LC0aT2 samples of writing I love: lodestones and inarticulate inspirations

by Stephen Crane
In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands
And ate of it.
I said, “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter — bitter,” he answered,
“But I like it
Because it is bitter
And because it is my heart.”

by Wm. Shakespeare: sonnet #15
When I consider everything that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheered and check’d even by the self-same sky,
Vaunt in their youthful sap,at height decrease,
And wear their brave state out of memory;
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay,
To change your day of youth to sullied night;
And all in war with Time, for love of you,
As he takes from you, I engraft you new.

an outcome to avoid:
from Transparent Things V. Nabokov, c.8
“Hugh Person… earned his living in the various dull ways
that fall to the lot of brilliant young people who lack
any special gift or ambition and get accustomed to
applying only a small part of their wits to humdrum
or charlatan tasks. What they do with the other, much
greater portion, how and where their real fancies and feelings
are housed, is not exactly a mystery — there are no mysteries
now — but would entail explication and revelation too sad,
too frightful to face. Only experts, for experts, should probe
a mind’s misery.”
in analogy to an argument of Neitsche, I noted to myself:
“Lacking a special gift does not deny one the choice to have
a special ambition” and thereupon resolved to resume
graduate studies, though in my mid thirties. with two small
children, a wonderful wife, and a house I had built myself
and enjoyed enormously.

for the longer term:
from Two Tramps in Mud Time R. Frost, Complete Poems
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only when love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.

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