“I longed to know the world’s name.” ~ Robert Penn Warren

“Cass Mastern lived for a few years and in that time he learned that the world is all of one piece.  He learned that the world is like an enormous spider web and if you touch it, however lightly, at any point, the vibration ripples to the remotest perimeter and the drowsy spider feels the tingle and is drowsy no more but springs out to fling the gossamer coils about you who have touched the web and then inject the black, numbing poison under your hide.  It does not matter whether or not you meant to brush the web of things.  Your happy foot or your gay wing may have brushed it ever so lightly, but what happens always happens and there is the spider, bearded black and with his great faceted eyes glittering like mirrors in the sun, or like God’s eye, and the fangs dripping.”—Jack Burden, from Robert Penn Warren’s novel All The King’s Men (Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1946)

“Cass Mastern lived for a few years and in that time he learned that the world is all of one piece.  He learned that the world is like an enormous spider web and if you touch it, however lightly, at any point, the vibration ripples to the remotest perimeter and the drowsy spider feels the tingle and is drowsy no more but springs out to fling the gossamer coils about you who have touched the web and then inject the black, numbing poison under your hide.  It does not matter whether or not you meant to brush the web of things.  Your happy foot or your gay wing may have brushed it ever so lightly, but what happens always happens and there is the spider, bearded black and with his great faceted eyes glittering like mirrors in the sun, or like God’s eye, and the fangs dripping.”

~ Jack Burden, from Robert Penn Warren’s novel All The King’s Men (Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1946)

Found on one of my favorite Tumblrs: A Poet Reflects

2 thoughts on ““I longed to know the world’s name.” ~ Robert Penn Warren

  1. I love this. We read this book a couple of years back for the book club. I didn’t think I’d like it, but I did. An unusual subject for me, though.

    I hope you are having a good day. I’ve been walking extra, which makes me feel a lot better. Now, if I’d just lose a little weight it would be wonderful… The pleasures of 50+, ha, ha. (Where food is both your lover and your enemy…)

    I’ve been reading “Pride & Prejudice” for book club this month and some of the conversation is over my head. I’m like, “What???” I guess they are teasing and poking fun at how each sex behaves. P.D. James was easier to understand. She had some good things to say, I especially liked what she said about Charlotte and how she “taught” her husband…

    I bought a book that came today called “What makes your brain happy and why you should do the opposite.” (The title alone sold the book.) I’ll let you know if I learn anything phenomenal that you shouldn’t miss.

    1. I love coming across the perfect match of picture and quote, and this was it. I don’t think that I’ve actually read this book. I’m pretty sure that I saw the movie, though.

      I really liked the way in which P. D. James picked up on the style of the original P&P, with her dialogue especially.

      Happy walking.

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