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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 6:58 pm
by elko
Hello Everyone,

Welcome to the forum.

Whether you are new or not, here is a chance to put a bit about yourself.

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 7:48 pm
by countingcrows
Name: Rob(ert) Clark

Age: 15

Gender: Male

Location: Bristol, UK

Job/Education: First year of Ashton Park 6th form.

Significant Other: Young, free and single!

Interests: Listening to music, playing guitar, having fun and stuff, and other stuff.

And Another Thing...: I am not wearing sunglasses.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2004 9:39 am
by gareth
Name: Gareth Dickie

Age: 23

Gender: Male

Location: Bristol, UK

Job/Education: Finished 6th form, did a music degree, started The Danans, currently working for the council and doing a masters in September.

Significant Other: Kate

Interests: Music, promoting the band, and... um.... that's it. I used to do other things but don't have time any more.

And Another Thing...: I have only joined this forum on the understanding that you, Ellis, join The Danans mailing list @ <a href='http://www.thedanans.com' target='_blank'>The Danans</a>

PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 9:55 pm
by Cruithne3753
I'm very likely both the oldest person here, yet the newest fan, only about a month or so. For years I never really liked The Smiths, there was something about Morrissey's singing that I just couldn't grasp, I always thought he sounded a bit off-key. I thought the hearing aid was to get him sympathy! I was put off becoming vegetarian for years.
But a month ago I heard Love Spit Love's version of "How Soon is Now" at Subspecies, upstairs at the Hatchet (yep, I'm Bristolian, sheer coincidence!) and thought "yep, that's always been a great song, should really check out the original". So, after downloading a load of "Best of" stuff (on heavy rotation on my MD Walkman), and buying Mozzer's new one, I've at last cottoned on to their music, and Moz's singing. CD purchasing in progress. And to think I could have caught the best band of the 80s live...

Name: Matt Jackson

Age: Do I have to? OK, <muffled>36</muffled>

Location: Bristol UK (in case you missed it the first time)

Job: Worked for 11 years programming database systems. Then thanks to 9/11 I got made redundant and now I'm stuck in a boring job in a dusty warehouse.

Significant other: Strangeways: track 6

Interests: Music (occasionally fumbles with a bass), Science Fiction novels, programming, getting out once in a while.

And another thing: I have been right round the World before I was 5, yet I have never been to Manchester.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 10:49 am
by elko
Welcome to the forum mate, it's funny, even the older fans mostly were not fans at the time. Still, their music is still around, and thats what matters. How did you find out about the forum?

Cheers,
elko

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 2:04 am
by tomtomtom
Name: Tom Tom

Age: 31

Gender: Male

Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Job/Education: Publicist (Art & Culture)/ About to finish my studies at the Faculty of Humanities in Ljubljana

Significant Other: Yes (boyfriend)/ I love him very much!

Interests: Art & Culture/ Traveling/ Friends/ Studying/ Going Ahead

I got an e-mail (spam in a way !!!) from Elko a few hours ago – thanks, Elko! - and I decided to register eventhough I don't listen to The Smiths anymore.

Concerning The Smiths I sometimes feel like I was married to them in a certain period of my life, therefore when it comes to The Smiths I always react intensively- subconsciously in a way -, and I always have to deal with an 'army of' my old self. There's always this ambivalent feeling of both awkwardness and pleasure while listening to the Smiths now. Nowdays I hardly listen to them anymore. But I believe that once you fall in love with someone – and eventhough you get a bit colder after awhile and you perhaps quit relationship -, you never stop loving this person. In the worse case you perhaps perform an emotional massacre of him or her to yourself – it happens a lot -, but this is another thing. It's the same case with artists you love! You always freeze when an old love suddenly appears.

Let me tell you, what I learned from The Smiths. (I can't deny the fact that they raised me: I formed myself, became a human being in a dialogue with The Smiths. I learned how to do your best to jump onto chance of becoming a good man. I still try hard to become one.) I would have eat myself if there wasn't any Smiths around in my teens – that's for sure. But I learned how to approach art from The Smiths, I learned what is a poetic detail, what is a concrete situation behind a story or a fragment (in opposite to the big majority of artists that sing about some abstract (general, non-existing) love affairs or human affairs by which you can ask yourself only whether they experienced any of them in their lifetime) in lyrics that you can relate to. I learned that true art is not something you can pasively appreciate but something that you have to recognize as a challenge or an impulse to grow. Something you have to face with your whole self. Because that's the only chance to get something in return and to get ahead. I learned that - besides music - language can make a huge impression on me and that only very precise language reflects a body – a live person behind it. And that's the basic thing – a thing that counts in terms of literature or lyrics. - And I learned that art of quality always 'knows' how to get you unprepared, 'knows' how to surprise you. And it's always bigger than you – that's why the growing's making sense!

Wyslawa Szymborska: TRUE LOVE

True love. Is it normal
is it serious, is it practical?
What does the world get from two people
who exist in a world of their own?

Placed on the same pedestal for no good reason,
drawn randomly from millions but convinced
it had to happen this way - in reward for what?
For nothing.
The light descends from nowhere.
Why on these two and not on others?
Doesn't this outrage justice? Yes it does.
Doesn't it disrupt our painstakingly erected principles,
and cast the moral from the peak? Yes on both accounts.

Look at the happy couple.
Couldn't they at least try to hide it,
fake a little depression for their friends' sake?
Listen to them laughing - its an insult.
The language they use - deceptively clear.
And their little celebrations, rituals,
the elaborate mutual routines -
it's obviously a plot behind the human race's back!

It's hard even to guess how far things might go
if people start to follow their example.
What could religion and poetry count on?
What would be remembered? What renounced?
Who'd want to stay within bounds?

True love. Is it really necessary?
Tact and common sense tell us to pass over it in silence,
like a scandal in Life's highest circles.
Perfectly good children are born without its help.
It couldn't populate the planet in a million years,
it comes along so rarely.

Let the people who never find true love
keep saying that there's no such thing.

Their faith will make it easier for them to live and die.


Take care,

Rok

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 8:32 pm
by elko
Yeh, sorry about the 'spam', it was just a way I thought of to get new members.
Are those your lyrics there?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:05 pm
by tomtomtom
No, Elko, those lyrics are not mine. I wish they were. Wyslawa Szymborska is a polish poet that won the Nobel prize for literature in 1996. She's an old lady that lives in Krakow, Poland. Her poetry is very simple, yet very complex, very deep, yet very humourous and mostly surprisingly communicative. Check out "General Chat > Memebers Verse" – to read some more!

Take care,

Rok

PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 7:37 pm
by elko
Here's something I found by here - not a poem, but a lecture. I found it quite inspiring.

elko
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Poet and the World
Nobel Lecture by Wislawa Szymborska
Polish Poet/Nobel Literature Prize 1996

December 10, 1996 at the Stockholm Concert Hall, Stockholm, Sweden


They say the first sentence in any speech is always the hardest. Well, that one's behind me, anyway. But I have a feeling that the sentences to come - the third, the sixth, the tenth, and so on, up to the final line - will be just as hard, since I'm supposed to talk about poetry. I've said very little on the subject, next to nothing, in fact. And whenever I have said anything, I've always had the sneaking suspicion that I'm not very good at it. This is why my lecture will be rather short. All imperfection is easier to tolerate if served up in small doses.

Contemporary poets are skeptical and suspicious even, or perhaps especially, about themselves. They publicly confess to being poets only reluctantly, as if they were a little ashamed of it. But in our clamorous times it's much easier to acknowledge your faults, at least if they're attractively packaged, than to recognize your own merits, since these are hidden deeper and you never quite believe in them yourself ... When filling in questionnaires or chatting with strangers, that is, when they can't avoid revealing their profession, poets prefer to use the general term "writer" or replace "poet" with the name of whatever job they do in addition to writing. Bureaucrats and bus passengers respond with a touch of incredulity and alarm when they find out that they're dealing with a poet. I suppose philosophers may meet with a similar reaction. Still, they're in a better position, since as often as not they can embellish their calling with some kind of scholarly title. Professor of philosophy - now that sounds much more respectable.

But there are no professors of poetry. This would mean, after all, that poetry is an occupation requiring specialized study, regular examinations, theoretical articles with bibliographies and footnotes attached, and finally, ceremoniously conferred diplomas. And this would mean, in turn, that it's not enough to cover pages with even the most exquisite poems in order to become a poet. The crucial element is some slip of paper bearing an official stamp. Let us recall that the pride of Russian poetry, the future Nobel Laureate Joseph Brodsky was once sentenced to internal exile precisely on such grounds. They called him "a parasite," because he lacked official certification granting him the right to be a poet ...

Several years ago, I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Brodsky in person. And I noticed that, of all the poets I've known, he was the only one who enjoyed calling himself a poet. He pronounced the word without inhibitions. Just the opposite - he spoke it with defiant freedom. It seems to me that this must have been because he recalled the brutal humiliations he had experienced in his youth.

In more fortunate countries, where human dignity isn't assaulted so readily, poets yearn, of course, to be published, read, and understood, but they do little, if anything, to set themselves above the common herd and the daily grind. And yet it wasn't so long ago, in this century's first decades, that poets strove to shock us with their extravagant dress and eccentric behavior. But all this was merely for the sake of public display. The moment always came when poets had to close the doors behind them, strip off their mantles, fripperies, and other poetic paraphernalia, and confront - silently, patiently awaiting their own selves - the still white sheet of paper. For this is finally what really counts.

It's not accidental that film biographies of great scientists and artists are produced in droves. The more ambitious directors seek to reproduce convincingly the creative process that led to important scientific discoveries or the emergence of a masterpiece. And one can depict certain kinds of scientific labor with some success. Laboratories, sundry instruments, elaborate machinery brought to life: such scenes may hold the audience's interest for a while. And those moments of uncertainty - will the experiment, conducted for the thousandth time with some tiny modification, finally yield the desired result? - can be quite dramatic. Films about painters can be spectacular, as they go about recreating every stage of a famous painting's evolution, from the first penciled line to the final brushstroke. Music swells in films about composers: the first bars of the melody that rings in the musician's ears finally emerge as a mature work in symphonic form. Of course this is all quite naive and doesn't explain the strange mental state popularly known as inspiration, but at least there's something to look at and listen to.

But poets are the worst. Their work is hopelessly unphotogenic. Someone sits at a table or lies on a sofa while staring motionless at a wall or ceiling. Once in a while this person writes down seven lines only to cross out one of them fifteen minutes later, and then another hour passes, during which nothing happens ... Who could stand to watch this kind of thing?

I've mentioned inspiration. Contemporary poets answer evasively when asked what it is, and if it actually exists. It's not that they've never known the blessing of this inner impulse. It's just not easy to explain something to someone else that you don't understand yourself.

When I'm asked about this on occasion, I hedge the question too. But my answer is this: inspiration is not the exclusive privilege of poets or artists generally. There is, has been, and will always be a certain group of people whom inspiration visits. It's made up of all those who've consciously chosen their calling and do their job with love and imagination. It may include doctors, teachers, gardeners - and I could list a hundred more professions. Their work becomes one continuous adventure as long as they manage to keep discovering new challenges in it. Difficulties and setbacks never quell their curiosity. A swarm of new questions emerges from every problem they solve. Whatever inspiration is, it's born from a continuous "I don't know."

There aren't many such people. Most of the earth's inhabitants work to get by. They work because they have to. They didn't pick this or that kind of job out of passion; the circumstances of their lives did the choosing for them. Loveless work, boring work, work valued only because others haven't got even that much, however loveless and boring - this is one of the harshest human miseries. And there's no sign that coming centuries will produce any changes for the better as far as this goes.

And so, though I may deny poets their monopoly on inspiration, I still place them in a select group of Fortune's darlings.

At this point, though, certain doubts may arise in my audience. All sorts of torturers, dictators, fanatics, and demagogues struggling for power by way of a few loudly shouted slogans also enjoy their jobs, and they too perform their duties with inventive fervor. Well, yes, but they "know." They know, and whatever they know is enough for them once and for all. They don't want to find out about anything else, since that might diminish their arguments' force. And any knowledge that doesn't lead to new questions quickly dies out: it fails to maintain the temperature required for sustaining life. In the most extreme cases, cases well known from ancient and modern history, it even poses a lethal threat to society.

This is why I value that little phrase "I don't know" so highly. It's small, but it flies on mighty wings. It expands our lives to include the spaces within us as well as those outer expanses in which our tiny Earth hangs suspended. If Isaac Newton had never said to himself "I don't know," the apples in his little orchard might have dropped to the ground like hailstones and at best he would have stooped to pick them up and gobble them with gusto. Had my compatriot Marie Sklodowska-Curie never said to herself "I don't know", she probably would have wound up teaching chemistry at some private high school for young ladies from good families, and would have ended her days performing this otherwise perfectly respectable job. But she kept on saying "I don't know," and these words led her, not just once but twice, to Stockholm, where restless, questing spirits are occasionally rewarded with the Nobel Prize.

Poets, if they're genuine, must also keep repeating "I don't know." Each poem marks an effort to answer this statement, but as soon as the final period hits the page, the poet begins to hesitate, starts to realize that this particular answer was pure makeshift that's absolutely inadequate to boot. So the poets keep on trying, and sooner or later the consecutive results of their self-dissatisfaction are clipped together with a giant paperclip by literary historians and called their "oeuvre" ...

I sometimes dream of situations that can't possibly come true. I audaciously imagine, for example, that I get a chance to chat with the Ecclesiastes, the author of that moving lament on the vanity of all human endeavors. I would bow very deeply before him, because he is, after all, one of the greatest poets, for me at least. That done, I would grab his hand. "'There's nothing new under the sun': that's what you wrote, Ecclesiastes. But you yourself were born new under the sun. And the poem you created is also new under the sun, since no one wrote it down before you. And all your readers are also new under the sun, since those who lived before you couldn't read your poem. And that cypress that you're sitting under hasn't been growing since the dawn of time. It came into being by way of another cypress similar to yours, but not exactly the same. And Ecclesiastes, I'd also like to ask you what new thing under the sun you're planning to work on now? A further supplement to the thoughts you've already expressed? Or maybe you're tempted to contradict some of them now? In your earlier work you mentioned joy - so what if it's fleeting? So maybe your new-under-the-sun poem will be about joy? Have you taken notes yet, do you have drafts? I doubt you'll say, 'I've written everything down, I've got nothing left to add.' There's no poet in the world who can say this, least of all a great poet like yourself."

The world - whatever we might think when terrified by its vastness and our own impotence, or embittered by its indifference to individual suffering, of people, animals, and perhaps even plants, for why are we so sure that plants feel no pain; whatever we might think of its expanses pierced by the rays of stars surrounded by planets we've just begun to discover, planets already dead? still dead? we just don't know; whatever we might think of this measureless theater to which we've got reserved tickets, but tickets whose lifespan is laughably short, bounded as it is by two arbitrary dates; whatever else we might think of this world - it is astonishing.

But "astonishing" is an epithet concealing a logical trap. We're astonished, after all, by things that deviate from some well-known and universally acknowledged norm, from an obviousness we've grown accustomed to. Now the point is, there is no such obvious world. Our astonishment exists per se and isn't based on comparison with something else.

Granted, in daily speech, where we don't stop to consider every word, we all use phrases like "the ordinary world," "ordinary life," "the ordinary course of events" ... But in the language of poetry, where every word is weighed, nothing is usual or normal. Not a single stone and not a single cloud above it. Not a single day and not a single night after it. And above all, not a single existence, not anyone's existence in this world.

It looks like poets will always have their work cut out for them.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 1:45 pm
by tomtomtom
I can see, you've worked on Wyslawa Szymborska! Oh yes, she's very very clear and very inpiring. Concerning an inspiration, I guess each and every person that listen to - or used to listen to - The Smiths at some point knows what inspiration means. Right? – A belgium theatre director and visual artist Jan Fabre says: "The beauty keeps us sane. The beauty prevets us from killing each other in this world. Because people, we're animals. Very handsome animals but we're killing each other." Then he adds: "Not to mix beauty with design! The art has nothing to do with design!"

Take care,

Rok

PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 8:00 pm
by elko
Inspiration gets me through each day. Thanks again for showing me some of her work.

elko

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 2:39 am
by reckless_rik
Hello! I am Rik/Richard/whatever, and I came across the site via Elko submitting a pic to The Illustrated Smiths.

I`m 29, old, very old, male, old, have a beer belly, and I love The Smiths. I try to play guitar, but I`m rubbish, and I try to do computery stuff for a living.

*slashes wrists at boringness of life to date*

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 2:26 pm
by elko
Doesn't sound too bad. The Illustrated Smiths is a quality site <!--emo&:D-->Image<!--endemo-->

Where are you from?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 11:42 pm
by girl_afraid
Name: Emily Pugh (before you ask, it's like Hugh but with a P. It's Welsh. Yes, I know it sucks, I've had it for almost 17 years... *sigh*). Not too keen on Emily either, so Em is good. Heh, maybe I should just ditch my name completely... <!--emo&:blink:-->Image<!--endemo-->

Age: 16

Gender: Female

Location: Southampton, UK

Job/Education: Starting college in September. And I've never had a job because I've never wanted one...

Significant Other: Yes, but it's a bit iffy at the moment...

Interests: Music, playing the piano very crappily, writing equally crappy poems.

And Another Thing...: I am not v. tall, and am not yet used to having short hair. I also never do anything very exciting in my life, and may be joining Rik in the wrist-slashing at the boringness of it all.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:28 pm
by elko
<!--emo&:o-->Image<!--endemo--> I hope you're not saying that Welsh names are bad?! <!--emo&:P-->Image<!--endemo--> You don't get a more Weksh name than Ellis Jones, although I live in Bristol and have (luckily) no Welsh accent.
Also starting college in September. What are you taking?
Oh, and welcome, please stick around, etc. <!--emo&:rolleyes:-->Image<!--endemo-->

elko