Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Benefactions of the Muse

Morning, folks. Rise and shine! Another new day at the Bibliomanse; another new-old poem; another dozen or so events to rhapsodize about before you all get on with the business of the day. Today's theme, as we prepare to cogitate upon the sublime chaos that is May, is the farewell to sleep (Get up, get up for shame)! Along with Mr. Herrick, Bartholomew the Englishman/D. Solway have a few things to say about how best to bid Morpheus good night. Here's hoping his advice is sage ... especially since Bartholomew's cure for lethargy ain't exactly a walk in the park. (Lethargic types--especially poets and lovers of women--are to "be brought into a light and airy place / and drawn into wrangling and disputation / and tugged by the hair of [the] beard / and a clyster applied to [the] genitives." Anointing with mustard and a frenzied quaking of flesh to follow. Who knew? I'd rather be shook and called sweet slugabed, myself.)

Anyhow. The point is there are better things than sleep upcoming. Josh Trotter in Newfoundland, today. Ray Robertson in Barrie, tomorrow. On Sunday at 11:30 Ray Robertson is speaking about Writing and Happiness at the Blue Met Festival in Montreal. And THEN the mustard frenzy REALLY begins:

Tuesday April 24, Biblioasis's Spring Reading at Phog Lounge, Windsor: with Mike Barnes, Amanda Jernigan, and Claire Tacon
Wednesday April 25, Claire Tacon and Alex Boyd, Live at the London Music Club, London
Thursday April 26, The Reasonable Ogre Hits Type: A Book Launch/Art Exhibit for Mike Barnes & Segbingway (Type Books, Toronto)
Thursday April 26, David Hickey will be reading with Penn Kemp and a few others at the Poet Laureate and Friends event at the London Public Library (Central Branch).

Claire Tacon, moreover, will be reading at the Plan 99, Art Bar, and Virus Reading Series between April 29th and May 5th, and on May 7th, Alice Petersen will be launching All the Voices Cry at the Atwater Library in Montreal (with Chantel Lavoie).

So. That takes us to the end of the first week of May. The second week of May? You'll just have to see that malarky to believe it. Eh?

We'll have more information here on Thirsty closer to the dates. In the meantime, for full events listings, please see our Biblioasis Events Page.


from The Properties of Things (The Poems of Bartholomew the Englishman), 2007.

Bad waking is other than incontinence of sleep
but is a superfluity in the composition of man
and comes from evil matter grieving the brain
as in those disposed to melancholy;
and sometime it comes of grumous substance
and gloomy moistures in the brain
as in old, forlived men;
and sometime from great repletion and bad digestion
and sometime from craving and overdrinking.
For in this especially the sharp smoke of wine
sticks and pricks the sinews of feeling
and such men are often disposed to woodenness.
Excessive waking is to be avoided
for it dries the eyes and weights the eyelids
and enfeebles the sight and breeds headaches
and finally destroys the body.
But measured waking is nothing else
than the imbruing of spirit
into the limbs of feeling and moving
and working of the animate virtue of the body;
and abstinent waking prepares the soul
to receive benefactions of the Muse
and bring the work to completion
as did the Lord
who lugged the clayform out of darkness;
and moderate waking cools the body from within
and makes it lean and temperate;
and disciplined waking alerts the mind
to the sudden ruses of enemies
who lie in wait wolfishly like Dominicans.
For good waking
brings new resources to wayfaring men
so they do not lose the journey with sleeping
or the crown that is owing them in wakefulness.

(Image: "Satan Arousing the Fallen Angels," John Martin, 1824. Awake! Arise! Or be forever ... etc.)

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