As a Victorian Poet and Jesuit priest, Gerard Manley Hopkins’ not only explored man’s soul, but also chronicled these exploits in rhythm and rhyme for bearded posterity’s sake. Look no further, Beardivist, for the inward facing mirror than this lyric Beard of Action’s “The Caged Skylark”:
AS a dare-gale skylark scanted in a dull cage
Man’s mounting spirit in his bone-house, mean house, dwells—
That bird beyond the remembering his free fells;
This in drudgery, day-labouring-out life’s age.
Though aloft on turf or perch or poor low stage,
Both sing sometímes the sweetest, sweetest spells,
Yet both droop deadly sómetimes in their cells
Or wring their barriers in bursts of fear or rage.
Not that the sweet-fowl, song-fowl, needs no rest—
Why, hear him, hear him babble and drop down to his nest,
But his own nest, wild nest, no prison.
Man’s spirit will be flesh-bound when found at best,
But uncumbered: meadow-down is not distressed
For a rainbow footing it nor he for his bónes rísen.
“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, [shave].”
We remember Florida-born Lizard King poet-musician Morrison most often for his role as the lead singer of The Doors; but in focusing on his spiritual aspect, as valuable as it continues to be, we may overlook the scientific value of Morrison’s contribution to Bearded Studies. Consider this excerpt from Wikipedia:
Morrison joined Courson in Paris in March 1971…During this time, Morrison shaved his beard and lost some of the weight he had gained in the previous months. His last studio recording was with two American street musicians—a session dismissed by Manzarek as “drunken gibberish”…Morrison died on July 3, 1971 at age 27.
Shaving, emaciation, insanity, death. In that order. For his selfless contribution to The Center for Beard Related Studies’ understanding of the perils of shaving, we hereby name James Douglas Morrison a laureate Beard of Action.
Verily, here is a beard befitting of Samuel Taylor Coleridge himself, had a life of opiates and a childhood bout with rheumatic fever not rendered it impossible.
Image credited to Emma Illusion
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
Picture the world filled with semi-literate, adolescent pencil-chewers, scarcely capable of stringing a dozen words together without some addition of anthropomorphized symbolic punctuation: a culture of explosions, cliches and melodrama, lacking any respect for subtlety, satire and well-crafted verses. Now imagine if Dr Seuss had never lived.
Despite the prophesied Oobleck clogging the artistic follicles of modern civilization, it could have been worse. Without the pedagogical lexicons of Green Eggs and Ham or The Cat in the Hat, without the whimsy and life-lessons of Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, where would we be? In a tree? Out at sea? How much did his books set us free? Although the answer to that is not within the scope of this post, suffice it to say that we hereby declare Dr. Seuss a truly Wubbulous Beard of Action.
Picture via brlnd.com
It is inevitably asked of the Beardivist, at one time or another, why he clings to what is, by many accounts, such outmoded and archaic fashion. The fluid lyricism furnished from William Cullen Bryant’s Thanatopsis defends our philosophy nicely. Wrote today’s sage Beard of Action:
Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world — with kings,
The powerful of the earth — the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre…
Full poem after the jump.
Quaker, poet and ardent abolitionist, John Greenleaf Whittier was blessed with a tufted flocculence befitting of his intellectual gravitas. Plagued throughout his life with physical frailties, Whittier immersed himself in beard cultivation; however, he is often remembered for his poetry. Though best known for Snow-Bound, a narrative poem chronicling the Donner-esque winter experiences of a small New England family, we present here Whittier’s The Hunters of Men, a trenchant commentary on social persecution:
Gay luck to our hunters! how nobly they ride
In the glow of their zeal, and the strength of their pride!
The priest with his cassock flung back on the wind,
Just screening the politic statesman behind;
The saint and the sinner, with cursing and prayer,
The drunk and the sober, ride merrily there.
And woman, kind woman, wife, widow, and maid,
For the good of the hunted, is lending her aid
Her foot’s in the stirrup, her hand on the rein,
How blithely she rides to the hunting of men!
Full poem after the jump.