Quotations and Literature Forum

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 Post subject: Death in Literature
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:15 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:03 pm
Posts: 19
Location: George Town Tasmania Australia
From Sappho to Dickinson, Rossetti, and the nightingales, death has been an imaginative obsession for many women poets-an obsession resumed in the twentieth century by poets like Millay, Mina Loy and Laura Riding...Smith and Plath.1 This pleased me because, since 1980 death has both haunted and attracted me. Somehow it did not seem right and yet, in another sense, it seemed the most natural of obsessions.
-Ron Price with thanks to 1Jahan Ramazani,Poetry of Mourning: The Modern Elegy from Hardy to Heaney, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1994, p.291.

These words, these prayers, so many deeds,
so many years have helped dissolve those walls
which thankfully separate us from them:
you wouldn’t want to go around hallucinating,
would you? Enmeshed as we are in each other’s
lives and will be, through these words,
this unpopular art which can’t be hung
for all to see or done
like that stone statue over there,
or turned into fine sound over time,
but will remain on paper
after the dilapidation of dilapidations,
after the night wind wimpers,
the leaves are all gone
and we come forth and on
with fragrances just beyond
and we slowly emerge,
exposed to our essential life,
world, at last.

Having grappled so long, so long,
with bits of paper
and what they all were saying,
a clearness fell over the river,
so smooth with a thousand diamonds
sun-studding: you could see them
as you drove along the river,
even in the night, a thousand eyes
but one mind, at last, at last,
even if the heart aches
for one has been there
so many times before.

Somewhere in the stale familiarity,
half-dead, weary-sings
something tastes of home,
just around the corner,
beyond that cloud
where the sun is breaking,
strong and clear:
at last. --Ron Price 2 July 1995

married for 47 years; teacher for 32, a student for 18, a writer & editor for 15, and a Baha'i for 55(in 2014).

 Post subject: Re: Death in Literature
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:07 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:03 pm
Posts: 19
Location: George Town Tasmania Australia
Since no one has responded in the last 8 and 1/2 years on the subject of death, I'll add a little piece here.-Ron

How people in western culture are choosing to celebrate a life after death has become increasingly creative and personal with services that often include a wide range of tangible remembrances of the deceased. Some examples include: not only pictures of loved ones placed on or in the coffin, but other objects representing the deceased’s lifetime pursuits: a favourite golf club or other sports related item, pictures of a boat, a favourite piece of music playing in the background, and anything else that might remind the mourners of the life of the departed. This has the effect of leaving mourners with the sense of the deceased having truly celebrated life. This level of personalization often includes customized caskets.

This trend in an earlier age would have seemed inappropriate & perhaps even morbid. The increased personalization of gravestones and memorials of various kinds is characterized by mixed-bag of shapes, designs, manufacturing processes, and types of personalization actually appearing on the gravestones. There is now a rapidly developing market for elaborately designed memorials both in their traditional forms, typically vertical and created out of granite with just a name and the date of death, to memorials in every conceivable size, shape and colour portraying scenes of the deceased’s everyday life. These memorials are found in Christian, Jewish and Muslim cemeteries. -Ron Price with thanks to Peter A. Maresco and Zafar U. Ahmed, “Personalized Gravestones: Your Life’s Passion for all to See and Hear,” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Vol. 13, Summer 2006.

For most of history tombstones told
the story of a person’s life and this
traditionally included their…name,
dates of birth and death, and in some
instances inscriptions reflecting on their
life, in effect a memorial in death. But
today’s memorials are moving to another
level commemorating a person’s life in
ways that were never before imagined.
Monuments fall into three basic general
categories: upright monuments and flat
markers as well as family mausoleums.

I could go on and on, but in my case:
my body will be wrapped in a shroud
of silk or cotton, and on my finger will
be placed a gold ring bearing the words:
"I came forth from God, and return unto
Him, detached from all save Him, holding
fast to His Name, the Merciful, the Compassionate."

The coffin will be of hard fine wood as He has said.(1)
(1) the He in this case is the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, Baha’u’llah, Who has prescribed these conditions for my burial.

Ron Price
6 July 2010

married for 47 years; teacher for 32, a student for 18, a writer & editor for 15, and a Baha'i for 55(in 2014).

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