Description: A Test of Poetry I.6-10
Date: 26 January 2005
I coin both the word "anthological" (pertaining to anthologies") and the term "anthological plagiarism" in the following.
6a This is Gavin Douglass’s translation of The Aeneid. Douglas is well-represented in ABC of Reading, in fact, this very passage is there. (I wonder if might be thought of as a kind anthological plagiarism.) Pound at least provides a crib, but Zuk wants us to take on “takillis grafillis cabillis” and frate and frais w/out any help. I guess I like it as far as I understand: “And euerythyng manissis the men to de/Schewand the ded present before there E.” Grade: B
6b: Shakespeare, from the Tempest. Also about sailing thru a storm, when “Hell is empty/And all the devils are here.” Knowing this is Shakespeare imprints value on the passage, but the pattern of “flamed amazement” is impeccably woven. Grade: A+
7a Two poems on the immortality of verse. This first one incorporates some classical allusions that I don’t know: Propertius and Tibullus. T is a pile of ashes who can’t even fill his urn.
When all bodies meet
In Lethe to be drowned,
Then only numbers sweet
With endless life are crowned.
The situation is confused: poetry not people so never enter the situation describe Grade: B-
7b: A bit more moralistic take on the same theme: “Let base conceipted wits admire vilde things/ Gair Phoebusl ead me to the Muses spring.” This one ends with a strong image and a paradoxical restatement of the argument: Though death rakes my bones in a funeral fire/ I’ll live, and as he pulls me down mount higher” Grade: B
(Ovid trans Marlowe)
8a This set has three medieval songs. The first is most strongly based on repetition: 12 lines, and only six non-repetons. It dances nicely through this constraint Grade: B+
8b: I know this well “I sing a maiden//That is makeles” I remember that I actually had to be informed by a footnote that this was to Mary. Despite that the text says “Well may swich a lady/Gods moder be.” Implying that I gained something from the English major, like paying attention. Grade: B (but somehow these seem especially irrelevant when applied to the folk tradition)
8c: There’s an almost modern complexity to this one: in the repeated “Erthe out of erthe” phrase, ether becomes an overdetermined term. the final stanza returns to the era and wraps everything up in a pious bundle: a let down. Grade: B
(attributed to Richard Rolle)
9a This longish poem (in rime royal?) has some lushly-sounded lines:”Girls, lovers, glad young folk and newly wed/ Jumpers and jugglers jumping heel over head” but its grounded by a moroseness (word) of a prisoner abandoned by his friends. Grade: B+
(Villon trans Swinburne—of course)
9b No, this is rime royal: ababbcc (I should know this cold). This poem skillfully praises “stedfastnesse” I love the directive to the king to "do law" Grade B+
10a Wyatt’s classic “They flee from me that sometime did me seek/ With naked foot stalking in my chamber.” I love the rhythm of this poem, and also admire the hunting conceit. Grade A+
10b Eh. Don't get much from this. Grade: C