[lit-ideas] Re: Poetry x 2 = Sabbatical

  • From: "Andy Amago" <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2006 11:37:35 -0400

I wonder if one of the reasons Wordsworth lends himself so well to parody,
and perhaps to translation, is because his poetry is so straightforward.

For John, I don't speak a word of German, but, over the years I've intuited
that German and Russian are closer syntactically and stylistically than
English and Russian.  I once heard Joseph Campbell give the direct
translation into English of the German version of "The owl of Minerva flies
at night" and it sounded much more Russian than English to me.  More
flourishy, less austere (although in this case I prefer the English).  Like
German,  Russian has a tendency to synthesize words.  One thing I do
appreciate about Russian (other than being generally crazy about it), is
its reduced reliance on Latin, using 'self' instead of 'auto' for example. 
Russian, like German and most languages nowadays, has absorbed huge
quantities of English words.  In the movie Syriana, I noticed the Arabic
for remote control is "remote control".  I've been busy lately, and again
today, so I haven't been able to find the "to be or not to be" speech in
Russian on the Internet.  Plus I don't have a Russian keyboard, but I'll
find it eventually.

For Stan, religions are fraught with gods/God having sex with mortals.  The
whole idea of the Virgin Birth is union of God and man, although that's
only spiritual.  I don't know the Jewish religion well enough to know if it
has any, but even if it doesn't, it has enough events that require willing
suspension.  As Joseph Campbell says, the myth is the other guy's religion.

I saw a good movie last night, Frances.   The true story of actress Frances
Farmer.  Well worth watching.  1982 with Jessica Lange and Sam Shephard.  

> [Original Message]
> From: Eric Yost <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: 10/13/2006 8:01:49 PM
> Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Poetry x 2 = Sabbatical
>  >>Mad Magazine had a parody of Wordsworth -- Once I 
> Wandered Lonely As a Clod. Apparently I'm not the only one 
> at war with the poetry of the Romantic period.
> It is The Long War. Here's my salvo.
> I Wandered lonely As A Crowd
> I wandered lonely as a crowd
> Only not so big and not so loud,
> past smells that o'er stripmalls peak
> by an Exxon station's toxic leak,
> When all at once I saw a cloud,
> A deep black shroud of chemical fire;
> Beneath the pyre, a field of tires
> Burning and smoking along the road,
> Continuous as the flashing signs
> that keep a driver's path defined.
> Cars stretched in a never-ending line
> some needing tune-ups, others to be towed.
> Ten thousand I saw at a glance
> Angry drivers beside them prance,
> Shaking their heads in a choleric rut,
> their cars stalled, out of their minds:
> A poet could not but be reclined
> in bucket seats, the windows shut:
> I gazed and gazed but little thought
> What hazards to health the whole show brought:
> For oft, when in my hospital bed I lie
> on respirator or in sedated mood,
> I'm reminded by this lawyer guy
> of class-action suit and those to sue;
> And then my heart with with pleasure glut
> contemplates my rightful cut.
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