To be all by oneself. No one is around to keep me company. Isn't anyone out there? Won't anyone say anything? I can't stand this much longer. All I can hear is my own thoughts, pounding through my skull like thunder. I'm going mad, I tell you, mad! They all think I'm mad, but I'll show them! I'll show them all! They'll be sorry they left me alone, but by then it'll be too late! Far too late!

This is a song by Ween, from their album The Pod.

Something of a psychological ramble song, it is musically and melodically uninteresting (mostly) but serves as a lullaby pretty well if you want to have fucked up children. Very sleepy music, and a traditional bass line that just plunks up and down in a lazy way.

I think the most interesting thing about this song is its rhyme scheme. Ween as a general rule is not a band whose lyrics are ocean deep, and normally their lyrics walk a line between offensive and silly. But this actually has some meaning and its rhymes in the first and third lines of every stanza are true rhymes instead of just approximations like many bands. For instance:

When the life inside no doubt has died
And you've turn your head away
You tried to pay, but at the end of the day,
it's you again, alone

Alone, confined--the mess in your mind
When you can't relate to them
You've reaped and sown, but little is known
by those who aren't alone

This song is © 1991 by Ween, Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp/Ver Music/Browndog Music/BMI.

The Pod
Next song on this album: Moving Away
CST Approved

Alone is the first glimmerings of a cold day in Washington D.C., circa 1994, after I've been up all night. Alone is walking down M Street while the city begins to stir, and waiting for sudden inspiration.

Coffee by yourself can be alone, but only if you have to buy a newspaper for something to do while you drink. (people who read newspapers look more inconspicuous).

Maybe alone is more a state of conspicuous self awareness, such that the rest of the world begins to dim while I begin to shine supernova bright.


Edgar Allan Poe

From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were- I have not seen
As others saw- I could not bring
My passions from a common spring-
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow- I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone-
And all I lov'd- I lov'd alone-

Then- in my childhood- in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From ev'ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still-
From the torrent, or the fountain-
From the red cliff of the mountain-
From the sun that 'round me roll'd
In its autumn tint of gold-
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by-
From the thunder, and the storm-
And the cloud that took the form
(When all the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.

The daily commute, on the TTC Spadina Subway from Bloor St up to Dufferin St., practically the entire distance of Toronto.

It's in the winter, to a job I don't like--at the weather bureau, actually--so I spend the night before, like all the nights before, conversing with my colleagues in the College of Illuminati of Fenwick House, uncovering the secrets of the universe.

I sit in the subway car, jammed standing room only, silent and slightly sick at being up so early after being up so late. The subway is exposed out of the tunnel, unprotected, stalled in the winter. The only sound a scream.

A fascinating 1938 book by Admiral Richard E. Byrd describing his five months alone in 1934 at a weather station in Antarctica within five degrees of the South Pole, the first inland station ever occupied on Antarctica. The original plan for that station had been to have three men there, but when plans fell through, Byrd chose to stay by himself rather than give up the scientific observations that could be made for the first time.

"What I had not counted on was discovering how close a man could come to dying and still not die, or want to die." A saga of both the mental and physical problems he came up against (like nearly dying from carbon monoxide poisoning).

You can spend days at a time praying for moments alone. Sometimes its not until you go to sleep at night; when no one is around, do you well an truly feel you can relax. As you lie in the dark and quiet with nothing but your mind for company, an instance of satisfactory peace will wash over you, as you have time for yourself and to reorganise your thoughts.

However, this feeling you have waited so long for is destroyed almost immediately because, as you lie alone in the night, you suddenly crave the warmth of a lover, the light conversation of a friend, or possibly the comfort of having your family close. Every person or thing you spent all day trying to evade, or hoping they would go away, you suddenly crave with every fibre of your being. It is human nature to socialise, so as you lie there in the dark, gradually but most surely, overwhelming feelings of loneliness wash over you as silently crave everything you love.

On the other hand being alone arguably is an almost impossible feat. Soon a new movement will begin, as you lie there contemplating how pathetic your life feels when your all alone, sounds of the night also creep in. It’s not long before you can hear the deafening sound of the person in the next room breathing, the cat outside meowing that some sod has forgotten to feed, kids out in the street, living the life by chatting loudly by the rubbish bins, with every word that comes out their mouths being crystal clear. Late night drivers, animals and possibly even a train in the distance are all of a sudden oh so apparent as you realise the time alone you prayed for has still not come. The deafening silence you feared minutes ago never existed; once again your resentment is back as you say to yourself

“Could I not just have a minutes peace.”

Any feeling of being lonely dissipate as you resent the fact you cant be alone, sadness and fear are washed away as you forget your previous emotional cycle; hating everything that stands in the way of your being alone.

Human psychology is an interesting topic, we tend to want what we cannot have, however, is it possible to want something that can never be attained, or to achieve being alone while standing in a room full of people?

Sonnet of the WeekMarch 7, 2020


So once again upon an empty bed
I lay my weary thought-wrenched body down.
There was a time when Love to sleep had led
This antic soul whose purpose was unknown.

But Life has brought a better happiness,
Existing as it must but here and now.
The past is gone, while futures can arrest
All joy, and furrow deep a lover’s brow.

Then let Her be, for now, a spectre pure,
A lovely Dream, a Promise of the real.
This night will pass, and then the day endure
Another challenge to this lover’s zeal.

She may or may not ever come to be,
But thinking on Her brings a certain glee.

See, the thing is, the Shakespearean sonnet is an archaic poetic form, strict in construct and—mostly because of the meter, I expect—difficult to keep from sounding "twee," as my dear associate etouffee notes in a kind and most welcome message. (Frequent communication between users here is one of the most delightful features of E2.)

Technically the Shakespearean Sonnet consists of three quatrains and a single couplet, written in iambic pentameter with ten syllables per line. True iambic pentameter (di dah - di dah - di dah - di dah - di dah) throughout the poem is very difficult to achieve, I have found, and even Shakespeare sometimes varied the stressed syllable (possibly to avoid sounding "twee").

Shakespeare usually presents some sort of "problem" in the first twelve lines, with a different aspect of the issue being addressed in each quatrain. The concluding rhymed couplet offers a solution, a conclusion, or an epiphany, as we might call it today. Please refer to Shakespearean Sonnet by our sadly long-departed Ulysses for further explication.

The British poet and journalist Thomas William Hodgson Crosland (July 21, 1865—December 23, 1924) made a thorough study of the infernal form, and published a sort of "Dummies Guide to the Sonnet," for those of us with the temerity to give it a go.

Crosland was a humanitarian who frequently wrote about the misfortunate, the poor, the sick, and the unemployed. He was especially concerned about the care of veterans of World War I.

After a series of illnesses, he died in Surrey at 59, leaving a wife and son.

A biography, The Life and Genius of T.W.H. Crosland, by W. Sorley Brown was published in 1928.

But here are his thoughts on the poetic form that's been keeping me so busy in my leisure hours lately:

Sonnet Legislation: The Rules of Shakespearean Sonnets
From The English Sonnet by T. W. H. Crosland.

It has been commonly held that poetry is a law unto itself, and that there are no standards whereby it can be judged. Of the sonnet, however, this is certainly not true. The law has written itself explicitly and finally, and the standards have been set up and are irremovable.

Of the law we may dispose very briefly. A sonnet consists of fourteen decasyllabic lines, rhymed according to prescription. Any poem of more than fourteen decasyllabic lines, or less than fourteen, is not a sonnet. Poems of sixteen or more lines are sometimes styled sonnets, but they have no right to the title. Any poem in any other measure than the decasyllabic is not a sonnet.

For this reason, the poem which figures as Sonnet 145 in the Shakespeare Series is not a sonnet. Fourteen decasyllabic lines without rhyme, or fourteen lines rhymed in couplets, do not constitute a sonnet. The prescription for the rhymes of the English sonnet pure and simple may be formulated thus:

a-b-a-b c-d-c-d e-f-e-f g-g

And, strictly, the rhymes should be single, and never double. This form of sonnet was written before Shakespeare, but Shakespeare appropriated it to himself, and every one of his sonnets is so rhymed. Even in Sonnet 145 the rhyme scheme is maintained, and the sonnet "prologue" to Romeo and Juliet is similarly rhymed. The form is usually known as the Shakespearean.

We call it the English sonnet pure and simple, because it was the first perfect form of sonnet to take root in the language. It is doubtful whether since the time of Shakespeare a really satisfactory sonnet in that form has been written. All manner of poets have tried their hands and their wings. Perhaps, with the single exception of Michael Drayton, they have failed, and Drayton may be said to have succeeded in only one sonnet.

In a sense, possibly, we may regret that Shakespeare handled this beautiful form with such mastery; for after him, flight in it seems not only vain but presumptuous, and the most self-reliant poet will think twice before obeying an impulsion which seems likely to result in "four quatrains clinched by a couplet."

We imagine that if Shakespeare had written no sonnets, or only a few instead of a hundred and fifty-four, poetry might in the long result have been the gainer.

Crosland. T. W. H. The English Sonnet. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co, 1917. Shakespeare Online. 30 Aug. 2009. < >.

A*lone" (#), a. [All + one. OE. al one all allone, AS. an one, alone. See All, One, Lone.]


Quite by one's self; apart from, or exclusive of, others; single; solitary; -- applied to a person or thing.

Alone on a wide, wide sea. Coleridge.

It is not good that the man should be alone. Gen. ii. 18.


Of or by itself; by themselves; without any thing more or any one else; without a sharer; only.

Man shall not live by bread alone. Luke iv. 4.

The citizens alone should be at the expense. Franklin.


Sole; only; exclusive.


God, by whose alone power and conversation we all live, and move, and have our being. Bentley.


Hence; Unique; rare; matchless.


⇒ The adjective alone commonly follows its noun.

To let or leave alone, to abstain from interfering with or molesting; to suffer to remain in its present state.


© Webster 1913.

A*lone", adv.

Solely; simply; exclusively.


© Webster 1913.

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