Weekend Reflections: Death, the Soul, the Stars

The following pictures were taken during a recent daytrip to Tongyeong, Korea, sometimes referred to as “the Naples of Korea.” As the town is highly photogenic, these pictures do not really require any comment or explanation. Instead, therefore, I have chosen to let the images comment on or explain me, as it were. The one exception is the final picture, for which I could find no worthy reflection within myself, and therefore deferred to a true poet.

I had ideas
They were under here, somewhere,
Among shallow rocks.

“I will live this death,
slowly,” she smiles, “finishing
the way I started.”

The ripple will vanish,
And we’ll think its force is gone —
Our shallow thinking.

An old fisherman
Hopes his equipment will last
As long as he does.

Korean art strives
To create this image, but
Merely imitates.

Socrates’ last hours,
He taught that our skies are seas,
On the soul’s true Earth.

Two souls are free now —
Meanwhile, in meaningless dirt
Two bumps make men cry.

The way of all flesh —
Tied up for easy transport,
When the truck arrives.

View from Floor Eighteen:
“Why won’t that old house crumble?
We could use the land!”

The Starlight Night (Gerard Manley Hopkins)

Look at the stars! look, look up at the skies!
    O look at all the fire-folk sitting in the air!
    The bright boroughs, the circle-citadels there!
Down in dim woods the diamond delves! the elves’-eyes!
The grey lawns cold where gold, where quickgold lies!
    Wind-beat whitebeam! airy abeles set on a flare!
    Flake-doves sent floating forth at a farmyard scare!
Ah well! it is all a purchase, all is a prize.

Buy then! bid then! — What? — Prayer, patience, alms, vows.
Look, look: a May-mess, like on orchard boughs!
    Look! March-bloom, like on mealed-with-yellow sallows!
These are indeed the barn; withindoors house
The shocks. This piece-bright paling shuts the spouse
    Christ home, Christ and his mother and all his hallows.

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