Monday, February 09, 2004


"Until one is committed there is hesitancy,
the chance to drawback, always ineffectiveness,
concerning all acts of initiative (and creation),
there is one elementary truth the ignorance of
which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
that the moment one definitely commits oneself,
then Providence moves too. "

and in that web wandering way, it seemed providential to read Nick's old poster quoting Goethe at this moment at fait accompli

Comments: committed

I become a sail
placed in the winds of my mind
and hopefully by the end I've found
the starting point of some writing.

not bad, not bad at all...
Posted by David Tiley at February 10, 2004 01:28 AM

I like the old Johann Wolfgang gert. I remember cynically and gratuitously slapping one of his quotes (or should that be 'quoethes'?) into one of my Matric. Eng. Lit. essay. That'll show those examiners they've got an essay of great gravitas to conjure mit!

As I recollect it was, "Ein alter mann ist stets ein Konig Lear". (Sadly the exam question was about Henry Gibson's "The Wild Duck". I blame that unfortunate misunderstanding for my compensatory, relentless and unrequited chase for the perfect epicurean canard.)

That tempting fate quote has come back to vengefully bite me on my aged bum ... falling down only in that I'm two daughters shy of the full Monty Lear.

That aside, and to blatantly digress (and in so doing leaving behind a trail of split infinitives) it is, in my not so Uriah Heep opinion, "the" play of all of the Bard's Broadway box office hits.
Posted by Sedgwick at February 10, 2004 11:22 AM

Am grauen Strand, am grauen Meer
und seitab liegt die Stadt;
der Nebel drückt die Dächer schwer
und durch die Stille braust das Meer
eintönig um die Stadt.

Es rauscht kein Wald, es schlägt im Mai
kein Vogel ohn' Unterlaß:
die Wandergans mit hartem Schrei
nur fliegt in Herbstesnacht vorbei,
am Strande weht das Gras.

Doch hängt mein ganzes Herz an dir,
du graue Stadt am Meer;
der Jugend Zauber für und für
ruht lächelnd doch auf dir, auf dir,
du graue Stadt am Meer.

Although this is by Theodore Storm und nicht Herr Goethe its associative connections compelled me to post. Entschuldigung!
Posted by Nora at February 10, 2004 11:41 AM

David - there's always many good things over the seas at Fait.

Sedge - you had me LOL again - it hoete.
Memories of the gratuitous quote - I seemed to favour T.S.Eliot in my HSC era. Wish I could have studied Lear (or even Gibson) in Lit. Love it.
Often quoete some nasty bits of Goneril and Regan (when corboyntonelia is despairing of the world) ;)

Ja, Nora. (Miss Honourable Mention in the Goethe) Alas - the only verse I recall from my school girl German is not really apt :

mein Hut, er hat drei Ecken

unless such a hat is a metaphor ...
Posted by boynton at February 10, 2004 12:29 PM

Dear Boynton I must say your readers are extremely nice not to tease me mercilessly about posting that old Goethe saw which presently can be found in nearly any card store here. My attachment to it no doubt springs from the three years I spent living in Nurnberg as a child.

As for the 1987 note concerning reverie, when I read David Tiley's kind quote I remembered that also as a child I had a wooden plaque with pictures of sailboats hanging above my bed that read:

One ship goes East another West
By the selfsame winds that blow
'Tis the set of the sail and not the gale
That determines the way they go

Like the ships at sea are the ways of fate
As we journey along through life
'Tis the set of the soul that decides the
goal and not the calm or strife.

Anybody know the origin of that one?

And Boynton: thanks for the link and the thoughtful post about my blog.
Posted by Nick Piombino at February 10, 2004 02:45 PM

that old saw sure worked for me at that moment last night, Nick, having not seen it surface on cards or stores or even posters. An aphorism can
ambush when you're not looking.

I knew the last lines:
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Begin It Now."

Well, I would buy the poster, or even the card...

Just googled the Ship quote.
It is from "Winds of Fate" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox,1934
from this page:
Posted by boynton at February 10, 2004 03:17 PM

err - that'd be "winds of Fate" 1916.

First source I saw said 1934 ...
Posted by b at February 10, 2004 11:54 PM

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