Growing Up: An Experiment

Βρεκεκέξ Κουάκς Κουάξ

The Frog

ワンワン

The Dog

“…fatti non foste a viver come bruti…”

DANTE

DORÉ

István lying down in bed

The watchful eye of Dante

(You Were)

Dreaming a dreamless drowsiness

Yet durst not demur upon defiled fields

EXCELSIOR

PARACELSUS

Three of his comrades killed the Widow’s Son

ELIXIR OF LIFE

UIESCE BEATHA

Melanosis, Leucosis, Xanthosis, and Iosis were best friends

One day they made a Man

      Mr. Joyce awakened                                         The end- negating

      Gentleman with the br                                      Eaking of a bottle of

Wise Key

I know

WHO

does not need some whiskey?

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3 Responses to Growing Up: An Experiment

  1. bmk20800440 says:

    This poem is about the process of growing up, as the title suggests, but it is also about the process of individuation. At the beginning of the poem, I used different languages/alphabets and representations of animal noises in two different languages. This first part represents the state when everything is in confusion and there is no complete meaning. The animal noises represent the infant’s close relationship with nature.

    Then I quoted Dante’s cautionary sentence about us not being made to live like animals. This rises from the infant like a phantom, and scares him/her into a search of virtue or meaning, wherein the process of individuation starts. The reference so Stephen and Dante from Joyce’s bildungsroman are assurances that this poem is going to be about growing up, since the novel of education deals with the processes that I dealt with in my poem.

    The infant, startled from his drowsiness by the phantom of Dante’s search for virtue, starts to engage in occult arts. He searches for meaning and completeness through alchemy and mysticism – for alchemical transformation is in fact nothing but the process of individuation. The Widow’s Son referred in the poem is the legendary mason Hiram Abiff who is believed to be the architect of King Solomon’s Temple. Legend has it that Hiram was killed by three apprentices who wanted to draw from him the wisdom-word/wise-key, the password of the chief mason. The “best friends” mentioned towards the end are stages of alchemical transformation that make a complete man.

    The transition to Joyce from Hiram and Adam Kadmon (Complete Man) is made possible by the stream of consciousness which jumps from Hiram, the chief mason of the Temple, to Tim Finnegan, a mason of the other kind. This last reference to Joyce’s Finnegans Wake (Fin-negans: End-negating) brings in modernism, and reminds us how fragmented human existence has become especially in the modern era. It also reminds us that we no longer possess a wise-key (associated with the uncorking of a bottle of whiskey in Joyce’s novel), that is to say, an answer that will bring us to what we want – in this case, to meaning and completeness. The poem ends with the suggestion that, in a fragmented universe without any apparent meaning or any wisdom, perhaps the best option is to drink our troubles away.

  2. bmk20800440 says:

    Grammatical & typographical mistakes here and there. Must have some more whiskey.

  3. Dilara says:

    This poem does not mean anything to me at all yet as a whole I enjoyed it while trying to read it and thinking how the words actually sound like. The title suggests it is about growing up and it is and experiment and this poem is a kind of experiment for me when I try to find the meanings of the words.

    20901929

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