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Old 02-06-2012, 11:22 PM
Location: George Town Tasmania, Australia
126 posts, read 186,621 times
Reputation: 105



D. H. Lawrence, writing in 1916 during the Great War, felt that two thousand years of civilization were collapsing before his eyes. “So much beauty and pathos of old things,” he wrote were “passing away and no new things coming: my God it breaks my soul.” He did not see any new things coming, although he hypothesized many things he would have liked to see.

‘Abdu’l-Baha also wrote in 1916 His Tablets of the Divine Plan, the seminal document that laid the Plan for the spread of the Baha’i Cause throughout the planet and for the foundation of the nucleus and pattern of a new world Order. At the end of April 1919 these Tablets were unveiled in New York at the Hotel McAlpin at the Baha’i National Convention.

In May 1919 the pre-eminent British composer of his generation, Edward Elgar, had his three new chamber works premiered. Adrian Boult wrote that they possessed “a new note of fantasy, of freedom and of economy.” From May through early August 1919 Elgar composed his Cello Concerto. I find ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Tablets of the Divine Plan, like Elgar's Cello Concerto, spare and concentrated. ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s argument was not a musical one like Elgar’s, but a spiritual one. ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s themes, like Elgar’s, were memorable and its argument cut deeper. Both Elgar’s work and ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s were haunted by an autumnal sadness, the sadness of compassion not pessimism.-Ron Price with thanks to (1)Elgar: Cello Concerto--Creating A Classic—How Elgar Came to Write the Concerto,” at www.elgar.org/3cello (broken link), 28 August 2008.

After reading Elgar Unmasked
by Dr. David C. F. Wright at the
website: www.wrightmusic.org
I began to question the aptness
of the analogy I made above in
the prose section of my poem..
The number of musicians who
hated Elgar’s music includes
many famous names of much
considerable literary weight--
Herbert von Karajan said:

"I don’t know what is better,
the moment before Elgar begins
or the great relief when it is all
over."….I believe that a man’s
music is the man himself…It is
the same for artists…poets and
writers of factual matters or….
matters of spiritual belief, yes..

Charles Dickens wrote about social
issues in his novels because that is
the way he felt about them. ‘Abdu’l
Baha wrote about the mission of the
North American Bahá’ís, His view &
conception of future pioneering plans,
their role and their spiritual destiny in
the realization of that Wondrous Vision
which constituted the brightest emanation
of His Father’s Mind and the fairest fruit
of the fairest civilization the world had seen.1

1 Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, Wilmette, 1974(1938, p. 48.

Ron Price
28 August 2008
Updated for: Fantasy Land
On: 16/9/’10
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:25 PM
Location: George Town Tasmania, Australia
126 posts, read 186,621 times
Reputation: 105
Default Thanks charles

Although I was a student then teacher of English literature and composition at all levels of the educational process, from primary to post-secondary school from the 1950s through the 1990s, I never really got ‘into’ the works of Charles Dickens(1812-1870). They were never on any of the curricula. The opening sentence to one of my all time favorite books in the world The Catcher In the Rye by J.D. Salinger placed my attitude as a young and middle-aged man to Charles Dickens. That sentence read: "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know about my life is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap..."

As I got into late adulthood, though, the years after 60, according to one model of human development in the lifespan, I began to take an interest in Dickens. Tonight I watched the first of a new mini-series Little Dorrit. It was screened in the U.K. in 2008, in the USA in 2009 and now it was here in Australia in 2010.(1) Little Dorrit was published between 1855 and 1857. It was, among other things, an indictment of the British system of justice. Virginia Woolf maintained that "we remodel our psychological geography when we read Dickens," as he produces "characters who exist not in detail, not accurately or exactly, but abundantly in a cluster of wild yet extraordinarily revealing remarks."

All authors might be said to incorporate autobiographical elements in their fiction or, in my case, in their poetry. With both Dickens and I, though, this autobiographical aspect to their writing is very noticeable. Dickens took pains to mask what he considered his shameful, lowly past. I do not take pains to mask my life, although I certainly do not reveal-all. Dickens's own father was sent to prison for debt, and this became a common theme in many of his books. The detailed depiction of life in the Marshalsea prison in Little Dorrit resulted from Dickens's own experiences of that institution.

The delightful Claire Foy, as Amy Dorrit, is an idealised character; this idealising of character serves only to highlight Dickens's goal of poignant social commentary. An important impact of Dickens's episodic writing style resulted from his exposure to the opinions of his readers. Since Dickens did not write the chapters very far ahead of their publication, he was allowed to witness the public reaction and alter the story depending on those public reactions. I, too, found, this aspect of public reaction important in my writing on the internet since I retired from FT, PT and casual work in the years 1999 to 2005.-Ron Price with thanks to (1)ABC TV, 27 June 2010, 8:35 p.m.

Well, Charles, I can understand
your despair about society and
those seemingly unbridgeable
gaps. Yes, people do so stick
to their beliefs---assumptions
about life with their emotions
wrapped around them—their
faith, Charles, that’s their faith.
We all have our faith; for each
of us our faith decides what our
mountains are from day to day..

Yes, Charles, we all go on our
pilgrimage in search of eternity
as restless travellers in search of
our true selves often imprisoned
as they are in the greatest prison
of all---the prison of self.1 Thank
you, Charles, for so many things:
helping me with my writing, my
autobiographical self and listening
to my readers as best I can before
writing more in my serialized and
seemingly endless prose---poetry.

1 Takao Saijo, “Charles Dickens: His Novels and Society,” Internet Site, 27 June 2010.

Ron Price
27 June 2010
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