Dave Baksh

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* Pic 1 (Dave Baksh) from here; Pic 2 (Sum 41) from here.

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I remember it was exactly 10 years ago that I first heard Sum 41’s “Fat Lip” (the year the song was released).

I was 15 or 16 years old at the time. I really liked that song because the tune was very catchy and the chorus had great lyrics:

“I don’t want to waste my time
become another casualty of society
I’ll never fall in line
Become another victim of your conformity
And back down”
— Sum 41, Fat Lip lyrics

There was a happy pop/punk sound which was exactly what I needed at that age.

Fast forward 10 years and I just happened to be thinking of this song, so I looked for a live vid on YouTube.

The above is a Tokyo live clip of Sum 41 performing “Fat Lip”…and omg, the guitar playing by Dave Baksh is totally insane!

Around the time while viewing the vid, I also read an MTV article (dated 2006) about how Dave found the mainstream music business to be too much of a competition, etc.

Dave Baksh is now with The Organ Thieves (a band whose sound/genre is “LYRICAL-EXPERIMENTAL-SOUL-ROCK”).

I always admire the passion people have for their art/music. The practical survival/money stuff is important, but so is  staying true to yourself and making the most of your talent(s). To me, I’ve always felt that when something (especially music) is too commercial, the soul is gone and it’s just not the same. So this is a quick blog post that reflects my admiration for people with the guts/passion to do things differently :)

After you’ve viewed the above video, you can check out these other links!

(1) Dave ‘Brownsound’ Baksh Says Sum 41 Got ‘Too Dark For The Public’ (MTV article)

(2) The Organ Thieves (Official FB Page)

(3) Last.fm (Organ Thieves’ music)

Poet Interview, John Mackeigan

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Interview #47, with poet, John Mackeigan!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Honest, caring, loving, respectful and quiet.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

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I LOOKED UP TODAY, SAW A RAINBOW IN THE SKY
THEN THOUGHT OF YOU, I KNOW NOT WHY
SO I STOPPED TO PONDER FOR A WHILE
AND REALIZED INSIDE, WAS A SMILE
LITTLE THINGS CAN MAKE US HAPPY THERE
AND SO WITH YOU I WANT TO SHARE
SOON SUNSHINE AND RAINBOW BECOME DARK AND STAR
TWINKLING SPARKLES ETCHED UPON BLANKETS OF TAR
AN ARTISTIC CANVAS WROUGHT OF SPIRITUAL HANDS
WHILE EARTHBOUND ANGELS UNSEEN, GLIDE THE LANDS

Like the rhymes ;) Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work (10-100 words):

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead mean naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

Dylan Thomas

Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

Really it was just inspiration and/or improve.

What goal do you seek through your poetry?

To share it with others and perhaps at the same time have some financial retirement funds through it.

Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Speak from your heart.

Indeed! Your websites/blogs/etc:

Here’s the link to my poetry book on Amazon.

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Much thanks to John for stopping by! Stay tuned for a couple more poet interviews I’ll soon be posting ;)

Greek Mythology and Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis

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Short essay for my “ENG 359 – Mythology” course, in Fall 2010. Yippee!

(Topic = Write about how classical mythology has enriched your understanding of a piece of modern literature)

P.S. De Profundis is one of my favourites. Have read it four or five times — it always gets better with each new round.

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Essay: Greek Mythology and Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis

I first read Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis a few years ago (an eighty-page love letter he wrote while imprisoned, to Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas). My knowledge of mythology has enriched my understanding of this piece of literature in several ways, albeit in a subtler and more intimate kind of way than the parallel Wilde continually suggests between Salome and the moon, in his play, “Salome” (which draws on traditions of Greek and Roman mythology that figures the moon as a goddess). De Profundis also reflects Oscar Wilde’s lifelong admiration and passion for Greek literature, culture, and mythology.

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Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred "Bosie" Douglas

Dante’s Inferno is one of the texts to which Wilde frequently alludes in De Profundis. Dante’s Inferno is heavily influenced by classical mythology (for example, it features the Greek mythological figure Charon, and the great Roman poet, Virgil). More than half of De Profundis is taken up by Oscar Wilde’s confession, not only of his own sins, but of Bosie’s. He evokes a striking image for Bosie — he uses his favorite passage from Agamemnon, about bringing up a lion’s whelp inside one’s house only to have it run amok, to compare it to Bosie. He also writes the following line to Bosie, “If Hate blinded you, then Vanity sewed your eyelids together with iron threads.” This is a visual image from Dante’s Inferno, where the envious have their eyes eternally stitched shut with “iron threads.”

Oscar Wilde mentions the sea in De Profundis, comparing it to the mention Euripides makes of the sea in “one of his plays about Iphigeneia, [which] washes away the stains and wounds of the world.” Oscar Wilde then expresses his view that he “[discerns] great sanity in the Greek attitude,” linking this back to the visual imagery of the sea, and the contemporary people of Oscar Wilde’s time having “forgotten that water can cleanse, and fire purify, and that the Earth [was] mother to [them] all.” As a consequence, Oscar Wilde stated that the art of his time was “of the moon and [played] with shadows, while Greek art [was] of the sun and [dealt] directly with things.” These lines evoke the sense of purification in elemental forces, which Oscar Wilde writes that he wants to return to, and “live in their presence.”

The concept of decadence is also frequently mentioned in De Profundis, which is linked to Dionysus in Greek mythology — the god of wine, vegetation, debauchery, decadence, depravity and self indulgence. Oscar Wilde’s self-reflection includes a mention on how he experienced “pleasure for the beautiful body, [which was] pain for the beautiful soul.” He also compares filling his life to the very brim with pleasure, “as one might fill a cup to the very brim with wine.” He allowed pleasure to dominate him, which ended in “horrible disgrace” — leaving him only one thing in the end: “absolute humility.” Oscar Wilde also compares the appeal of Jesus Christ to people “who had been deaf to every voice but that of [the voice of love] heard for the first time,” and finding it to be “as musical as Apollo’s lute.”

Oscar Wilde continues his self-reflection by bringing in the statement of the Greek oracle: “know yourself,” which Oscar Wilde states is “the first achievement of knowledge.” He also writes a wonderfully succinct and comprehensive passage, which refers to several Greek myths all at once. He introduces this paragraph by writing that “the Greek gods, in spite of the white and red of their fair fleet limbs, were not really what they appeared to be.” He then compares the curved brow of Apollo to the sun’s disc crescent over a hill at dawn, and “while [Apollo’s] feet were as the wings of the morning, he himself had been cruel to Marsyas and had made Niobe childless.” He writes that “in the steel shields of Athena’s eyes there had been no pity for Arachne; the pomp and peacocks of Hera were all that was really noble about her; and the Father of the Gods himself had been too fond of the daughters of men.”

Oscar Wilde goes on to say that “the two most deeply suggestive figures of Greek Mythology were, for religion, Demeter, an Earth Goddess, not one of the Olympians, and for art, Dionysus, the son of a mortal woman to whom the moment of his birth had proved also the moment of her death.” Knowing the background of these Greek myths greatly enhanced my appreciation of this particular passage in De Profundis, which drives to a person’s core the message of sorrow. In the preceding paragraph in De Profundis, Oscar Wilde writes that Christ made of himself “the image of the Man of Sorrows, [which] fascinated and dominated art as no Greek god ever succeeded in doing,” thus using this aspect of the Greek gods and goddesses to enhance the Sorrow he went through while imprisoned (and the realizations that came about, as a direct result of this humiliating experience).

Thus, having some knowledge of classical mythology greatly enhanced my understanding and appreciation of Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis, which makes references to Greek mythology (as well as religion). De Profundis bares the innermost depths of Oscar Wilde’s soul via a long handwritten letter to his “hyacinth,” Bosie (in a letter to a friend, Oscar Wilde wrote of Bosie: “He is quite like a narcissus — so white and gold…he lies like a hyacinth on the sofa and I worship him,” which again brings to mind Greek mythology—in particular, that of Apollo and Hyacinth, as well as Narcissus).

References:

Wilde, Oscar. De Profundis. Courier Dover Publications, 1997.