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Tolstoy and the Time Tunnel

18 Oct

There was a Tolstoy quote I had in mind for this post which I can’t quite remember yet know it moved me back in the day. when I first read it in War and Peace.  It was about the sunlight shining through the trees and demanded to be read several times before continuing on with that epic story.

After spending plenty of time looking for my copy I wondered how I could fail to find the 1500 page doorstep of a novel, then the inevitable and ultimately fruitless search through a pdf copy actually saw my frustration lessened by the thought that  perhaps it was a good thing not to have the book to hand afterall.

What if it didn’t move me as it once did and that was a distinct possibility, if I didn’t find my actual translation would a different one have the same impact or the precise phrasing anyway?  Suffice to say, it was affecting at the time and I hope it will be so again once I find my book but until then that vague memory still makes me happy.

The point of the quote was to link in with my latest effort of writing which is a celebration of leafy ways which will soon be lost with the Autumnal flavour in the air:

 

The Arch

Passing through light to shadow
A crescent of foliage genuflects to the glory of the day
Changing the sun’s rays to oases of dappled light pools on the earthy stage.

I pause and sit
Enjoying the coolness of this climate controlled conduit.

Contemplating its aspects both seen and suggested
This is no ordinary path but a time tunnel
An admittance to fey that is a journey to distant times
A communal place of thought
A shibboleth of mysticism stretching throughout the vast span of ages.

There is perfect silence
But for the incomprehensible sound of an aeroplane,
Alien to this out of time and yet paradoxically time bound place
Birds of another form take up song.

Nature and peace reside perfectly in this spot.

The world is a dream as the weightlessness of serenity descends
The age-old trees providing a perfect phalanx to the encroaching outside.

I move on
Touched by what was and what will be again…

 

Thanks to Tom for suggesting the word shibboleth.

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49 Comments

Posted by on 18/10/2015 in My Writings, Poetry

 

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49 responses to “Tolstoy and the Time Tunnel

  1. Love, Life and Whatever

    18/10/2015 at 19:52

    Those lines are wondrous, sublime and transcdental. I was soaked with serenity.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      18/10/2015 at 19:53

      Thank you, they seemed easy to write until I looked at what I had written down, then it took hours of tweaking, such are the problems of a writer!

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Love, Life and Whatever

        18/10/2015 at 20:02

        You got talent my dear just keep practicing.

        Like

         
        • Ste J

          18/10/2015 at 20:08

          I will do that my friend, crafting in the hope of perfecting is a noble goal.

          Like

           
  2. shadowoperator

    18/10/2015 at 20:23

    Do you know what your topic today and your poem remind me of? A favorite poem (and lines) that I have read and re-read for years, trying to fathom the magic of the phrasing, and never being able to master it (or my response) completely. The whole poem is Andrew Marvell’s “The Garden,” and the lines are the ones in which he describes the interplay of sunlight among the leaves and branches. I think the key phrase is “Annihilating all that’s made/To a green thought, in a green shade.” I just can never recover from that! The sense of sitting in the shade, with all around one being a little too warm in the sun, but the shade being a bit cool, and the drowsing world, the hum of a bee, the overwhelming sense of green all around one! You obviously feel something similar. Before long, though, it’s fall leaf time, and another sense entirely. I hope you have a poem too for that!

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    • Ste J

      18/10/2015 at 20:35

      I will check that one out, I am no familiar with it, I’m sad to say. I do love that otherness of the shade, the tree and nature being almost a cocoon, it is a different world to be in the shade…or sun depending on your view. I wonder if I will be imspired to do a poem for the falling leaves, if I can give it a twist then I will.

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      • shadowoperator

        18/10/2015 at 21:37

        Though I can’t immediately call to mind any famous poems with falling leaves in them, I’m sure there must be some, and if you mention them, I may kick myself if I actually have read them. But I know two by Thomas Hardy that though being on slightly other topics, have winter settings as background in a very evocative way. The first is “Neutral Tones,” and is about the end of love, but has a winter landscape as a background and is deeply sad. The second is “The Darkling Thrush,” and is about hope of a God and of an afterlife. He wrote it at the very end of the 19th century, I believe it is set on the last day of the turning year, or something like that. It stalls you for the hopeful feeling until the last few lines or so, but “upswings” at the end. But I’m waiting for you to get inspired by the falling, drifting leaves and write another poem: I don’t think I’ve written any poetry in ages. I think I’ve lost my touch, I’ve written so much prose in the intervening years since I wrote poetry!

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        • Ste J

          19/10/2015 at 21:31

          I’m rusty on my poetry too, my problem is weighing the price and thinness of a book compared to a novel for the same price because my practical side talks over my artist appreciation side. I think the last poetry book I picked up was Rilke’s Duino Elegies which is a blast from the past now. I feel we should mend our ways where we can my friend and see what life brings.

          Like

           
          • shadowoperator

            19/10/2015 at 23:43

            Yeah, I know what you mean! Most of my books are still packed away from where my largest shelves collapsed back in May, but I’ve been reading some poems off the internet. If you know the title or can fill in a remembered line or phrase, you can always find them there just to read, though I agree (as you have mentioned before) that the thrill of actually holding a book-smelling and -feeling object in the hands at the same time is gone. There’s even one site, sorry that I can’t recall the exact link, but you’ll find it near the top of an internet search for a poem by title, where you can add your own poems to the list along with the famous poems they also publish….any takers with the first name “Ste”?

            Like

             
            • Ste J

              20/10/2015 at 18:39

              I see what you did there, I shall have a look, maybe they will like my words, I will try to be more prolific as well, I do find the process challenging though and with such a dull job it makes geeing myself up more of a challenge but I shall persevere!

              Like

               
  3. Lyn

    18/10/2015 at 20:48

    What an absolutely glorious picture, Ste J! Nature and peace reside perfectly in this spot. Your words sum up the scene perfectly. I can imagine how calming it would be to walk along that path. The coolness and peace just reach out to you.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      18/10/2015 at 21:21

      I do like the solitude, I came up with most of this one, one morning whilst on the way to a friends, not sure how the idea came about but it stuck with me enough to sit and write about it between the bus and his house. Thank goodness for plenty of handy seating to be had. I like to take you places my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  4. Letizia

    18/10/2015 at 22:20

    Lovely poem, S. “Birds of another form” I like that. I love autumn so much, after the business of summer, I think readers love the idea of slowly being forced indoors.

    I’ve so often been in the same situation: not being able to find a book or a quotation. I think we are losing our minds, my dear friend.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      19/10/2015 at 21:24

      I do enjoy searching through my books for a certain title or quotation, although I do like to find them at the end of it. We don’t lose our minds, like our books we just misplace them, lol.

      I like to be cosy inside and read but this year I have been reading outside a little more so I will miss that but I will adapt and as long as my book is good, I will be happy.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  5. Jill Weatherholt

    18/10/2015 at 23:40

    Excellent job, Ste J…and the photo is perfect!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      19/10/2015 at 21:17

      I was really picky over the photo, I wanted something good so it took ages for me to find the right one that felt enclosed and totally away from any idea of ‘civilisation’.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  6. Alastair Savage

    19/10/2015 at 07:47

    I’m still wondering how you could lose a copy of War and Peace!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      19/10/2015 at 21:16

      Still haven’t found it, it’s massive and is mostly black so it stands out.

      Like

       
  7. Al

    19/10/2015 at 10:34

    Love that poem. I have found that when I have gone back and reread a book, it didn’t have the same impact as it did before. Sometimes it is best to leave the book in memory and just drag it up from the recesses when you want a fix of it for fear of being disappointed.

    Keep up the great work with the poetry.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      19/10/2015 at 21:34

      I think that’s the reason I tend not to reread, or haven’t yet precisely for that reason. It was hard work, finishing this one but worth it in the end, hopefully the next one will be quicker in coming, appreciate you stopping by mate.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Al

        20/10/2015 at 06:30

        You’re welcome 🙂 Sorry I don’t more often, so busy at the moment. Had to cut down on the blog posts again.

        I never actually finished Lord of the Rings. I stopped reading it in 2008 when I was near the end, but don’t want to start from where I was, but also don’t want to start from the beginning as I was half way through book 3.

        Like

         
        • Ste J

          20/10/2015 at 18:33

          It’s okay life gets in the way and it seems a lot of the people we started blogging with aren’t posting as much these days, it makes Ste sad.

          The beginning of book three is a good start altough you could go in a big ring(!) and start all the way from The silmarrilion, then The Unfinished Tales, The Hobbit and by then Lord of the Rings from the beginning will seem a lot more appealing.

          Liked by 1 person

           
          • Al

            21/10/2015 at 06:48

            With all the other book son my list, I think I will be 170 by the time I get to Return of the King.

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            • Ste J

              21/10/2015 at 08:21

              Now if you were Elven this time thingy wouldn’t matter.

              Liked by 1 person

               
              • Al

                21/10/2015 at 10:26

                Heh yep. Not to mention the pointy ears.

                Like

                 
  8. sakuraandme

    19/10/2015 at 12:53

    The world is a dream as the weightlessness of serenity descends.

    My favourite line! That picture is so mystical, I absolutely love it!!
    Your such a good writer. Sending you a warm hug across the freezing ocean. Hahaha

    Paula xxx

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      19/10/2015 at 21:20

      Those places really are something akin to magic, they never fail to capture the imagination and demand words from writers. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

       
  9. Resa

    19/10/2015 at 21:23

    Love the poem!!! It’s yours, right? Of course I had to look up “shibboleth”. LOL
    Very sweet post, Ste J.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      19/10/2015 at 21:26

      It certainly is mine, I had it in my notebook for about a month before I finally started writing it down yesterday. I’m glad you like it, I had to look up shibboleth as well when it was suggested but I love that word now and needed to get it in there.

      Like

       
      • Resa

        19/10/2015 at 21:42

        Cool! Luv the poem, and the closeness of the post! TY! 🙂

        Like

         
  10. clarepooley33

    19/10/2015 at 23:03

    A beautiful poem, Ste! It evokes the right kind of dreamy feeling I get when walking in a wood or down a forest ride. The picture you chose is so lovely; I want to walk down that path!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      20/10/2015 at 18:28

      Me too, I first had the thought whilst on the bus and then had ideas in my head until I could find somewhere to sit and write it. I do like doing that and being outside to write, method writing if you will.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  11. macjam47

    20/10/2015 at 03:23

    Excellent post. I love your poem.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      20/10/2015 at 18:29

      Thank you, the word leaf is in your name if you squint and jumble some letters about and chuck the rest!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  12. Sherri

    20/10/2015 at 11:01

    Ahh, that is annoying when that happens, too many times to me to count…but look, it gave you this beautifully evocative, seasonal poem and for that, I am glad…

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      20/10/2015 at 18:25

      I like to see the positive in things so I can’t complain and like you say it did help with the post, maybe I should lose things more often.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  13. Sheila

    22/10/2015 at 18:01

    I love your poem. It brought me into a world filled with autumn leaves falling everywhere. I think I remember which passage you’re talking about from War and Peace because it was one that really stood out for me. It might be toward the beginning, when one of the characters is on a battlefield, gets shot, and while he’s lying there he looks up at the sky. It’s a life changing experience for him. I can’t remember which character it is though. 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      23/10/2015 at 19:48

      I remember the scene, Nikolai Rostov is the character I believe, I was actually thinking about a scene later on, at a funeral of old Prince Bolkonsky. I remember it being just a simple sentence yet so beautifully crafted. I do like bringing some nice escapist scenarios to your attention!

      Like

       
  14. readinpleasure

    22/10/2015 at 18:55

    I had to look up the word, ‘shibboleth’ and I had to read your words twice. To say your poem is beautiful is an understatement, Ste J. 🙂

    Passing through light to shadow
    A crescent of foliage genuflects to the glory of the day
    Changing the sun’s rays to oases of dappled light pools on the earthy stage.

    Simply enchanting opening. And your closing lines are so superbly profound. I have no more words my dear. 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      23/10/2015 at 19:53

      The words you have given me surpass the expectations of my poem a thousand fold at the very least my friend so many, many thanks. As soon as it was suggested to me by Tom for a blog post, I knew it needed to go into this one, it was a word that fit that came along at the perfect time. The more poetry I write the more technical I find the whole process. I think I enjoy it lol.

      Like

       
  15. RoSy

    23/10/2015 at 20:30

    It pays to be well read.
    Your words are like music to my ears.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      23/10/2015 at 20:37

      As are yours to mine my friend, I appreciate you taking the time to read as ever.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  16. Asha

    27/10/2015 at 05:45

    Tolstoy and everything surrounding him brings happiness. I loved reading your poem.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      27/10/2015 at 16:18

      If I can bring you a bit of happiness then that pleases me. I still haven’t found my copy of War and Peace though sadly.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  17. writersideup

    03/12/2015 at 05:22

    Such beautiful, mystical words for such a beautiful mystical place 🙂 It actually reminds me very much of that shot in “Fellowship of the Ring” where the hobbits fall onto the path and a Ringwraith shows up!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      03/12/2015 at 15:36

      I know what you mean now you mention it, I hadn’t thought of that…there’s a whole new slant on the photo straight away, I could do an alternative poem for that if I wasn’t too lazy at the moment hehe.

      Like

       
      • writersideup

        03/12/2015 at 17:17

        Makes me wonder if it was shot there! lol BUT the big difference is this image doesn’t have special effects whereas the movie did—you know, to make it sort of swirl!

        Like

         
  18. iamcayenne

    15/02/2016 at 13:44

    ………which will soon be lost with the Autumnal flavor in the air

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      17/02/2016 at 19:43

      And so the cycle continues, it will be something to savour for the next ear though.

      Like

       

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