More specifically concerning: love
Neither a borrower…
I have to remind myself it was only a book – mass-market paperback, pristine condition though bought used. I lent it to an acquaintance; I do not say she was a friend, because she was not. She was an acquaintance. At the time I would have compared her to a whirlwind, for wherever she went […]
an Observation (2)
Somewhere in his letters to Atticus, Cicero says something to the effect of: I would rather fight with Pompey, and lose, than see him victorious. The death of Pompey signaled the end of the optimate cause, and the beginning of Caesar’s supremacy. Had Pompey won, though, the optimate cause, along with the Republic, would still […]
The letters arrived two weeks apart, sent by two different people; each requires a response, and yet I cannot think how to reply to them. The first letter was a love story; a year ago she’d met a young man, parted as friends, wrote to each other, talked on the telephone, fell in love at […]
from Tamburlaine the Great…
Hours of Idleness
I will not advance, by the rules of romance, To humour a whimsical fair; Though a smile may delight, yet a frown won’t affright, Or drive me to dreadful despair. While my blood is thus warm I ne’er shall reform, To mix in the Platonists’ school; Of this I am sure, was my passion so […]
Crambe repetita (2)
Ananias, fr. 4.
Lately I’ve been thinking (very slowly) about the word choir and, in particular, its appearance in two familiar poems. The first is Wilfred Owen’s ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth‘, and the relevant passage (ll.5–8) runs as follows: No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, — The […]
…for certainly Life is so Pretious, as it ought not to be Ventured, where there is no Honour to be Gain’d in the Hazard, for Death seems Terrible, I am sure it doth to Me, there is nothing I Dread more than Death, I do not mean the Strokes of Death, nor the Pains, but […]
…the judgement that someone is unliterary is like the judgement ‘This man is not in love’, whereas the judgement that my taste is bad is more like ‘This man is in love, but with a frightful woman’. And just as the mere fact that a man of sense and breeding loves a woman we dislike […]
they say it’s May
cf. She schools the flighty pupils of her eyes, With levell’d lashes stilling their disquiet; And puts in leash her pair’d lips lest surprise Bare the condition of a realm at riot. If he suspect that she has ought to sigh at His injury she’ll avenge with raging shame. She kept her love-thoughts on most […]
Put down the apple Adam
Mortality is fatal Gentility is fine Rascality, heroic Insolvency, sublime […] A coward will remain, Sir Until the fight is done; But an immortal hero Will take his hat and run… – Emily Dickinson No. 21 This entry’s title is from the same poem; the stanza runs: Put down the apple Adam And come away […]
we like sheep
a versifying Pet-lamb.
Thomas Malthus waxes sentimental
Crambe repetita (31)
Gyula Krúdy, The Adventures of Sindbad.
Having got to know Liska the way a man gets to know a woman only if he lives with her for years, sleeping with her all that time – well, he’s got not to know her again. It’s like reading a wonderful poem, and learning it off by heart because you like it so much […]
The novel is made up of a series of the sort of letters it is generally not prudent to send. Break-up letters: familiar, contradictory, unpleasant. I need you. I detest you. Thank you. How could you?