Fwd: Re: "winders of the circuit of circuits"
Joel S. Berson
Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Dec 28 16:49:08 UTC 2008
From someone on the eighteenth-century email list. Note that he
thinks of itinerant preachers.
>From: James Rovira
>One possibility, if you focus on these lines:
><<Waiting responses from oracles, honoring the gods, saluting the sun...
>Accepting the Gospels, accepting him that was crucified, knowing
> assuredly that he is divine,
>To the mass kneeling or the puritan's prayer rising, or sitting
> patiently in a pew,
>Ranting and frothing in my insane crisis, or waiting dead-like till
> my spirit arouses me,
>Looking forth on pavement and land, or outside of pavement and land,
>Belonging to the winders of the circuit of circuits.>>
>He initially seems to be describing a variety of religious
>practices/groups in America, which makes sense of earlier lines in
>which the poet's faith encloses all other faiths, ancient and
>modern. The subsequent lines quoted below describe modern faiths
>while previous lines (referring to oracles) describe ancient ones:
>"mass kneeling" -- could refer to a "mass of people" or to Catholic services.
>"or the puritan's prayer rising"
>"or sitting patiently in a pew"
>"ranting and frothing...." could refer to Quakers and Shakers or
>"or" in the previous lines probably refers simultaneously to
>different postures of worship within a modern prayer service --
>kneeling, praying, sitting, ranting, waiting dead-like (in today's
>Pentecostal circles this is called being "slain in the spirit," as
>you may recall seeing people collapse on stage during a televised
>evangelist's service) -- and to different religious groups
>themselves: Catholics, Puritans, and earlier forms of
>The next line's "looking forth on pavement and land" is the action
>of "his spirit" after it has aroused him. But pavement implies
>travel, so the word "circuit" in the next line could refer to the
>itinerary of traveling preachers -- his spirit is looking forth on
>pavement and land for the experience these preachers or similar
>figures bring. Since the word "winders" is plural it probably
>doesn't refer to a divine clock winder of sorts, which as presented
>by mechanical philosophers would be singular -- the "winders" are
>probably the priests mentioned in the first of your quoted
>lines. The priests "wind the circuit" (motivate the activity?) of
>"circuits" (traveling preachers' itineraries).
>A possibility, anyway.
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