The Eyes Have It

“I shall give you what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor hand touched, neither has entered into the heart of Man.” …Jesus, Gospel of Thomas, logion 17. The eyes have it. “To look at the human eye is to grasp the pattern of the entire universe.” So says Jacques Lacarriere in his 1973 essay Les Gnostiques, published by Peter Owen, London. He speaks of various bodily orifices, moving from the mouth, the anus and the navel to the eye. As for the anus, well, here he waxes eloquent. “This rectified worm that is man, cannot survive without destroying the life around him…and expelling through his anus the corrupted products of this corrupting massacre. He absorbs filth through one end and rej

Sounding the Barbaric Yawp

Sounding the Barbaric Yawp Walt Whitman wrote the words, and Robin Williams spoke them. The image is so familiar, standing on his desk and bellowing Walt’s words I sound my barbaric yawp, over the rooftops of the world. We all loved Dead Poets Society, and learned also the meaning of Carpe Diem: seize the day. C’mon, Robin said, let’s hear you yawp. The first yawps were feeble; he had to prod them. We don’t naturally lean to yawping--or at least we didn’t then. These days though the yawps come easy, and from all the wrong sources. And they’re more barbaric. Everybody wants to seize the day, and some even have guns to accompany the yawping, just in case… Did I say we’ve forgotten who Walt Whi

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