A rather sketchy rendition of Stan Rogers beautiful lament for the bygone cod fisheries of New England.
Number 25 of the season–whom I shall name William–was born around 0400 hours this morning. Marty, rising early for work, kindly kayaked around them in order to avoid disturbing the vital, bonding ritual between mom and newborn pup. Good on ya, mate.
The drama on the logboom is always entertaining. A yearling deposed William from the choice haulout spot for the latest pups, while Will’s mom growled and waved her flipper in righteous indignation at the clueless interloper. Harumph.
I named the latest two pups after William Blake and his brother, who appeared to the poet long after Robert’s passing; to guide him in the alchemical process of gravure. This relates to my last post about negative capability. Robert’s physical absence gave way to spiritual presence, which guided Blake into the mysteries of relief etching. This technique–which Blake was the first to use–requires a disolution of the copper plate in acidic hellfire in order to exalt the spiritual form as pure light.
Kathleen Raine writes of how the ancient Persephone myth appears in Blake’s poetry to symbolize the soul’s descent into the the material world. The Neo Platonists–whose philosophy Raine says informed Blake’s work–saw birth as death or banishment of the most vital and ineffable part of us.
O life of this our Spring! Why fades the lotus of the water? Why fade these children of the Spring, born but to smile and fall? Ah! Thel is like a watery bow, and like a parting cloud, like a reflection in the glass; like shadows in the water.