Welcome. What you will find here will be my random thoughts and reactions to various books I have read, films I have watched, and music I have listened to. In addition I may (or may not as the spirit moves me) comment about the fantasy world we call reality, which is far stranger than fiction.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
John Burgon: Petra
As it is John Burgon's birthday today, I thought it appropriate to post this segment of his poem Petra. John Burgon was an English Anglican divine who became Dean of Chichester Cathedral in 1876. He is unique in his place in English poetry. There are poets, as well as composers and novelists and artists and singers, who are known for one work only. Burgon is singular in that he is known for one line only.
The entire poem is 370 lines long, but the part that gets most frequently quoted is the last fourteen lines and is sometimes classified as a sonnet.
Petra is a real place. According to the Wikipedia entry ,
"Petra (Greek, petra, meaning stone; Arabic Al-Batra is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. Established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited tourist attraction. It lies on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Arabia. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985."
There are numerous pages on the Web which feature photographs of the now abandoned city. If you haven't seen it, I would recommend checking out some of the sites. It is a spectacular site. By the way, if you watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, you have seen some of it for the ending of the film was shot there.
Which line do you think is the famous line that marks John Burgon's place in literary history?