Coleridge’s Notebooks

“Coleridge’s notebooks, of which seventy-two have survived, contain a huge assortment of memoranda set down by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge from 1794 until shortly before his death in 1834.[1] Coleridge’s biographer Richard Holmes summarized the range of material covered as “travels, reading, dreams, nature studies, self-confession and self-analysis, philosophical theories, friendships, sexual fantasies, lecture notes, observations of his children, literary schemes, brewing recipes, opium addiction, horrors, puns, prayers.” [Wikipedia]

I didn’t know that. I studied his poems in college but I don’t remember his notebooks being mentioned. Of course, it’s been a long time.

Guess how many I see see around me right now. Ready? 25. Mostly finished or well used, some in progress. They’re 5 x 8 inch notebooks and pocket size, and a couple are larger. And that’s just 2017-2018. There’s a shelf in the closet with more, though from 1995 to 2017, I mostly used computers to take notes and write drafts. Now, everything starts with “Draft Zero,” something written by hand, before the first draft, if there ever is a first draft.

I wish I was as broad and comprehensive as Coleridge but gimme a break: that dude as world class, and I’m small town. Still, I cover events, reading, dreams, worries and fears, self-confession, self-analysis, philosophical compost, friendships, YouTube and podcast notes, literary hope, boredom, horror, glory and occasionally a prayer.

What about you? Do you journal, keep notebooks?

I kept a notebook, a surreptitious journal in which I jotted down phrases, technical data, miscellaneous information, names, dates, places, telephone numbers, thoughts, and a collection of other data I thought was necessary or might prove helpful.
– Frank Abagnale
Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss.
– Joan Didion

 

 

To Build a Lighthouse

We have no rocks, no deadly reef,
no need to warn the ships away
but this town needs a lighthouse.
Let’s build one at the base of the pier.

We have a good beach which
should have been named Eternity,
for the way it curves in and out
of Time, and because beyond

these bluffs everything ends or it doesn’t.
It goes on forever, deeper and darker,
or not. No one here can say because
none of us can swim. But seals come here

winter into spring, to show us how. Coyotes
in the hills make a cry of regret. Blue herons
at sundown say everything is going home.
So we should build the light to watch the sea.

Nothing so deep can be trusted at night.
Let’s make it tall and pearl white
like the end of Time and cast its blue
beams out over the currents of dread.

 

J. Kyle Kimberlin
Creative Commons Licensed

Enough is Enough

I’ve just sent the following email to the White House Correspondents’ Association.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m writing to urge you to boycott presidential press conferences and shun the Press Secretary. They are disrespecting you and demeaning the truth. The right of the people to be informed is not served by your presence in a room where you are expected to convey bullshit to the world. The “president” and his staff are public employees – they work for us. Strong action is urgently needed to remind them of that fact. You should walk out and refuse to return unless and until Sanders is replaced and the lying and dictatorial bullying stop. Thank you for the work you do in service of the truth.