So much poetry that follows...some of the earliest from 1963, words that
swirled for me in the emotions of that November of my 15th year:
“When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars and he shall make
the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night and
pay no worship to the garish sun.”
Also: “And when he fell in whirlwind, he went down / as when a lordly cedar,
green with boughs / goes down with a great shout upon the hills / and leaves a
lonesome place against the sky.”
Also: “Our grief shall grow, for what can spring renew more fiercely for us
than the need of you.”
All snippets that roared and whispered then and still do so now. But it’s
possible that the most enduring line of all is one I once found in a Seventeen
magazine in my high school library: “I gave my love a feather, and she,
sensing my desire, gave me the wind.” While I know who wrote the lines above,
of this poem, I remember nothing except this one line. It has been enough.
On Mar 22, 2018, at 12:47 AM, david ritchie <profdritchie@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Mar 21, 2018, at 4:12 PM, Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:Yes there are such things. One of the reasons I liked "Rumpole of the
Do others have lifelong poems that follow and ramify? Seems the least to ask.
Bailey" was his falling back on memories of poems. It’s an affliction that I
find increases by repetition and audience appreciation, and as I grow older.
This week in class I quoted, “Christopher Robin had wheezels and sneezels,
they bundled him into his bed…” and so on, also “Bare ruined choirs,” because
I needed a Romantic reference. These are stuck in my head. Also die
Lorelie, some Shakespeare…stuff. Later I finished writing an article and
finally deleted a reference to cannons thundering from the left and right.
This stuff follows you around. Which is a quite different relationship to
words and poetry from the one I had when they invited me to read it all at
University, where I mostly hated the stuff I was set. Bugger Chaucer, blast
Dante, oi Clarissa was my view. I hated, “Le Petit Prince.” Just the sound
of it. That voice. Wodehouse now delights me almost every time I read a
sentence. My latest discovery is how good Brett Harte could be. He was so
before his time.
I believe you have discovered a subject—our relationships to rhythm and rhyme
as we age. I should mention at the end here that my find in the discard pile
at our library today was, John P. Sedgwick, Jr., “Rhythms of Western Art,”
which seems, at page fifteen, to be interesting. It’s clearly a thesis that
was turned into a book, but I’m with him thus far.
Pick a conference and give a talk, is my advice, preferably in Portland.
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