A Poet’s Advice ~ e. e. cummings

A real human is somebody who feels and who expresses his or her feelings. This may sound easy. It isn’t.

A lot of people think or believe or know what they feel—but that’s thinking or believing or knowing: not feeling. And being real is feeling—not just knowing or believing or thinking.

Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but it’s very difficult to learn to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody – but – yourself.

To be nobody – but -yourself– in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else–means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

As for communicating nobody-but-yourself to others, that means working just a little harder than anybody who isn’t real can possibly imagine. Why?

Because nothing is quite as easy as just being just like somebody else. We all of us do exactly this nearly all of the time–and whenever we do it, we are not real.

If, at the end of your first ten or fifteen years of fighting and working and feeling, you find you’ve loved just once with a nobody-but-yourself heart, you”ll be very lucky indeed.

And so my advice to all young people who wish to become real is: do something easy, like dreaming of freedom–unless you’re ready to commit yourself to feel and work and fight till you die.

“Self-absorption in all its forms….”

Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection – or compassionate action.
Daniel Goleman

Full Text of “Marmion” ~ Sir Walter Scott


The Battle of Flodden 1513


Often quoted from.

This probably the most

“Oh! What a tangled web we weave,

When first we practice to deceive!”


The Devil’s Dictionary ~ Ambrose Bierce

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 11.36.49https://archive.org/details/cu31924014323772


Some definitions found therein:

April Fool: The March fool with another month added to his folly.

Archbishop: An ecclesiastical dignitary one point holier than a bishop.

Convent: A place of retirement for women who wish for leisure to meditate upon the  vice of idleness.

Coronation: The ceremony of investing a sovereign with the outward and visible signs of his divine right to be blown sky high with a dynamite bomb

Coward: One who in a perilous emergency  thinks with his legs.

Disobedience: The silver lining to the cloud of servitude.

Some others evoke a sharp intake of breath…


“Love is Immortal”

Before the sublime mystery of life and spirit,

the mystery of infinite space and endless time,

we stand in reverent awe…

This much we know: we are at one phase of the immortality of life.

The mighty stream of life flows on, and, in this mighty stream, we too flow on…

not lost…

but each eternally significant.

For this I feel: The spirit never betrays the person who trusts it.

Physical life may be defeated but life goes on;

character survives,

goodness lives and love is immortal.

Colonel Robert G Ingersoll,  (1833 – 1899)

See also “The Blasphemer Robert G Ingersoll”