with your host The Gypsy Scholar & Bohemian Essayist
a.k.a. D J Orfeo
This page is designed to provide a conceptual and imagistic background to "Re-Vision Radio."
And twenty-seven angels From the Great Beyond They tied me to this table In the Tower of Song.... And I'm just paying my rent Every day--In the Tower of Song.
The Meaning ofRE-VISION RADIO
The concept behind theTower of Song programisRe-VisionRadio. Re-VisionRadio has a double meaning.
(1)Re-VisionRadiomeans to re-vision or see radio again; to look at radio from a fresh, critical perspective; to reconceive and reinvent radio in a new way. (2)Re-VisionRadiomeans to re-vision radio also as a visual medium.
So the Tower of Song radio program is not only the aural broadcast, but also its visual cyberspace website. But what makes it a little different from other radio programs that have a website component is that it's not just that the website is used to stream the program, to display playlists, or to store past programs, but with the thematic images (and written text) to augment the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack the cyberspace website is synergistic with the presentation. Thus the audio broadcast and its visual component are integral to each other, so listeners can literally "see what I mean" in myOrphic Essay-with-Soundtrack:Re-VisionRadio.
Professor of Musekal Philosophy, Troubadour of Knowledge, & Lecturer in the Joyous Science.
Troubadour of Knowledge: “a man so empowered by the spirit of knowledge that he invites miracles" (or miraculous synchronicities of text/Argument & Song).
The goal of the Gypsy Scholar’sOrphic Essay-with-Soundtrackgoes beyond just listening to a song; the goal is to have listeners enter completely into a Great Song (not just listen to it from the outside), which, metaphorically speaking, means to find and enter completely into the TOWER OF SONG.
The Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack fulfills the ideal of a radio program. It's mentally stimulating and emotionally satisfying and, therefore, unites the mind and the heart.
"Music that can deepest reach." ―Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays
“music heard so deeply That it is not heard at all, but you are the music While the music lasts.” ― T.S. Eliot, Collected Poems
“Everything in me feels fluttering and free, like I could take off from the ground at any second. Music, I think, he makes me feel like music.” ―Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall
Give a listen to the Gypsy Scholar's (60-sec) program promo-spots.
RE-VISION RADIO’s TOWER OF SONG is a Musical & Philosophical-Literary program broadcast from an imaginal window on your radio dial from the TOWER OF SONG. It’s hosted by the Gypsy Scholar and Bohemian Essayist, with a flower in one hand (or name) and a sword in the other. TOWER OF SONG is a “Soul-making” program, because it’s essentially an “underworld perspective”—a seeing below surface appearances to the occult or symbolic truth of things. Thus, Everybody Knows, TOWER OF SONG is truly Underground Radio.
The RE-VISION RADIO’s TOWER OF SONG program—“not for everyone, but for madmen only”—is underwritten by its ancestral tutelary deities: Hermes-Mercury—Trickster-god of those radio communications and connecting synchronicities—and Our Dark Lady of the Romantic Tower of Song—Goddess-Muse of Eternal Wisdom & Wit and ancient lonely-tower libraries. TOWER OF SONG program is co-hosted by the Angel of Imagination & Music, along with its “twenty-seven angels from the great beyond” in hyperspace, where Ushahina, angel of the hours between midnight and the dawn, gets you on her wavelength.
The purpose of the RE-VISION RADIO’s TOWER OF SONG program is to help guide its listeners—“in the middle of the night”—in searching for, by following the song (the “song-lines” of the planet), and entering into that long-abandoned Romantic “Lonely Tower,” situated in that alternative mental dimension—the “invisible landscape.” “Oh let my Lamp at midnight hour / Be seen in some high Lonely Towr, / Where I may oft out-watch the Bear, / With thrice great Hermes.” (Milton) Because TOWER OF SONG is broadcast in the midnight hour from this ancient Tower of the (Romantic) “Visionary Company,” where “the poetic champions compose” (those Romantic “ringers in the tower”), you can hear “those funny voices” sing out: “You can call my love Sophia, / I call my love Philosophy.” And, since the beginning of real Philosophy is the “sense of wonder,” Everybody Knows that the “sense of wonder” with radio is all in the mind’s eye—radio as Theater of the Imagination—, making RE-VISION RADIO the alternative radio concept that lets you see what it means. And what it means, by way of the Romantic “Arts & Sciences of Imagination,” is that Golgonoozan “artifice of eternity”— The TOWER OF SONG.
___________________________________ This first part of the "Manifesto & Visionary Recital" is read (recited) on air at the first of each month. To read the entirety of the "Manifesto," click here
For more on Re-Vision Radio's mixing words and music, check out quotes on the intimate relationship between words and music from lyricists, poets, and writers. click here
For more on Re-Vision Radio's mixing of music pop-culture with high culture,click here
On Scholarship As Hermeneutical Mysticism: Writing & Music
"What are the Treasures of Heaven which we are to lay up for ourselves, are they any other than Mental Studies & Performances?" —William Blake
"Essays, entitled critical, are epistles addressed to the public, through which the mind of the recluse relieves itself of its impressions." —Margaret Fuller
"The love of truth conjoined with a keen delight in a strict, skillful, yet impassioned argumentation, is my master-passion."—Samuel Taylor Coleridge
"Let us bring to bear the persuasive powers of sweet-tongued Rhetoric and . . . let us have as well Music, the maid-servant of my house, to sing us melodies of varying mood." —Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy
"Behind the lyric and the song is the governing, central idea, and you have to keep both of them going, so neither gets bogged down. The trick is to keep them going together."—Stephen Soundheim
"Whoever is possessed in any way by a deity indeed overflows on account of the vehemence of the divine impulse and the fullness of its power: he raves, exults . . . therefore this possession is called furor .... No one under the influence of furor is content with simple speech: he bursts forth into clamoring and songs and poems." —Ralph Waldo Emerson
"A revealing glimpse of Mr. Farlow both as a person and a musician…. As much concerned with a philosophy of life as it is with music." —Talmage Farlow (film by Lorenzo DeStephano, 2006)
“I am telling you what I know—words have music and if you are a musician you will write to hear them.” ―E.L. Doctorow
"After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own. Music always seems to me to produce that effect. It creates for one a past of which one has been ignorant, and fills one with a sense of sorrows that have been hidden from one’s tears. I can fancy a man who had led perfectly commonplace life, hearing by chance some curious piece of music, and suddenly discovering that his soul, without his being conscious of it, had passed through terrible experiences, and unknown fearful joys, or wild romantic loves, or great renunciations." —Oscar Wild, 'The Critic As Artist'
"Popular art is normally decried as vulgar by the cultivated people of its time; then it loses favor with its original audience as a new generation grows up; then it begins to merge into the softer lighting of ‘quaint,' and cultivated people become interested in it, and finally begins to take on the archaic dignity of the primitive. This sense of the archaic recurs whenever we find great art using popular forms . . . ." —Northrop Frye
"Play High/Low all the time." —Prof. N. O. Brown. The Gypsy Scholar has taken this advice (from poker) into radio, playing High/Low off each other--alternating back and forth between (Apollonian) academic high-culture and (Dionysian) popular low-culture; and within this dialectical mix, alternating high-culture music with pop-culture song—from the classical symphonic to the low-down rhythm'n'blues.
"Elsewhere, I have referred to a hermeneutical mysticism in the life and work of twentieth-century scholars of mysticism—a disciplined practice of reading, writing, and interpreting through which intellectuals actually come to experience the religious dimensions of the texts they study, dimensions that somehow crystallize or linguistically embody the forms of consciousness of their original authors. In effect, a kind of initiatory transmission sometimes occurs between the subject and the object of study to the point were terms like subject and object or reader and ceased to have much meaning…. Reading has become an altered state of consciousness." —Jeffrey J. Kripal
"… education can now dream of harnessing the invisible energies of that vast realm that we call (pending the time when we learn to manipulate each of its specifics) the mystical." —Jeffrey J. Kripal
"A hint of Jazz…. Method of argument that resembles the 'blending' of an aikido throw. And ecstatic quality to the writing that turns to the body for its deepest intuitions and creative impulses. A fearless condemnation of social injustice in all it's forms. And a careful suspicion of all things religious or dogmatic." —Jeffrey J. Kripal
The "Manifesto & Visionary Recital" is both a description of theOrphic Essay-With-Soundtrack'ssynergy of Argument & Song and a demonstration of it (as its content is made up of argument and lyrics from poetry and popular song).
Re-Vision Radio Goes To The Movies: Film as Song; Song as Film
The Essay-with-Soundtrack & The Film Soundtrack
“This is a visual whirlwind .... And it’s like six completely separate pictures mashed together. A lot of I’m Not There doesn’t really work on its story terms—and I don’t blame the actor. But if films are songs, this is one troubadour that travels its own stretch of Highway 61 in its own way. So, even though it’s a little vexing, I went for it.” —Michael Phillips (Film Critic, Chicago Tribune, 12/09/07)
"My life was saved by Rock 'n' Roll. Because it was this kind of music that, for the very first time in my life, gave me a feeling of identity, the feeling that I had a right to enjoy, to imagine, and to do something. Had it not been for Rock 'n' Roll, I might be a lawyer now." —Wim Wenders (Filmmaker)
“It’s [a film] a lot like music and it’s a little bit like painting, but it’s based on this mood the idea gives you.” —David Lynch (Filmmaker)
“I get a lot of inspiration from music, probably more than any other form. For me, music is the most pure form. It’s like another language. Whenever I start writing a script, I focus on music that sort of kickstarts my ideas or my imagination.” –Jim Jarmusch (Filmmaker)
“Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.” ―Ingmar Bergman (Filmmaker)
“I think that is what film and art and music do; they can work as a map of sorts for your feelings.” —Bruce Springsteen (Musician)
The filmmaker's use of soundtrack translates into the radio medium as a performance art. The way the GS uses song in his Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack, is refelected in what was once said of a great filmmaker:
“When he uses music, it's not a substitute for action [an interlude] but an enhancement of it.”
The way that the GS makes use of his Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack, is perfectly refelected in what the following filmmaker says about his use of '60s soundtrack in his last movie:
“It's more about picking the emotion in the vibe. We have a jukebox set right in the center of the movie ... that sort of serves as the voice the chorus would serve in a Greek play. And so I built the movie around that. I picked the songs of the '60s that resonated with me, that told a story, and desgined scenes around them.... The movie is very much a love letter to music and how much music has changed my life, and I believe that music has the capacity to change others." —Drew Goddard (Filmmaker)
click on Wurlitzer
For the GS's essay,"Re-Vision Radio Goes to the Movies: The Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack," click on Wurlitzer image above.
Re-Vision Radio’s Tower of Songprogram:“Eclectic”Music
Re-Vision Radio’s Tower of Song program has a “Musical Philosophy” that allows the Gypsy Scholar to play an “eclectic”mix of music (from medieval troubadour music, to modern, to sixties and post-sixties music). The term “eclectic,” which serves as a standard category for catch-all radio formats, fits perfectly for the Gypsy Scholar’s “eclectic” tastes not only in music but also in philosophy—thus “Musekal Philosophy.” (Eclectic: “1. deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources [e.g., ’his musical tastes are eclectic’]. 2. in philosophy; of, denoting, or belonging to a class of ancient philosophers who did not belong to or found any recognized school of thought but selected such doctrines as they wished from various schools.”)
And Eliza Gilkyson is the finest example of this tradition. Her music is what the GS calls "mythopoetics-with-a-twang"
For more on music—sixties music—in the Tower of Song, click here
Letters & Music
+ popular music
= "Musekal Philosophy"
+ Re-Vision Radio
= Musekal PhiloSophy
“Thank God for books and music and things I can think about.” ―Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon
Well, Mr. DJ I just wanna hear Some rhythm and blues music On the radio On the radio On the radio Uh-uh, all right Uh-uh, all right....
Turn up your radio and let me hear the song… Turn it up, turn it up, little bit higher, radio Turn it up, that's enough, so you know it's got soul Radio, radio turn it up, hum La, la, la, la...
And the music on the radio, and the music on the radio Has so much soul, has so much soul And you listen, in the nightime While we're still and quiet And you look out on the water And the big ships, and the big boats Came on sailing by, by, by, by And you felt so good, and I felt so good Felt so good....
Orpheus: "divine rhetoritician and singer of love songs"
broadcasting Re-Vision Radio's mercurial ideas
Re-Vision Radio's ideal listener: "I didn't just hear music. It seemed as if I were part of the music.”
Re-Vision Radio's listeners ask:
What I want to know is How does the song go? (Grateful Dead)
And everybody knows that on Re-Vision Radio the song goes perfectly with the essay, because Re-Vision Radio puts its philosophical message across best through song. As the song goes:
That's why I'm telling you in song. (Van Morrison)
“When she listened to songs that she loved on the radio, something stirred inside her. A liquid ache spread under her skin, and she walked out of the world like a witch.” ―Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
“Everything on the radio is crap…. It's fast food for your ears. It doesn't make you think. It isn't even about anything—not anything real. Don't you think music should say something?” ―Hannah Harrington, Saving June
Why the Gypsy Scholar still has an audience even when he's speaking into the void:
“Sounds travel through space long after their wave patterns have ceased to be detectable by the human ear: some cut right through the ionosphere and barrel on out into the cosmic heartland, while others bounce around, eventually being absorbed into the vibratory fields of earthly barriers, but in neither case does the energy succumb; it goes on forever—which is why we, each of us, should take pains to make sweet notes.” ―Tom Robbins
... You'll be hearing from me baby Long after I'm gone I'll be speaking to you sweetly, From a window-- In the Tower of Song. (L.C.)
The Tower of Song's Imaginal Window & the"Invisible Landscape" "RE-VISION RADIO’s TOWER OF SONG is a Musical & Philosophical-Literary program broadcast from an imaginal window on your radio dial from the TOWER OF SONG." (Re-Vision Radio Manifesto & Visionary Recital)
Fenestra Aeternitatis (Window to Eternity) Ancient
Fenestra Aeternitatis (Window to Eternity) Modern
Re-Vision Radio's "imaginal window" in the Tower of Song looks out over that "Invisible Landscape,"or perhaps William Blake's "World of Imagination."
“This world of Imagination is the world of Eternity …” —William Blake
Blake claimed to see the world not through his “vegetable eye” but “my Imaginative Eye." Thus he wrote: ”But to the Eyes of the Man of Imagination, Nature is Imagination itself. As a man is, So he Sees."
Blake's geometric"World of Imagination,""the vast deep."
"Such the period of many worlds. Others triangular, right angled course maintain. Others obtruse Acute, Scalene, in simple paths; others move In intricate ways, biquadrate, Trapeziums, Rhombs, Rhomboids, Parallelograms triple & quadruple, polygonic, In their amazing hard subu'd course in the vast deep."
For an extensive presentation of the "Invisible Landscape" as a meme, see the "Invisible Landscape" subpage.
Re-Vision Radio's Orphic-Romantic Synthesis: Burning the Candle At Both Ends
The prototypical conception of the primary opposition of the Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus is one of the outstanding legacies of nineteenth-century Romanticism (philosophically formulated by Nietzsche). Simply put, as the theory goes, these two gods represent contrasting Greek cultural values and their respective psychological aspects; Apollo representing the Olympian civilizing principle, solar consciousness, masculinity, sublimation of instincts, rationality itself, and Dionysus representing the other side, that is, chthonic nature, lunar consciousness, femininity, sexuality, intoxication, ecstasy. The tension between Apollo and Dionysus was thus interpreted, generally, as the two sides of human nature (or the conscious and unconscious part of the psyche; the principle of individuation and the primal chthonic ground) and, particularly, the psychological situation of Western, nineteenth-century man, who, being too over-burdened by Apollonian values, needed to rectify the cultural imbalance by turning to the repressed Dionysian side of things (especially everything that had to do with the visionary "Romantic Imagination") by eclipsing solar-consciousness with lunar-consciousness--"the nightside of things." (This Romanticism was picked up by Freud and is reflected in his ego vs. id psychological theory.)
For the purposes of Re-Vision Radio, Apollo and Dionysus stand for the two archetypal principles of logos and mythos
repectively; the principles, or modes of expression, it wants to
unite--philosophy and music, dialectics/ argument and song, rationality
or the critical intellect and intuition/imagination. And this uniting, comes in the figure of Orpheus, who, as the threshold figure between worlds, mediates the the
respective domains of Apollo and Dionysus.
"Later, in the context of Schelling, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche, we will see Orpheus as the reconciliation of opposites--that is, as Nietzsche suggests, of Apollo as the principium individuationis and Dionysos as the primal chthonic ground, the Ur-Eine."
Orpheus, then, is the Romantic
rapprochement of the Apollonian and Dionysian, and is, therefore, the
supreme archetype of Re-Vision Radio.
Yeah in the midnight, in the midnight, I burn the candle Burn the candle at both ends, burn the candle at both ends Burn the candle at both ends, burn the candle at both ends And I keep on, `cause I can't sleep at night Until the daylight comes through And I just, and I just, have to sing. Van Morrison
Re-Vision Radio's host,the Gypsy Scholar & Bohemian Essayist—master of radio ceremonies—with his late-night Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack, seeking the twilight trance-state of reflection and reverie, in anticipation of the nocturnal enchantment of the heartand, and longing to connect with that soulful dark blue-fire rhythm of things, romantically
burns the candle at both ends—
the ends logos and mythos; reason and imagination—both scholarly rigor and poetical reverie, both the critical analysis and the enraptured intuition, both the down-to-earth investigation and the flight of poetic inspiration, both the critical/scholarly intellect and intuitive/artistic heart, both secular hermeneutics and sacred hermetic/kabbalistic interpretation, both academic research and mystical insearch, both philosophical questioning and romantic questing, both Apollonian discipline and Dionysian abandon; both the sword of cutting discourse and the rose of healing music, both philosophical aptitude with musical amplitude—the ends of the Argument & Song on your radio dial, tuned to theRomantic Tower of Song.
Therefore, the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack begins and ends, like the “Romantic Essay,” with an
“impassioned, eloquent, and powerful prose, following from a fairly strict following of traditional ‘public’ discourse to modes of prose requiring the virtual abandonment or annihilation of such discourse and often quite literally disappearing into poetry or into the silence of contemplation and vision.”
My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends-- It gives a lovely light! -- Edna St Vincent Millay
Oh my dear, oh my dear sweet love Oh my dear, oh my dear sweet love When I'm away from you, when I'm away from you Well I feel, yeah, well I feel so sad and blue Well I feel, well I feel so sad and blue
Oh my dear, oh my dear, oh my dear sweet love When I'm away from you, I just have to sing, Just Have to sing my hymns Hymns to the silence, hymns to the silence Hymns to the silence, hymns to the silence Oh my dear, oh my dear sweet love It's a long, long journey Long, long journey, journey back home Back home to you, feel you by my side Long journey, journey, journey
Yeah in the midnight, in the midnight, I burn the candle Burn the candle at both ends, burn the candle at both ends Burn the candle at both ends, burn the candle at both ends And I keep on, `cause I can't sleep at night Until the daylight comes through And I just, and I just, have to sing
Sing my hymns to the silence Hymns to the silence, hymns to the silence My hymns to the silence
I wanna go out in the countryside Oh sit by the clear, cool, crystal water Get my spirit, way back to the feeling Deep in my soul, I wanna feel Oh so close to the One, close to the One Close to the One, close to the One
And that's why, I keep on singing baby My hymns to the silence, hymns to the silence Oh my hymns to the silence, hymns to the silence Oh hymns to the silence, oh hymns to the silence Oh hymns to the silence, hymns to the silence Oh my dear, my dear sweet love
Can you feel the silence? can you feel the silence? Can you feel the silence? can you feel the silence?
"Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence."
"School of Silence"
Radio Master (Magus) of Ceremonies
The Gypsy Scholar's Re-Vision Radio'sOrphic Essay-with-Soundtrack & Musical Philosophy
Re-Vision Radio'sOrphic Essay-with-Soundtrack(a species of the Romantic Essay), in remixing high academic culture with low pop-culture, broadcasts big ideas through popular song, which issues in aMusekal Philosophy.
"Here was a man, who inside of a pop-song . . .you know, puts big ideas, big dreams. It reminded me of Keats or Shelley or, you know, they were poets I was reading as a kid. I said this is our . . . Shelley, this is our . . . Byron. You know, there was an otherness to the language. It was just a sensory overload of the language that first got to me." (Bono on Leonard Cohen) Everybody Knows that this is because, like Leonard, the Gypsy Scholar looks to the Romantics for inspiration (and the Gypsy Scholar recognized early on in Leonard's career that the Romantic spirit was coming through him).
"We really took seriously Shelley's 'poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world'. It was an incredibly naive description of oneself. But, we certainly fell for that. We thought it was terribly important what we were doing--maybe it was, who knows?" --Leonard Cohen
Re-Vision Radio's Gypsy Scholar & Bohemian Essayist ("Radio Master of Ceremonies") broadcastsin exile(in his capacity of "Minister of Information & Culture" for theVisionary Company") from the TOWER OF SONG
"I listen to the radio and I like all kinds of music, you know, but I like to hear from people who have been there. Hank Williams has been there." —Leonard Cohen
The Tower of Song's poet-visionary in-residence
And twenty-seven angels From the Great Beyond They tied me to this table right here In the Tower of Song . . . And I'm paying my rent every day Oh, in the Tower of Song
Re-Vision Radio,discovering its true voice and vocation in the American Romantic-Orphic tradition, would sing "The Bohemian Hymn," a la Emerson, and thus emplay a Bohemian mode of scholarship as an artistic endeavor.In other words, Re-Vision Radio’smodern-day Romantic Gypsy Scholaris distinguished by his ability to play with knowledge and create a collage of ideas or an intellectual chamber music of mind-jazz ensembles--a "work of ecstasy" that celebrates, Dionysian style, with "music or dancing." This means that Re-Vision Radio'sscholar-artist--an "Inspired Scholar"--doesn’t put scholarship in service to Thanatos (death) that (as Wordsworth complained) "murders to dissect" (reductionism and literalism), but instead puts it in the service of Eros (life and love), which synthesizes and celebrates in the form of aMusekal Philosophy-- in the TOWER OF SONG.
“… a young man so empowered by the spirit of knowledge that he invites miracles.”
The Trickster-god strikes again! The Gypsy Scholar was presented with this picture by a friend (who inserted my name). It seemed too serendipitous to be anything but prophetic. Notice the last sheet under the stack: "Cohen."
Orpheus In Underworld
Why the "GYPSY SCHOLAR":
A Note To Listeners from a Lyrical Scholar Working With Music
In response to questions from a number of listeners who have wondered why I call myself the “Gypsy Scholar & Bohemian Essayist,”
I offer the following as an explanation of not only the radio handle,
but a little about the madness in my method of scholarship as presented
in my Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack.
Not every man of real intellectual power can be an animus, for the animus must be a master not so much of fine ideas as of fine words—words seemingly full of meaning which purport to leave a great deal unsaid. He must belong to the “misunderstood” class, or be in some way at odds with his environment, so that the idea of self-sacrifice can insinuate itself. He must be a rather questionable hero, a man with possibilities. –C. G. Jung
It is because the mind is at the end of its tether that I would be silent. It is because I think there is a way out—a way down and out—that I would speak. Sometimes—most time—I think that the way down and out leads out of the university, out of the academy. But perhaps it is rather that we should recover the Academy of earlier days—the Academy of Plato in Athens, the Academy of Ficino in Florence. . . . At any rate, the point is first of all to find again the mysteries. By which I do not mean simply the sense of wonder—that sense of wonder which is the source of all true Philosophy—my mysteries I mean secret and occult; therefore unpublishable; therefore outside the university as we know it; but not outside Plato's Academy, or Ficino's.” –N.O. Brown, ‘Mind At the End of Its Tether’ (Phi Beta Kappa Graduation Address, Columbia University, 1968) I have chosen the epithet of “Gypsy Scholar” because I’m a grad-student who has fallen outside the conventional academic role. (An autobiographical account of how this came to be was presented in my radio essay, “Musekal Philosophy,” early in 2005.) Suffice to say here that it all has to do with discovering the Romantic poets, writers, and philosophers as a mere freshman in college. Thus, the epithet is taken from a Romantic poem by Matthew Arnold, entitled “The Scholar Gypsy.” [See below.] The added "Bohemian Essayist" epithet comes from the fact that I discovered that the Romantic poets were the spiritual ancestors of the "Beat" poets, who themselves were the early founders of the "counter-culture" of the Sixties. Thus, the radio handle of "Gypsy Scholar & Bohemian Essayist" represents my Beat-oriented rejection of the academic establishment and of its high cutlure: "Rouze Up, Oh Young People of the New Age! Set your foreheads against the ignorant Hirelings ! For we have Hirelings in the Camp, the Court, & the University, who would, if they could, forever depress Mental & prolong Corporeal War" (William Blake). It represents, more precisely, my own attempt to bring togather the best in learned, high cutlure and popular culture, but not through the Ivory Tower, but "that tower down the track." ('The Tower of Song'): As the Orphic scholar, Emerson, put it: “I embrace the common, I explore and sit at the feet of the familiar, the low.” Therefore, the "Gypsy Scholar" stands for the affirmation of my "amateur" status (the "love" of it). The other reason for “Gypsy Scholar” is that I understand myself (because of the underground nature of the radio program, and because of the political reality in America today) to be broadcasting in exile—feeling myself to be an alien in my own country—from the “Lonely Towr” of Song. “Accident and coincidence play as prominent a role in directing and shaping one’s intellectual work as do research skills and discernment, perhaps a larger role.” (?)
My vocation as a radio DJ began my freshman year at an ivy-league college, when I had my very first experience with radio there, which had its studio at the top of the prominet university bell tower. (My first "tower of song"!) It was in the wake of the 1960s, and I especially enjoyed the wrtings of the new generation of socio-literary critics, who would use epigraphs not form elite poetry but from popular rock lyrics (like those of Dylan). After a while, my appetitie for the mixing of the popular and the academic demanded more; not just popular folk-rock or rock lyrics prefacing a learned tome, but bursting out all over the prose-text in a non-linear fashion. My own process of writing college papers reflected this imagined phantasmagorical style. I would listen to the popular music of the time while writing. Sometimes these curious synchronistic moments would happen, wherein what I was writing about would be echoed in a song over the radio. As I became more atuned to these fanatasic synchronicities, their rate seemed to increase. This caused me to concentrate more on the art of writing, and soon I was thinking about the rhythms of the great prose works we were assigned in my English Lit. courses. I found myself wondering about a way to match these prose rhythms with music; i.e., to literally hear these underlying rhythms of syntax by exteriorizing them with music. Alas, these crazy notions didn't get very far. This was, after all, the academy, and students weren't expected to take these kinds of liberties with their papers. Indeed, even though some of my academic mentors were breaking out of the strict form of the dissertation--blending prose and poetry, or writing in aphoristic style--none of them dared to get this funky. Thus, my novel idea of the scholar-as-artist was shelved in the library of my mind until I graduated. Years after, I found myself doing radio, and with the advent of the computer hyper-text, new life was breathed into my scholarly fantasy. I thought, "Why couldn't a new scholarly form of the dissertation be multi-dimensional --text, images, and music? Yet, it wasn't until recently, when radio stations integrated their broadcasts with the internet, that this fantasy could be realized. Thus, I became the "Gypsy Scholar & Bohemian Essayist" (not in the Ivory Tower, but in the Musekal Library in the Tower of Song).
The form that my scholarly fantasy took was what I called the "Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack." However, I wasn't content to push the boundaries of academic form by simply inserting popular song lyrics into the essay as epigraph. I would follow the Orphic muse and let the lyric lusters of snatches from song break out between the lines of prose--all over the page. Thus, the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack is thoroughly song-haunted--memorable song lyrics fading in and fading out between the written lines, generating a steady stream of correspondences between the ideas and the music. In reading between the lines of dialectics and song, moving back and forth between the prose and musical--with margins of nuanced associations--, a Soul-text of Musekal Philosophy emerges as a hypertext.
Interestingly enough, I had a curious confirmation of my choice for a radio-scholar name when the famous NPR radio scholar, Maureen Corrigan, came to town last September to promote her book, Leave Me Alone I’m Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books. It certainly sounded intriguing (being that my program comes out of my passion for books and a magical library)—, and even more so when I read the announcement over the air that she would actually be making an appearance in the KUSP studios for a discussion. I was taken by Ms. Corrigan and got her book, which I asked her to autograph. I told her what I did on radio. But little did I know what was in store for me until I opened the book and scanned through it. This is what I discovered on page 97: “Even when I finally was awarded my Ph.D at thirty-two, I hadn’t yet held down what my parents considered a ‘real’ job. For years before and after I officially became Dr. Corrigan, I was what they call in the profession a ‘gypsy scholar’—one of a multitude of excess eggheads who roam from campus to campus, teaching introductory courses like ‘Composition.’ I became practiced at moving into temporary teaching positions and other people’s offices.” This was all new to me, and I couldn’t help feeling that my choice for a radio handle was inspired (since I had been doing radio at KUSP for months before the book came out).
Therefore, although I have not yet earned my Ph.D., I consider myself the holder of another office (a higher office): a Prof. of Song—way up here . . . in the Tower of Song.
My ideal for what I do on radio (the Orphic Scholar) is embodied in one figure—Orpheus. The legendary Orpheus was (other than the founder of the mystery school named after him) a bard, a prophet, a rhetorician, and a musician ("a singer of love-songs”). As is well known, Orpheus’ music could perform magic, making inanimate objects come to life and dance. The ancient writers refer to something called “The song of Orpheus.” And some modern scholars write of “The Orphic Voice: the Speech of the Soul.” My vision is of a new kind of scholar, the Orphic Scholar, who wishes to “write anecdotes of intellect”from “that unknown country in which all the rivers of our knowledge have their fountains.” (Emerson). So let me try to convey the heart and soul of my inspiration from that imaginal place (where “I’m paying my rent everyday”), which is located in that “invisible landscape,” or “unknown country.” "You see him spend his Soul in Prophecy. / Do you believe it a confound lie / Till some Bookseller & the Public Fame / Proves there is truth in his extravagant claim." –William Blake
"The works that take you there have just one meaning. / Thrown into a burning bush with a crackling sound. / What you learn in silence. / What you win through screaming. / What you have is nothing there till you lay it down... " –Bob Franke, song ‘Holy Ground’ Reclaiming the amateur status of a Bohemian Essayist, I do not pretend any pure originality. I freely admit to being influenced by the creative ideas and visions of my favorite writers. But I have to qualify this by also admitting that I make them my own not because they are something totally new or alien to my mind, but because they are immediately recognized as something I've also known but not articulated—something I've already intuited. Because I've lived with and gotten to know these ideas and visions for so long, its practically impossible to separate "my own" thoughts from "their" thoughts and, therefore, I only claim to contribute to the already circulating intellectual and visionary data the novel imprint of my own interests, passions, and insights on the pre-existing work of others. "Tied to this table / In the Tower of Song, I invoke the ancient "Sicilian Muse" and seek to enter the Blakean mental storm of furious invention; thoughts racing ahead of the mind, as I work on the great Insight. "In the lonely, dead of midnight In the dimness, of the twilight By the streetlight, by the lamplight . . . In the sunlight, in the daylight And I'm workin', on the insight . . ." (–Van Morrison) My only claim to so-called "originality" could be in organizing the material of others in my own novel way; organizing it so that syncretic connexions are made between ideas that have not been, as far as I am aware, heretofore generally recognized (although the information and the clues for a syncretic re-visioning have been laying around for some time). Because I rely so much on the energy of the speculative imagination of the “poet,” I agree with the image of the scholar-as-artist: "My way of working is one of letting the mind play freely around a subject where there has been much endeavor but little attempt at perspective." I enjoy a mode of scholarship as artistic endeavor, where the modern-day "Gypsy Scholar" is distinguished by the ability to synthesize and "play with knowledge"--to create “a collage of ideas.”Of course, it has been said before that the business of the writer is to "play with words" (a serious play, as Plato told his students). The Gypsy Scholar's Orphic-Dionysian style of postmodern scholarship has recently been affirmed:
"Today, in the 21st century, the problem is synthesis--collage--how to put it all together, or put it in juxtaposition so it makes some sense." --Jennifer Stone (7/17/7)
My method is largely intuitive (the intuitive imagination of the poet); that is, generally speaking, intuitions and insights come first about a subject, and then I go to the "experts" to substantiate them, as with the following find:
"To the rationally minded the mental processes of the intuitive appear to work backward. His conclusions are reached before his premises."
“He is an authentic intellectual, able to make transcendental leaps of intellectual connection. So that he can see buried within a play or deep within the plot of a complex symbolist novel the kernals of philosophical ideas going back to the ancients. He’s capable of seeing these connections and eloquently describing them in an accessible way. Capable of synthesizing connections, roots, sources, that usually only scholars who have studied the material extensively over a long period of time can do.”
And my purpose in citing the “experts” is to bring to bear as much scholarly evidence as I can for my intuitions. In other words, bring the weight of recognized scholarship to support my independent ideas/insights—my "extravagant claim.”
“As creative artists often do, he pursued his work by means of ‘hunches’ and ‘intuitions' that shot ahead of his analytical mind.”
It should be pointed out that my Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack falls between the cracks of conventional, academic composition, locating itself in the genre of the Romantic Essay (which demonstrated the Romantic's penchant for the mixing of genres); the "conjunction of Reason and Passion that didn't draw sharp lines of differentiation between poetry and the impassioned, eloquent, and powerful prose". Thus, my Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack, begins "from a fairly strict following of traditional 'public' discourse to modes of prose requiring the virtual abandonment or annihilation of such discourse and often quite literally disappearing into poetry or into the silence of contemplation and vision.” And therefore, my Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack seeks, through the magic of the coming together of the spoken word and music—of argument intermixed with song—, to conjure up a mood, which is, at the same time, a thinking mood; a new mood of thought—“Reason in her most exalted mood”—the thought of the heart in its higher, visionary mode. So, in creating a kind of Orphic medley of knowing and loving, I'm affirming the return of eros to scholarship (from Plato) and, thus, asserting the intimate connection between knowing and desire, between love and ideas; when we love we want to know, we love to know—knowing and desiring are two sides of a single creative moment. This means that the kind of scholarship I practice is not in service to what the Romantic poet, Wordsworth, called “murders to dissect” (to the principle of analytical reductionism), but rather in service to the principle of eros, which unifies and celebrates--a "work of ecstasy" that celebrates, Dionysian style, with "music or dancing." This means that the "Gypsy Scholar" is a scholar-artist--an "Inspired Scholar." This union of philosophy and love (eros) looks back to Plato and Socrates (The Symposium), and means that in the Tower of Song you can’t tell whether the philosophers are singing of love’s ecstasies, or whether the lovers are reciting philosophy’s arguments.
However, it would be a misunderstanding to think that I’m taking a “new-age” position in rejecting (or devaluing) critical thinking and its methods; no, I want to combine both analysis and synthesis.The Prelude, that "glorious faculty," which is noted: "higher Reason or poetic imagination.") My ideal of scholarship is, surprisingly, very ancient, and goes back—“way, way, back”—to Plato’s philosophy, in which: "Intellectual rigor [read: logic] and Olympian inspiration [read: mythopoetic] no longer stood opposed.” After Plato’s synthesis of logos and mythos, it was the nineteenth-century Romantics who took up the abandoned project of reuniting philosophy with poetry, or reason and imagination—attempting to heal the wound between head and heart. Thus, my Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack takes its cue from 19th-century “Romantic Essay,” in that “it engages the reader in a discursive process,” and moves in a pattern from “discursive argument to poetry,” being a “text of self-discovery.” In bringing together Argument & Song, my Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack“a union of fact and imagination,” which refuses to “separate imagination and intellect, inner experience and the world,” and strives toward that “moment in which poetry, philosophy, and criticism begin to coalesce.” In this coalescence of Philosophy and Music, poetic enthusiasm is no enemy to scholarly discipline.
The way my Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack works rhetorically is by utilizing both reason and imagination; both scholarly rigor and poetical reverie, both the critical analysis and the enraptured intuition, both the down-to-earth investigation and the flight of poetic inspiration, both the critical/scholarly intellect and intuitive/artistic heart, both secular hermeneutics and sacred hermetic/kabbalistic interpretation, both academic research and mystical insearch, both philosophical questioning and romantic questing, both Apollonian discipline and Dionysian abandon; both the sword of cutting discourse & the rose of healing music, both philosophical aptitude with musical amplitude—so that the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack finally leads not to ponderous academic desiccation but to ecstatic Dionysian celebration—a sort of mind-jazz ensemble. Therefore my Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack’s hybrid “flowers of discourse” dissolve the boundaries between scholarship and art, dialectics and poetry, rhetoric and lyric; between, that is, Argument & Song—so much so that it is hoped the listener can’t make out where the argument leaves off and the song begins, and vice versa. “Language is a rose, and the future is still a rose, opening. . . .” (Carole Maso)
Therefore, having come this far in my vocation as a Gypsy Scholar & Bohemian Essayist, I can only give this farewell to my academic fathers:(Note: What I reject is the new-age abandonment of the "left brain," i.e., critical thinking in favor of the "heart," which, ironically, is anything but a "balanced" paradigm. I favor not the solving of the Western mind's dominance of "reason" by going to the opposite extreme of un-reason, but by the synthesis of reason/logic and imagination/intuition--the "left"- and "right-brain." Therefore, the new-age claim that one doesn't need reasoning powers because one has "intuition" is myopically wrong-headed. From the synthetic point of view, one's "intuition" is reason--logos--taken to a higher power--thus Emerson's "living, leaping Logos," which he identified with the higher Reason of Hermes Trismegistos. Wordsworth concurs, naming it in his poem, aims at
"Ah ye old ghosts! ye builders of dungeons in the air! why do I ever allow you to encroach on me a moment; a moment to win me to your hapless company? In every week there is some hour when I read my commission in every cipher of nature, and I know that I was made for another office, a professor of the Joyous Science, a detector & delineator of occult harmonies & unpublished beauties, a herald of civility, nobility, learning, & wisdom; an affirmer of the One Law, yet as one who should affirm it in music or dancing, a priest of the Soul yet one who would better love to celebrate it through the beauty of health & [the] harmonious power [of music].” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
In the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack’s wild embrace of both mind and heart, the eye of soul opens, and a soul-text gives voice to the full-bloomed gnosis of love and the love of gnosis."A lady asks me/ I speak in season/ She seeks reason for an effect, wild often/That is so proud he hath Love for a name." (Ezra Pound) In presenting the fruits of my intellectual work, through scholarship as performance art (Blake's “Mental Studies & Performances”), I look back to a mentor (the poet-prophet of Imagination), who addressed his readers in the following way: "The Author hopes no Reader will think presumptuousness or arrogance when he is reminded that the Ancients entrusted their love to their Writing, to the full as Enthusiastically as I have . . . for they were wholly absorb'd in their Gods. . . . Therefore, dear Reader, forgive what you do not approve, & love me for this energetic exertion of my talent." --William Blake
"Mr. ___ writes as an Orphic musician; not one who plays literally on a lyre, but one who calls forth the harmonic and tuneful voice of being itself."
Why the "Gypsy Scholar" is out of the Ivory Tower into that "Tower down the track."
The Scholar Gypsy by Matthew Arnold 1855
Go, for they call you, shepherd, from the hill; Go, shepherd, and untie the wattled cotes! No longer leave thy wistful flock unfed, Nor let thy bawling fellows rack their throats, Nor the cropped herbage shoot another head. But when the fields are still, And the tired men and dogs all gone to rest, And only the white sheep are sometimes seen Cross and recross the strips of moon-blanched green, Come, shepherd, and again begin the quest!
Here, where the reaper was at work of late - In this high field's dark corner, where he leaves His coat, his basket, and his earthen cruse, And in the sun all morning binds the sheaves, Then here, at noon, comes back his stores to use - Here will I sit and wait, While to my ear from uplands far away The bleating of the folded flocks is borne, With distant cries of reapers in the corn - All the live murmur of a summer's day.
Screened is this nook o'er the high, half-reaped field, And here till sundown, shepherd! will I be. Through the thick corn the scarlet poppies peep, And round green roots and yellowing stalks I see Pale pink convolvulus in tendrils creep; And air-swept lindens yield Their scent, and rustle down their perfumed showers Of bloom on the bent grass where I am laid, And bower me from the August sun with shade; And the eye travels down to Oxford's towers.
And near me on the grass lies Glanvil's book - Come, let me read the oft-read tale again! The story of the Oxford scholar poor, Of pregnant parts and quick inventive brain, Who, tired of knocking at preferment's door, One summer-morn forsook His friends, and went to learn the gypsy-lore, And roamed the world with that wild brotherhood, And came, as most men deemed, to little good, But came to Oxford and his friends no more.
But once, years after, in the country lanes, Two scholars, whom at college erst he knew, Met him, and of his way of life enquired; Whereat he answered, that the gypsy-crew, His mates, had arts to rule as they desired The workings of men's brains, And they can bind them to what thoughts they will. "And I," he said, "the secret of their art, When fully learned, will to the world impart;
But it needs heaven-sent moments for this skill."
This said, he left them, and returned no more. - But rumours hung about the countryside, That the lost Scholar long was seen to stray, Seen by rare glimpses, pensive and tongue-tied, In hat of antique shape, and cloak of grey, The same the gypsies wore. Shepherds had met him on the Hurst in spring; At some lone alehouse in the Berkshire moors, On the warm ingle-bench, the smock-frocked boors Had found him seated at their entering,
But, 'mid their drink and clatter, he would fly. And I myself seem half to know thy looks, And put the shepherds, wanderer! on thy trace; And boys who in lone wheatfields scare the rooks I ask if thou hast passed their quiet place;
Or in my boat I lie Moored to the cool bank in the summer-heats, 'Mid wide grass meadows which the sunshine fills, And watch the warm, green-muffled Cumner hills, And wonder if thou haunt'st their shy retreats.
For most, I know, thou lov'st retired ground! Thee at the ferry Oxford riders blithe, Returning home on summer-nights, have met Crossing the stripling Thames at Bablock-hithe, Trailing in the cool stream thy fingers wet, As the punt's rope chops round; And leaning backward in a pensive dream, And fostering in thy lap a heap of flowers Plucked in the shy fields and distant Wychwood bowers, And thine eyes resting on the moonlit stream.
And then they land, and thou art seen no more! - Maidens, who from the distant hamlets come To dance around the Fyfield elm in May, Oft through the darkening fields have seen thee roam, Or cross a stile into the public way. Oft thou hast given them store Of flowers -the frail-leafed white anemony, Dark bluebells drenched with dews of summer eves, And purple orchises with spotted leaves - But none hath words she can report of thee.
And, above Godstow Bridge, when hay-time's here In June, and many a scythe in sunshine flames, Men who through those wide fields of breezy grass Where black-winged swallows haunt the glittering Thames, To bathe in the abandoned lasher pass, Have often passed thee near Sitting upon the river bank o'ergrown; Marked thine outlandish garb, thy figure spare, Thy dark vague eyes, and soft abstracted air - But, when they came from bathing, thou wast gone!
At some lone homestead in the Cumner hills, Where at her open door the housewife darns, Thou hast been seen, or hanging on a gate To watch the threshers in the mossy barns. Children, who early range these slopes and late For cresses from the rills, Have known thee eyeing, all an April-day, The springing pastures and the feeding kine; And marked thee, when the stars come out and shine, Through the long dewy grass move slow away.
In autumn, on the skirts of Bagley Wood - Where most the gypsies by the turf-edged way Pitch their smoked tents, and every bush you see With scarlet patches tagged and shreds of grey, Above the forest-ground called Thessaly - The blackbird, picking food, Sees thee, nor stops his meal, nor fears at all; So often has he known thee past him stray, Rapt, twirling in thy hand a withered spray, And waiting for the spark from heaven to fall.
And once, in winter, on the causeway chill Where home through flooded fields foot-travellers go, Have I not passed thee on the wooden bridge, Wrapped in thy cloak and battling with the snow, Thy face tow'rd Hinksey and its wintry ridge? And thou hast climbed the hill, And gained the white brow of the Cumner range; Turned once to watch, while thick the snowflakes fall, The line of festal light in Christ-Church hall - Then sought thy straw in some sequestered grange.
But what -I dream! Two hundred years are flown Since first thy story ran through Oxford halls, And the grave Glanvil did the tale inscribe That thou wert wandered from the studious walls To learn strange arts, and join a gypsy-tribe; And thou from earth art gone Long since, and in some quiet churchyard laid - Some country-nook, where o'er thy unknown grave Tall grasses and white flowering nettles wave, Under a dark, red-fruited yew-tree's shade.
- No, no, thou hast not felt the lapse of hours! For what wears out the life of mortal men? 'Tis that from change to change their being rolls; 'Tis that repeated shocks, again, again, Exhaust the energy of strongest souls And numb the elastic powers. Till having used our nerves with bliss and teen, And tired upon a thousand schemes our wit, To the just-pausing Genius we remit Our worn-out life, and are -what we have been.
Thou hast not lived, why shouldst thou perish, so? Thou hadst one aim, one business, one desire; Else wert thou long since numbered with the dead! Else hadst thou spent, like other men, thy fire! The generations of thy peers are fled, And we ourselves shall go; But thou possessest an immortal lot, And we imagine thee exempt from age And living as thou liv'st on Glanvil's page, Because thou hadst -what we, alas! have not.
For early didst thou leave the world, with powers Fresh, undiverted to the world without, Firm to their mark, not spent on other things; Free from the sick fatigue, the languid doubt, Which much to have tried, in much been baffled, brings. O life unlike to ours! Who fluctuate idly without term or scope, Of whom each strives, nor knows for what he strives, And each half lives a hundred different lives; Who wait like thee, but not, like thee, in hope.
Thou waitest for the spark from heaven! and we, Light half-believers of our casual creeds, Who never deeply felt, nor clearly willed, Whose insight never has borne fruit in deeds, Whose vague resolves never have been fulfilled; For whom each year we see Breeds new beginnings, disappointments new; Who hesitate and falter life away, And lose tomorrow the ground won today - Ah! do not we, wanderer! await it too?
Yes, we await it! -but it still delays, And then we suffer! and amongst us one, Who most has suffered, takes dejectedly His seat upon the intellectual throne; And all his store of sad experience he Lays bare of wretched days; Tells us his misery's birth and growth and signs, And how the dying spark of hope was fed, And how the breast was soothed, and how the head, And all his hourly varied anodynes.
This for our wisest! and we others pine, And wish the long unhappy dream would end, And waive all claim to bliss, and try to bear; With close-lipped patience for our only friend, Sad patience, too near neighbour to despair - But none has hope like thine! Thou through the fields and through the woods dost stray, Roaming the countryside, a truant boy, Nursing thy project in unclouded joy, And every doubt long blown by time away.
O born in days when wits were fresh and clear, And life ran gaily as the sparkling Thames; Before this strange disease of modern life, With its sick hurry, its divided aims, Its heads o'ertaxed, its palsied hearts, was rife - Fly hence, our contact fear! Still fly, plunge deeper in the bowering wood! Averse, as Dido did with gesture stern From her false friend's approach in Hades turn, Wave us away, and keep thy solitude!
Still nursing the unconquerable hope, Still clutching the inviolable shade, With a free, onward impulse brushing through, By night, the silvered branches of the glade - Far on the forest-skirts, where none pursue, On some mild pastoral slope Emerge, and resting on the moonlit pales Freshen thy flowers as in former years With dew, or listen with enchanted ears, From the dark dingles, to the nightingales!
But fly our paths, our feverish contact fly! For strong the infection of out mental strife, Which, though it gives no bliss, yet spoils for rest; And we should win thee from thy own fair life, Like us distracted, and like us unblest. Soon, soon thy cheer would die, Thy hopes grow timorous, and unfixed thy powers, Adn thy clear aims be cross and shifting made; And then thy glad perennial youth would fade, Fade, and grow old at last, and die like ours.
Then fly our greetings, fly our speech and smiles! - As some grave Tyrian trader, from the sea, Descried at sunrise and emerging prow Lifting the cool-haired creepers stealthily, The fringes of a southward-facing brow Among the Aegaean isles; And saw the merry Grecian coaster come, Freighted with amber grapes, and Chian wine, Green, bursting figs, and tunnies steeped in brine - And knew the intruders on his ancient home,
The young light-hearted masters of the waves - And snatched his rudder, and shook out more sail; And day and night held on indignantly O'er the blue Midland waters with the gale, Betwixt the Syrtes and soft Sicily, To where the Atlantic raves.
A NOTE ON THE POEM
The Scholar Gypsy was a student of "pregnant and very ready parts" who, his humble birth preventing advancement at Oxford, joined the company of Gypsies, who taught him their lore and livelihood.
The story is first told in the Vanity of Dogmatizing by Joseph Glanvill (1661), who alludes to an unnamed colleague from whom he heard the events, which took place "very lately". The student is therefore unlikely to have been born much before 1635. Glanvill saw in the Gypsies' reputed ability to influence other peoples' thoughts, by the power of suggestion or "Imagination", a physical explanation for the ability of Angels to steer humans aright or astray.
The story was made famous in "The Scholar Gipsy" by Matthew Arnold (1853), who was more interested in the romance of a disaffected Oxford student, which recalled to him his own days at the University, when he and his friends spent much time roaming the "Cumner range". This includes Boar's Hill, where Arnold composed "Thyrsis"; the city has now designated a "Matthew Arnold field" where the poet is supposed to have been inspired.
"Om Wagi Shori Mum" ("Hail to the Lord of Speech! Mum!")
In Buddhism, Manjushri is the Bodhisattva of Wisdom. He is revered as the patron of arts and sciences, the master of eloquence. Writers in the arts and in science traditionally invoke Manjushri's assistance. Authors often open their books with versus in his honor. The Sanskrit name Manjushri means "gentle glory" or "sweet glory." Manjushri is also known as Manjughosha (meaning "gentle-voiced one" or "sweet-voiced one") and as Vagishvara ("Lord of Speech"). He holds a sword of "Discriminating Wisdom" in one hand and the lotus-flower of "Compassion" in the other.