Ode To Beards

My friends Luke and Holly moved into their very own house today. A nest of love, for an old fashioned English boy and a thoroughly modern American girl. I wish them all the luck, and love, in the world. Me, I've been drawing, and directing this video, which I rather enjoy, and seem to be pretty good at. Another avenue opens up. Oh, there are many rooms in the mansion.

But I have had time to read internets a little, and poetry. On her website, Mary has been writing about that old chestnut, melancholy, my father's favourite sin. And she posted this:

Ode on Melancholy

No, no! go not to Lethe, neither twist Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine; Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kist By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine; Make not your rosary of yew-berries, Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl A partner in your sorrow's mysteries; For shade to shade will come too drowsily, And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud, That fosters the droop-headed flowers all, And hides the green hill in an April shroud; Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose, Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave, Or on the wealth of globèd peonies; Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows, Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave, And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die; And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh, Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips: Ay, in the very temple of Delight Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine, Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine; His soul shall taste the sadness of her might, And be among her cloudy trophies hung.

John Keats

Which is a lovely thing. But then, my little brother Alexander posted a poem of his own, which goes a little something like this:

My beards

My life divides into beard shaped times, Split sporadically by razor shaped lines, Eraser shaped lines.

My life divides into beard shaped seasons. Like a cancer charity calendar boy, I have struck a thousand poses; Paced the spectrum from sorrow to joy With a beard.

I’ve leered, laughed, looked lost and loved, I’ve scowled, frowned, looked scorned and sobbed. I’ve sprouted sideburns like shoots from my soul, Fresh and crispy. I’ve stroked tufts of wisdom from my chin, Sparse and wispy.

I’ve marched east with a feast of a beard, Bristling with promise from ear to ear A grimacing beard, trapping sparkles of snow, A practical beard more for purpose than show.

I’ve marched west with a festival beard, Ritualistically pampered and reared, Twisted like tentacles tearing the surface, A Tate modern beard more for show than purpose.

I’ve attempted beards. Some beards I’ve feared. Some I’ve neared then sheared.

My life divides into beard shaped memories, What can the future hold for such as me? I see... I see a beard shaped future.

Me too br'er.