A search result for the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley gave me this quote.
The pleasure that is in sorrow is sweeter than the pleasure of pleasure itself.
Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word Recite and it is a daunting cue but not impossible. The prompt invites bloggers to reason and interpret the idea of a recital. Each WordPress Daily Prompt is a word planned to help bloggers who are experiencing block to think of something to write for his or her blog and to publish it accordingly. This is naturally risky in that the blogger can seem foolish, but the appearance of stupidity must be risked if you want an audience with your blog. For today’s blog, I just want to run over for you that it would be common to recite a poem, of course, and if I had to mention a poet from a past era I would consider Shelley.
How is it that pleasure in sorrow can be sweet? How can sorrow provide any pleasure, if it is a condition of suffering? I think of these two questions when I contemplate what Shelley is attributed to have said.
Sorrow occurs when there is an overwhelming loss in the life of an individual. This can devastate you. It can unravel you from within as though you were a wool effigy mounted on the hearth or in the vestibule. It is not a state of pleasure, almost definitely, and yet Shelley possibly felt that it was or it could be and I take it the poet experienced that kind of pleasure as being of the highest order.
How is it that we can be anything else than embittered by the peril of sorrow and suffering? How is it possible that we can encounter pleasure of all things while amid the turmoil of the condition of sorrow? What is there to be had from entering into a state of sorrow with the expectation that the desired outcome should be a pleasure? Why did a search for Shelley return that quote?
Grade 12 History class taught me that the themes of the day’s poetry reflect the current in the people, that how poetry is composed and enjoyed mirrors the times. The search says Shelley was an Englishman who died in 1822 when I think agriculture was a key institution in the lives of many people alive in the early nineteenth century. Shelley, I infer therefore was an intellectual, but by explaining the coexistence of suffering and pleasure was he reflecting on change in favor of the organization and leadership of farmland? I have no idea. Is it by emerging from Renaissance times into widespread labor and cohesiveness between rivals into a state of good and productivity we would have pleasure in the face of the requirement to, frankly, work? My history is poor. It was never my strong suit, but I got by.
Don’t tell me what I’ll find if there are depths of sorrow ahead. It’s a depressing thought, and I don’t blame you if you aren’t ready to “like” this. You’re free to, however, to “like” this post if you see fit, and even to comment and/or to “follow.” I hope you’re all right, and I know that unhappiness is challenging if you are feeling low. Unexpected avenues of pleasure become evident sometimes, and while I urge you to steer clear of sorrow, you are welcome to every drop of pleasure you can extract. Good luck.