22 Aug 2018

Under the Stars

Hail readers!

It has been a long time since I’ve written here on the Magical Realm, for which I can only express my regret. Alas, life has a tendency to catch up on you. Moreover, I’ve had a number of things to keep me occupied and otherwise indisposed.

The first of these was university, especially my second (and last, thankfully) Spanish class, which was a mess of grammar. Then the summer holidays came; school finished, but I spent a long time on the road to Romania, fell sick to an abscess in the gums, and spent much time occupied with these foibles. Then there were tuition fees to be paid, not to mention a microeconomics paper to complete.

After all that, I followed my grandparents to the countryside, where, for a time, I had no Internet. Blogging was therefore out of the question, but I still managed to work on both Fallen Love and its sequel.

Speaking of the books, I will get onto that in a moment. Firstly: I wish to discuss my latest poem, entitled Under the Stars (for which this post is eponymous).

A New Poem

Under the Stars is slightly meta-poetic, in that it refers to a poet, but its main message concerns immortality—the immortality of being remembered, of being important to the universe in a way above and beyond the normally insignificant lives led by humans. (Hence the metaphorical allusion to the stars.)

The poem is also a warning, of sorts: those who never seek to explore the world, to understand some of its mysteries, are no better than lesser animals—the poem compares them to chickens.

I should make a few things clear about this poem is not, however. The poem does not deal with any kind of physical immortality (debatable based on the definition of physical immortality and the laws of entropy). Nor does it comment on non-physical immortality (another can of worms entirely).

With that said, read on!

Under the stars Where the Heavens shine bright
In the dark shadow of the blue night
A poet dreams
The things unknown to man.

The moon dares not show herself
For her time is not yet;
The night belongs to the darkness
To the pale blue, the faint yellow
The unseen magenta hues.

It is said
That to admire those precious points of light
For too long
Leaves mortals mad.
The vast unknown is too great to ponder.

But the poet, nay;
He is no mere mortal, is he not?
For what is immortality
But remembered epics
That live forevermore in the minds of men?

On this dark night
In this bright sky
When others sleep soundly in their beds
(Fools, so little they know!)
The poet is allowed to wonder.

What lies in yonder universe?
A man feels small
Among such wise giants.
For the stars look on,
And know humanity too very well.

Does humanity deserve
Such greatness?
The poet thinks, and wonders;
It does not surprise him, in truth.
Man no more deserves it than the chickens.

Poets, philosophers, and kings;
Men of science and learning;
Curiosity lives in them
Bright as the stars
Darker than space.

Yet they are so few:
Diamonds among a mass
Of dull coal, like stars in the great expanse
Of emptiness.
For many are incurious, and stupid.

Mortality is a curse;
Death and suffering are its arbiters
As surely the knife is to the chickens.
Blood flows, men die, turn to dust.
Nought comes of it.

The poet is right, aye.
Those who gaze at the stars
May one day hope to join them;
Those who think of meat and the earth
Are doomed to join the objects of their desire.

Such is the way of the world
Is it not?
The moon waxes and wanes
Day gives way to night, and night to dawn.
Only the stars can taste eternity.

The Struggle for Fallen Love

I come, at last, to my long and difficult journey in getting the book published. Primarily, the problem has been a lack of time and energy on my part; the simple fact of the publishing industry at present (and for the last ten years or so) is that it requires immense perseverance. It is, in some ways, a numbers game: the probability of getting represented by one agent is very low, so it requires a lot of queries—this is an inevitable outcome dictated by statistics. I’m willing to bet that the number of queried agents required to obtain representation is approximately normally distributed around a mean, but left skewed (i.e. all authors need to query 10+ agents, but some end up querying 100).

Another problem is of course simple faith—in the book, in myself as a writer. The publishing process is by its nature demoralising. So what am I to do? Soldier on, carry my cross? It would seem so.

I shall leave you now, dear readers, for I am to return to Amsterdam and still have much to do. Rest assured, however, that I will return to blogging. I aim to write another article on photography and my experiences with my first DSLR. Until then...

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