The Psalm has 19 verses, so the poet continues. This is, after all, a meditation on Psalm 51, and the sexual themes of the penitent date to the psalm if not the poet. But the verse for this is the seventeenth The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O […]Read More → Sunday Sonnet
Sydney knew the trap he had fallen into. Love was not considered sane by the Renaissance English: it was romanticized as a divine madness. You married for alliance to make families, and if lucky your wife became your lover. Unrequited love was fuel to the poet’s fire, a driver of plots for the novelist. We […]Read More → Saturday Sonnet.
The idea that the woman you love will ignore you and leave you pining appears to be universal, and the problem is that one may end up abasing and enslaving your honour and wealth to someone who cares not a whit for you. But you find beautiful. This is a trap: For Chaucer, who knew […]Read More → Without Dalliance
James Joyce wasted his talent on experimental novels. He could write. This simple is hard. A Flower Given to My Daughter Frail the white rose and frail are Her hands that gave Whose soul is sere and paler Than time’s wan wave. Rosefrail and fair — yet frailest A wonder wild In gentle eyes thou […]Read More → Joyce short poem
We are ending the end of this cycle, and with it the need to transliterate. Anne Locke’s poem or meditation worked when written well. It shows that the Puritans of that time did care and craft beauty, with words and in their lives. Unlike the women of this time, Locke did this while running a […]Read More → Sunday Sonnet
I do not change the spelling or transliterate this. Last night I was reading John Skelton, who has a simple poem that is quite readable, despite being a hundred years earlier. Skelton is late medieval/early renaissance, and as such, is no prig. Despite being a priest he lusts, knowing that, he doubts is instinct. He […]Read More → Saturday Sonnet.
Over at Social Matter they are going to the beginning of English Poem, to John Skelton: priest, politican and satirist. I’m looking at Pound during his asian phrase. He was moving towards imagism, but I prefer Master Li: “It is no wonder that most genius in China turn to the bottle” The neo-Confucians do not […]Read More → Short ancients, minimal Pound.
More Anne Locke. She is writing before the Elizabethans in early scots english, so there is a transliteration. Lo straining crampe of colde despeir againe In feble brest doth pinche my pinyng hart, So as in greatest nede to cry and plaine My speache doth faile to vtter thee my smart. Refreshe my yeldyng hert, […]Read More → Sunday Sonnet.
Sydney’s audience knew their Roman mythology. Cupid is the son of Venus and Mars. The conceit is that Stella is cupid’s bow, and she has an infinite amount of ammunition. I am, as usual, not altering the text: this is Elizabethan English Stella and Astrophel XVII His mother deere, Cupid offended late, Because that Mars, […]Read More → Saturday Sonnet
Kipling ended the first war angry. This was the warmup. It is satire, it was written for that time, and the context matters. The report on the siege of Kut had been written, and the general staff were excoriated for their lack of logistic skill. Kipling was a journalist, a poet, and a defender of […]Read More → Satirical Kipling.