Let us compare then, you and I

I think it is undeniable that Frank O’Hara’s “To the Harbormaster” is based in some part on Shakespeare’s sonnet number 117. Either that, or we can just take comfort from the fact that the same metaphors have been used by two minds from across the ages to express the same idea. Sonnett 117by William Shakespeare Accuse me thus: that I have scanted allWherein I should your great deserts repay, Forgot upon your dearest love to call, Whereto all bonds do tie me day by day; That I have frequent been with unknown minds And given to time your own dear-purchased…

Let us compare then, you and I

I think it is undeniable that Frank O’Hara’s “To the Harbormaster” is based in some part on Shakespeare’s sonnet number 117. Either that, or we can just take comfort from the fact that the same metaphors have been used by two minds from across the ages to express the same idea. Sonnett 117by William Shakespeare Accuse me thus: that I have scanted allWherein I should your great deserts repay, Forgot upon your dearest love to call, Whereto all bonds do tie me day by day; That I have frequent been with unknown minds And given to time your own dear-purchased…

A small poem I am loving

It is a lovely day in Hanover and this is a lovely poem I am loving while missing the people who make this town what it used to be for me. This Room by John Ashbery The room I entered was a dream of this room.Surely all those feet on the sofa were mine.The oval portraitof a dog was me at an early age.Something shimmers, something is hushed up. We had macaroni for lunch every dayexcept Sunday, when a small quail was inducedto be served to us. Why do I tell you these things?You are not even here.

A small poem I am loving

It is a lovely day in Hanover and this is a lovely poem I am loving while missing the people who make this town what it used to be for me. This Room by John Ashbery The room I entered was a dream of this room.Surely all those feet on the sofa were mine.The oval portraitof a dog was me at an early age.Something shimmers, something is hushed up. We had macaroni for lunch every dayexcept Sunday, when a small quail was inducedto be served to us. Why do I tell you these things?You are not even here.

vocab

Barratry – noun. 1. The purchase or sale of ecclesiastical preferment, or of offices of state.2. (Sc. Law.) The acceptance of bribes by a judge. Palinode – noun. Originally: an ode or song in which the author retracts a view or sentiment expressed in a former poem. Later also (more generally): a recantation, retraction, or withdrawal of a statement; (Sc. Law) a formal retraction of a defamatory statement demanded from a defender in a libel action (now hist.).v: 1. intr. To retract, recant, withdraw a statement. Orotund – adj.A. adj. Originally (of a voice, speaker, or utterance): imposing, clear, resonant;…

vocab

Barratry – noun. 1. The purchase or sale of ecclesiastical preferment, or of offices of state.2. (Sc. Law.) The acceptance of bribes by a judge. Palinode – noun. Originally: an ode or song in which the author retracts a view or sentiment expressed in a former poem. Later also (more generally): a recantation, retraction, or withdrawal of a statement; (Sc. Law) a formal retraction of a defamatory statement demanded from a defender in a libel action (now hist.).v: 1. intr. To retract, recant, withdraw a statement. Orotund – adj.A. adj. Originally (of a voice, speaker, or utterance): imposing, clear, resonant;…

Vocab via Bishop

equinoctial – adj. 1. Pertaining to a state of equal day and night. equinoctial line, circle (in Milton equinoctial road), the celestial or terrestrial equator. Cf. B. 1 and 2. equinoctial point = Equinox (duh)divagation – noun.The action of divagating; a wandering or straying away or about: deviation; digression. macadamize – verb. 1. a. trans. Originally: to make or repair (a road) according to McAdam’s method. In modern use: to cover (an unmade road, etc.) with tarmacadam. b. trans. fig. To make (a way, etc.) level, even, or smooth; to raze. Now rare. Perh. Obs. diaphanous – adj.Permitting the free…

Vocab via Bishop

equinoctial – adj. 1. Pertaining to a state of equal day and night. equinoctial line, circle (in Milton equinoctial road), the celestial or terrestrial equator. Cf. B. 1 and 2. equinoctial point = Equinox (duh)divagation – noun.The action of divagating; a wandering or straying away or about: deviation; digression. macadamize – verb. 1. a. trans. Originally: to make or repair (a road) according to McAdam’s method. In modern use: to cover (an unmade road, etc.) with tarmacadam. b. trans. fig. To make (a way, etc.) level, even, or smooth; to raze. Now rare. Perh. Obs. diaphanous – adj.Permitting the free…

Elizabeth Bishop

My favorite poems by the ever-graceful Elizabeth Bishop. Anaphoraby Elizabeth Bishop Each day with so much ceremonybegins, with birds, with bells,with whistles from a factory;such white-gold skies our eyesfirst open on, such brilliant wallsthat for a moment we wonder“Where is the music coming from, the energy?The day was meant for what ineffable creaturewe must have missed?” Oh promptly heappears and takes his earthly natureinstantly, instantly fallsvictim of long intrigue,assuming memory and mortalmortal fatigue. More slowly falling into sightand showering into stippled faces,darkening, condensing all his light;in spite of all the dreamingsquandered upon him with that look,suffers our uses and abuses,sinks…

Elizabeth Bishop

My favorite poems by the ever-graceful Elizabeth Bishop. Anaphoraby Elizabeth Bishop Each day with so much ceremonybegins, with birds, with bells,with whistles from a factory;such white-gold skies our eyesfirst open on, such brilliant wallsthat for a moment we wonder“Where is the music coming from, the energy?The day was meant for what ineffable creaturewe must have missed?” Oh promptly heappears and takes his earthly natureinstantly, instantly fallsvictim of long intrigue,assuming memory and mortalmortal fatigue. More slowly falling into sightand showering into stippled faces,darkening, condensing all his light;in spite of all the dreamingsquandered upon him with that look,suffers our uses and abuses,sinks…

Vocab (courtesy of Freud)

parataxic, adj.Of, relating to, or designating a mode of interpersonal relationship in which projection of memories, feelings, etc., creates distorted perception or expectation of others. abreaction, noun. (v. abreact)Discharge of the emotional energy associated with a psychic trauma that has been forgotten or repressed; the process of bringing such a trauma back to consciousness, esp. as a psychotherapeutic technique; an instance of this. asseverate, v.To affirm solemnly, assert emphatically, declare positively, avouch, aver pathogenic, adj.1. Med. and Biol. Producing physical disease; of or relating to the production of physicaldisease.2. Psychiatry. Causing, or tending to cause, mental illness.3. fig. Morally or…

Vocab (courtesy of Freud)

parataxic, adj.Of, relating to, or designating a mode of interpersonal relationship in which projection of memories, feelings, etc., creates distorted perception or expectation of others. abreaction, noun. (v. abreact)Discharge of the emotional energy associated with a psychic trauma that has been forgotten or repressed; the process of bringing such a trauma back to consciousness, esp. as a psychotherapeutic technique; an instance of this. asseverate, v.To affirm solemnly, assert emphatically, declare positively, avouch, aver pathogenic, adj.1. Med. and Biol. Producing physical disease; of or relating to the production of physicaldisease.2. Psychiatry. Causing, or tending to cause, mental illness.3. fig. Morally or…

My Favorite ‘Dream Songs’

Sometimes the neurotic aesthetic of Berryman’s Dream Songs just feels migrainous to me; other times it’s sublime. That said, I think these two poems are two of the best poems there are. Period. Dream Song 145by John Berryman Also I love him: me he’s done no wrongfor going on forty years — forgiveness time —I touch now his despair,he felt as bad as Whitman on his towerbut he did not swim out with me or my brotheras he threatened — a powerful swimmer, to take one of us alongas company in the defeat sublime,freezing my helpless mother:he only, very early…

My Favorite ‘Dream Songs’

Sometimes the neurotic aesthetic of Berryman’s Dream Songs just feels migrainous to me; other times it’s sublime. That said, I think these two poems are two of the best poems there are. Period. Dream Song 145by John Berryman Also I love him: me he’s done no wrongfor going on forty years — forgiveness time —I touch now his despair,he felt as bad as Whitman on his towerbut he did not swim out with me or my brotheras he threatened — a powerful swimmer, to take one of us alongas company in the defeat sublime,freezing my helpless mother:he only, very early…

A Measure of Perfection

‘Master, I asked, ‘after the great Judgmentwill these torments be greater, lessor will they stay as harsh as they are now? And he replied: ‘Return to your science,which has it that, in measure of a thing’s perfection,it feels both more of pleasure and of pain. ‘Although these accursed peoplewill never come to true perfection,they will never be nearer it than they are now.’ -Dante’s Inferno, Canto VI, trans. Hollander

A Measure of Perfection

‘Master, I asked, ‘after the great Judgmentwill these torments be greater, lessor will they stay as harsh as they are now? And he replied: ‘Return to your science,which has it that, in measure of a thing’s perfection,it feels both more of pleasure and of pain. ‘Although these accursed peoplewill never come to true perfection,they will never be nearer it than they are now.’ -Dante’s Inferno, Canto VI, trans. Hollander