The Garden

+++ …by love into a single volume bound,the pages scattered through the universe… –DANTE +++ Those thoughts to me were oaks. –SHAKESPEARE +++ …a book made full of days (pages),a ready effort full of all places thenthat may be because I have loved them… –DUNCAN +++ Every book is a quotation; and every house is a quotationout of all forests and mines and stone quarries; and everyman is a quotation from all his ancestors. –EMERSON +++ To ask or search I blame thee not, for heavenIs as the book of God before thee set,Wherein to read his wondrous works, and…

All torn up about it

+++ Gustave Doré’s (1832–1883) illustration for Canto XXXI of Dante’s Paradiso. +++ I saw, by love into a single volume boundThe pages scattered through the universe… +++

Collage

+++ Legato con amore in un volume, ció che per l’universo si squaderna: by love into a single volume bound, the pages scattered through the universe: – Paradiso, XXXIII +++ Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn – Sonnet LXVIII +++ To ask or search I blame thee not, for heavenIs as the book of God before thee set,Wherein to read his wondrous works, and learnHis seasons, hours, or days, or months, or years – Paradise Lost +++ a book made full of days (pages), a ready effort full of all places then that may be because I…

Dante

Finally finished Paradiso. It’s hard not to be moved by the sheer ambition of this poem, not to be heartbroken at the thought of the human who wrote it. Here are my favorite lines from the final canto. Thus the sun unseals an imprint in the snow.Thus the Sybyl’s oracles, on weightless leaves,lifted by the wind, were swept away. O Light exalted beyond mortal thought,grant that in memory I see againbut one small part of how you then appeared and grant my tongue sufficient powerthat it may leave behind a single sparkof glory for the people yet to come… In…

Dante

Finally finished Paradiso. It’s hard not to be moved by the sheer ambition of this poem, not to be heartbroken at the thought of the human who wrote it. Here are my favorite lines from the final canto. Thus the sun unseals an imprint in the snow.Thus the Sybyl’s oracles, on weightless leaves,lifted by the wind, were swept away. O Light exalted beyond mortal thought,grant that in memory I see againbut one small part of how you then appeared and grant my tongue sufficient powerthat it may leave behind a single sparkof glory for the people yet to come… In…

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;…

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

vocab (Thanks to Freud, Lowell, Dante)

bocardo n. (Logic) A form of syllogism of which the first and third propositions are particular negatives, and the middle term a universal affirmative [For years I’ve been trying to find the exact device, for when you say “near and far” to mean “everywhere” — I swear there’s a better word for it than this but perhaps not! (This is certainly a nifty enough word)] maunder, v. 1. To beg2. To grumble, mutter, moan3. To move or act in a dreamy, idle, or purposeless manner; to dawdle. Freq. with along, away, over.4. trans. To fritter away (one’s time, life, etc.).5….

vocab (Thanks to Freud, Lowell, Dante)

bocardo n. (Logic) A form of syllogism of which the first and third propositions are particular negatives, and the middle term a universal affirmative [For years I’ve been trying to find the exact device, for when you say “near and far” to mean “everywhere” — I swear there’s a better word for it than this but perhaps not! (This is certainly a nifty enough word)] maunder, v. 1. To beg2. To grumble, mutter, moan3. To move or act in a dreamy, idle, or purposeless manner; to dawdle. Freq. with along, away, over.4. trans. To fritter away (one’s time, life, etc.).5….

Current project: Epic poetry

Revisiting the epics, and filling some gaps. Paradise Lost, for example. Kill me. c. forever ago: The Epic of Gilgamesh. [CHECK] c. 800-600 BC: The Iliad, Homer. Fitzgerald trans. (Reread) [CHECK] c. 800-600 BC: The Odyssey, Homer. Fitzgerald trans. (Reread) [CHECK] c. 100 BC: The Aeneid, Virgil. [CHECK]c. 100 AD: Metamorphoses, Ovid. [CHECK]c. 8th-10th century: Beowulf (Reread) [STILL NEEDED]11th century: The Song of Roland [CHECK] 12th century: The Nibelungenlied [CHECK] 14th century: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight [STILL NEEDED]14th century: The Divine Comedy, Dante. (Reread) [CHECK]1667: Paradise Lost, John Milton. [CHECK!]1806: Faust, Goethe. (Reread)1874: Idylls of the King, Alfred…

Current project: Epic poetry

Revisiting the epics, and filling some gaps. Paradise Lost, for example. Kill me. c. forever ago: The Epic of Gilgamesh. [CHECK] c. 800-600 BC: The Iliad, Homer. Fitzgerald trans. (Reread) c. 800-600 BC: The Odyssey, Homer. Fitzgerald trans. (Reread) c. 100 BC: The Aeneid, Virgil.c. 100 AD: Metamorphoses, Ovid.c. 8th-10th century: Beowulf (Reread)11th century: The Song of Roland [CHECK] 12th century: The Nibelungenlied [CHECK] 14th century: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight14th century: The Divine Comedy, Dante. (Reread)1667: Paradise Lost, John Milton.1806: Faust, Goethe. (Reread)1874: Idylls of the King, Alfred Lord Tennyson. And then I want to revisit everything Shakespeare…