Thou Has Nor Youth Nor Age Poem S. Eliot (1888-1965)

Poem from “history of souls” by Ward Kelley about author S. Eliot. 

I cannot bend this chord,

I cannot frame the sunlight

into a more succinct sound;

and this is what I found,

that certain things of the earth

must be taken as they come

from this ground we all walk.

 

We all rose up, you know,

all things pure, all forthcoming,

all must rise from the ground,

and this is what I found, or

meant, that all of us of earth

will catapult through air,

sizzling through the firmament.

 

And we can pound

and pound the songs

forthcoming, beat with fists

and bone and flesh,

pound and pound

the planet’s simple song,

but never will we bend

the chord that is our fate,

those of us who, once flying,

must now learn to burrow

into the ground.

 

Pound and pound, then

run this song from town

to sound of water, water,

pound and pound and pound,

throughout the simple town,

round and round,

and this is what, at last,

is right there to be found . . .

that our very souls—

the very end,

the very beginning—

are round and round

and round.

S. Eliot (1888-1965) was arguably the most influential poet of the 20th century. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Eliot was educated at Harvard, but then moved to England where he became a British citizen in 1927. Best known for his poems “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” and “The Waste Land,” Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1948. According to Eliot’s instructions, his tomb was engraved with the phrase, “in the beginning is my end, in the end is my beginning.” The title of the above poem was taken from the dedication to his poem “Gerontion.”

 

history of souls poetry
Ward Kelley

Ward Kelley

Author and Lyrics

THIS WEEKS BLOG POST

The Ancient Heart of Sandy – Sandy Denny

The Ancient Heart of Sandy – Sandy Denny

The Ancient Heart of Sandy

My photographs always appeared too sweet,
and I never managed to reflect accurate songs
from my ancient heart out through my two
sugary eyes. Even my girlish cheeks betrayed
an affection for the comforts of modern England.

But never was I betrayed by my heart, never by
that olden beast, for it was there that screams
and trials pumped, peasant wearies and crusades
jumped fiery words forth from quilled pens . . .
it was there that pulsed the great desire

of the race to rise somehow from this mud
of the breathing ones, after falling
and falling again and again back
into our slippery selves, yet always,
incessantly, finding a cause to rise.

Nay, nay, nay . . . yea, nay, nay,
this is our way to find ourselves along
in the midst of the great muddy battle
of what it means to be alone in the breathing,
and this was the way of my aged heart’s song.

Joan in the Fires
Sandy Denny (1947-1978), English folk singer, died tragically at a young age when she fell down the steps at a friend’s home and went immediately into a coma. She passed away four days later. One of the many songs she penned was an instrumental she co-authored, “The Lord Is In This Place, How Dreadful Is This Place.”
history of souls poetry

Listen to Music by Joan in the Fires

Play Wild Mouse
Play Folds
Play Sylvia Raises a Slender, White Hand
Play Variations on Emily
Play Primal Peals of Learning
Play Joan in the Fires
Play Song For the Morning
Play Make Me a Home
Play This Love
Play Cicero Thrusts His Head
Play Centurion Hesitates At the Lake
Play For You
Play Secret of Life
Play Everywhere I’ve Been
Play Bonus – Song For the Morning, acoustic

Joan in the Fires

Joan in the Fires

Folk Singer

Jessie Doyle is a Virginia singer/songwriter of folk, folk rock, and roots music, currently living in central Virginia. She released many of her own compositions, and fronts the Americana group, Folk Medicine. She recently launched a collaboration with writer/poet Ward Kelley, which can be found at Joan in the Fires.

Jessie is the consummate free spirit, whether in her music, choice of favored instruments (uke & banjo) or living style – she spent four years at the Virginia commune, Twin Oaks International Community, saying, ”It was a great four years in which I felt like I could really be myself. My time spent there is irreplaceable.”  …  READ MORE

history of souls second edition

history of souls by Ward Kelley.

Author, poet, and lyricist Ward Kelley is now offering a second version of "history of souls". This book offers poetry that encompasses a number of themes:

Magical realism: Literature that looks at fables, myths, and allegory in the rational world.

Reincarnation: The philosophical and/or religious concept that the soul or spirit, after death, can begin a new life in a new body to learn new experiences and gain knowledge.

Metaphysics: A traditional branch of philosophy concerned with nature of being and the world that surrounds it.

By Illinois, No Birds – Poem Trail of Tears

By Illinois, No Birds – Poem Trail of Tears

Stories long ascribed the penance of our race,

whispered by familiars with the netherworld . . .

the crows, the coyotes, and sometimes even a mallard;

they all at times returned with warnings from the land

of shadows concerning our sentence

for living with the wind.

We knew we were too free . . .

we understood our desires flew

wild, with the thoughts of our ancestors, screaming

throughout the skies, to someday cost us all.

But who could ever comprehend the entire

price would be administered to our whole race?

Would it not be better to kill everyone,

than to rob us of all the skies and wind?

The babies’ hands lie limp and so forlorn

I sometimes cannot tell the live ones from the dead;

I lost all my wives to this journey, and they

grew so weary of life they now have no strength

after death to speak any words to me.

I suffer the cold, I exist in torn blankets

aside the greatest river; I suffer the snow

and the hunger, all this, but it seems too hard

to listen to this silence from the dead ones.

I see a crow wobbling above the gray waters . . .

even this bird studies me before it speaks.

“Human cunning is worthless,” says the black wing,

“when it is necessary to fly . . . and you will live and live

but never again understand the wind.”

I find I cannot turn my eyes from the icy water,

even though the crow wants to taunt me more.

I must learn to endure until I can discover how

to become one of the vocal dead.

 

 Trail of Tears mapAfter gold deposits were discovered in tribal territory, the state of Georgia, in 1828, outlawed the Cherokee government, and moved to confiscate Cherokee lands. Cherokee appeals to President Andrew Jackson were rejected. In 1832, the Supreme Court ruled in the Cherokees’ favor, yet federal authorities ignored the decision. Most of the tribe—18,000 to 20,000 members—were forcibly evicted in 1838 and endured the three-hundred-mile march generally known as the Trail of Tears. The Cherokees, calling the forced march the Trail Where They Cried, lost over 4000 people who perished due to hunger, disease, exhaustion, and exposure.

Last week’s blog post

history of souls second edition

history of souls by Ward Kelley.

Author, poet, and lyricist Ward Kelley is now offering a second version of "history of souls". This book offers poetry that encompasses a number of themes:

Magical realism: Literature that looks at fables, myths, and allegory in the rational world.

Reincarnation: The philosophical and/or religious concept that the soul or spirit, after death, can begin a new life in a new body to learn new experiences and gain knowledge.

Metaphysics: A traditional branch of philosophy concerned with nature of being and the world that surrounds it.

A Compelling, Haunting Tale from Ward Kelley – Amazon review by S. Russell

DIVINE MURDER draws the reader ever deeper into a spellbinding web of mystery. It is sheer escapism yet with a disturbing plausibility and philosophical logic underpinning each strange twist of the tale. The two central characters are well-developed, especially Zoe, who is a strong and resourceful woman, always one jump ahead of her husband in unravelling the truth behind everything that happens on her journey with him. I thoroughly recommend this compelling story concerning the divine, the diabolical and the struggles of two mortals to discover their momentous destiny. An Amazon review by By S. Russell on February 8, 2002

Divine Murder is a  theological science fiction/fantasy. Experience the most sinister plot in the history of humanity – fanatics discover how to physically murder God. A search for God by going to the opposite extreme.

Ward Kelley’s first novel is a deliriously inventive theological thriller. It’s sassy, intelligent, charming and phantasmagorical. – Tony Grist, New Hope International

Divine Murder is a fascinating look into humanity’s relationship with God and its own destiny. – Elizabeth Burton, The Blue Iris Journal

Ward Kelley’s Divine Murder is a playground for temptation and a test of moral cues. – Janet I. Buck, author of Calamity’s Quilt

One of the most interesting books I’ve read in a long time. Like all great epics, it deserves the big screen. – David M. Jackson, Artvilla

Divine Murder: A theological science fiction/fantasy
Buy from Amazon Kindle

One of the most fascinating elements of reading a fairy tale or a science fiction is the willing acceptance of a magical world where serene angels alight with outstretched wings, birds and animals converse fluently, and uncommon things happen quite commonly. We know the actions are unbelievable, yet we love to believe and accept them as real, and therein lies the success of such works.
We are to a great extent able to unravel the mysteries around us and apply scientific reasoning to known natural phenomena. Yet we are still persistently drawn the unexplained and the unknown. Religion attempts to offer meaning to the shady areas left untouched by science. However, science refuses to accept any truth that cannot be verified through experimentation and logical reasoning.

READ MORE at Sources: Critique Magazine

“Divine Murder” How Did You Dream Up the Idea of Physically Killing God?

“Divine Murder” How Did You Dream Up the Idea of Physically Killing God?

Often readers of my novel “Divine Murder,” ask how I dreamt up the idea of physically killing God. I always confess it hit me like the proverbial thunderbolt. I was sitting on top a park bench in Ocala, FL, itching with the desire to write a new novel, but searching for a unique plot. Abruptly the “god is dead” quote from Nietzche popped into my mind. Hmm . . . philosophically one can certainly make a case, but what if it could be done physically?

Abruptly there burst the unique plot idea. What indeed if one could physically kill the Almighty? Quickly this concept led to interesting plot dilemmas for the author to solve. Primarily, if one could physically kill God, who on earth could possibly want to commit such a foul act? Was it insane, or could any good feasibly come from the despicable deed? Could be fun to solve this particular dilemma!

Who would be the Adam and Eve at the opposite pole of my tale? I alighted on names for the human protagonists, Zoe and Warren.

Next I realized, okay if there were a reasonable, good outcome from killing God, and if I created a group of characters capable of fulfilling the mission, then what could be the scientific methodology of getting the job done? Could be fun constructing the omnipotent bullet!

Lastly I saw there grew an interesting theological angle, from an agnostic point of view – if God could indeed be physically killed, then beyond a shadow of doubt, it proved He existed. This appealed to the agnostic in me, a stance I debated throughout my adult life.

So this was the origin of “Divine Murder.” Readers tell me it logically falls together quite well, this solving of all the dilemmas. In fact my favorite email regarding the novel came from a gentleman in France, who — tongue in check — complained how once he started the novel, it kept him up all night and far into the morning, compelling him to see how it all ended.

Writers live for these comments.

Ward Kelley’s Blog

Annie Easily Unraveled Poem – About Anne Sexton

Anne Sexton (1928-1974) was an American poet known for her unadulterated chronicling of intimate and socially taboo subjects. She won the Pulitzer in 1967 for “Love or Die,” and gave her answer to that title in 1974 with her death by her own hand. She once wrote of frequent drinking dates at the Ritz with Sylvia Plath: “Often, very often, Sylvia and I would talk at length about our first suicides; at length, in detail, and in depth between the free potato chips. Suicide is, after all, the opposite of a poem.”

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Doc Holliday Books and Song

Books and song related to Doc Holliday. John Henry Holliday (1851-1887), known throughout the West as Doc Holliday ,was born in Georgia and educated as a dentist in Pennsylvania. Diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1873 and given only a half-year to live, he moved west, hoping to extend his life a few months in the dry climate. Already condemned to a slow, painful death, Holliday knew no fear in dangerous situations, and his fame grew; he teamed up with the Earp brothers during the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and many historians place the amount of men he killed in the 30s. The only fellow Georgian Holliday continued to contact after he went west was his cousin, Mattie Holliday. Shortly after Doc contracted tuberculosis and left Georgia, Mattie too left their childhood world to become a Sister of Charity, entering an Atlanta convent. No correspondence between the two has survived, but it’s safe to say she had a profound impact on Doc, in that even though he had been raised a Presbyterian, it was revealed after his death at Glenwood Springs, Colorado, that he had recently been baptized in the Catholic faith.

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Faith Must Stay Alive Doc Holliday Poem

John Henry Holliday (1851-1887), known throughout the West as Doc Holliday,was born in Georgia and educated as a dentist in Pennsylvania.  Diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1873 and given only a half-year to live, he moved west, hoping to extend his life a few months in the dry climate.  Already condemned to a slow, painful death, Holliday knew no fear in dangerous situations, and his fame grew;  he teamed up with the Earp brothers during the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and many historians place the amount of men he killed in the 30s.  The only fellow Georgian Holliday continued to contact after he went west was his cousin, Mattie Holliday. Shortly after Doc contracted tuberculosis and left Georgia, Mattie too left their childhood world to become a Sister of Charity, entering an Atlanta convent. No correspondence between the two has survived, but it’s safe to say she had a profound impact on Doc, in that even though he had been raised a Presbyterian, it was revealed after his death at Glenwood Springs, Colorado, that he had recently been baptized in the Catholic faith.

read more
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