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 Post subject: STAGIRIUS
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:31 pm 
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In 1844 the British poet Matthew Arnold(1822-1888), who had started writing poetry in his teens, began writing a poem entitled Stagirius.1 That same year Arnold graduated from Oxford and began teaching the classics at Rugby School. Arnold’s poem Stagirius was not published until 1849 and then in 1855. In this poem Arnold asks release from doubt and spiritual pride. In 1857 he was appointed Professor of Poetry at Oxford. His poetry reveals the spiritual unrest and distraction of the age and his attraction to certain Greek and Roman guides and modern poetic teachers. –Ron Price wit thanks to “Selections from the Prose Works of Matthew Arnold,” The Project Gutenburg Ebook, 2004.

They were busy years for you,
the most turbulent and the most
glorious in the greatest cycle of
religious history, they are, too,
the most spectacular, the most
tragic and the most eventful….

But, as you say, Stagirius was mad
and the world was mad, you knew
only too well with the severity of
that inward tempest. That uniform
attachment to a simple model with
its abstruse and arbitrary eschatology
had become ridiculous. You were not
fit for any evangelical poverty, for any
evangelical anything; you could not
consume your life in penance, solitude
and religious zeal, you had too sociable
a demeanour, you sought that wide and
luminous view with its sweet calm and
sought a oneness with the life of humankind.

Ron Price
6 April 2007

1 Stagirius was a young friend of Chrysostom.(349-407 AD) They belonged to a brotherhood of monastics. He was not able to endure the ascetic disciplines of the monastic order because of his affluent background. He lived at the time of the famous ascetic Simeon the Stylite who has become famous in history for his asceticism.

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married for 42 years; teacher for 35 years; Canadian living in Australia for 38 years; Baha'i for 50 years.


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