Life of an Aesthete - or - Lines written during a Psychology Lecture - 1961
1.One who cultivates an unusually high sensitivity to beauty, as in art or nature.
2.One whose pursuit and admiration of beauty is regarded as excessive or affected.
Life of an Aesthete or Lines written during a Psychology lecture - 1961
I will go out into the world
With a soup dish as a begging bowl.
I will wear saffron robes
And a shaven head… not too short,
In case I change my mind,
And forget the aesthetic life;
Some say I mean religious, but I cannot say.
Terminology confuses me.
Life’s far too short for labels.
I will sleep in the day
Or if it be not too cold,
I will lie in the sun and gaze at my body.
At night I will visit friends
And drink the coffee and conversation they offer.
I will offer them my life to study
And in return will teach them
To hate my enemies.
In public, I will write poetry
And I will be bored with life.
In private I will read T. S. Eliot and Tagore;
Coleridge will lead me with loving hands,
Right to the doors of Xanadu.
And Browning will give me companionship.
Along with Beethoven and Paganini.
I will set my life to run on smooth surfaces,
No longer worried by the presence of convention.
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran. Through caverns measureless to man. Down to a sunless sea…
Speeches will bore me still;
Old men no more qualified to speak than I,
Save that they have lived under this system of things
A longer space of time. They have saved
Stale anecdotes to set their peers cackling
And blowing noses. And still I sit among
Them and think of ways of avoiding them
And others of their kind. Boredom sets me sooner
Into untroubled sleep than those around me;
Scribbling notes and turning reverent pages;
Dry leaves swept away with the winds of change.
I will gather round me, beautiful young men
And intelligent women. The young men will
Set themselves to read ancient novels; epics;
And will quote Sophocles and the divine Emanuel Kant.
Yet they will live those uninhibited lives
Set down by Kerouac or questioned by Salinger.