A Poet Reflects

"Why should I look at my hand, as it so cleverly writes these words, and decide that it is a mere nothing compared to the mind that directs it?  Is there really any huge difference between my hand and my brain?  Or my mind?  My hand is alive, it flickers with a life of its own.  It meets all the strange universe in touch, and learns a vast number of things, and knows a vast number of things.  My hand, as it writes these words, slips gaily along, jumps like a grasshopper to dot an i, feels the tablet rather cold, gets a little bored if I write too long, has its own rudiments of thought, and is just as much me as is my brain, my mind, or my soul.  Why should I imagine that there is a me, which is more me than my hand is?  Since my hand is absolutely alive, me alive.
Whereas, of course, as far as I am concerned, my pen isn’t alive at all.  My pen isn’t me alive.  Me alive ends at my finger-tips.
Whatever is me alive is me.
—D. H. Lawrence, from “Why the Novel Matters”
Sketch: C.E. (artist not identified), D. H. Lawrence, n.d.

"Why should I look at my hand, as it so cleverly writes these words, and decide that it is a mere nothing compared to the mind that directs it?  Is there really any huge difference between my hand and my brain?  Or my mind?  My hand is alive, it flickers with a life of its own.  It meets all the strange universe in touch, and learns a vast number of things, and knows a vast number of things.  My hand, as it writes these words, slips gaily along, jumps like a grasshopper to dot an i, feels the tablet rather cold, gets a little bored if I write too long, has its own rudiments of thought, and is just as much me as is my brain, my mind, or my soul.  Why should I imagine that there is a me, which is more me than my hand is?  Since my hand is absolutely alive, me alive.

Whereas, of course, as far as I am concerned, my pen isn’t alive at all.  My pen isn’t me alive.  Me alive ends at my finger-tips.

Whatever is me alive is me.

—D. H. Lawrence, from “Why the Novel Matters”

Sketch: C.E. (artist not identified), D. H. Lawrence, n.d.

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