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Has Fame Captured Your Soul?

Updated on September 29, 2013

Has Fame Captured Your Soul?


Has Fame captured your soul,

So that now you are the hollow shell

Of the man that once you were?

Ah, that I, mere man aspiring to those peaks

Of worthiness and newly acclaimed scrivener,

Should turn his back on the garret,

The guttering candle and the worn quill of creativity.

Does applause ring so loud in your ear

That you hear not the raging voice

From your anguished past?

The voice of a another writer, a scribe,

A nobler and more audacious man

Who laboured also over words and thoughts

And fancies, twisting here and pushing there

To force a radiant face from out

A mundane set of mean and cringing letters;

Death of Chatterton - Henry Wallis
Death of Chatterton - Henry Wallis

Who drove a pen, a sword, an anguished dagger,

Straight at the breast of mediocrity of phrase;

Wielded a semantic scythe through the hobbling,

And shuffling excuses that tumbled carelessly

From soiled and fruitless mouths.

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    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thank you, Keith. I wrote this some time ago. It started as a piss take of someone who was so much up his own "the Americans use a synonym for donkey, but our richer Anglo-Saxon had more letters"...

      They say either and we say either

      They say neither and we say neither

      They say tomatoes and we say tomatoes

      They say potatoes... Oh give it up, if can't be written, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald do it much better.

      They say "ass" and we say "nothing because the Hub Police will get hold of me and throw me out".

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2oEmPP5dTM

      Thanks for your comment, my talented friend.

    • attemptedhumour profile image

      attemptedhumour 6 years ago from Australia

      I never studied a foreigh language, nor English come to think of it, but have just studied your foreign language and it is much to my liking. A delectable mix from a true wordsmith. Cheers Ian.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Double hugs, Nellie, my dear.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 6 years ago from TEXAS

      ohgoodgrief. I know I'm in the presence of a real poet here. Thank you for making my day, though!! Hugs.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thank you, HT. I love words, and love to see them used effectively... Sometimes the opposite applies, and I get annoyed at poor use of the,. But HubPages has made me realise, that on the whole, Americans use our language better than we do.

      Thanks for your visit... please drop in any time.

    • Healing Touch profile image

      Laura Arne 6 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

      The way you choose your words is brilliant. Bravo.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Wotchyermene, Mark? You don't understand poetry. Neither do I. I just write as the Muse suggests. Sometimes she's around, and sometimes she goes on holiday, but on the whole; she's there. Anybody who could write a hub like this: http://hubpages.com/hub/Winnie-the-Pooh-and-the-Im... and then say he doesn't understand poetry, is barking.

      Suddenly realises. Oops!

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Nellieanna, II feel astounded, overwhelmed and dazed by your comments. I know the, poetic soul that you are. You also find a lack of a true goal in a person’s life or their aspirations within any task to be abhorrent. I was reading your deeply sincere and complementary comments, and could feel, massed behind me, and also behind your lovely self, a chorus of every word we have ever exchanged, and I know that you mean every word that you have written.

      It is either fate or serendipity, that while I was posting this, docmo was also posting his brilliant hub: https://hubpages.com/education/In-Pursuit-of-Excel in which he is so scathing of mediocrity. They fitted together like a hand and a glove.

      Thank you, thank you, thank you, Nellieanna for your constant support and friendship.

      I have just looked up and down the list of comments here and the hubbers so represented, and I fell as if I am in a group who epitomize exactly what I feel is most important in writing. I feel very comfortable, and humble in such fine company.

      As I commented on someone’s hub the other day, Shakespeare’s quote from Hamlet:

      Polonius: “This above all, to thine own self be true

      And it must follow, as the night the day,

      Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

      It was the school motto of the school I taught in for most of my reaching career, and it works for me.

      I love Charles Bernard Shakespeare… he was my favourite writer of those plays and pomes and stuff.

      (Ha ha ha!)

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Mark, you should know that this could not have been levelled against your good self. You must be aware by now how much I admire your writing style, and that hidden between the tongue in cheek feigned ingenuousness; parenthetical asides; is a writer of great skill and integrity. I would never miss even one of your hubs, they lift me when I am feeling jaded; they make me laugh out loud... ask Randy Behaviour what a shy retiring person I am; you almost bring out a LOL from me... you bring out the child in me. Even when you are not writing about Winnie-ther-Pooh.

      Ian

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      mckbirdbk, thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your comments, and thank you, so much for coming and reading. You are always welcome. Always! Please come by whenever you feel up to it.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thank you, Sunnie, for such lovely and heartfelt comments. I'm glad you liked "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth". Strangely enough *or maybe not so strangely) , I found myself singing "And He Shall Feed His Flock" today. although it was a couple of days, at least, since you put it on your hub.

      Tra-la-la!

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Randy, I've done it again. I'm sitting here laughing (out loud, of course) and nattering to myself, "How wonderful! Ha ha! etc.)

      Thank you, you always say just the right thing.

      Mwah!

    • Mark Ewbie profile image

      Mark Ewbie 6 years ago from Euroland

      Hi Twilight - just to let you know I DID visit and I DID comment above. I only mention it in case you missed it among the other more excellent comments. You have quite a fan base going on - deservedly of course. I would join but I don't understand poetry as you know.

    • Randy Behavior profile image

      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Wow TL what a meal you cooked up there! You know just what words to pair and what words with which to garnish and season. I can only now lay back on my couch with my belt undone in satisfied misery.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 6 years ago from TEXAS

      You keep reminding me why I fell in love with you in the first place!

      Not only is this piece written with the sublime excellence & word-love which I've learned to expect from YOU, but the subject you've chosen is deeply significant. The only change might be to include the quest for fame in the theme. :-)

      What I most fear is to slip into writing to please the crowd or to fit the demographics - (ugh!!!) - rather than to honestly & excellently express what only I can, because it's true to myself.

      Lest that sound presumptuous (or worse) - that IS the main thing anyone can bring to his or her art and work, isn't it, when one gets to the truth of it? All the best stuff is already revered and deemed "classic". And it may be that everything has already been thought, done & made, but one's own combination & presentation IS one new thing possible. But, then, - one needs to put the bright, clear light on it and see if it has any beauty, music, message and value! That is where it gets difficult for most of us. We certainly read a lot which has been spewed forth which seems lacking in many of those traits, especially in the value department.

      Anyway - you don't disappoint, my friend, and this once again proves it!

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      With comments like that, Eiddwen, I cannot be less than happy and feel vindicated. Please visit again, and indulge yourself; it would make me so happy.

      You might like to read this; it is relevant to you and me.

      https://hubpages.com/travel/Does_Anyone_Know_What_

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      Brilliant !!

      I am always amazed at all the talent that there is here on HubPages and you are amongst the top of the list without a doubt.

      Thank you for sharing your words with us .

      Take care

      Eiddwen.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Wow! There are bits in there that reminded me of the sort of word combinations I would use.

      I'm not being arrogant, I hope, but this sounds just a little bit Ian:

      "passionate, tender, languorous,

      breathing forbidden life"

    • kallini2010 profile image

      kallini2010 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I love your way with words, Ian. I am not quite sure if I will be understood if I start substitute cliche with "mediocrity of phrase". But I will use it precisely for not being understood.

      Cliche: mediocrity of phrase ... from soiled and fruitless mouths. [new definition].

      I don't only need you as my agent, I need you as my editor.

      You have a subtler way with words and I have been presented with a challenge: to rephrase some of my obscenities. My content has been flagged or flogged?

      I don't know which is right: fame thunders in my ears so loud, I can't hear. The expression "friendly female dog" sounds clear enough or still too far from the original? I am serious. The "friendly" part bugs me as too ambiguous - the one that engages in questionable activities that start with f. and rhymes with freaking.

      *********************************************************

      To make my comment more palatable, I will share with you a poem by one of the best poets Osip Mandelstam:

      From a swamp, evil, viscous,

      a rustling reed, I rose to light,

      passionate, tender, languorous,

      breathing forbidden life.

      And no one ever notices

      my cold, marshy shelter,

      where short autumnal minutes,

      greet me with their whisper.

      I delight in cruel injury

      and in a life, like a dream,

      I envy everyone secretly,

      I secretly love everything.

      *********************************************************

    • Mark Ewbie profile image

      Mark Ewbie 6 years ago from Euroland

      This will sound so up myself it's untrue, and as you know I have no education or learning to fall back on - having stopped studying as soon as I started smoking.

      Anyway... I read it as a message to myself, a warning of the shallow dangers of writing what 'they' want to read, rather than writing from t'heart.

      Self obsessed nonsense of course on my part, and anyway I want money above respect.

      Ignore all that. Er. Great Hub and poem stuff.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      I just stopped by to see. I was not prepared for such beauty.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 6 years ago

      Ian,

      You are a brillant writer..you have had such an inspiring effect on your students and on many here..and me for sure..I loved "I know that my Redeemer liveth..it was beautiful. I linked it on my hub..thank you so much.

      Amazing also what this world thinks is credible talent too..All you have to do is turn on the TV or watch what most kids are watching..They have missed out on so much culture.

      Rant away..I am a good listener...I have email too..lol

      Take care and have a good night.

      Hugs

      Sunnie

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thank you, dear Sunnie. I think that in days gone by (naff expression, I know) that a true artist really had to want to excel... nowadays, especially in the UK, they would most probably get a grant and a free flat and a supply of booze and soft drugs, just to keep them happy.

      Or worse, show them where HubPages is and let them scribble all day long and think they are writing good stuff (Ha!)

      End of rant.

      Did you like, 'I Know That My Redeemer Liveth'?

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Docmo, you most excellent writer, you; thank you for visiting and your comment. I really appreciate your input and welcome you whenever you have the time or the inclination (or both) to visit again.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 6 years ago from UK

      Ah, that I, mere man aspiring to those peaks

      Of worthiness and newly acclaimed scrivener,

      Should turn his back on the garret,

      The guttering candle and the worn quill of creativity.

      Twilight Lawns- your anguish is heartfelt and your despair is deep. Mediocrity is what scare me, haunts my dreams and is that shadow that lurks in the corner. I feel you share this passion excellence, fellow scrivener.

      Thanks for keeping the flame alive for this is an exquisitely written, excellent verse. amazing. I salute thee.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 6 years ago

      Ian this was truly captivating..I read up on this young fellow Chatterton and it is said (as you know all this) that he was only 17 when he died. I read that people praised him for his work, used his work, and promised to pay him but they never did. He bought gifts for others and used his last money. People flattered him but never gave him what was due him. This is a sad story..Your poem was awesome and knowing the story behing it, made it ever more great! Up and awesome for sure.

      Sunnie