Thursday, August 7, 2014

his richest notes

Rummaging through Far South Fancies I go searching for darkness set against other things. “Our woods are dark, our lakelets' waters clear” from Faerie, “Where the dawn the darkness breaks | Floats a lightsome fleecy cloud” from Lament for Te Heu Heu, “Naught the expanse of yellow breaks, | Save where a darker spot denotes | Some straggling bush” (Our Heritage), “The sky was quickly darkened, | Where erst all had been fair” (The Praetor Aelius Tubero), “The moko chimes his richest notes |'Mid dark green kaio trees” (A New Zealand Reverie), and meanwhile in Light he, the poet, imagines darkness, representing self-interest, “smitten” by God: “God is light.”

Full many an evil influence doth lurk ;
Some dark as night, and others seeming fair

Seeming fair but dark at heart. Seeming fair, but, examined rightfully, it is dark. “Passion's oft for Love mistaken” in Eric Iredale but they are different. “Passion dies but Love's eternal.” A love that has passed is an illegitimate love. “But pure love is never sating.” A rock is more virtuous than a puddle, a tree is closer to heaven than a worm. To endure is virtuous, per se. Ezra Pound put the same assumption into his ABC of Reading. It was not uncommon.

Darkness is a sign of strength in The Clematis and a kind hiding spot in other places (“They gain the whare's safe retreat,| And in its friendly darkness hide” (Hinemoa)); descriptive threat of depth elsewhere.

He recks not what result his action brings,
The dark and rushing waters o'er his head

(from Eric Iredale)

We have harnessed the binary properties of electrons, said the mathematician to me when he was discussing life; and look at computers for example, which work by asking for discrete packages of energy either spurted or withdrawn, every unit always on or off, but what about the other properties, the not-binary, not understood by us, and never used, because we can't – he said, and wished that physicists would work widely, towards uncertainty, and not inwardly, towards corralling and reportable successes, public profiles: that was how he saw them, with expectation guiding them into a disappointing temptation. “Bauerlein et al. (2010) claim that we are currently experiencing an ‘avalanche of low-quality research’, and academia has become an environment where ‘[a]spiring researchers are turned into publish-or-perish entrepreneurs, often becoming more or less cynical about the higher ideals of the pursuit of knowledge’,” is the opening line of a quote at flowerville.

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