So, under the title of my blog name there is a little subtitle that says “Chronicles of a Fiery Soul,” but I didn’t mention anything concerning this in the About page. I thought it may be a good idea to expand upon that line while incorporating it with another literary analysis post. Again, if literary analysis posts aren’t your thing, I totally understand; go ahead and skip this post too.
For those of you who are still reading, let us dive into the world of Lord Byron…
First, a little bit about our author: George Gordon/ Lord Byron (1788 – 1824) was a very interesting character. He had a very controversial personal life that included an unhappy marriage, a daughter whom he was never really allowed to know, and confirmed incest with his half-sister. Sounds like a standup guy, huh? Oh, did I mention he was exiled from his own country (England) in 1816? Yeah, great guy. But he did create the Byronic hero, and so I have to admit I am a fan of his work. He wrote a myriad of things, but today we will be focusing on a particular stanza of “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage…”
He would not yield dominion of his mind
To spirits against whom his own rebell’d…
But quiet to quick bosoms is a hell,
And there hath been thy bane; there is a fire
And motion of the soul which will not dwell
In its own narrow being, but aspire
Beyond the sitting medium of desire;
And, but once kindled, quenchless evermore,
Prey’d upon high adventure, nor can tire
Of aught but rest; a fever at the core,
Fatal to him who bears, to all whoever bore.
(Stanza 12 line 6–7, Stanza 42)
(Disclaimer: What I am about to write about is strictly what a fiery soul means to me. It may mean something totally different for you, so just know that I am expressing my personal opinion.)
Alright, this is how the concept of a fiery soul was introduced into my world. But what does it truly mean to possess a soul that feels so much bigger than oneself? Let’s begin by analyzing the first two lines I gave: “He would did not yield dominion of his mind / To spirits against whom his own rebell’d” (Stanza 12 ll. 6-7). (In Byron’s case, this could be a little skewed considering the “spirits” that’s he involved himself with.) In general, I hope that we are all strong enough to never give in to something we don’t believe in. We all have beliefs, and a lot of the time we all claim that we would stand up for them no matter what. But I wonder how many of us, if faced with a situation where our beliefs were truly tested, would not yield the dominion of our mind. That’s something that we should all think about, and that thought should cause us to thoroughly examine what and why we believe the things that we do. Just thought I’d throw that out there.
Moving along, now we shall dive into stanza 42. As it says in line 1, “But quiet to quick bosoms (i.e., “fiery souls”) is a hell” To some people, (*raises my hand*) quiet isn’t exactly synonymous with relaxation. To some people, living a quiet life does not suit them at all. Some people crave adventure, and some people need excitement to feel fulfilled. This doesn’t mean that we go skydiving every other weekend or that we eat snails for breakfast and ox tongue for lunch; it means we are never truly quiet. Or to personalize it to myself, my mind is never quiet. I am always dreaming of something, always planning something, always fighting for something; even if it is just contained within the world of my mind. Perhaps that is why I love writing so much, because it allows me to express some of the things that go on in my mind in a creative and therapeutic way. Anyway, moving on.
Lines 2-5 say “…there is a fire / And Motion of the soul which will not dwell / In its own narrow being, but aspire / Beyond the fitting medium of desire;” fiery souls are often said to be souls bigger than themselves. To me, this is the feeling that I am just one part a something so much bigger. My soul is bigger than my body. My passions are bigger than what I myself can accomplish. And you know what? The world is not always responsive to this. When someone’s dreams are bigger than what others deem “normal,” the world tends to try and pull the dreamer down to its level. What a shame this is! Not everyone is meant to fit the “medium of desire” that the world wants us to fit into. This is such an amazing idea to me. The fact that some people are born with this innate sense of bravery, passion, and fire gives me such a hope for the future. As Byron alludes, sometimes the fire of one’s soul leaks out of their mortal being. Trust me, you can usually see it in their eyes.
Everybody gets passionate about something. I hope that every human in the world, at least once in their life, is able to experience a moment of pure passion for something. As Byron says, “And, but once kindled, quenchless evermore, / Preys upon high adventure, nor can tire / Of aught but rest;…” (ll. 6-8). Byron is still talking about the qualifications of a fiery soul here. Once a fiery soul is truly lit, it’s flame cannot be smoldered. It will crave adventure and the only thing it ever tires of is rest. Trust me, I know. Much to the anger of the world, fiery souls cannot be quenched. We are not light switches that can be turned on and off. We are torches of passion, vessels of change, and relentless in our desire for revolution.
The last few lines of this stanza put a damper/serve as a warning on the outcomes of having a fiery soul: “… a fever at the core, / Fatal to him who bears, to all who ever bore” (ll. 8-9). Having a fiery soul comes with great responsibility. Just as standing up for what you believe in could have a horrible ending, letting your inner fever rule your life can eventually overtake it.
Up to this point everything I have said about having a fiery soul was said in a positive manner. People with fiery souls are passionate, strong, and inspiring. But they can also be stubborn, impulsive, and unsatisfied. This is where my subtitle comes in, these posts contain stories and lessons about how I am learning to control yet employ my fiery soul. I believe that everyone was born with a passion, but some people go their entire lives not knowing what that passion is. I have a pretty good idea of what my passions are, but I am young. I am so young. There are so many things I don’t know about the world. There are so many things that I have not yet discovered. And I’m not content to go through life and only experience the bare minimum of those things. My soul is bigger than me. My soul is just one piece of a much bigger puzzle. My fiery soul makes me want to go out into the world and learn all that I can, help as many people as possible, and hopefully inspire some others along the way to do the same.
To sum up my definition of a fiery soul: I believe that a fiery soul is evident in a person by their unwillingness to conform to what others want them to be, their discontentedness with a quiet and normal life, and their innate desire to share sparks of their fire with the entire world. So, thus begins the Chronicles of my Fiery Soul.
“There’s fire in me, deep down in my veins; these clouds in my head… they’re not going to rain. There’s fight in my heart, and there is hope in my eyes… I keep on believing that anything is possible” ~Lea Michele