After that mad rush of a previous entry, I’m going to take a breather before thinking my way through Jack Spicer’s “A Lecture On Practical Aesthetics.” For now, a link roundup showing some (other) recent preoccupations.
SIMONE WEIL AND POETRY
First up is a blog entry that contains in its entirety James Lindroth’s 1987 essay “Simone Weil And Wallace Stevens: The Notion Of Decreation As Subtext In ‘An Ordinary Evening In New Haven’.”
I’ve yet to go through it fully since I severely lack context: I’ve never read Stevens’s essays from The Necessary Angel (an unforgivable insight, I know!), and my only encounter with Simone Weil is how she figures in Anne Carson’s Decreation (another review here).
Speaking of oversight, that’s the only Anne Carson book I’ve read. I’m somewhat interested in the way she uses Keats in The Beauty Of The Husband and her exploration of the theme of desire in Eros The Bittersweet, but I’ve yet to buy copies of those.
While looking through reviews of Decreation to use as a hyperlink, I found a critical review-essay on Carson’s book and Jorie Graham’s Overlord that also uses Weil’s notion of decreation through Stevens’s treatment of the idea: “Prayers To An Absent God: The Poetic Revealings Of Simone Weil.”
PARONOMASIA, PUNS, AND WORDPLAY
Wordplay was not only how I rediscovered Stevens; it’s also a recurring device in the kind of poetry I’ve been writing for my MA, for better or for worse. (Someday, I’ll talk about how Northrop Frye’s “Charms And Riddles” works for the writing I do.)
Eleanor Cook has appeared here before, particularly for her work on, yes!, riddles, so it was a thrill to have discovered these essays yesterday, especially because of all the responses that followed:
- Cook, Eleanor. “From Etymology to Paronomasia: Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, and Others”
- Hecht, Anthony. “In Reply to Eleanor Cook, ‘From Etymology to Paronomasia'”
- Vaught Brogan, Jacqueline. “From Paronomasia to Politics in the Poetry of Stevens and Bishop: A Response to Eleanor Cook”
- Rosu, Anca. “In the Line of Wit: A Response to Eleanor Cook”
- Bahti, Timothy. “Palm Reading (A Response to Eleanor Cook)”
- Hollander, John. “A Note on Eleanor Cook, ‘From Etymology to Paronomasia'”
- Cook, Eleanor. “Paronomasia Once More”
HOPKINS: DARK, TERRIBLE, DESOLATE
Although I love to read “The Windhover” aloud like Kwame Dawes, I’m pretty much a Hopkins n00b. While reading “The Introduction Of Fancy Into Hopkins’ Poetry” (an essential resource for my thesis), I noticed a reference at the bottom of the page to his “dark sonnets.” A couple of search results later, I learned he wrote these “Dublin sonnets” from 1885-1886.
Since I’ve just read “Spelt From Sibyl’s Leaves” for the first time, after I read about it in Cook’s article, and so was still reeling from the deliriously wonderful poem Hopkins once called “the longest sonnet in the English language,” I’m going to link to those sonnets Hopkins wrote during what seems, by all accounts, a dark night of the soul:
- “To seem the stranger lies my lot, my life”
- “I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day”
- “No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief”
- “My own heart let me have more have pity on; let”
- “Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;”
- “Patience, hard thing! the hard thing but to pray”
Yes, those are their respective first lines, even if the next-to-last poem is already commonly referred to as “Carrion Comfort.” I’m going to read them later, ALOUD.