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Thirteen Ways of Looking at 50+ Years of Poetry, 8


David W. Parsley
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David W. Parsley

THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT 50+ YEARS OF POETRY

 

VIII - Kant Toast

 

Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis

vidi in ampulla pendere: ouchus ug ug ug

 

I know noble accents

And lucid, inescapable rhythms

And use them every chance I get

Though born in a savage country;

. . . . chez blackbird du Mauberley! Et tu?

But I know, too, that Kung and Li

And a meddlesome flock are going to get involved

In what I can tell you I know

And it better not have a before or behind.

 

 

 

 

 

unpublished

© David W. Parsley 2011

 

 

Re: poems of Pound and Eliot

"The Waste Land" http://eliotswasteland.tripod.com/

"The Cantos: VIII" http://cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/Poetry/Pound/Canto_XIII

"Hugh Selwyn Mauberley" http://www.americanpoems.com/poets/ezrapound/16155

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi David, I love this series. I am sorry I haven't been more diligent is giving comment. I find myself following your links and attempting to read the work of the masters you emulate. I have to admit, I prefer your short entreaties more than the original volumes of Eliot and Pound. :-8) You can see I have a short attention span.

 

~~Tink

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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David W. Parsley

QUOTE (tonyv @ September 28, 2011, 10:10 am)

I always liked the imagism of the modernists. Pound and Eliot, though expatriates, retained their American edge. Your poem exhibits that characteristic, especially the last line.

 

 

Tony

 

 

Agreed about that edge thing, but I always suspected Pound and Eliot also saw themselves as somehow being in the role of upstarts, compensating for their non-Continental origins by going out of their way to pay tribute to Western heritage. So they were always interjecting lines from world literature into their poems. Unfortunately for most readers, they elected to do this in the original language, virtually banning everyone without the requisite training in classics. Nowadays, even fewer people learn those languages, creating further distance between the audience and author. Well, I wasn't going to let that go untouched, so that whole episode about the wasted body of Sybil hanging in the jar got some comic treatment in fully developed Parsley Latin (tried pig Latin but it was a little too cheesy...).

 

Stevens really set this section up as a trap for that type of thinking - their appearance here was inevitable. Incidentally Stevens himself, their contemporary, seems to have felt this same pressure, but just gives it a dismissive wave here and in a few other places. He was doing his own thing and everyone else could like it or not.

 

- Dave

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David W. Parsley

QUOTE (Tinker @ October 8, 2011, 11:29 am)

Hi David, I love this series. I am sorry I haven't been more diligent is giving comment. I find myself following your links and attempting to read the work of the masters you emulate. I have to admit, I prefer your short entreaties more than the original volumes of Eliot and Pound. cool.gif You can see I have a short attention span.

 

 

~~Tink

 

 

Hi Tink, I am always grateful for your inputs. I am relieved to hear that you like the sequence (whatever "attention span" limits might have to do with it icon4.gif). Someone once said, "To understand the poetry of T.S. Eliot, you must have read everything T.S. Eliot read, and thought everything T.S. Eliot thought." It is even more true of Ezra Pound, though you might try "The Ballad of the Goodly Fere" and Canto I.

 

If you ever manage to get through "The Waste Land" you'll recognize some of the elements I am poking fun at. I always found the jug-jug-jug sequences to be of peculiarly poor taste and disturbing to what is an otherwise well considered treatment. Apparently the great Tse-Tse was suffering a little from Joyce envy (Ulysses). Pound caught him in the act and wisely advised him to remove a scatalogical section of the poem before publication. That did not prevent Pound himself from making a similar error in one of his Cantos, rather at the expense of an unfortunate bishop depicted in a level of Hell that Dante forgot to mention.

 

Sorry for the long reply. icon1.gif

 

- Dave

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David W. Parsley

Errata on that last: Dante does mention this level, in Bolgia 2 (see Canto 18), though the Bishop's position is more reminiscent of Bolgia 3. (I know: so what! Can't help it. ;-)

Actually I rediscovered this while retrieving material to include in another piece.

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