September 22, 2003 A Poem by Me- Thomas eat your heart out....

Them Page Stickers

How ‘bout them page stickers ain’t they the rage
Just stalkin’ thru the webworld stickin’ that page
Stickin’ them pages of yours online
Stickin’ them where that sun don’t shine.
Stickin’ them pages in they pile
Stickin’ them with pagesticker style
How bout them page stickers ain’ t they slick
Them wiley web wizards that page they’ll stick
And when the days over and the stickin’ is done
They’ll stick another page just for they fun…

With apologies to Mason Williams
September 22, 2003

The "Solaris Poem" by Dylan Thomas

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

Hear Thomas read it here...

Dylan Thomas wrote this poem at age eighteen. I am not sure we can impose some absolute interpretation of it as i think it defies logic and Thomas was likely not too interested inlogic at any rate. It seems to be saying that deat will have no dominion when we are dead because we cannot die after we ar dead. We know nothing. Sounds very much like Eastern Mysticism- the becoming one with the universe idea. It doesn't offer hope that death will be mastered or that there is life after death. It explicitly states we are dead as nails. Is ist possible that for Dylan dominion has been redefined- dominion can only occur with a living sentient being and only by death of life can dominion be avoided. I think this is likely.

"The poem urges us to mistake the dignity granted to the dead by poetic genius for the lasting victory over death which the theme of the poem fails to grant us."

from a review at
Gnosis and Solaris?

In Romans:6:9 the following passage appears: ". . . we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more: death hath no more dominion over him." Thomas is as thoroughly Bible-influenced as any poet, so is it is likely that this is the source of the poem's title and refrain. But the poem lacks a Christian viewpoint. He could be quoting the gnostics however- consider this: from early gnostic writings

The Regeneration Of The Soul Lection XXXVII

2. And he said unto them, Blessed are they who suffer many experiences, for they shall be made perfect through suffering: they shall be as the angels of God in Heaven and shall die no more, neither shall they be born any more, for death and birth have no more dominion over them.

"Biblical Christianity asks us to worship Jesus as a forgiveness-granting God, far removed from ourselves into cosmic stature while paradoxically indwelling and transforming. Although this attitude of submission is good for overcoming ego, it is devastating to our sense of personal enlightenment.
This is precisely where gnosticism is utterly democratic. As Elaine Pagels has so poetically pointed out, in the Gospel of Thomas, the Christ state is shared between Jesus and his ‘twin’ Thomas in a metaphor which extends to all humanity as gnostic Christs -'that which you find within yourselves will save you if you have it within you'. When asked who am I (Christ) he answers “I am not your master, you have drunk from the bubbling stream that I have measured out”. Ignorance, not sin (missing the [moral] mark) is the source of suffering.

“In the dualistic view transcendent God was removed from all matter by a succession of intermediary eternal beings called aeons. The aeons emanated as couples (male and female); the complete series constituted the Pleroma, the fullness of the Godhead. Beyond the Pleroma were the material universe and human beings to be saved. In gnostic thought, a divine seed was imprisoned in every person. The purpose of salvation was to deliver this divine seed from the matter in which it was lost.” (Grollier 93)

Which brings me to the movie Solaris. Much (and especially the last part) of this movie is open to interpretation.

So here is my interpretation. Solaris is an entity, not a place, that exists to draw other entities into its dominion.It looks like cotton candy clouds but is much more nefarious. As such it represents ideas that man has of heaven- forgivenness, reunion with loved ones, resurrection. It is an angel of light that offers these premiums without cost- therefore it cannot logically be determined just or righteous. It offers a "second chance to get it right" as Clooney's character desires to do. In a real world this side of the fall the act of redemption is dependedn on grace, not one's ability to get it right the next try.

Solaris dredges up the past memories of its victims and does this by incarnating thoughts and memories into a corporeal version - a copy so to speak based on presuppositional memories.This is a gnostic logos concept that thinks reality into being. Solaris is the god of the gnostics in many senses.(I remember a few years after Lem's book was published Stan Lee created Ego the Living Planet in his Fantastic Four series. )

In the end it robs its victims of freedom and the liberation comes at the cost of divorcing oneslf from any concept of logic and reality- an existential leap of faith. Solaris is impersoanal and does not communicate with its creqations who eventually desire to be destroyed for their lack of authenticity. The bondage of codependency and of projecting one's perceptions upon others in order to define them plays a major psychological theme in the movie. Madness versus sanity, the nature of the soul, the theme of redemption/forgiveness all play into the story line.

The fax of Rheya is a creation of the psychologist's mind. She has aborted their baby and killed herself in real life and in accordance with his memories of her she is predestined to self destruct again. Kelvin's healing represented by a cut finger lies in appropriate memories of the good rather than the bad. A "Healing of Memories" theme surfaces here. He believes real people have real choices- another theme- that "there are no answers only choices" is the answer that crops up a number of times. (the assertation is an answer in itself)

Snow exists only because he has killed his real self so he is a facsimile based on his own recollections of himself- cogito ergo sum. The schizoid character of the character is revelead as a conundrum. Ultimately every player faces their own identity crisis.

The crewıs mission was to assess the commercial potential of Solaris. But the planet, to say the least, has a mind of its own, and God- like powers. It isnıt about to be exploited, commercially or otherwise. So it may be that the motivations of the intruders define how they are treated.

The Physicist that wants to be smarter than Solaris and thus beat it actually does in the end. The Psyachiatrist who believes man evolved form atoms and has no special meaning eventually performs a leap of faith for love and yields to the alternate reality. Or is he merely dreaming again?

Aha! So that's what scary alien Solaris really looks like under all that cotton candy cloudcover.

Along the way it is revealed that Kelvin is not only an atheist but he is also a nihilist. Nihilists are the ultimate pessimists in the world. They believe death shall have dominion, and they believe nothing can be known or communicated. An interesting philosophy for a psychologist who is supposed to be focused on communicating with and understanding others.

Kelvin claims God is a myth limited by its human creators. This theme of the creation limited by the creator also underlies the movie's attempts to address the difficulties of interpersonal relationships. Rheya is limited by how Kelvin saw her and how much he understood her.So let' abstract this to a relationship with God. It is as if God is saying that if you believe He might be a creation of the religiously inclined in need of guidance and hope, so at the same time every other relationship mirrors this- it becomes a creation of your mind. And how can you communicate with someone who is really only a figment of your imagination? Can you really love another human being or do you really only love your idea of them? If god is knowable, love is possible. If not no such construct exists except in delusion.

There is also a mention of the Higgs particle or boson. So far this particle only exists in theory. Some call it the God particle because the Higgs Field made up of Higgs particles is believed to be responsible for all mass in the universe. The Bible says the Word of God holds the universe together. It is in the disruption of the Higgs field that science triumphs over Solaris. So the deconstruction of reality- a theme in philosophical hermeneutics crops up.

From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @