Thursday, March 5, 2009

London, courtly love & another pair

And, before reaching the Seine, there was this.

Cruising the Thames with Fram the First ....

As I promised yesterday, I have delved further into the previously unpublished travel journals of Fram the First. And, what can I say? His travels began as a bad boy. His journals indicate that he was among the rampaging hordes that swept into Britain before moving along and searching for greener pastures and brighter gold in lands to the south.

By all indications, Fram the First did enjoy cruising on the Thames and bobbing in and out of coastal towns, as well. He thought the folk friendly, the girls beautiful and the ale adequate. He did, however, mention in his journal that he preferred traditional, realistic art to the modernistic stuff finding its way into the Saatchi Gallery in London town.

My assumption is that had Fram the First been heard of beyond his 27th year, he would have grown to enjoy art ranging from blue girls to green girls. There might be more to be told regarding Fram the First's frantic existence. Apparently, he did make one earlier, civilian trip in, about and around the Continent, however, he was traveling with tintype camera gear during those voyages, which makes it difficult to relay the sights he saw.

There also exists a legend that he was among the first Norsemen to arrive in present-day Minnesota. I shall check into it.

The lover is bewildered, helpless ....

I became wrapped up in the notion of romance a few days ago, even to the point where I began studying it again in literary terms. (What can I say? English majors, i.e., witless fools.) By study, I mean examining how writers and literary movements over the centuries have viewed romance and recorded it. I have discovered that I probably am a "courtly love" man. A brief description:

"According to the system, falling in love is accompanied by great emotional disturbances; the lover is bewildered, helpless, tortured by mental and physical pain ... He agonizes over his condition and indulges in endless self-questioning and reflections on the nature of love and his own wretched state. His condition improves when he is accepted, and he is inspired by his love to great deeds. He and his lady pledge ... and must remain faithful in spite of all obstacles ... C.S. Lewis has made a detailed study of courtly love in 'The Allegory of Love'."

I did not stop there. I continued by adding historical study of romance to the mix. In this instance, I was thinking primarily in terms of how my Scandinavian ancestors viewed it. From the "The Poetic Edda," specifically within the "Hovamol -- The Ballad of the High One:"

"Soft words shall he speak and wealth shall he offer
Who longs for a maiden's love,
And the beauty praise of the maiden bring;
He wins whose wooing is best."

and this:

"The head alone knows what dwells near the heart,
A man knows his mind alone;
No sickness is worse to one who is wise
Than to lack the longed-for joy."

and one more:

"Fault with another let no man find
For what touches many a man;
Wise men oft into witless fools
Are made by mighty love."

Technology races forward, but wisdom and knowledge were born long before any of us. It is there to assist us if we wish to look for it. No date can be ascribed to the "Hovamol" but, undoubtedly, parts of it are relics of ancient Germanic poetry.

There are women who make me shake in my boots, but .... time to stop writing and to resume my studies before I get any deeper into trouble. To be continued ....

Night run & the magic girl ....

Here are two more true tales told in column form rather than in paragraph form. This is sort of fun.

Night run ....

I miss seeing the stars at night
beneath clean, clear, country skies,
while running along a graveled road
at midnight in January,
with the temperature below zero,
dressed in insulated clothing and boots,
smoking a cigarette, as I run.
I did not dream after such a night,
after running the frozen road beneath the stars.

Magic girl …

I look at her face, I stare into her eyes.
She is there yet, the girl from long ago.
Her smile has dimmed only a slight degree,
but her face shows scars from tears,
a lonely expression there for all to see.

I sense her there, the girl from long ago,
I know she is she, and once she was for me,
but how do I know what is left inside her?
Is she magic still, or has life changed her?
Can a woman return, a magic girl to be?

Music Note: Listening to and sort of watching David Bowie ....
Specifically, the "Glass Spider" tour ....

(Third time in about four or five weeks .... why?)


Natalie said...

May I add to your "collection" from the Great Will???

“Being your slave what should I do but tend
Upon the hours, and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend;
Nor services to do, till you require…”

Natalie said...

My complements, Fram! Love both poems (The mood did strike me, as you predicted! With your permission, submitting “my” version. Couldn’t resist…)

"I miss seeing the stars at night
Above clean and clear country skies,
While running along a graveled road
In the midst of winter, in the black of night.

The temperatures are brutally low,
Smoking a cigarette, as I run.
My dreams have gone missing in deep snow
Safeguarded forever by the stars and ice…"

Katy said...

Is that City Hall in Westminster in your picture Fram?

I'm intrigued by your stories in columns. The first one, "Night Run" is very evocative. I'm right there with you, watching my breath steaming in the dark cold night air, laughing and sharing cigarettes and numb feet. I like this one very much.

"Magic Girl" is much more a poem I think, more introspective perhaps? I think you may have had someone in particular in mind when you wrote this; the feeling that someone is at once knowable and unknowable comes over strongly.

Thank you for sharing these Fram. Are you planning to write more?

Katy said...

Not City Hall, County Hall. Obviously got Batman on my mind.

Fram said...

To your first comment, you made me laugh, Natalie.

To your second, thank you, and it was fun to see you "dive" in yourself. Your piece is most definitely prettier and more poetic than mine. You think like a poet, I usually think like an observer of myself and my surroundings.

Fram said...

I guess that's what it is, Katy. I think of it as the Saatchi Gallery, hence the remarks made regarding art in the story below the photograph. I wanted something more obscure in the photo I used of London than what I used in the photos from Paris and Rome, but something fairly easy to recognize at the same time. I was a year too late to see all the naked people. Did you?

Thanks for the good words about my "columns." I'm not certain if I have a person or an ideal in mind with "Magic Girl." Knowable and unknowable, yes, but that being more of a question for her to ask herself. Mature and wise, while young and daring.

Probably more to come.

Katy said...

My turn with the insomnia tonight.

Yes, the Saatchi Gallery was at County Hall although I have a feeling it has moved again now, a year or so back maybe? I saw it there, and at its previous home where it was in an old factory or warehouse unit in a residential area - either Maida Vale or Mill Hill, I can't remember which M.

I didn't see the naked people more's the pity. I think the most recent time I was inside County Hall was when I took my daughter to the International Manga & Anime Festival held there a few years ago. It's a great part of London, always so busy and full of life, and I love to walk through it (or take that bus route) when I'm in London if I can.

TheChicGeek said...

Hello Fram :) This was so lovely. I adore your poetry in columns too. Magic girl is, well, magic. I loved it. I always have much to think about after I read what you've written.
I think I'm a courtley love type too....except for the questioning my "wretched state." Always questioning, yes, but wretched, no. At this point in my life I only have the inclination to love myself and share it with others. Life is too short to spend it berating oneself.
As for romance being alive 25 years ago, no, no, no, Fram. It is still very much alive today :)
Sweet Dreams :)

Fram said...

Katy, me, too, nearly every night.

It leaves me scratching my head when I think you could jump into your car and, in a matter of minutes, be looking at familiar places that I had only a momentary glimpse of as a stranger.

Fram said...

Kelly, thank you.

First, I assume you realize the 25 years came from your story. I was thinking in terms of the beginning but, as you pointed out, it still is continuing for your friends.

Next, since I have no hats, I think I will refrain from trying to make a silly comment this time at your page. By the way, the "proud" remark was reflecting something you once said about seldom writing about yourself. I think it is risky to do, and I honestly thought your piece was great. Therefore, I was proud you did it.

Finally, I am not certain there is a "magic girl," but time will tell. I might try to explain more about that concept. Do you think one might exist?

TheChicGeek said...

Yes, Fram. I think anything is possible. I once had a neighbor that fell in love at 82. She was out having fun and dancing every week. One never knows what life has in store for us. I certainly hope I don't have to wait until I'm 82 to find a dancing partner :)

Have a Great Day!

Fram said...

Thank you, Kelly. So far the day has been sort of fun.

I'm trying to visualize myself learning to Tango at 82 ....

TheChicGeek said...

Lol...that would be fun to see :)

Fram said...

I think I'll dress as Zorro when I do ....

Something special ....