on a darkling plain...

readings this week...

Matthew Arnold

– from Dover Beach

                  for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.


Confusion. Ignorance. Struggle, flight, clash. A memo. Reports....

Some things refuse to change.


anhaga said...

"a darkling plain" --- Perhaps east of Eden, on the plain of Shinar? Where Arnold's empire created Iraq and our empire is destroying it?

Happy to see Arnold in this space. He is one of the poets I return to when everything else seems to be failing. Under-appreciated. This may be a guilty pleasure, given how disliked and misunderstood the Victorians are most places these days. And I had thought it was a solitary pleasure.

Sam of the ten thousand things said...

Arnold is under-read. His is a powerful voice. Thanks for your words James.

Suzanne said...