No flower like that flower, which knew itself in the garden, and fought the knife—lost
A. Ginsberg – Kaddish
It’s time get this blog back on track, a little more time and a little more summer outside. That helps. The quote above caught my eye lately. This isn’t a surprise but let’s make it clear. Allen Ginsberg has a lot more to offer than just Howl.
Let’s forget what Kaddish is really about. For now let it be only about this poor plant. The postion of a flower that is determined enough to put up a fight against a knife is hopeless. It is a one of a kind metaphore of a lost battle, an encounter that was impossible to win way before it started. How can something so delicate tackle something so sharp and deadly?
It is an uncanny way to say it, still it points to the tale of a brave individual, who is opposing the tragic fate. As much as dramtic and sad, it is also a motivational slogan hard to match. It shows by comparison, how our own petty, surrendered little battles are unwisely forfeited. Or maybe wisely but at the same time cowardly in a way.
Whole generations of greek soldiers were brough up on such stories. Achill was a flower after all, the fate was his knife that cut his heart with a sadistic satisfaction. He stood against the gods and had not hesitated much. He lost, he got awarded with death.
*M. Slevogt – Achill
After all I don’t thing it was right thing to do. He got punished for his pride, in moral terms he wasn’t pure.
I think therefore that there is something else in the Ginsberg quote. Maybe I should admit I’d chosen it nor for the obvious idealistic value. Maybe flowers aren’t supposed to battle knifes. I’m quite sure I’d chosen it for the other obvious value it possesses. The aesthethic value. It’s pretty and it’s pleasurable to read it. So that it is not wise to stand alone against the unavoidable.
It is however beautiful to write about standing alone against the unavoidable. Like ancient greeks we love to spectate when a tragedy is being played in front of us. Life choices is a whole another topic.
In other words do find motivation, do fight for the right side. Do stand up against the unjustice. Still, when hidden from all the trouble get lost in the text but don’t judge it for it’s morals but ask about the pleasure you can get from it. Take into consideration the advice of the expert:
Thus, what I enojy in a narrative is not directly its
content or even its structure, but rather the abrasions I impose upon the fine surface: I read on, I skip, I look up, I dip in again.
R. Barthes – The pleasure of the text
Fight outside, then get lost in the bliss of reading when a calm dove is back on your shoulder.