Friday, November 23, 2007

Archives Project: STL #47.3

Title: Test of Poetry
Description: A Test of Poetry I.11-25
Date: 22 February 2005

Thing I like in the following: The observation that why I have trouble with folk sources is that they lack authorial gestures. Thing I find problematic: that statement isn't true.

I finished Part 1 in the past week or so, but am just now getting around to posting. Toward the end I get sketchier and sketchier in my comments; I wonder if I'll finish this project? I will at least start Part 2, which includes attribution and analysis for me to negotiate with.

11a First of a pair of ballads about Robin Hood. I have a hard time evaluating folk poetry, perhaps to the extent that it lacks individuality, or more precisely (I’m going out on a limb here) lacks the kind of authorial gestures I like—knowing and deviating from tradition in a creative way. Of these two, I like this one a little less, although it’s a nice vignette of noble outlawry in Sherwood Forest. Grade B

11b. This one shows a confrontation between Robin and the Sheriff. I like it a little more because of Robin’s inventive threat: “Thou shalt be the first man/Shall flower this gallow tree. Grade A-, and I think I’d like to look up other RH ballads sometime
(Child ballads)

12a. I think Lysander, invoked here-in, is in Shakespeare, so my evaluation is skewed already. This passage isn’t the best Shx, and is on the familiar subject of hearing improving on blindness. None of the rhymes are unusual, though they play off one another in the argument. Grade: A
(Midsummer Night Dream, which I haven’t read)

12b. I’m guessing WS again. Nice insult: “painted maypole” Grade: A-
(Midsummer’s Night Dream again)

12c. Completing the set: King Lear I presume. I note that I’m letting identification trump evaluation, which is troubling . Grade: A
(yep, Lear)

13a Dammit! There’s a phoenix, there’s a turtle. I haven’t read this whole thing either, but like the excerpt. I’m reminded of the lack of context through out, not only in the history and society implied by the name, but the function on the lines in context of a whole. This works fine on its own, but the real test is if it’s a good prologue, climax, etc. Grade: A-
13b. “So virtue, giv’n for lost/Deprest and overthrown, as seemed,/Like that self-begotten bird/In the Arabian woods embost” As I was saying: from near the end of Samson Agonistes, in which the happy news that “Samson hath acquit himself as Samson” is relaid, by way of a comparison to the phoenix. (I believe the phoenix in 13a is literal). What would be interesting wd be to map out the interplay of religious and mythic (pagan) imagery in the play, but this passage succeeds on its own Grade: A

14a I’m on a real streak. The first half of Donne’s “The Ecstasy,” followed by
14b. The second half. This poem is included in Pound, though in a slightly different text. ABC breaks it into quatrains, this forgoes stanza breaks but indents every other line. Crucially though, it read “Atomies” instead of “Anatomies.” Grade: A

15a. Can’t think of a way this is good. Grade: D
15b. This “an Angel… sawest my heart” is too thick for my taste, and neither does the style appeal to me. Grade C
15c. A simple plebian ditty. Grade: C-
(John Fletcher)

16a. I like the delicate stanza arrangement of this little song to daffadils a lot. Nice play of meters Grade: A

16b. Also invokes daffadils (how I love that spelling), but the comparison with the short life of a flower and our own mortality breaks down in the last line Grade: C
(Herrick again)

16c. Zukofsky’s “Little wrists” In many of his lyrics, he circles around his subject, whistling. As it appears in this set, I guess the “wrists” are stems—he asks if the wrists content (hands?) are what’s seen or held or the intangible smell. Grade: A

17a. I don’t know what this is, but I like it—sort of a Something/Nothing “Whose on First’ routine (except not at all, being a monologue) I wrote Wit in the margin, thinking of French Esprit. Grade: A
(Lord Rochester)
17b. Also riffs on “Nothing”—a place holder for non-being has delighted deconstructionists throughout the ages I guess. Grade; C
(The Rubyiat)
17c. Some more metaphysical levity, but with a bit more grounding. Grade: B+
(oh my, it’s Yeats)

18a. A work of portraiture with some vague political comment. Dammit Louie, how can I evaluate “intellection” without context! Rhyming couplets, subdued tone Grade: C+
(Geo. Crabbe)
18b.Probably Golding again. A really moving account of fishermen’s poverty and pride, and it blows 18a out of the… “For when that death bereft him use of aire/Save water he me nothing left.” Grade” A

19a. Scottish dialect poetry—Burns? “A certain Bardie’s rantin’, drinkin’” Grade: A
19b. Same dialect as previous, also preoccupied with the Fall of Adam. If this is Burns, it’s lot more sophisticated than I thought. It’s wearing naiveté as a mask Grade: A-

20a. Flat rhythm and outdated diction. Houseman? Grade: C
(Wordswoth, “Simon Lee”)
20b. Real Scottish folk poem I’m guessing. Similar diffidence as to others Grade: B
(“Waly, Waly”)
20c. Are the last words of lines called teuletons? If so, notice the links in this stanza of the Chimney Sweep: young-tongue (the tongue is young)- ‘weep (what the tongue cries out b/c it is young) sleep (in soot, that makes us weep) Grade: A
20d. Two classical lines Grade: B+
(Byron “Oh! Snatched Away”)

21a “Dusk winding-stairs, dim galleries got past,/ You gain the inmost chambers, gain at last/ A maple paneled room” Back that up with “The Arab’s wisdom everywhere” and it seems like Poe, but it’s not a formally stilted. I’m quite frankly drawn to exoticism Grade: B+
21b. WCW. An argument against the preceeding, and an argument I have within myself. Grade: A

22a Mix of registers—the spoken and unfinished with composed and archaic. I wonder what this is Grade: B+
22b Way overblown diction, my “lady of light” Grade: D
22cAlso mixing registers, though mostly with vocabulary between the 2 stanzas. Grade: A
22d Strangely compelling, but more like notes to a poem. 16th c, I’d wager Grade:C
(George Peel Batshebe Sings(?)
22e Something modern and (intentionally) naïve. Grade: C-
(Browning, same poem as A)

23a What’s “Hedge-crickets sing” from? Complex, sensual image anyway. Grade: uh, B?
(Keats, “To Autumn”)
23b Play on qualities of mirror. Grade: B+
(Lord Herbert of Cherbury)
24c I’m missing some of sense, but the texture and melody is wonderful Grade: B+
(Shakespeare, Pericles)
23d Niedecker? I’m not really crazy about her Grade:C
24a Dislike the poeticizing on rereading. And “My king, my country, alone for whom I love”—really, king and country must be different things. grade: D
24b This invokes similar “bad” politics, but does so gracefully “Thou show’dst a subject’s shine, I a true prince.” grade: A

25a Minstrelsy? I actually kind of like it. Grade:B
(H.C. Work)
25b Another medieval song (“Lollai, lollai, litil child”) Grade: B
25c. “The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love” grade: B+
(Richard Edwards)

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