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 Post subject: The Explorer
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:48 am 
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I posted the quote below as a footnote in another thread and got no comments. I'm surprised, because the poem is thoroughly relevant to our common interest, and to me at least is very powerful. I thought that Kipling had been rehabilitated from his unfair exile as a jingoist.

Does the quote below raise any emotions in you? Because it does in me. If I get a few answers I'll tell you just what they are :)



Till a voice, as bad as Conscience, rang interminable changes
On one everlasting Whisper day and night repeated - so:
"Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges -
Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!"

"The Explorer", Rudyard Kipling, 1898

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:43 am 
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Yes, there is a certain "resonance" to those words.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

The voice, those whispers, are often there,
And I've learned to pay attention.
Telling me to go and look,
For what, I may not care.

Sometimes for what I'm looking for,
Or do not know I need.
Perhaps somone that I should meet,
Or a place of lore.

I only know I must go see,
And the voice is always right.
At least I'll know when I find it,
And if not, the fault's in me.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:16 pm 
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Location: Digging around in the dusty archives, uncovering Uru history.
I don't know what emotion it raises except that it feels familiar: as if it's an explanation for being "called" to the cavern.
Thanks for sharing, Alan & Robin.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:36 pm 
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Robin:

Ad astra
Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

I agree completely. Sometimes the Latin condenses a sentiment exceptionally well.

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 Post subject: Sea fever
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:48 am 
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Shorah,

The emotion reminds me of how the poem "Sea Fever" grabbed me when I first read it in grade school. This sentiment remains just as strong for me now all these years later and expresses very nicely how the Cavern calls me back again and again and again...


Sea Fever
By John Masefield
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking,

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

I could write more but think I should let the poem speak for itself

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:10 am 
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Nobody yet has the extreme reaction that I do. But then poetry and the reaction to it is very personal.

For me, the cadence and phrasing of that quatrain, and especially the final couplet, almost propel me from my seat. Just on its own, it makes me want to go out, find somewhere I've never been before, and explore. It moves me, almost literally. I tend to subvocalise when reading poetry, and it certainly enhances the effect here.

I'm a fan of Kipling, warts and all: if read with a weather eye to his context (late Victorian, early Edwardian) his achievement is remarkable. He is a master wordsmith, and some of his works can move me profoundly: The Land, Chant-Pagan, Destroyers, Arithmetic on the Frontier (still relevant today). They bypass reason and evoke emotional response directly

If you know of the death of his only son John at the Battle of Loos in 1915, then My Boy Jack is almost unbearably potent, although ostensibly about Jutland.

He was an enthusiast for engineering too, which endears him to me even more. I'm slightly jealous of Canadian engineers

And now more previously unpublished work has been found!

Ah, I rattle on. Suffice it to say that we all start out as explorers in Uru, and the words struck a special resonance for me, in this place. Or I could just be a sentimental old fool, who can tell.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:14 am 
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Wow, the Sea Fever piece, especially "Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied", really does resonate with my feeling about the Cavern!


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 Post subject: Me too, Capella!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:09 pm 
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Shorah Capella,

Yes, if memory serves, that was the line that did me in when I was a schoolgirl. At that time, I lived near the ocean and "Sea Fever" was the first thing I'd read which captured that mesmerizing, alluring quality of the seaside. My experience back then was that the tidal forces somehow both answered and stirred a deep wordless yearning; a need to be somewhere other than the ordinary "here".

Nowadays, I also identify more with the last few lines as an adult in the Caverns; the experience of sharing the adventure with like-minded souls is an unforgettable part of the journey.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:18 am 
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“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
— T. S. Eliot, from “Little Gidding”


This also makes me think of the series. We start Myst on Myst Island, which we know nothing about - by the end of the books and series, we know so much about the place and the family that created it, so the location itself becomes resonant with all that meaning we've layered into it. You could even apply it to Uru. Those who arrive at the Cleft with no pre-knowledge of D'ni and Atrus' family have no idea of the significance of the sands they tread, and then as they take the Journey, they learn and know - and when we finish the first quest and we come back to the second Cleft, our knowing is deeper.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:29 pm 
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Ainia

Sea Fever was part of my English Literature schooling, and I'd packed it away as inconsequential, as I did with much of my early life. Your reminder made me look at it again, almost afresh: and after several readings it is getting under my skin.

Through the wonders of Google I find that Masefield had his first career as a seaman aboard sailing ships, so he was speaking from experience in what is one of his earliest poems. There is something about the rhythm of the piece, paying proper attention to the punctuation, that brings the sea to mind, and a feeling of seascape, flat horizons that make you wonder what's in store just beyond them. You've rehabilitated Masefield for me, and now I've started to look him up. Found "The Island of Skyros". I think I'm in for a lot of study in the near future.

Capella

Thankfully (for my diminishing spare time) I have so far remained unmoved by T.S. Eliot, despite the fact that my wife and several of our friends are or were English teachers and rave about him. Or maybe that's the problem.

I do find his Modernist lack of metre to be off-putting, which may make me a barbarian. Certainly I find a strength of feeling in the Old English and Old Norse alliterative lines such as

Will must be harder, courage the bolder,
spirit must be the more, as our might lessens.

-that I rarely get from less ordered work.

Which is not to diminish Eliot as a great man, just that he's not my cup of tea.

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