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The starbuckclassicalpoetry.com Classical Poetry Port is a place for ye to post yer favorite poems by the masters and discuss them. Voyage forth upon the net, looking for the poetry which exalts yer soul, and bring it on home to the starbuckclassicalpoetry.com Classical Poetry Port and the Classical Poet's Port. And too, in the rich context which develops, we hope that ye try yer own hand at expressing yer deepest sentiments. And may the best poet win the hearts and minds of this rising generation.
The Starbuck.comTM Classical Poetry Port
by Becket Knottingham
The Starbuck Classical Poetry Port was inspired by a mystical memory which has haunted me ever since this foggy May night by the Corolla Lighthouse, which can be found just North of Duck, on the outer banks of North Carolina. The Lighthouse can be found there, while the memory resides here. Hoping to climb the spiral stairs in the Corolla Light, Misty and I had hopped the criss-cross wooden corrale fence so as to see if the door to the Light was unlocked. Not only was this a first date with a totally awesome girl, but it also happened on that same gothic night that I was introduced to Moby Dick. Now a lot of people might contend that Moby Dick is a novel, rather than a poem, but as of late I have been staying up to all hours of the morning studying the subject, and I say that Poetry is the music of the rational soul, the ultimate expression of the spirit's reality, and a mirror of the intangible, phantasmal essence of our existence. Poetry is found in all the magnificent works which define the fundamental words at the foundations of all our laws, convictions and conventions, our morality, our conscience, and our sense of divinity. Shelley himself declared that poets are the unacknowledged legislators of mankind, and I contend that one can find no noble milestones in history which were not preceded by the spoken or written work of an individual who had the courage to render a bold new vision in words. Though it is often endowed with rhyme and meter, poetry derives its everlasting glory from the depths of the profundities it preserves. Thus the classical poets, who we shall dedicate all the Classicals Inc. websites to, range in character from Shakespeare, to Plato, to St. Augustine, to Thomas Jefferson, to the Prophets, to Herman Melville, to Kipling, to Salinger. And though lacking corporeality, all Great Poetry is as solid and permanent as the rock of the eternal soul.
As all noble actions are preceded by thoughts, and all thoughts reside in words, so it is that our freedom, character, and divine sense of meaning derive from language and literature. The Gospel of John presents a brief history of God's aspect and language, which are forever wedded:
In the beginning was the Word, and
the Word was With God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
And having stated thus, I cannot forget that the truest definition of poetry is poetry herself, which remains the ungraspable phantom of life-- the White Whale itself, immortal, immutable, and superior to both the artist and critic, ultimately inaccessible, even to those who created it:
Against long, dark clouds like a lonely torch,
A misty light, a late May misty night,
We hopped the fence, had a seat on the porch,
The windswept spray haloed the sweeping light,
She told me stories from the years before,
When they saw ghosts dancing within the waves,
Some friends on a blanket, down on the shore,
Watched the phantoms rise from their watery graves.
How beautiful she was, for I could see,
A sense of that profound romantic high,
We shared the wild mystery of the sea,
Knowing deep down all else would someday die.
The storm blew in upon the wicked wind,
Elements had never been more alive,
On nights like those are forged the ties that bind,
When in the black ye see a light yet strive.
Against long dark clouds like a lonely torch,
I found myself ten years on down the road,
In a culture with little left to scorch,
And I recalled how the thunder did explode,
I remembered the way the wind did howl,
How the sea roared with all inequities,
And yet the beacon gave no avowal,
A solemn sentinel above capricious seas.
A misty light, a late May misty night,
I find myself there, holding Misty tight.
It turned out the Corolla Light was locked, so what we did instead was we sat in some old rocking chairs on the front porch of this quaint little house beside the lighthouse. It was the gift shop, I could tell, for I could see all the racks with the postcards and miniature lighthouses and books on Blackbeard. They'd just found Blackbeard's ship about eighty miles on down the coast, just off of Wilmington. And there, on the windowsill, somebody had left a copy of Moby Dick. It was a big old hardback edition, and as the gusts of wind swirled in under the awning, they flipped the pages back and forth, back and forth, as if some ghost was searching for the one portentious passage that alone contained the words which so beautifully expressed the moment's somber sentiments-- the humble, profound feeling that precedes a spring storm blowing in off the Atlantic.
Now I'd never been all that good at small talk, and it didn't help too much that this was sort of a first date. So in a way Herman Melville came to my rescue on that night, just as he would, time and again, with words that filled a contemporary void, echoing the subtler, unheralded beauty, providing a literary beacon by which to navigate through life as aspiring classical poets. Moby Dick became a literary bible for Drake, Elliot, and I, as we saw ourselves as the captain of the Pequod, being called upon to avenge the deposed Greats and the honor, nobility, and pride of Generation X.
Moby Dick was a tragic record of the harshness and indifference of the baser natural and human elements, which are utterly immune towards the greater glory of all rhyming contemplations, just like David Geffen and Time Warner. And we took it to be a motif for the modern reality of young artists coming of age in this postmodern fog, surrounded by the intellectually indifferent, amoral, ambitious university presidents, editors, publishers, and professors. The classical traits, such as honor, honesty, humility, prudence, and integrity had been cast overboard along with the classical literature. The abstract structure of the culture and the old, traditional, time-honored rules had been deemed an obstacle by the rising resentniks, for the Truth contained therein got in the way of their politics. Forever be it known that there is a difference between Truth and Politics, and that good Politics is that which humbles itself before the Truth. Thus the postmodern liberals performed a most wicked crime upon the culture and future generations. They deconstructed the Western heritage, removed God from the center and circumference of the universe, and replaced Him with fringe feminists, economic indicators, multiculturalists, and marketing executives, just to make sure the transition looked cool.
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