Thursday, January 30, 2003

Thursday January 30, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM

Poetic Justice:
The Peacock Throne

Yesterday was the death day of two proponents of Empire: George III (in 1820) and Robert Frost (in 1963).  Lord Byron argued that the King slipped through heaven's gate unobserved while a friend distracted St. Peter with bad poetry.  We may imagine, on this dark night of the soul, Frost performing a similar service.

Though poets of the traditional sort may still perform such services in Heaven, here on earth they have been superseded by writers of song lyrics.  An example, Roddy Frame (formerly of the group "Aztec Camera"), was born on yesterday's date in 1964.  A Frame lyric:

Transformed by some strange alchemy,*
You stand apart and point to me
And point to something I can't see….

Back Door to Heaven         


    The Back Door to Heaven    

For poetic purposes, we may think of surreptitious entry into Heaven as being conveniently accomplished through a portal like the above back door, which is that of a small hotel in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

This is not your average Motel 6 back door.  As a former New York Times correspondent has written,

"Over the years, the guest list has drawn the likes of Prince Philip and the Shah of Iran, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. But informality still reigns."

This small hotel (or its heavenly equivalent), whose gardens are inhabited by various exotic birds, including peacocks, may still be haunted by the late Shah, who apparently styled himself "King of Kings and Emperor of the Peacock Throne."  Of course, the ghost of the King of Kings, after entering the garden of Paradise, may not be able to resume his former human shape.  He might still, however, be among those greeted by his fellow Emperor, George III, with the famous words

"My Lords and Peacocks…"

*For more on alchemy and Cuernavaca, see
  my journal note "The Black Queen."

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