Thursday, October 24, 2013

You Never Know, Man

I'm digging on Mr. Zevon and he uses the line "I'd like to think I've earned my reputation for rushing in where angels fear to tread."

Pretty cool. He's proud of the rash decisions he has made.

"Fools rush in where angels fear to tread." That is one of those lines that sounds so good. It has depth.

I always felt it was a little heavy handed. Comparing fools to angels. I'm identifying impetuousness with fools, which I do not necessarily see as a negative.

Angels are probably too damn cautious. Bet they wouldn't even try marijuana, given the chance.

Given that scenario I'd rather be a fool than an angel; rather take the chance than sit smugly by the sideline exuding omniscience.

The line is credited to Alexander Pope, who lived from 1688 to 1744 in the United Kingdom.

He was a poet best known for his satirical verse.

It comes from a poem titled Essay On Criticism; this is heavy duty stuff. You are not going to read this to your kids at night at bedtime.

"No place so sacred from such fops is barr'd, nor is Pauls' church more safe than Paul's church-yard, nay fly to altars; there they'll talk you dead, for fools rush in where angels fear to tread."

Are you kidding me? I figured the quote came from Mother Theresa or maybe Ellen DeGeneres.

It goes a little deeper than that.

This poem is huge. It would take a month to read it and a year to understand it.

But it contains that precious little nugget.

There's other good stuff in there too. Pope apparently did not respect critics and he has all kinds of insults built into this thing to break them down.

"Against the poets their own arms they turned, sure to hate most the men from whom they learn'd,.............some on the leaves of ancient authors prey, nor time, nor moths e'er spoil'd so much as they, some dryly plain without invention's aid, write dull receits how poems may be made, these leave the sense, their learning to display, and theme explain the meaning quite away."

I know, I know this is not as easy reading as Justin Bieber's Book of Philosophy, but I love this kind of stuff.

Christ I used to love to read Shakespeare in high school.

Anyway, you never know where some little thing, some offhand inspiration, is going to lead.

I flee work early today because the state is into me for mega hours, and I end up reading Alexander Pope.

And as I think about it, I wound my way from Warren Zevon to Alexander Pope.

One hell of a ride for a diseased and barely functioning brain.

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