Commentary on Poem "The Letter W":|
Walking in the woods with William Wordsworth,
Walt Whitman and William Carlos Williams,
I'm awed by these word wizards who take me
to writing wonderlands where winter wolves bark
I answered "Why not!" to Whitman's
"Who wishes to walk with me?" (Line 1319 in
Leaves of Grass (1855 edition).
I knew it, William Wordworth and William Carlos Williams also came along for a walk in the wods.
My favorite Wordsworth
poem is "Tintern Abbey" (July 13, 1798) which he wrote after a walking tour with
his sister in the countryside on banks of the
River Wye (text).
I feel his mystical rapture with Nature (lines 94-112):
"And I have felt / A presence that disturbs me with the joy /
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime /
Of something far more deeply interfused, /
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, /...
Therefore am I still /
A lover of the meadows and the woods, /
And mountains; and of all that we behold /
From this green earth;
of all the mighty world."
My favorite Whitman poem is
"When I heard the Learned Learn'd Astronomer" (1865):
"In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, / Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars."
Favorite Williams poem is
"The Great Figure".
Line 766 Whitman's Leaves of Grass "Where winter wolves bark amid wastes of snow and icicled trees".
Photo Sources: Wordsworth (wikipedia.org);
Walt Whiman (time.com);
William Carlos Williams (wisdomportal.com);
"Winter Wolves Bark" (amazon.com).
at white chickens by the red wheelbarrow|
wider and wider... wherever and whoever
This is the happy Warrior, this is He
Who, whether praise of him walks this earth.
"Red wheelbarrow beside white chickens"
William Carlos Williams
"wider and wider they spread"
"Character of the Happy Warrior"
William Carlos Williams'
"The Red Wheelbarrow" appeared as Poem XXII in
Spring and All (1923) "so much depends
/ upon / a red wheelbarrow //
glazed with rain / water // beside the white / chickens." This poem is a prime
early 20th century Imagism.
Poet John Hollander cited
"The Red Wheelbarrow" as an excellent example of enjambment
to slow down the reader,
creating a "meditative" poem.
Line 1185 of Whitman's Leaves of Grass "Wider and wider
they spread, expanding and always expanding".
Line 65 in Whitman's
"Great Are the Myth" "Great is Life, real and mystical, wherever and whoever".
Wordsworth's "Character of he Happy Warrior" (1806) was composed after the death of Lord Nelson,
hero of the Napoleonic Wars. Near the end of the poem are found "This is the happy Warrior;
this is he" (Line 86) and "Who, whether praise of him must walk the earth" (Line 77).
Image Sources: Red wheelbarrow
"wider and wider" (mewallpaper.com);
"Happy Warrior" (YouTube)
The wounded Fisher King's Wasteland waits|
for Wonder Woman or White Knight to heal
his kingdom while Wicked Witch of the West
wrestles with the Wizard to control the world.
Wounded Fisher King
Wicked Witch of the West
Merlin the Wizard
Walking in Wünderlich Park at Woodside|
and the Eagle Trail at Windy Hill, I gather
wildflowers Woodland Phlox, Watercress,
Whispering Bells to weave a wreath for healing.
in Wünderlich Park
Windy Hill Preserve
Portola Valley, California
Eagle Trail Signpost
Windy Hill Preserve
Creek along Eagle Trail
Windy Hill Preserve
Image Sources: Wünderlich Park Sign (A HREF=https://patch.com/california/redwoodcity-woodside/folger-stables-to-show-off-facility-upgrades-at-community-day>patch.com);
Alambique Trail (wisdomportal.com)
Windy Hill Sign (flickr.com);
Eagle Trail Signpost (wisdomportal.com);
Registered for Thomas McCarthy's Trail Hike Class (PHED 23A) at Foothill College that met Fridays (1-4 pm). We had
11 hikes in Spring Quarter (April 17-June 26, 2015). Our third hike was at
Wünderlich Park in Woodside (May 1, 2015).
Our 11th hike was at Eagle Trail at Windy Hill in Portola Valley (June 26, 2015).
The wildflowers with "W' names shown
below were not photographed on the hikes but gathered off the Web.
I did see a lone Woodland Phlox on the Alambique
Trail of Wünderlich Park. "Picking or removing wildflowers or other natural material is prohibited" is a
Thus, I never plucked any wildflowers on the trails to "weave a wreath fo healing" as Dürer did for his Melencolia Angel.
along Eagle Trail (foursquare.com);
Woodland Phlox (greentecnursery.com);
Whispering Bells (laspilitas.com);
Melencolia Angel (wikipedia.org)
Dancing west coast swing to "Wade in the Water",|
doing Sufi spins of the whirling dervishes,
waltzing with women whose mind-windows
are open to the Mysteries & Wisdom Portal
I ballroom dance at Cubberley Pavilion
in Palo Alto every Saturday night (9:15 pm-midnight).
The West Coast Swing is|
a partner dance in a slotted area on the dance floor. Basic pattern in WCS are Sugar Push, Left Side Pass, Right Side Pass,
Tuck Turn, and Whip.
While one could hop around the floor in the East Coast Swing
I tell my partner to stay in the "railroad track" while dancing West Coast Swing.
Just learned that "Wade in the Water"
music (Lyrics) to one of the West
Coast Swing dances came from a Negro Spiritual (1901).
While dancing the Hustle,
I like to improvise & add the
(poem), spinning around four times
to honor four elements of the ancient Greeks
air, fire, water, earth, ending with wisdom
mudra at my heart that Einstein
loves to do.
While folk dancing at MIT (1970s),
a professional dancer taught me to do small
pivot steps while dancing the Viennese Waltz.
Also hold your partner in the
V-shape like a spinning top turning both clockwise and
counterclockwise. When done correctly, one feels the exhilaration
of the whole room spinning as if one is riding in a carousel.
On some occasions, I'll meet a wonderful dancer who is also interested in spiritual mysteries. Then I tell them about Rumi,
poetry, Dalai Lama, Einstein, enlightenment, and my web
site WisdomPortal on insight, inspiration, and illumination.
Some dancers have become lifelong friends.
Image Sources: West Coast Swing (clipart-library.com);
Wade in the Waters (the-mpas.com);
Whirling Dervishes (thestar.com);
Viennese Waltz (cordmagazine.com);
Open Mind (thegreatgodpanisdead.com);
wonderful friends along with those who share|
Wind in the Willows, "Ode to the West Wind",
and Wen Fu The Art of Writing, join forces
with Warriors of Light to conquer the darkness.
Wind in the Willows
By Kenneth Grahme
Ode to the West Wind
By Percy Byshhe Shelley
Wen Fu: Art of Writing
By Lu Chi (261-303 AD)
|Kenneth Grahme's Wind in the Willows (1908) is a children's novel. It focuses on four anthropomorphised animals in a|
pastoral version of England. The novel is notable for its mixture of mysticism, adventure, morality, and camaraderie and
celebrated for its evocation of Thames River. "Ode to the West Wind"
is a poem by Percy Byshhe Shelley (1792-1822),
written in 1819 near Florence, Italy. Shelley concludes his "ode to the West Wind" The trumpet of a prophecy!
O, Wind, / If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?" a poet's summoning of divine inspiration. Since Botticelli's
Primavera is in the Uffizi Gallery, Floence, perhaps Shelley saw this painting containing Zephyr, the West Wind, that
inspired his poem. Shelley is familiar with the Platonic tradition through Thomas Taylor's translation of Plato (1804).
Shelley translated Plato's work on erotic & sacred love
used Sam Hamill's translation
of Lu Chi's Wen Fu: The Art of Writing in his Asilomar Poetry Workshop (1988). A favorite passage is in Section IV:
"The pleasure a writer knows / is pleasure all sages enjoy. / Out of non-being, being is born; / out of silence, the writer
produces a song." (Shih-Hsiang Chen's 1952 translation). In 1985, my 8-year-old niece Elisa introduced me to the
"Warriors of Light" in Chapter 5 of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time (1963). The Warriors of Light fight the evil
of darkness include Jesus, Buddha, St. Francis, but also creative artists & scientists like Einstein, Euclid, Shakespeare,
Leonardo da Vinci, Beethoven, and Rembrandt. I was surprised to find "Warriors of Light" in Paul Brunton's Notebooks
(XII.5.6): "To attempt this book will be an adventure for the Warriors of Light, but the wanderers of night will put it
down with much celerity. For these pages are enchanted file:///Volumes/5-28-2015/InterestingNews.htmlwith a white magic which can inflict no greater injury on adversaries
than to permit them to resist the principles contained therein."
Photo Sources: Wind in the Willows
Ode to the West Wind (docbrown.info);
Wen Fu (amazon.com);
Warrior Angel (pinterest.com)
I call on Wang Yang Ming & Wei Wu Wei
ask awakened sages on finding the Way
Focus more on our within than without
as King Wên who saw the Way everywhere.
Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs, Who, Mrs. Which from|
A Wrinkle in Time bring me to a wishing well
near a waterfall where Waxing Moon grants me
three wishes when I offer Warm Welcome roses.
My 8-year-old niece Elisa shared with me her favorite book A Wrinkle in Time (1963) when I moved to Palo Alto from|
Boston (1985). Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Who are the three good witches who are angelic beings with the
ability to travel at will across large stretches of time and space by dematerializing and rematerializing. They helped
Meg, Charlie, and Calvin find their father, kidnapped by dark forces on a distant planet. I imagine them leading me to
a wishing well near a waterfall where Waxing Moon grants me three wishes after I offer
three Warm Welcome roses.
Image Sources: Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Which, Mrs. Who
A Wrinkle in Time (amazon.com);
Wishing Well by Waterfall (society6.com);
Warm Welcome Roses (pinterest.com)
Under W-shaped Cassiopeia stars
I wish for wings to inspire my poetry,
wisdom in my heart to do the Great Work,
and wonder to keep my mind fresh every day.
with "W" stars formation
Photo by VegaStar Carpenter
Winged Horse Pegasus
Greece 395, Athena
Cassiopeia is a constellation in the northern sky named after
vain queen Cassiopeia in Greek mythology, who boasted|
about her unrivalled beauty. In spring & summer, it has a "W" shape, formed by five bright stars. It is bordered by
Andromeda to the south, Perseus to the southeast,
and Cepheus to the north.
It is opposite the Big Dipper. The system is
19 light-years from Earth. I pray for three wishes wings to inspire my poetry
(Pegasus, the winged horse, is symbol of
poetry and creator of sources in which poets come to draw inspiration),
wisdom to do the Great Work (Athena, Greek
goddess of wisdom to help in the Alchemical Work),
and wonder to keep my mind fresh every day
"Keep a holy curiosity").
Image Sources: Cassiopeia Constellation (space.com);
Uruguay C59 Pegasus (stampselector.blogspot.com);
Greece 395 Athena (colnect.com);
U.S. 1285 Einstein (colnect.com)
Peter Y. Chou
Mountain View, 3-16-2015
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email: (3-16-2015, 10-23-2020)