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Thread: Read Serious Poetry with me & Corpsey

  1. #1
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    Default Read Serious Poetry with me & Corpsey

    One of the things me and corpse have in common is that we're bang into self improvement. We always feel we're not doing enough. Tortured in fact. We have a book club where we read proper poetry together and we're just deciding what the next one is going to be. You can join in too.

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  3. #2
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    Default possibilities

    The Divine Comedy (or just 'Inferno' - we'd have to pick a translation - I've got Dorothy L. Sayers and Anthony Esolen translations to hand... Pound recommended Binyon's). Disadvantage here is obviously it's not in English so the language effects are unsatisfactory. OTOH many of our faves were well into Dante - Joyce, Blake, Milton, etc.

    The Prelude (1805)
    http://triggs.djvu.org/djvu-editions...5/Download.pdf

    Very very long. A landmark in Romanticism. Wordsworth's own 'Paradise Lost'.

  4. #3
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    The problem being that I've tried both abd found them very boring. Another possibility is Blakes Jerusalem. Again quite long. But not that long.

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    "One of the things me and corpse have in common is that we're bang into self improvement. We always feel we're not doing enough. Tortured in fact."
    Boredom is a sort of torture, isn't it?

    'Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.'

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    OH, there is blessing in this gentle breeze,
    That blows from the green fields and from the clouds
    And from the sky; it beats against my cheek,
    And seems half conscious of the joy it gives.
    O welcome messenger! O welcome friend! 5
    A captive greets thee, coming from a house
    Of bondage, from yon city’s walls set free,
    A prison where he hath been long immured.


    Straight away I am put off by 'O welcome messenger!' and 'yon city'. You have to become immune to the contempt this sort of bardic posturing stirs up in your cynical post modern cyber heart.

  8. #7
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    Keep making suggestions. We could go very old. A book of the Canterbury tales of some other chaucer thing.

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    I bought the Beckett trilogy a while back when I was reading a biography of him. I am curious about them but I'm also slightly concerned they'll depress the fuck out of me.

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    I think they made me ill. One was ok then I got sick halfway through the next one

  12. #11
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    Depleted my animal spirits.

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    Too much of that sort of Beckett thing makes you feel dank, musty, slightly anti-social, possibly a public nuisance, certainly low in spirits. It can actually have a physically depleting effect on you. Probably a lot more fun to write than read. I tend to think with Beckett, the shorter the better.

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  15. #13
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    Absolutely. I wasn't joking. It really happened. Got any suggestions for our self improvement group Oliver?

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    Something big and Roman like Ovid's Metamorphoses or Virgil's Aeneid?

  17. #15

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    You could do the Arthur Golding translation of Metamorphoses, Pound called it the most beautiful poem in the English language.

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