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Poetry: I read it, write it, teach it, edit it, review it, publish it; Etc.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


So here's a contradiction of my longing to enjoy the ancient Roman adage, "Festina lente," or hurry slowly as I've mentioned earlier. Not that I'm altering one smidge my sense that hurrying slowly is a great way to be in the world that will hurry, no matter what, with or without us. It is our ability to keep our eyes and ears open in the rush of it that will slow life down enough for us to savor the moments given. Yes.

And I wonder whether Lente Festina is substantively different? hmmm

BUT, because if I've discovered anything in life it's that one adage calls for a counter-adage, I find I want to also speak for my darling Festina. Yes, I do adore her; she provides the fire in my life, a bit of the spirit of eros, to hew to a Valentine-appropriate theme. In fact, it is from the lines of a classic Valentine's poem that I find myself most encouraged to pursue Festina. While the beginning of Marvel's poem is such a finely crafted and constructed argument against the preservation of virginity, likely the best ever, such argument is now personally a moot point, but I do find the last stanza one that drives me onward, offered here as a reminder of the fire at our feet.

from "To His Coy Mistress"
by Andrew Marvel

Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball,
And tear our pleasure with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

and as far as I'm concerned, if you're still alive, you've got enough "youthful hue" to qualify for Marvel's fiery exhortation: devour our time, fast, faster!


  1. "I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life..." Thoreau

    Whether this is done slowly or quickly is no matter, just do it.