Friday, December 11, 2009
PLOUGHSHARE THIS COURSE
Chinese Iron Plow, Tien Kung Jai Wu, 1637.
To add the prefix 'Plough' or 'Plow' to the title 'share this course' turns up a furtive picture, to my mind, of a universal process recorded throughout most human cultures. Keeping with the themes of Agriculture, farming and working with the earth, ecology, environment & climate. Transforming knowledge from the spirit-web-net-world into life-sustaining livingry & earthworks.
Ploughing can imply the cutting-edge or leading edge of the driving ploughshare itself, like the the diamond-tip of a phonograph stylus, but literally ground-breaking and earth-shattering. I like to think this reflects our work on share this book. The ‘plowshare’ might be a good pictograph for us to consider. 'Plough' & 'Share' bond well with the words 'book' and 'course'.
A 'shire' horse might power the plough, or an OX, but horse has a nice rhyme structure together with 'course' and shire with 'share' to make 'Shire this horse'. Other metaphors based on the 'horse-course' 'Plough-share' puns maybe extended to horse-manure and the process of spreading 'course-manure' (mememure) 'Share this horse-manure' or 'Share this muck'. Soiled puns dragged through earthdirt to alert the playful reader that - aware, this book!
The constellation of stars known as the 'plough' or 'Big Dipper' gives us a beautiful model of the old hermetic principle approximated to 'as above, so below'. This ‘plough to the stars’ metaphor was adopted by some Irish rebels and poet-playwrights, in their struggle for independence. A part of me thinks 'Ploughshares to the stars’ might be a good slogan for ‘Share this book’, to my mind today.
Maybe the book itself (if manufactured) will be made with seeds and fertilizer? (possibly moulded into the hard cover and spine) therefore in the right conditions the book may literally be 'ploughed' back into the earth. As Cadmus ploughed serpents teeth at Thebes.
Some of todays word play:
Declare endorse and share this coarse verse chorus of us. We're this book, buy book or by crook. Share this joint. Wear this corset. Share this purse. Ear this verse. Where this source, open? Deal this book. Aware this book. Snare this book on the reaping hook. Bare this, look. Swear this book, cross your heart. Oxhousehumper Cart. Blare this verse, sing. Flare this force. Fair this bourse? Spare this curse. Steer this brook.
Burial chamber of Sennedjem, Scene: Plowing farmer.