My hapless peers with their lofty dreams--how I envy and despise them! I'm with the others, the even more hapless, who have no-one but themselves to whom they can tell their dreams and show what would be verses if they wrote them. I'm with those poor slobs who have no books to show, who have no literature beside their own soul, and who are suffocating to death due to the fact that they exist without having taken that mysterious, transcendental exam that makes one eligible to live.
Freedom is the possibility of isolation. You are free if you can withdraw from people, not having to seek them out for the sake of money, company, love, glory or curiosity, none of which can thrive in silence and solitude. If you can't live alone, you were born a slave. You may have all the splendours of the mind and the soul, in which case you're a noble slave, or an intelligent servant, but you're not free. And you can't hold this up as your own tragedy, for your birth is a tragedy of Fate alone. Hapless you are, however, if life itself so oppresses you that you're forced to become a slave. Hapless you are if, having been born free, with the capacity to be isolated and self-sufficient, poverty should force you to live with others.
When is the last time you were a tourist?" she asked archly. He just looked at her. Charles, she had to agree, was not tourist material. "Right," Anna told him. "Buck up. You might even enjoy it." "You might as well have 'hapless victim' tattooed across your forehead," he muttered.
As I get older, I recognize that my thinking about poetry may or may not have anything actively to do with my actual work as a poet. This strikes me as no thing cynically awry but rather seems again instance of that hapless or possibly happy fact, we do not as humans seem necessarily aware of what we are physically or psychically doing at all!
There were also the razor marks on her wrists and forearms, half a dozen per arm, not very deep, not very convincing really, just a lame, hapless attempt at hurting herself. There hadn't even been that much blood and nobody at the hospital had been at all surprised. These scars, for some reason, he didn't mind. Maybe they even appealed to him. They showed that she was weak and in need of him.
Twere better to be born a stone Of ruder shape, and feeling none, Than with a tenderness like mine And sensibilities so fine! Ah, hapless wretch! condemn'd to dwell Forever in my native shell, Ordained to move when others please, Not for my own content or ease; But toss'd and buffeted about, Now in the water and now out.
The [travel] writer, looking back at the journey from a distance of a year or two (or three), is a different character from the hapless character who undertook the trip: wise after the event, with the leisure to tease out meanings from the experience that the distracted traveler never had, and often impatient with his alter ego's blinkered and unsatisfactory version of things.
. . . my pilot pointed to his left front and above, and looking in the direction he pointed, I saw a long dark brown form fairly streaking across the sky. We could see that it was a German machine, and when it got above and behind our middle machine, it dived on it for all the world like a huge hawk on a hapless sparrow.
It was then you'd have thought I'd been shot by a Taser, as paralyzed as I was at the sight of her - the perfect feminine form, the image hitting me with the velocity of a Slurpee-like brain-freeze, rendering me again the helpless, hapless male. Any trace of rationality or logic or even common sense that might've been there before is quickly abandoning ship, leaving Dickbrain at the helm and Lust navigating,
The law of karma is neither fatalistic nor punitive; nor is man a hapless, helpless victim in its bonds. God has blessed each one of us with reason, intellect and discrimination, as well as the sovereign free will. Even when our past karma inclines us toward evil, we can consciously tune our inclination towards detachment and ego-free action, thus lightening the karmic load.
Rosanne Daryl Thomas's tale of her enchantment by bees is a delight to read. It also contains close observations of the natural world, tales of failure and triumph with the hives, and a stellar cast of characters that includes her daughter, their cats, the hapless Farmer Tom, Pete the crossing guard, and, most important, the Bee Master. Every word tastes sweet as honey.
The war between authors and publishers has been a conflict of ages. On the one side, the publisher has been looked upon as a species of Wantley dragon, whose daily food was the brain and blood of hapless writers. ... On the other side, the author has been considered, like Shelley, 'an eternal child,' in all that relates to practical matters, and a terrible child at that, - incapable of comprehending details, and unreasoanably dissatisfied with results.
Mary Abigail Dodge
To be in love- where scorn is bought with groans, Coy looks with heart-sore sighs, one fading moment's mirth With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights; If haply won, perhaps a hapless gain; If lost, why then a grievous labour won; However, but a folly bought with wit, Or else a wit by folly vanquished.
Sophia shrieked and fainted on the ground "" I screamed and instantly ran mad. We remained thus mutually deprived of our senses, some minutes, and on regaining them were deprived of them again. For an Hour and a Quarter did we continue in this unfortunate situation "" Sophia fainting every moment and I running mad as often. At length a groan from the hapless Edward (who alone retained any share of life) restored us to ourselves.
Sophia shrieked and fainted on the ground - I screamed and instantly ran mad. We remained thus mutually deprived of our senses, some minutes, and on regaining them were deprived of them again. For an Hour and a Quarter did we continue in this unfortunate situation - Sophia fainting every moment and I running mad as often. At length a groan from the hapless Edward (who alone retained any share of life) restored us to ourselves.
Streets teemed with hell's wretched souls. New dead with their gadgets and old dead from antiquity. Demons roamed the avenues and alleyways, tormenting hapless damned at random with branding irons, flaming pitchforks, and razor-wire whips. -From the story Remember, Remember, Hell in November, in the anthology, Lawyers in Hell.
Larry Atchley Jr.
A few months ago, I was sitting morosely at my desk, wondering why I had ever agreed to review Barbara Bush: A Memoir for an English newspaper. The experience was proving to be a degradation of the act of reading. Imagine, if you will, being strapped into a chair and made to listen to Liberace playing the piano for hour upon hour. Or imagine being fed chocolate dinner mints, like a hapless goose, until you are on the verge of explosion. Such was my lot.
[On Female Attraction to Men in Uniform] That male military persona feeds a subconscious, passive-aggressive female desire to dominate the warrior as he is perceived an iconic example of masculinity (particularly amongst traditionally warlike cultures). The damsel in distress theme always struck me as embodying this: the hapless, innocently beautiful woman unwittingly enraptures the heroic male so completely that he would risk all to submit to her at his own peril, and quite in spite of it.
Does it seem all but incredible to you that intelligence should travel for two thousand miles, along those slender copper lines, far down in the all but fathomless Atlantic; never before penetrated ... save when some foundering vessel has plunged with her hapless company to the eternal silence and darkness of the abyss? Does it seem ... but a miracle ... that the thoughts of living men ... should burn over the cold, green bones of men and women, whose hearts, once as warm as ours, burst as the eternal gulfs closed and roared over them centuries ago?
When the Gauls laid waste Rome, they found the senators clothed in their robes, and seated in stern tranquillity in their curule chairs; in this manner they suffered death without resistance or supplication. Such conduct was in them applauded as noble and magnanimous; in the hapless Indians it was reviled as both obstinate and sullen. How truly are we the dupes of show and circumstances! How different is virtue, clothed in purple and enthroned in state, from virtue, naked and destitute, and perishing obscurely in a wilderness.
After all, [female genital mutilation is] a key pillar of institutional misogyny in Islam: its entire purpose is to deny women sexual pleasure. True, a lot of us hapless western men find we deny women sexual pleasure without even trying, but we don't demand genital mutilation to guarantee it. On such slender distinctions does civilization rest.
I live in a world in which 40 men control wealth equal to that of nearly 80 countries, where to maintain their hegemony, countless acts of mayhem and massacre must occur every day. This is the reality that forms and reforms my days as it does those of all people on this hapless planet. I do not think any more that writing - mine or another's - can change the world. Perhaps in their small way, writers can answer for those who are voiceless in their extreme deprivation and suffering, but at best, in the very smallest scheme, writing can provide a moment of grace, both for her who writes and him who reads, in a very dark world.
Myth is the practical metabolism of our soulish life, the logic of our obsessions and oversights for which we have no language or code. Myth is the "morality" that the ineffable puts upon us, our unaccountable imperatives, our inexplicably selective clarity and obscurity, the mortal one-sidedness of our talents and wits, the passion and apathy that make such a transient passage through our hapless minds; that weave a pattern of fatality others will see before we do. Myth is distinctively human or sublime higher-order instinct, the "reason" in culture that reason knows not of.
A friend once told me that the real message Bram Stoker sought to convey in 'Dracula' is that a human being needs to live hundreds and hundreds of years to get all his reading done; that Count Dracula, basically nothing more than a misunderstood bookworm, was draining blood from the necks of 10,000 hapless virgins not because he was the apotheosis of pure evil but because it was the only way he could live long enough to polish off his extensive reading list. But I have no way of knowing if this is true, as I have not yet found time to read 'Dracula.
A friend once told me that the real message Bram Stoker sought to convey in 'Dracula' is that a human being needs to live hundreds and hundreds of years to get all his reading done; that Count Dracula, basically nothing more than a misunderstood bookworm, was draining blood from the necks of 10, 000 hapless virgins not because he was the apotheosis of pure evil but because it was the only way he could live long enough to polish off his extensive reading list. But I have no way of knowing if this is true, as I have not yet found time to read 'Dracula.
John F. Kennedy, who seized the White House from Richard Nixon in a frenzied campaign that turned a whole generation of young Americans into political junkies, got shot in the head for his efforts, murdered in Dallas by some hapless geek named Oswald who worked for either Castro, the mob, Jimmy Hoffa, the CIA, his dominatrix landlady or the odious, degenerate FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover. The list is long and crazy - maybe Marilyn Monroe's first husband fired those shots from the grassy knoll. Who knows?
Hunter S. Thompson
Evan Connell said once that he knew he was finished with a short story when he found himself going through it and taking out commas and then going through the story again and putting the commas back in the same places. I like that way of working on something. I respect that kind of care for what is being done. That's all we have, finally, the words, and they had better be the right ones, with the punctuation in the right places so that they an best say what they are meant to say. If the words are heavy with the writer's own unbridled emotions, or if they are imprecise and inaccurate for some other reason - if the worlds are in any way blurred - the reader's eyes will slide right over them and nothing will be achieved. Henry James called this sort of hapless writing 'weak specification'.
Today in America, unions have a secure place in our industrial life. Only a handful of reactionaries harbor the ugly thought of breaking unions and depriving working men and women of the right to join the union of their choice. I have no use for those - regardless of their political party - who hold some vain and foolish dream of spinning the clock back to days when organized labor was huddled, almost as a hapless mass. Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of the right to join the union of their choice.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
I wander thro' each charter'd street, Near where the charter'd Thames does flow, And mark in every face I meet Marks of weakness, marks of woe. In every cry of every Man, In every Infant's cry of fear, In every voice, in every ban, The mind-forg'd manacles I hear. How the Chimney-sweeper's cry Every black'ning Church appalls; And the hapless Soldier's sigh Runs in blood down Palace walls. But most thro' midnight streets I hear How the youthful Harlot's curse Blasts the new born Infant's tear, And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.
Consider now the primal scene of education in the modern elementary school. Let us assume that a teacher wishes to inform a class of some 20 pupils about the structure of atoms, and that she plans to base the day's instruction on an analogy with the solar system. She knows that the instruction will be effective only to the extent that all the students in the class already know about the solar system. A good teacher would probably try to find out. 'Now, class, how many of you know about the solar system?' Fifteen hands go up. Five stay down. What is a teacher to do in this typical circumstance in the contemporary American school? "If he or she pauses to explain the solar system, a class period is lost, and 15 of the 20 students are bored and deprived of knowledge for that day. If the teacher plunges ahead with atomic structure, the hapless five-they are most likely to be poor or minority students-are bored, humiliated and deprived, because they cannot comprehend the teacher's explanation.
E.D. Hirsch Jr.
They stood in the courtyard of Swangard Palace, too cold to be comfortable despite the sun, and they looked fully on one another, knowing that they were friends, and would always be. A lot of water under this bridge too, Mark thought, with something like awe. He was growing older. Old enough to feel the current of what had been flowing under him, leading to his future. Old enough to look back over his shoulder, and see his past behind him, and grieve for what was gone, and honour its memory. He felt, suddenly, how much it would hurt him if Val died; felt an echo of that pain, knowing that the Valerian he had known, fluffy and peering and hapless and altogether wonderful: this Valerian was already dying. Not physically, of course, but the man he remembered from that first night in Swangard Palace would be gone the next time they met, though his ghost would linger on in Val forever, and in their memories. Three cheers for ghosts, Mark thought. Three cheers for the dead. Of course Val would be much the same: better, even. As full of wonder and delight, with big pockets full of puzzles and fascinating stories about the lives of ants and ingenious designs for windmills that would do your washing. And they would still be friends, excellent friends. It could even be better next time. But it would never be the same.