Archive for August 27th, 2021

9919197 Faces From the Wood sm

Faces From the Wood“- At the West End Gallery

I wish I loved the Human Race;
I wish I loved its silly face;
I wish I liked the way it walks;
I wish I liked the way it talks;
And when I’m introduced to one,
I wish I thought “What Jolly Fun!

― Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh

On a morning when I am feeling more than a bit misanthropic, I thought I’d express it in the lightest manner I could muster. I guess the verse above from English poet Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh (1861-1922) might do the trick.

I don’t know much about this particular Raleigh and, feeling as I do this morning, don’t really care. Don’t know if he was descended from the more famous Walter Raleigh, the one I best knew from seeing his face on my one aunt’s cigarette packs as a kid. I would imagine so but what does it really matter?

For those of you more interested, this particular Walter Raleigh was a professor of literature at Oxford and that bit of light verse was titled Wishes of an Elderly Man, Wished at a Garden Party, June 1914.

It might be titled Wishes of a Near Elderly Man, Wished in an Art Studio, August 2021.

I thought of going with a different piece of verse this morning, like this short bit from Ape and Essence, the lesser known dystopian novel from Aldous Huxley:

The leech’s kiss, the squid’s embrace,
The prurient ape’s defiling touch:
And do you like the human race?
No, not much.

Or I guess I could have went with this simple quote from the great German painter Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840):

You call me a misanthrope because I avoid society. You err; I love society. Yet in order not to hate people, I must avoid their company.

It’s not verse but maybe it gets closer to the bone. Perhaps even closer is this passage from Sinclair Lewis, as laid out it in his It Can’t Happen Here:

… he loved the people just as much as he feared and detested persons…

That might best describe my misanthropic urge this morning. And every other morning.

I like and love people individually but on the whole very much dislike persons in the collective sense.

I am not talking about you guys. No, you’re okay.


I hope you will excuse my curmudgeonly behavior this morning. Now get out of here.

And stay off my lawn…

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