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Personal Philosophy: Education

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The Italian Stallion:  Undeniable the single most largest influence in my education.   A very early taste of Romantic Poets was all it took.  In his class, all the big names were introduced.  It was a who's who anthology of names.  Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, or Byron, you name it; we read it.  Of course, what was I interested in?

  Andrew Marvell's 
"To His Coy Mistress"

Had we but world enough and time
This coyness, Lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love's day,
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.

But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honor turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.

Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

Vegetable love, 400 years in breasts, what more could a boy ask for?  Serious point being, on a very superficial level, these words were concrete images I could appreciate.  It was fascinating that a man of the 17th century felt the same fire a young boy of the 20th century felt.  Plus he said it much more eloquently.   So much, that this poem was committed to memory, just in case I ever met a hottie at a football game.

The Italian Stallion brought the other authors to life as well, but it was over my head at that point.  It wasn't until Shakespeare's Macbeth when my true awakening commenced.  

Macbeth:  The early years, Favorite Quotes:

Ldy Mbth: "It is too full o' the milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great"

Ldy Mbth: "The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top- full
Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood;
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature's mischief! Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
To cry 'Hold, hold!'"

Mbth: "lay on, Macduff And damn'd be him that first cries "Hold, enough!"

Mbth: "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas in incarnadine,
Making the green one red."

What a play!  Rich imagery, respectable body count, "kings and queens, who blind your eyes and steal your dreams" It was perfect for young spongy heads.  He did a wonderful job of breathing life into those phrases which were centuries old.  Lady Macbeth was always my favorite of this play.  Macbeth himself was a fool at best.  The girl had all the brains of this operation.  Leave it to Shakespeare to champion the woman, yet twistfully give her a coward's way out, so the egotistical giants of the ensuing centuries could ignore the pure strength found in most women.  Yes, yes I said strength.   But, we are not prepared to speak about women quite yet.  Back to Lady Macbeth.  How many women do you know that would metaphorically bash the brains out of a suckling child?  Depending on who's reading this, perhaps you know a few.  I know I do (my head still hurts from some of them).  Regardless, she is a driven woman.  She always held my attention.  I will forever picture her as a rare dark haired Scottish beauty.  Tall, lean, fiery eyes.  Perfect lips, and the body to match.  This may sound like a flattering, erotic description, but BUT, don't misunderstand me.  As wholly beautiful as Lady Macbeth may be, her stunning looks add to her frightening personality.  On the outside, you may have the epitome of womanhood, but the temperament that lies beneath is horrifying.

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