" by Arthur O'Shaughnessy.

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
I discovered it in a stack of books on one of the shelves in my parents' built-in bookcase. Modern British Poetry immediately became one of my prized possessions, and if my parents were really into age-yellowed 1920's ex-Indianapolis Public Library books, then I would have had to fight to the death to keep it in my room. But it turns out I was the only one that seemed to be obsessed with it. And so it sort of migrated its way up to my room and has now come with me to England where it sits, loved and stroked, on my desk in my Cave.

In Modern British Poetry you can find other beautifully melancholic poems: "When I was One and Twenty" by A. E. Housman and "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley and many, many others that I methodically marked, tearing up little pink While You Were Out papers from our telephone table and nudging them in between the pages. It positively bristles with place markers. I believe I found myself in that book somewhere, and marked it.

Come to think of it, that top-to-bottom bookcase at my parents' was the first instance of a library I ever had. Now that I am older I can't believe I didn't really take it seriously and see this giant wall of shelves for what it was - a separate world where I could quietly escape. There were other books on it, like an entire Encyclopedia Britannica, and some Stephen Kings and Heather Grahams (so my mother was into genre fiction, not always a bad thing).

Here are a few of my favourite books from my own (ever growing but still not as massive) library.

My dream is to have my own entire room as a library. So far I do have my Cave, aka thinking space. James Dickey (of Deliverance creation fame), called it his Cave of Making.

This was James Dickey's Cave of Making.

I will post a picture of my own thinking space shortly. One thing I can say it has a big desk that faces a window, where I can watch the sea gulls wheeling around in the sky.

Nothing stirs the imagination like seagulls wheeling.

Happy Wednesday!

1 comment:

  1. Except when they leave you a little present [another one of my cryptic!! messages for you to decipher] Mumsie xx