The Poetry Of David Myatt

David Myatt

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The Poetry Of David Myatt
(pdf)

Extract:

“Of the many neglected aspects of the life of David Myatt perhaps the most neglected is his poetry. Hitherto, academics and especially the many critics of Myatt – from journalists to anti-fascists – have concentrated on his former “extremist” years and thus on his extremist writings and activities as a neo-nazi and as a radical Muslim […]

In order to understand Myatt, beyond anti-fascist propaganda and beyond the populist and often biased interpretations of journalists, a review of and appreciation of his autobiographical poetry is necessary.”

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Related:

Myatt: One Exquisite Silence
(pdf)

Myatt: Four Forgotten Poems

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Words Of A Modern Mystic

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David Myatt

David Myatt

Memories Of Manual Labour

Recalling happy memories of past years is perhaps a useful therapy during those seemingly long night hours when one is confined, in a foreign land, to a hospital bed and cannot, for a variety of reasons, enjoy the peace of sleep. During two such occasions, not that long ago, I found myself dwelling on my years of outdoor manual labour; on some four decades of cycling English lanes, tracks, and roads; and on the years spent running in the hills of South Shropshire and in places such as the Lake District.

In retrospection, this dwelling on such times quite surprised me, given my past married lives, my past predilection for the company of women, and the very many times I had been subsumed with love, or a passion, for a particular lady and had enjoyed with and because of them nights, days, weeks, sometimes months, of blissful happiness. Perhaps, I wondered, such a dwelling during such conditions revealed something about my character. Of how I am an outdoor, country, person by nature who by choice would choose to work alone; and someone perhaps too selfish, and too self-absorbed, to be a happily married man.

Suffice to write, now, that the memories that brought the most inner peace were those connected with outdoor work. Of those Summer days in Shropshire when – in the large garden of my employer – we would all sit down to enjoy our outdoor lunch prepared by his wife. Of days spent, over a decade later, on a farm in warm or hotful Sun, alone in a twenty-five or thirty acre field, forcing bamboo canes – many six feet in length – by hand into often hard ground next to recently budded trees planted in rows.

Of the dry dusty days of laying irrigation pipes and setting up the ‘rain gun’ sprinkler system with its large hose reel, enjoyed especially when the pump was the old Ford tractor with water drawn from the nearby river home to Kingfishers and bounded by many weeping Willow trees. Of, in early Spring, those cold days when the few of us out in the fields would sit around an open fire to eat our lunch.

Of those six straight weeks worked without a day off one Spring when, delayed by bad weather, we were finally able to prepare the soil and plant. Of those flash floods that flooded the lane beside one of the fields of the farm and of the car that became stuck, requiring two of us to bodily lift the lady driver out and carry her to dry land to later on fetch the tractor and tow her car from that lane back to the unaffected main road. Of the days spent one Autumn using a hand-held ‘thumper’ to erect new fence posts.

Of the hours, the days, the weeks, spent alone in fields hoeing the weeds out by hand from between the planted trees with my 1950s hoe whose long hickory handle years of use had made smooth. Of – years before, on another farm – the restful needful lunch (washed down by local cider) that followed hours of mucking-out pig sties by hand using a shovel and a barrow wheeled up a plank onto a trailer, hitched to a tractor, which when full I drove away then tipped to form or join another pile ready for the muck-spreader…

Had I then – during those years – the understanding and the self-insight I believe I now posses perhaps my life would, could, should, have been quite different and I would not have caused the suffering, and the deaths, that I caused. But was that person, so happily working in such places, the real me?

Yes, I do feel so, now. How then – why then – did I always seem to (after months, a year, or several years) drift away from such work back to occupy, preoccupy, myself with some political or some religious machination? It is just too easy, too trite, to say or write that I was a ‘complicated’ person. More truthfully, I was flawed, unhealthy. Suffering from extremism: for that infection wrought an inner dissatisfaction, and so greatly disturbed my psyche that I felt I had ‘a duty’ to do, and pontificate about, certain things. For that infection caused me, as so many others, to have that hubriatic certainty-of-knowing that engenders violence, hatred, terror, and oppression. I, as so many, had exchanged that real outdoor world – which centuries of toil had created – for some idealistic, ideological, dream we carried around in our head:

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw

Our land, the dead land, while we extremists wreck havoc among the living land that provides us with the means to live and which, were we only to know it, nurtures the numinous from whence derives the culture that keeps our human hopes, our very humanity, alive.

For me – as for many others century following century – pathei-mathos was a cure. Yet there is not, and cannot be, any absolution: I was an ideologue, a leader, a fanatic, who enthusiastically taught, proselytized, persuaded, propagandised, and incited. Thus I alone was responsible for what I said, what I wrote, and what I did – for the suffering caused – during my extremist decades, just as I alone was responsible for the hurt my selfishness, my self-absorption, personally caused to others: wives, lovers, partners, family, relatives, and friends.

There appears to be, however, one small consolation, at least for me. Which is that such outdoor work – and reflexion upon it – slowly provided, slowly built within me, the insights and the feelings that led to that ‘numinous way’ I refined, after 2011, into my philosophy (or perhaps more correctly, into my weltanschauung) of pathei-mathos. Insights and feelings greatly added to in 2002 when I began work on another farm, and which work first led me to seriously doubt my commitment to the Muslim way of life, and write letters containing words such as these:

“There is a lovely, simple, pleasure here in this field. Spring is most certainly here: in the meadow fields, seedlings of the late Spring flowers push up through the tufts of grass whose frost-bitten ends are joined by shoots of new growth. Already some flowers bloom in the grass: there, a Dandelion; there: almost two circles of Daisies. And, to compliment the calls and songs of other birds, the loud repeating call of the Parus major.

It is good to be here, with an unobstructed view of the sky, and I watch the clouds, borne as they are on a still cool breeze that begins to chill my hands, a little. But there is Sun, warm, when the altocumulus breaks. On the horizon in the North, beyond the tall old Oak, small Cumulus clouds drift toward the hills, ten miles distant. Thus am I again – for these moments – at peace with myself, this world, listening as I do to a large flock of Starlings who chatter among themselves in the trees across from the drainage ditch, there by the copse of Ash, Oak, and a few young Beech […]

Work, yes there must be work: toil enough to keep that balance. And work with these my hands, outdoors where lives the silence that I love as I feel the weather, changing, bringing thus an empathic living for me, in me, and for this life that lives around, emanating as it does in this grass, those trees, the clouds, the soil, the water, those flowers, the very sky itself.”

But, as so often with me, the insights, the feelings, were swept away by not only my tempestuous inner need to do what I considered was then my duty but also by a life-long love of, a desire for, challenges, pontification, and conflict. Such insights, such feelings, were always – sooner or later – so swept away. Until that fateful day one May.

“The defining moment, for me – in terms of understanding myself, in terms of understanding politics and the error of my decades of extremism – was the tragic personal loss of a loved one in May 2006. In the hours following that event I just knew – tearfully knew without words – my own pathetic failure; what I had lost, what was important. Thus there came upon me that day a sense of overwhelming grief, compounded by a remembrance of another personal loss of a loved one thirteen years earlier. For it was as if in those intervening years I had learned nothing; as if I had made the life and the dying and death of Sue, in 1993 – and of what we shared in the years before – unimportant.

I have no words to describe how insignificant, how worthless, I felt that day in May 2006; no words to describe, recall, retell, the remorse, the pain. Suffice now to recount that my life was never, could never be, the same again. Gone – the arrogance that had sustained me for so many experiential decades. Gone – the beliefs, the abstractions, the extremisms, I had so cherished and so believed in.” No Words Of Mine Can Describe The Remorse

How stupid, how very stupid, I have been: for almost all of my adult life. That it required the shock, the personal trauma, of the suicide of the woman I loved to break my arrogance, my selfishness, my self-absorption – and cure me of my need for challenges, pontification, and conflict – most certainly reveals a lot about my character. That apparently jumelle nature of a person who found peace, contentment, in working outdoors with his hands but who also could not, in his weakness, resist that arrogant desire to zealously interfere in the lives of others, to propagandise and proselytize; an interference, a proselytism, born of a hubriatic certainty that he ‘knew’, that he ‘understood’, or that he had discovered the right way (political or religious) of living for others, and therefore had some sort of duty to act, wrecking havoc and causing suffering as he did so, always making excuses for himself. For every and any cause does so hallow havoc.

See with what heat these dogs of Hell advance
To waste and havoc yonder World, which I
So fair and good created, and had still
Kept in that state, had not the folly of Man
Let in these wasteful furies [1]

David Myatt
February 2014

[1] Paradise Lost, Book X, vv. 617-620

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Article source:
David Myatt. Sarigthersa: Some Recent Essays. 2015. ISBN 978-1512137149

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Being British

David Myatt

David Myatt

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In the course of my somewhat idiosyncratic life I have several times been asked that particular question: what I consider being British means. As a child of the British Empire – who grew up, as a Catholic, in places as diverse as East Africa and the Far East – I can only now, in the twilight years of my life, honestly answer the question because my previous answers over decades were – or now seem to me to be – based on some believed in ideology or on some religious faith.

Which recent answer of mine, however unpopular it might currently be, is to refer the questioner to two things.

First, I refer you and them to what a member of the ‘British Establishment’ recently said at a traditional ceremony in Sandhurst:

“In the face of such challenges, Britain’s traditional qualities – fair play, civility, a sense of humour in adversity – remain as precious as they’ve always been.”

Second, I refer you and them to the book Brideshead Revisited, The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder by Evelyn Waugh. Or, perhaps more pertinently, to the 1981 television series of the same name starring Jeremy Irons which series for me at least so captures the ethos of that novel and of what being British means and implies.

For there is in those Sandhurst remarks everything quintessentially British – fair play, civility, a sense of humour in adversity – just as in the aforementioned television series there is everything that made the British Empire what it was, despite mistakes and despite the past machinations of selfish, money-obsessed, people; despite the various past ideologies of various politicians, and despite how that Empire history has now apparently been re-interpreted for various political and/or ideological reasons.

For that Britishness – at home, overseas – was, in essence, an embodiment of manners, of a gentlemanly and lady-like way of behaving: a certain standard, and a desire to introduce others to certain cultural values and that standard of personal behaviour. As well as representing our British understated elegance of culture; our tolerant acceptance of diversity and difference; our dislike of displaying emotions in public and often in private; and a certain personal modesty. And of course not only a particular personal equation of dichotomy of belief and way of life sometimes (but not always) solved by the notion of communal duty, but also that interior doubt about (and sometimes a guilt regarding) one’s self born of a feeling that ultimately we are accountable and have obligations to our family, our culture, our faith.

Above all there is – in those Sandhurst remarks, in that novel, and that television series – a presencing of a particular wordless attitude to life such as a reading of Cicero – and an appreciation of the life and loves of Alexander the Great, of the poetry of Sappho, of the New Testament – might, in our reading of their texts in their original language, have disposed us toward. An attitude that even today is sadly not embraced – because perhaps not understood, not empathically felt – by the majority, despite a century and more of State education. Deo Gratias that such an appreciation is still taught in such schools, such places, as still revere what once was termed a ‘classical education’: a learning of Latin and Ancient Greek and hence a reading of texts and authors in their original language.

For one finds in so many classical texts excellent similes of what being ‘British’ (cultured, modest, and possessing the virtue of εὐταξία) means and implies, as in this particular example:

ἐκεῖνός γε μὴν ὑμνῶν οὔποτ ̓ ἔληγεν ὡς τοὺς θεοὺς οἴοιτο οὐδὲν ἧττον ὁσίοις ἔργοις ἢ ἁγνοῖς ἱεροῖς ἥδεσθαι ἀλλὰ μὴν καὶ ὁπότε εὐτυχοίη οὐκ ἀνθρώπων ὑπερεφρόνει ἀλλὰ θεοῖς χάριν ᾔδει καὶ θαρρῶν πλείονα ἔθυεν ἢ ὀκνῶν ηὔχετο εἴθιστο δὲ φοβούμενος μὲν ἱλαρὸς φαίνεσθαι εὐτυχῶν δὲ πρᾷος εἶναι [1]

The denotatum – British, Athenian, Ciceronian (to name but three) [2] – may over millennia change but the ethos seems to remain if only (apparently) now remembered and embodied by so few.

David Myatt
2015

Extract from a letter to a friend

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[1] Xenophon, Agesilaus, 11.2

“…this person, whom I praise, never ceased to believe that the gods delight in respectful deeds just as much as in consecrated temples, and, when blessed with success, he was never prideful but rather gave thanks to the gods. He also made more offerings to them when he was confident than supplications when he felt hesitant, and, in appearance, it was his habit to be cheerful when doubtful and mild-mannered when successful.”

[2] Editorial Note, 2018 ev: As Myatt wrote in a footnote in his book Tu Es Diaboli Ianua, he uses “the term denotatum – from the Latin, denotare – in accord with its general meaning which is to denote or to describe by an expression or a word; to name some-thing; to refer that which is so named or so denoted. Thus understood, and used as an Anglicized term, denotatum is applicable to both singular and plural instances and thus obviates the need to employ the Latin plural denotata.”

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Source:
https://web.archive.org/web/20160701124040/http://www.davidmyatt.ws/being-british.html
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Myatt: Breaking My Silence

David Myatt

David Myatt

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Editorial Note: We republish here an item by Myatt written in 2016 and which is “an extract from a letter to a friend” in which he discusses the murder of a Catholic priest in France by supporters of Daesh, aka ‘Islamic State’. The letter is interesting both for its autobiographical content, which includes discussions with Special Branch police officers, and for Myatt’s post-2010 view of Western culture and societies.

The translation of the quotation from Homer’s Odyssey is by Myatt from his translation of Books 1-3, which is available here: Myatt: Odyssey, Books 1-3.

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Breaking My Silence

As someone brought up as a Catholic, who in his early years was educated at a Catholic Preparatory School, who entered the noviciate of a Catholic monastery, and who – perhaps unusually – also some years later converted to Islam, lived for a decade as a Muslim, travelled in Muslim lands, and studied the Quran and Sunnah in Arabic, I am dismayed, unsettled, at the killing of an elderly Priest in a Church at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in France by two persons who (according to information received so far) were radical Muslims and probably inspired by the Middle-Eastern group ad-Dawlah al-Islamiyah fil ‘Iraq wa ash-Sham, named in the lands of the West as Daesh, Isis, and ‘Islamic State’.

So dismayed, unsettled, that I have the temerity to break my self-imposed, years-long, silence regarding ‘current affairs’ and ‘current events’. For such a killing of such an elderly religious figure – taken hostage with (according to current and informed reports) two nuns during Mass – is just so dishonourable, so cowardly, that it yet again places (for me at least) into perspective “what is at stake”, remembering as I do that quotational phrase because it was said to me in 2001 by a Special Branch (SO12) British police officer shortly after the 9/11 attacks in New York.

What is at stake – as that Special Branch officer, and so many of his colleagues, intuitively knew – is the culture of the West itself, manifest as that culture is in such modern societies as those in Britain, France, and the United States, and created as such a culture has been by hundreds of years of communal and individual hardship and pathei-mathos. For the lands of such a culture are – despite their many imperfections, and in comparison to so many other non-Western lands – places of relative safety and peace and opportunity for the majority of their citizens. Places of law, and order, where so many know – and try to do – what is right, what is just, what is honourable. And places where so many other people, world-wide, hope and seek to reach and live.

Of course, such truths are not what I, personally, believed for many decades, seeking as I so often did to undermine such Western societies by political, by revolutionary, and even by terrorist, means. But as I mentioned in a fairly recent essay:

“The reality of The United States of America – in its vastness and its diversity (social, religious, racial) – is, as so discovered via my own recent pathei-mathos, so very different from the answers propagated by those who, lacking such a personal pathei-mathos extending over years of such a diverse America, personally or ideologically fixate on ‘this’ or ‘that’ perceived or even real causal personal problems as exist in a land such as America. Yet the reality of America is of many people – both in government and otherwise – who, from the best of intentions, seek and have saught to make their family, their local area, their State, their nation, a better place.” [1]

What therefore can be done, and is there as some have assumed a clash of ‘civilizations’ with “us” contrasted with “them”?

As to what can be done, my own fallible answer born as it is from some four decades of experience of extremism and pathei-mathos, is that it seems incumbent upon us to know, to remember, how and why our Western societies came into being, how and why they have been progressively reformed over a century and more, and why it is incumbent on each one of us to be prepared to do what is honourable in the immediacy of the living moment.

In this I recall what another member of SO12 said to me following my arrest in 1998 following allegations of ‘conspiracy/incitement to murder’ and ‘incitement to racial hatred’. Which was that he was simply doing his duty, in an honourable way, according to what was laid down: according to the oath of his office and thus according to the accumulated law of the land, and that it was not for him or his colleagues to judge since such judgement was the prerogative of an established Court of Law so constituted in its longevity that a fair trial was possible. He had guidelines, a supra-personal and well-established duty, while I realized I had none, having been guided for so long only by hubris.

As to whether there is a ‘clash of civilizations’, my own fallible answer is that there is not; that here, now – as so often in our human past – there is only a clash between the honourable and the dishonourable, and that while such modern societies as those in Britain, France, and the United States, are far from perfect they do often manifest for perhaps a majority what is decent, honourable, especially when compared to the majority of past societies, so that when dishonour occurs in such societies – when some dishonourable deed is done – there are usually individuals, be they Police officers, or soldiers, or journalists, or some citizen, who will seek to redress that dishonour.

For honour is only and ever honour, always the same, while the dishonourable, the cowardly, can hide behind, and have for millennia hidden behind, some cause or ideology or religion or some personal excuse that they or others have manufactured and denoted by some name. For the fault is not that of some religion named Islam; nor of some extremist version of that religion. The fault is ourselves, our human nature; our propensity – and seemingly, sometimes, our need – to be violent, to find in some cause or some ideology or some religion, an excuse for our desire, our need, to be selfish, dishonourable, violent, or establish a ‘name’ for ourselves.

What we – in societies such as those in Britain, France, and the United States – have evolved, so slowly, so painfully over a century and more are some reasonable guidelines, a sense of duty, regarding what is honourable and what is dishonourable.

As Homer declaimed well over two thousand years ago:

τὸν δ᾽ ἐπαλαστήσασα προσηύδα Παλλὰς Ἀθήνη:
‘ὢ πόποι, ἦ δὴ πολλὸν ἀποιχομένου Ὀδυσῆος
δεύῃ, ὅ κε μνηστῆρσιν ἀναιδέσι χεῖρας ἐφείη.
εἰ γὰρ νῦν ἐλθὼν δόμου ἐν πρώτῃσι θύρῃσι
σταίη, ἔχων πήληκα καὶ ἀσπίδα καὶ δύο δοῦρε [2]

David Myatt
July 26th 2016

Extract From A Letter To A Friend

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[1] In Praise Of America And Britain, 2015.

[2]

“Then Pallas Athena – angry at this – said to him:
Before the gods! How great is the need here for the absent Odysseus –
For him to set about these disrespectful ones with his fists!
Would that he would arrive at the outer gate of this dwelling
With his helmet on and holding his shield and two spears”.

Odyssey, Book I, 252-256 [Translated by DW Myatt].

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Article source:
https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2016/07/26/breaking-my-silence/


One Exquisite Silence

David Myatt

One Exquisite Silence
(pdf)

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This particular collection of autobiographical poems by David Myatt – first privately circulated under the name DW Myatt in 2010 and with a revised edition printed and published in 2012 under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License – was mentioned by former White House speech-writer Ben Coes in his best-selling novel Power Down. Ben Coes worked in the White House for both President Reagan and President George Bush.

The poems express a little known side of Myatt’s character, the pagan itinerant mystic whose poetry like that of many poets often expresses intensely personal feelings.

This collection of Myatt’s poetry is also available in print: DW Myatt, One Exquisite Silence, ISBN 978-1484179932.

RDM Crew
October 2018


Summer Days Walking Roads

David Myatt

David Myatt

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Herewith another autobiographical poem by David Myatt from his collection One Exquisite Silence.

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Summer Days Walking Roads

Day hides the stars that might shine tonight
As my life when the loneliness comes
Among the hills:
I have touched the joy that goes
Seeping down into darkness
Rooting my soul that thus a storm
Cannot wash it away.
Here – a smile to capture worlds
With hidden words
When I believe a night has no terrors
Like my own
And I sleep at peace
Beneath the dome of stars.

I – passing the world
The way each day passes to a week –
Shook dust from my clothes
And walked barefoot toward a village green.

It was no use –
I had only to forget to remember
The silence where I in gladness sang
Stopping those spirits who had waited by their trees
For one like me to visit them,
Again.

So I sit on the damp grass
Waiting
For a world of love.
Then, smiling, I shake away the dew
To walk barefoot across the village green.

David Myatt
1974


Related:

Only Time Has Stopped


Only Time Has Stopped

David Myatt

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The following poem by David Myatt – aka DW Myatt – is taken from his autobiographical collection titled One Exquisite Silence, available at https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2018/10/09/one-exquisite-silence/

This particular collection of poems by DW Myatt was mentioned by former White House speech-writer Ben Coes in the best-selling novel Power Down. Ben Coes worked in the White House for both President Reagan and President George Bush.

There may arrive a time, if our Western civilization survives – may our folk and our gods ensure it – when Myatt may well be remembered for his poetry rather than for his extremist pasts or because of allegations regarding Occult involvement.

RDM Crew
October 2018

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Only Time Has Stopped

Here I have stopped
Because only Time goes on within my dream:
Yesterday I was awoken, again,
And she held me down
With her body warmth
Until, satisfied, I went alone
Walking
And trying to remember:

A sun in a white clouded sky
Morning dawn yellow
Sways the breath that, hot, I exhale tasting of her lips.
The water has cut, deep, into
The estuary bank
And the mallard swims against the flow –
No movement, only effort.
Nearby – the foreign ship which brought me
Is held by rusty chains
Which, one day and soon
And peeling them like its paint,
Must leave.

Here I shall begin again
Because Time, at last, has stopped
Since I have remembered the dark ecstasy
Which brought that war-seeking Dream

David Myatt
1978