The resurrection of classical poetry

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In the society in which we live in today, the classical style of writing poetry seems to have been forgotten. We label it as old-fashioned – which basically means dull, unfresh, non-existent. 

Instead of viewing both poetry with verse and poetry without verse as two equal components (seeing that there’s nothing wrong with each one of them), the popular opinion has now put modern poetry in the limelight and thrown classical poetry in the garbage can. 

(For those of you who don’t know this, modern poetry is a poem without verse.)

The fact that rhyming has gone out of fashion is very sad. But some of us are still fighting to change it. Because whether you like to believe it or not … 

VERSE IS NOT DEAD. 

It just exists in a different form; Namely in music.  

If you take a close look out there, some popular songs are just magnificently written. Put it on paper, and you have a classical poem. 

Don’t believe me? 

Take this song by Leonhard Cohen: 


The Gypsy’s Wife

And where, where, where is my Gypsy wife tonight
I’ve heard all the wild reports, they can’t be right
But whose head is this she’s dancing with on the threshing floor
whose darkness deepens in her arms a little more
And where, where is my Gypsy wife tonight?
Where, where is my Gypsy wife tonight?
Ah the silver knives are flashing in the tired old cafe
A ghost climbs on the table in a bridal negligee
She says, “My body is the light, my body is the way”
I raise my arm against it all and I catch the bride’s bouquet
And where, where is my Gypsy wife tonight?
Too early for the rainbow, too early for the dove
These are the final days, this is the darkness, this is the flood
And there is no man or woman who can’t be touched
But you who come between them will be judged

Or this song, by the famous rock-band; Pink Floyd: 

 

Time 

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your hometown
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.
Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.
So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.
Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I’d something more to say.
Home, home again 
I like to be here when I can 
And when I come home cold and tired 
It’s good to warm my bones beside the fire 
Far away across the field 
The tolling of the iron bell 
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells

 
Or this one, by Simon and Garfunkel: 
The Sound of Silence

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams, I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light, I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools” said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

It isn’t exactly helping the resurrection of classical poetry – that only song-lyricist have the power to distribute their work these days. However, looking at their songs and noticing the depth and the value in their words is a start. Perhaps we could all begin to appreciate verse more, now that we’re seeing the positive effect it’s having on the people. 
Think about it: Without the verse in pop-songs, no one would care to listen to them. It would sound horribly wrong. It wouldn’t have any rhythm. 
Well, why not think the same way about poetry?
Poetry with verse and poetry without verse should have equal value, without one winning over the other. Personally, I prefer poetry with verse, but there’s beauty in both and we do appreciate both styles; You can see that by walking down the street in any city: They’re all listening to music (poetry) with their headphones. 
Doesn’t this mean that we’re craving for something more? Doesn’t this mean that we’re craving for a resurrection of the classical style of writing poetry? 
I would like to hear your opinions on this. 
Do you think classical poetry is dead?
Do you agree with bringing it back in fashion? 
DO tell me in the comments below or send me a message so that we all can get a chance to discuss this! I’m eager to hear your thoughts on this:) 
Love, 
Aftur S. Nerdrum 

 

 

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This month’s book-haul: Get into the mood for Halloween

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Yesss! It’s Halloween! 

Instead of movie-shopping, I went book-shopping – because this November (to get into the mood) I have decided to read all of these scary books listed down below↓

Who’s with me? 

1.”Misery” by Stephen King 

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About: Paul Sheldon is a successful author of the book-series; Misery. Annie Wilkes, Sheldon’s number one fan, rescues the author from the scene of a car accident. Now … he’s no longer writing for a living. He’s writing to stay alive. 

Why this book: Just putting it out there; I haven’t read any of the books in this list (trying out a new thing!) but I am very eager to, and I think this book is quite suitable for Haloween because I’ve seen the movie, and it’s SO scary! People say the movie is nowhere near as scary as the book is, so I’m very excited about this one! 


2. “The Shining” by Stephen King 

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About: Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote…and more sinister.

Why: Yet again; A book which (most likely) will give you goosebumps from start to finish.I’m guessing you all know about this one. It’s a classic. But … not everyone has read the book. The movie is popular alright but is the book equally as good? We’ll see … 


3. “1984” by George Orwell 

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About: This is a dystopian story which follows the life of Winston Smith, a low ranking member of ‘the Party’, who is frustrated by the omnipresent eyes of the party, and its ominous ruler Big Brother.

Why: A lot of people wouldn’t pin this one down as a Halloween-book, but I have always viewed futuristic books as quite frightening. Who knows what will happen to the future? No one. But people do speculate. And to be honest, I haven’t seen or heard about one book which paints a positive image of the time to come. It’s all grey and lonely and sterile. Scary, if you ask me! 


4. “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy 

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About: A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there.

Why: Everyone has been telling me to read this book, so I finally will. Note – I have seen the movie and it did make a huge impact on me. It’s scary, it’s sad, it’s hopeful …  Perfect for a dark, cold November night♥


Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

 

Oslo in the fall + thoughts on Hemingway and the power of IMAGINATION

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It's cold outside, but it's a nice kind of cold. 

It's the kind that greets you with a smile. 

It's grey outside, but it's a pleasant kind of "grey"

It's melancholic, but in a beautiful way. 

Then theres the city,

the place that's filled with fear and expectations.

Highs and lows. 

Lot's of love and lot's of dissapointment. All at once. 

It's always crowded, always allert, yet, you're lonely.

Alone in the crowd. 

I'ts a sacrfice you'll have to make when moving here. 

In the mids of all the limelight and all the glory - you have no one 

No one but yourself and a book of Hemingway. 

But you don't really mind it. 

Because it's autumnm

the most beautiful season. 

with all it's colors -  

Ochre, red and oak-brown. 

The colors of a Rembrandt painting. 

It's beautifully melancholic. 

Just like Hemingway, and just like Oslo. 

And soon you'll figure out that you're not really alone. 

You have someone. 

Someone who'll stay by your side no matter what. 

Because the books gave birth to more than just cleverness:  

It gave birh to your IMAGINATION. 

A solitary trip to Oslo.

I’m reading Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” – and I must say, it’s a good book for a big city. Reading it wasn’t half as pleasant in my hometown in Sweden, as it was here in Oslo.  The story is filled with detailed descriptions of lazy days in Paris, drinking, writing, meeting up with friends and drinking some more. By the sound of it, you’d think of it as a cheerful life, full of laughter and interesting conversations with artists and poets. You’d think the protagonist had nothing to worry about. But then, as the story evolves, you’ll think differently. Because a life in the city isn’t full of sunshine and glory. It’s bittersweet. Just like the autumn. In fact, the more I read, the more I was reminded of my own experiences of solitude. All of a sudden I was back to living in the city a year ago. I was back to sipping coffee or wine at a bar. Gazing at strangers. Wondering what their lives were like. Looking at couples holding hands and whispering silly little things into each other’s ears. Daydreaming. Imagining a better tomorrow.

Because I have been there too. I have felt loneliness. I have had an aching heart. I have gone to sleep alone, hoping, praying that maybe – just maybe tomorrow would be different. Maybe that friend would call me up or answer my latest texts about a possible meet-up.

But as much as I suffered, I also enjoyed it. I thought of silly things, just to make myself laugh. I walked in the park, collected yellow leaves and smiled at older people, who’d smile back and comment on the nice weather. I constantly romanticized mundane situations – I imagined meeting a stranger at a coffee-shop who would take away my loneliness and set my heart on fire. It never happened. But so what? It happened in my imagination. And that was enough. 

Hemingway said: ““Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know”.

Perhaps this is the reason why I feel there’s a big, dark, melancholic cloud over everything he writes; The more you know, the more you grieve. Ignorance is bliss. We all know this.

But it’s important to focus on one thing; That at least, you have your imagination. In the mids of all the dark and the lonesome, you can pick up a book or just let your mind go wild – for a little while. 

You can ride a sad train with Anna Karenina. 

You can experience a bullfight with Hemingway. 

You can go to New York with Holden Caulfield.

You can help a poor woman in need, together with Jean Valjean

You can go to Hogwarts and learn magic-tricks with Harry Potter 

This is something you’ve learned from reading, and you’ll learn it again when you try living alone in the city. Just like the autumn – it’s a love that has to grow on you. It takes time. 

Because I know it can be awful at times. 

I know it can feel like the whole world is against you. 

But it can also be wonderful! Believe me! 

You can walk alone down the crowded shopping-streets and wonder what happens next in “Les Miserables” by Viktor Hugo. You can relate to Hemingway’s existential problems in “The Sun Also Rises”. And you will no longer feel alone. The characters in the book you’re reading will be your company. And they’ll never leave your side. 

After all, Hemingway did have a point when he said; 

“All good books have one thing in common – they are truer than if they had really happened.”

So if you’re alone in the city and you’re experiencing an overwhelming amount of contradicting emotions – know what you’re blessed with. Get to know your imagination. You can get very surprised by what actually goes on inside your head. I know I was. 

(Ps: Also! If you live in Oslo and want a tip; Walk through the Royal Park while listening to THIS song by Richard Strauss. You won’t regret the experience!) 

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

 

 

There is nothing more beautiful in the whole wide world as a girl in love with every breath she takes

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Think about it. 

That one time you met someone who seemed like she had it all figured out. 

You probably thought: She must've been born like that.

"She was meant to just know how to enjoy life." 

Well. Not really.

Whether you like to admit it or not - we all started from scratch.

The girl who seems like "she's got it all figured out", was once very insecure and lonely. 

She just realized one thing: that you need to work on it. 

And she worked on it. Every day. Without stopping.

Was it easy?

No. 

But was it worth it? 

Yes! 

Because the truth is: 

Every one of you is capable of anything. 

You have an infinite amount of power inside of you. 

You can turn your life around. 

You can wake up every morning with a smile. 

YOU can fall in love with every breath you take. 

Yes! YOU. 

YOU CAN DO THE IMPOSSIBLE. 

And you can do it today. 

But don't get me wrong - this is not a compliment. 

It's not a cliché.

It's not flattery. 

It's a fact. 

But what does it mean to “fall in love with yourself?”

Falling in love with yourself is the ability to make your unconsciousness become conscious. It’s knowing all your mental strengths and weaknesses. It’s having a clear picture of what goes on inside your mind every time you feel anxious, sad, rejected, exhausted or hurt. It’s analyzing how you react to things, noticing the patterns and mentally working out a way for a specific feeling not to happen again. I call it playing chess with yourself.

So what do you do when you play chess with yourself? 

First of all, you need a bit of side-information:

Psychologically, you and I are divided into two different personalities; The angel and the devil. You’ve probably seen this concept being played out in cartoons – two different voices are telling you two different things. One is always positive, the other, negative. Some people are very aware of these voices, but others don’t even know of their presence. BUT THEY ARE THERE. Trust me. There are angels and devils within all of us.

What are their roles? 

The angel always wants the best for you mentally. It gives you motivation, encourages you to go further and roots for you whenever there’s an obstacle along the way. Its voice sounds a lot like this: 

  • "You can do it! You're not there yet, but you will be if you keep moving forward."  
  • "You're not fit now, but if you maintain a healthy diet and go to the gym, you'll be where you want to be in no time!" 
  • "Okay. This was a bad day. Things didn't turn out the way you wanted them to. But tomorrow is a new day! And it's always dark before the dawn!"
    

The devil on the other hand always wants the worst for you. But be careful! Because it is usually very good at making negative thoughts seem like the most realistic outcome – it’s voice sounds a little bit like this:

  • "No. You don't have what it takes. Better quit now before you'll get even more disappointed."
  • "You're not fit because you never stick to anything. You never manage to keep something a habit. You're useless because you're lazy, and you'll never be able to be anything else." 
  • "This day was horrible. Better take some days off because you deserve it. You deserve it because you can't manage so many things happening all at once. Therefore, you'll never be able to smile every day. Because chaos is all around us." 

Notice the difference? 

Okay. You’ve come THIS far. You know how powerful each voice can be. You also know (because you know yourself) which one (of these voices) is dominating your every-day life. So … what now? You play chess. You find a way to beat the opposer on the other side of the chess-board (the devil). Notice its voice. What is it telling you? Who’s the devil and who’s the angel? Once you’ve identified both of them, you begin to eliminate the devil’s voice by repeating the angel’s voice to yourself again and again. “I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.” Then, you can continue by arguing for the angel’s voice, and against the devil’s: “Why can you do it? — because you’re awesome. You have done it before and you can do it again. You know what you’re capable of because you have an enormous amount of self-respect and integrity. Others have done it before. Why wouldn’t YOU be able to do it as well?” By doing this exercise, you’ll automatically make the devil fade away. You’ll no longer hear its voice. Time to call out; “Checkmate”! You have defeated your opposer. 

Then, the last step: You focus on bringing this exercise into your everyday life.  

Follow up on the process; Have conscious conversations with yourself every day – or every time you find yourself doubting something. Don’t stop. Because the minute you stop, you’re at risk of falling back into your old negative thinking-routine. Defeating the devil is something we all can do – simply by playing chess with ourselves. And the minute you know how to do that, you’ve become unstoppable. 

You’ve become “the girl who’s in love with every breath she takes”. 

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

The best and the worst book you’ll ever read

Get ready for frustration ...

THE COLLECTOR   by John Fowles

It's horrible, nerve-racking, intense and confusing. 

In the beginning, you hate the protagonist. 

Then you change your mind.

Then you hate him again. 

And in the end, you'll understand everything ...

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GENRE: Psychological thriller 

Dice (1-6): 6!

Why: It will challenge you – psychologically, and it’s perfect for a Halloween-read! 

PLOT: Unsociable, uneducated and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and plays around with his camera. His life is nowhere near exciting and the man doesn’t have much to live for – except for one thing – his only purpose in life; To make Miranda fall in love with him. How does he do it? He buys a remote Sussex house, calmly abducts the girl of his dreams (Miranda) and puts her in a beautifully decorated cellar. Now, he hopes and prays that he will be able to keep her there for eternity. 

Does he manage to do it? 


Okay. You’ve read the plot. You’ve imagined the story. Now, the only question remains … 


Why is it the best and the worst book you’ll ever read?


There’s more to it than you may think. There’s a deep, underlying psychological reason to why the man does what he does. Some figure this out by themselves. Some have to do some research afterward. But, relax. I won’t spoil the fun for you. I will not reveal too much (maybe a little!)  I’ll just that … you’ll go through a multitude of emotions while reading this book. You’ll hate it, you’ll want to quit reading it, but you’ll have to continue anyway. You HAVE TO SEE what happens in the end. Your life will depend on it! 

So, to make it easier for you guys to understand the huge impact that this book has had on me (and others) … 

These are all the 10 emotions I went through while reading this book: 


“Okay. This man is a psycho. I get it. I won’t get surprised by anything. There are lots of these people in the world …”


“Wait … I don’t understand. Why? Why doesn’t he want to do anything to her? I thought he was a psycho. Hold on. He treats her like a queen. He spoils her! What is this behavior?” 


“Oh .. she’s actually having a nice time in there. This man is such a sweet-heart. He’s willing to do anything for her! Perhaps she can persuade him to release her and promise him that they’ll be boyfriend and girlfriend once she’s out? Yes, he would definitely fall for that. Oh yes! This is turning out well.”


“Hold on. He doesn’t want to let her out? Even if she swears to be his girlfriend?”


“Oh my lord. Oh no. He really is a psycho!” 


“Oh no. Things are getting out of hand. Oh no .. she NEEDS to get out now!”


“But … It’s not THAT bad. I mean … it could’ve been worse. He could’ve done nasty things to her, but he doesn’t. He’s reluctant to touch her. It actually could’ve been much worse! Perhaps she should try to get to know him better ….?”


“OH no. OH MY GOD! WHAT JUST HAPPENED? OH NO OH NO OH NO!!! I was wrong all along! He’s evil!!” 


“This is more than grotesque. I don’t have words for this behavior. I don’t have words for this book! What does all this mean? Do I even like this book? Wait, what?! What does this mean? ….”


“Okay. I see… I understand now.” 


 

Do you want to read the book now? 

Thought so … 

Get it —  HERE   (and you’ll get 50% off!) 

 

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

 

 

 

 

If there’s one thing Jordan Peterson has taught​ me about life, it’s this …

To be living the dream-life. 

What does it really mean? 

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Are you living your dream-life?

Answering this question can be hard. It can be really hard. We’re surrounded by people who give us tons of advice and inspiration, and, usually – we do things because other people say it’s the right thing to do. Just like that, we go about with our life – without even questioning our own opinions, values, and theories – we fall back into the mainstream. We wish for things we don’t really want. We think that all those fancy pictures we see on Instagram are things worth fighting for.


I want to be able to travel more.

I want a skinny body.

I want to live in a big villa in a southern country with a pool.

I want to have these clothes.

I want to be able to spend my money on anything, without
worrying about my economy at all.

I want more followers and likes on Instagram. 


 

If I’m not entirely wrong, most people think this when scrolling through Instagram every day. But is this really what you want? What is traveling? Is it going to a warm place, lying on the beach all day and taking lots of pictures and videos – just so that you can show all your friends how privileged you are? 

The Fourth Chapter of “12 Rules For Life” by Jordan Peterson is titled: “COMPARE YOURSELF TO WHO YOU WERE YESTERDAY, NOT TO WHO SOMEONE ELSE IS TODAY”.

What does this suggest? 

Stop looking at pictures of other people “living the dream-life” and start looking at your own actions instead. Think of yourself objectively. Scrutinize every action, every thought behind every word. Who were you yesterday? And who do you want to be? If you think about it, there’s always something you could have done better with the day before today. You probably could have done more, communicated something in a different way or treated someone a little bit nicer.

You could've thrown out the trash in the morning. 

You could've told the one you love how much you appreciate them.

You could've called that friend who really needs you right now. 

You could've not said those horrible words in that fight you had.

You could've worked those extra hours in the office.

You could've solved a problem that you should've solved months ago.

Okay. If you failed to do some of these things yesterday, why not do them today? Why not become a better person instantly? 

“You can only find out what you actually believe (rather than what you think you believe) by watching how you act. You simply don’t know what you believe, before that. You are too complex to understand yourself.”

-Jordan Peterson 

WATCH HOW YOU ACT.  It’s a more rational and direct way of saying (the cliché): Find yourself. 

Find out what you stand for. Look for the things that speak to you – “Encourage the serotonin to flow plentifully through the neural pathways desperate for its calming influence.” And most important of all, don’t seek to be happy. Seek to make something out of your life – seek to create. Do that thing that makes you look back at your life with pride. 

Jordan Peterson states: “Making happiness the focal point of your life, trivializes your experiences – because, in order to regard anything as truly important, you also have to regard its loss as truly meaningful. And that means that to open yourself up to experiences of meaning – also, simultaneously means you have to open yourself up to the possibility of deep hurt and sorrow.”

So … is it really that important to be happy all the time? Isn’t it more important to live a life that you’re proud of? To constantly compare yourself with who you were yesterday and to make necessary adjustments to how you choose to go about your day, every morning when you wake up? Doesn’t THAT sound like something worth fighting for? 

Because this is what I've figured out: 

You can throw away the dream of living a fancy Instagram-life. 

Because it's not a life worth fighting for. 

And it's not necessarily a life to be proud of. 

Instead, compare yourself to who you were yesterday.

Choose one (only one) person to look up to.

Recognize the patterns, notice the things that this person does and
the things that this person doesn't do. 

Aspire to be more and do more every day, like this person. 

Ask yourself: Traveling, skinny body, clothes, money - 
are these really the things that you want? 

Because, what is the dream-life? 

I'll tell you. 

The dream-life is working on something every day which will eventually
lead to great results. 

You're not living the dream-life if you're not creating something. 

You can choose to do anything. 

You are THAT strong. 

So choose to live the dream-life. 

Choose to create something. 

Because no one is ever going to do it for you.

 

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

 

Do you remember those days?

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Do you remember the days without smartphones? 

Do you remember the excitement; That rush of euphoria every time you came home from elementary school? You just couldn’t wait to open up your computer and check if you had a new message in your inbox. And whether it was myspace, email or just an innocent voicemail from him, it brought a smile to your face every time you were thinking about it. For an entire day of sitting by your desk at school, you had been waiting for this one moment – the moment that usually, would make your day. You were probably staring intensely at the clock, waiting, counting the minutes until you were allowed to go home. 

Or perhaps you (who’s reading this right now) were from an earlier generation. Perhaps you didn’t even have computers. Perhaps, the only time you got to talk to her or him, was when your mother allowed you to use the house phone, or when you had some spare pocket money so that you could go to town and dial the number you had been memorizing in your brain for so long. 

Do you remember those days? Do you? 

Do you sometimes look back? Do you ask yourself in the crack of dawn – do I even have anything to look forward to anymore? These days, kids walk around with their smartphones in their pockets. They no longer feel excited about coming home to check their inbox – because they already have. Many times. They didn’t have a childhood like me. And they never will – just like I never experienced the childhood of my parents – that time when they had to go into town and dial numbers in anticipation. I wish I would’ve been there, seen it, felt it. I’d probably run happily to the bus stop. I’d dance and sing and laugh in the rain. I would be more than thrilled to walk that extra mile and take that tedious bus – just so that I could sit in a phone-box and have a conversation with that special someone. Can the world really feel that real?

Yes. It can. But only if you start being real. 

Would you like to try?