Strange Gods That Come Forth from the Forest

While quickly skimming through Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, deep into my preparations for Paris, I happened upon the sectional conversation between Gertrude Stein and Hemingway in regards to D. H. Lawrence. It has been perhaps seven years, feasibly more, that I first discovered his writing in the beginning of college. But I was fortunate enough to unearth that love of Lawrence yet again in my mid-twenties, just before leaving to the place where his 1928 novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover gained notoriety.

So that I might encourage many of you budding writers out there to also delve into David Herbert’s work, I thought it best to share a few of my favorite excerpts from his novels. Hopefully they will inspire you, and take hold of you, just as they have to so many readers throughout the decades. Enjoy, everyone!

“This is what I believe: That I am I. That my soul is a dark forest. That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest. That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back. That I must have the courage to let them come and go. That I will never let mankind put anything over me, but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women. There is my creed.”

“I should feel the air move against me, and feel the things I touched, instead of having only to look at them.”

“Night, in which everything was lost, went reaching out, beyond stars and sun. Stars and sun, a few bright grains, went spiraling round for terror, and holding each other in embrace, there in a darkness that outpassed them all, and left them tiny and daunted. So much, and himself, infinitesimal, at the core of nothingness, and yet not nothing.”

“Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me! A fine wind is blowing the new direction of Time. If only I let it bear me, carry me, if only it carry me! […] By the fine, fine wind that takes its course through the chaos of the world. […] The rock will split, we shall come at the wonder, we shall find the Hesperides. […] Oh, for the wonder that bubbles into my soul, I would be a good fountain, a good well-head, would blur no whisper, spoil no expression.”

“There is nothing of me that is alone and absolute except my mind, and we shall find that the mind has no existence by itself, it is only the glitter of the sun on the surface of the waters.”

“When I hear modern people complain of being lonely then I know what has happened. They have lost the cosmos.”

-D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)