Agreeable eye.

an eudæmonistarchives

More specifically concerning: poetry

29.10.01 – Monday

Reading Medea (γυνὴ γὰρ ὀξύθυμος, ὡς δ’ αὔτως ἀνήρ, // ῥάιων φυλάσσειν ἢ σιωπηλὸς σοφή. (319–20)). Ah, ionic elements! We are fond of our archaicisms — and might be in danger of descending to dactylic hexameters… give us a minute.

06.03.02 – Wednesday

The professor wept today in Latin class; over the death of Priam. I must admit, for once it is poetry. Here. Priam has just lobbed a spear at Pyrrhus, but it caught on the boss of the shield and dangles there, useless: Cui Pyrrhus: ‘Referes ergo haec et nuntius ibis Pelidae genitori; illi mea tristia […]

2.05.02 – Thursday

The workmen spoke in iambic pentameter, a swift and toneless sequence of stressed and unstressed, not languid or melodic, but with a choppy sharpness, unconscious precision and imprecise annoyance. Curiously, the word ‘fuck’ could take any metrical position, as the sentiment or the phrase required.

Citation (1)

a quiz…

It was the Distance

For no good reason1 I’ve been reading The Cambridge Companion to Emily Dickinson (ed. W. Martin, CUP: 2002). It is somewhat refreshing to find books which do not concern Cicero. And it is interesting to step outside the charmed circle of academics and then to peer back in, as though through windows. For one can […]

Citation (7)

T.E. Hulme pontificates…

Flibbertigibbet

I have the misfortune to own a first edition of Trees and other Poems by one Joyce Kilmer; it has filled many a dull hour with indignant mirth and there the matter might have ended, had it not been for the following stanza in ‘Old Poets’: For these young flippertigibbets      A-rhyming their hours away They […]

poena sine fine

After reading Donna Wilson’s Ransom, Revenge, and Heroic Identity in the ‘Iliad’ (based on the dissertation she prepared for the University of Texas, Austin) the largest question I have for the author concerns her relationship with her father. Her discussion of the character of reparation in the Iliad emphasizes the role of the father in […]

a curiosity

All overgrown by cunning moss, All interspersed with weed, The little cage of ‘Currer Bell’ In quiet ‘Haworth’ laid. The Bird — observing others When frosts too sharp became Retire to other latitudes – Quietly did the same – But differed in returning – Since Yorkshire hills are green – Yet not in all the […]

in springtime

It takes an odd sort of mind to give the title ‘A Gallery of Pigeons’ to a slender volume of light verse, especially if it includes a poem called ‘A Tragedy’ which contains the word ‘plop’ (more than once). So it was with some surprise I found a passage I almost liked in Marzials’ aforementioned […]

the emphasis was helped

Menas: These three world-sharers, these competitors, Are in thy vessel: let me cut the cable; And, when we are put off, fall to their throats: All there is thine. Pompey: Ah, this thou shouldst have done, And not have spoke on’t! In me ’tis villany; In thee’t had been good service. Thou must know, ’Tis […]

Crambe repetita (2)

Ananias, fr. 4.

irreptitious

Into my heart an air that kills     From yon far country blows: What are those blue remembered hills,     What spires, what farms are those? That is the land of lost content,     I see it shining plain, The happy highways where I went     And cannot come again. (from […]

sortes

Among the Romanes a Poet was called Vates, which is as much as a diviner, foreseer, or Prophet, as by his conjoyned words Vaticinium, and Vaticinari, is manifest, so heavenly a title did that excellent people bestowe uppon this hart-ravishing knowledge, and so farre were they carried into the admiration thereof, that they thought in […]

de arte poetica liber

To my great embarrassment, I mistook this overview of William Blades’s Enemies of Books (via) for a poem1; e.g.: Bagford the biblioclast. Illustrations torn from MSS. Title-pages torn from books. Rubens, his engraved titles. Colophons torn out of books. Lincoln Cathedral Dr. Dibdin’s Nosegay. Theurdanck. Fragments of MSS. Some libraries almost useless. […] The care […]

Inquiries

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 […]

scrapes

‘As is’ he she we they you you you I her so pronouns begin the dance called washing whose name derives from an alchemical fact that after a small stillness there is a small stir after great stillness a great stir – Anne Carson

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 [&#8230] 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 […]

parrying poetics

At the end of March there was a puff piece about Anne Carson in the NY Times, occasioned by a staged reading of her translation of, I think, Euripides’ Hekabe.1 One short passage attracted my attention: For all this, Ms. Carson said, she is not a poet. ‘Homer’s a poet,’ she said. ‘I would say […]

east of Eden in the land of Nod

A sleepless night, drowsing over Samson Agonistes. Dalila dandled forth, almost more specious than Helen among the Trojan Women, and the blind man missing his apotheosis, but not heroization. And then there are certain beautiful infelicities; I hesitate to say Milton loses his tone, but perhaps he clings rather too fiercely: Chorus. But we had […]

a pounding

https://www.eudaemonist.com/images/168.jpg

glad eye

He had told me himself more than once that he never got up before twelve, and seldom earlier than one. Constitutionally the laziest young devil in America, he had hit on a walk in life which enabled him to go the limit in that direction. He was a poet. At least, he wrote poems when […]

gothic victorian sea monsters

The first time I heard Marianne [Moore] read poetry in public was at a joint reading with William Carlos Williams in Brooklyn. I am afraid I was a little late. There was a very small audience, mostly in the front rows, and I made my way as self-effacingly as I could down the steep red-carpeted […]

pseudaphoristica (14)

butterflies.

Citation (33)

a window to walk away in – Aram Saroyan, from Aram Saroyan (1968)

tetrad

We always associate the word ‘book’ with printing, and think of it in terms of format and typographical convenience, but such mechanical criteria do not apply to notebooks, whose beginning and end are determined only by the unity of the poetic impulse which gives birth to a given series of poems. In other words, a […]

sov

We look in the taxi. If there is a meter: fine. If there is not: ‘do you have a meter?’ ‘No – it’s a hundred dram a kilometer, we’ll go by the odometer.’ ‘Well how much is it to point B from here?’ If he says: ‘I don’t know, we’ll go by the odometer’ – […]

Crambe repetita (20)

Boswell, Life of Johnson.

petrified

10 Gower St, Hope Mirrlees in a hat, with Lytton Strachey et al.1 Pigeons perch on statues And are turned to stone.2I found this image via the Persephone Post, but they persist in reorganizing their archives and breaking links – a laudable pastime, but one which prevents me from giving them credit as directly as […]

by heart

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 […]

fructification

The reproductive instinct urges the poet to scatter his seeds beyond his boundaries. I repeat it: poorly transmitted, they fructify. Certain species (Pushkin) refuse transmission. But this does not prevent them from scattering at large and even when reduced to insignificance, from fructifying. Shakespeare remains the model of the explosive plant. His seeds have taken […]

from that other place

Downstream they have killed the river—built a dam; by that power they write to here a light: a turbine strides high poles to spit this flame at this flume going down. A spot glows white where an old man looks at the ghosts of the game— flickering twilight deep dumb shapes that glide. So many […]

under the look of fatigue

Auden at home.1 Behind the corpse in the reservoir, behind the ghost on the links, Behind the lady who dances and the man who madly drinks, Under the look of fatigue, the attack of migraine and the sigh There is always another story, there is more than meets the eye. – Auden, from ‘At Last […]

Oh well!

The thought of what America would be like If the Classics had a wide circulation  Troubles my sleep, The thought of what America, The thought of what America, The thought of what America would be like If the Classics had a wide circulation   Troubles my sleep. Nunc dimittis, now lettest thou thy servant, Now […]

accordance

Although he never lose his heart exclusively to one philosophical sect and was also an eclectic, Horace’s sharply critical mind, with a subtle sense of humor on the surface and a tempered pessimism deeper down, was far more inclined towards the doctrines of Aristippus, Epicurus and Lucretius than towards the Stoa which he often mentions […]

in the study

Curie of the laboratory of vocabulary  she crushed the tonnage of consciousness congealed to phrases  to extract a radium of the word – Mina Loy (Corpses and Geniuses, ‘Gertrude Stein’) What is the use of a violent kind of delightfulness if there is no pleasure in not getting tired of it. The question does not […]

hope against hope (4)

A bit of Caravaggio’s painting of ‘Saint Jerome Writing’ It’s taken me a while to get through Hope Mirrlees’ Collected Poems, perhaps because it confounded my expectations (which were admittedly a bit confused). Eager readers of Mirrlees’ work or those interested in her life should, of course, pick up a copy, as it is contains […]

Poe

a lyric elixir of death  embalms  the spindle spirits of your hour glass loves  on moon spun nights sets  icicled canopy  for corpses of poesy  with roses and northern lights  Where frozen nightingales in ilix aisles  sing burial rights – Mina Loy (Corpses and Geniuses, ‘Poe’)

exchange

It cost too much, to begin with. I really had no excuse for buying it, except that I was feeling out of sorts and aphoristic philosophy seemed like a good choice at the time; it seemed to be a clean copy, too, which would go a little way to excusing the price. At home, however, […]

against the grain

One doesn’t quite know what to expect from In the American Grain – not if one comes to it expecting anything at all, because it upsets those expectations from the first page. I was expecting something about Emily Dickinson, because the only reason I picked up the book was because it was mentioned in Susan […]

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