Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Let Me Have My Feels

The Letter of Lord Chandos is a fictional letter written by Hugo von Hofsmannthal in 1902. The letter, written by Lord Chandos, is in response to a note he received from his friend, Francis Bacon, asking Chandos why he has not written anything in the past few years. Lord Chandos responds that he has lost to ability to write or speak, but he does so in an eloquently worded letter. In this letter he talks of how he used to be a phenomenal writer, how he wanted to write much more, and how he is now grieving for the loss of his mind.

While reading this letter I felt that Lord Chandos was telling Bacon to mind his own business and that Chandos was not writing simply because he did not want to write. I have written a parody of this letter that I hope captures the snark and sass I felt "Lord Chandos" was writing with.

Let Me Have My Feels
(the letter Lord Chandos wanted to write to Francis Bacon)
Dear Bacon,

I thank you kindly for your note of concern and care

The absence of my words is a loss you and I both share

However, do not pretend that this void is greater for you than it is for me

Drowning in insincerity your precious letter seemed to be

Now six-and-twenty I feel my pen is spent

In a book or a diary I can hardly make a dent

The New Paris, The Dream of Daphne

Could it be these works came from me?

How I wanted to write so much more!

A great annotation of mythical tales and ancient lore

The book would contain collected quotes and thoughts

From the intellectually high to the simplest of the lot

Great works of art these words would be once I was done

This masterpiece was to be called Nosce te ipsum

Alas the world is bereft of this mighty gift

For the connection of my brain to my hand did not seem fit

I drank a great deal during this writing slump

And I shut myself away, feeling like a chump

I drank some milk from a cow as I read

And I could swear that as I drank, I shared the cow’s inner head

I believe I have discovered that everything is of one-unit

Art and barbarism, humans and beasts – as if one spirit ran through it

My mind has fallen, dear Bacon, from its lofty place of arrogance

To permanently reside in feeble insignificance

I lay rat-poison in my milk cellar and was haunted by the carnage

My mind could only play images of a rodent-filled Carthage

I am anxious, I am restless, and I am depressed

I make sure the hours of my days are full and that there is no rest

Seneca and Cicero – I turned to them in hopes of reviving my dying mind

Instead I was like a child whose peers treat unkind

In neither reading nor writing can I get any clarity

I have lost completely the ability to think or speak of anything coherently

I thank you again, dear Bacon, for your words, supposedly kind

I thank you even more for questioning whether I am “sick in mind”

Not that you deserve an answer, but I must tell you

A life crisis is all that I am going through

Will I ever write or think or speak again? No one knows

But at least I will find company with other writers of No. 

Lord Chandos 

P.S. You may be wondering, after all I have said

About the failure of the brain within my head,

How could I write this letter with words so magnetized?

I guess that's just one of the many reasons this writing is unclassified.

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