There is a dish to hold the sea,
A brazier to contain the sun,
A compass for the galaxy,
A voice to wake the dead and done!
That minister of ministers,
Imagination, gathers up
The undiscovered Universe,
Like jewels in a jasper cup.
Its flame can mingle north and south;
Its accent with the thunder strive;
The ruddy sentence of its mouth
Can make the ancient dead alive.
The mart of power, the fount of will,
The form and mould of every star,
The source and bound of good and ill,
The key of all the things that are,
Imagination, new and strange
In every age, can turn the year;
Can shift the poles and lightly change
The mood of men, the world’s career.
John Davidson, 1857-1909
I’ve settled upon a Just Play Pad page to “gather up” some of my scribbles and squiggles. A lovely pen and wash tutor encouraged me to “just play” with colour, line and sketch – freely as, at other times, one might with words. The lady knew a thing or two about giving scope to imagination, like the Scottish poet John Davidson, of whose poetry no less than W B Yeats spoke as finding “new subject matter, new emotions”.
Imagination – inner life – “can turn the year; / Can shift the poles and lightly change / the mood of men, the world’s career”.