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Thread: The Cantos

  1. #31
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    Canto IV

    Palace in smoky light,
    Troy but a heap of smouldering boundary stones,
    ANAXIFORMINGES! Aurunculeia!
    Hear me. Cadmus of Golden Prows!
    The silver mirrors catch the bright stones and flare,
    Dawn, to our waking, drifts in the green cool light;
    Dew-haze blurs, in the grass, pale ankles moving.
    Beat, beat, whirr, thud, in the soft turf
    under the apple trees,
    Choros nympharum, goat-foot, with the pale foot alternate;
    Crescent of blue-shot waters, green-gold in the shallows,
    A black cock crows in the sea-foam;

    And by the curved, carved foot of the couch,
    claw-foot and lion head, an old man seated
    Speaking in the low drone…:
    Ityn!
    Et ter flebiliter, Ityn, Ityn!
    And she went toward the window and cast her down,
    “All the while, the while, swallows crying:
    Ityn!
    “It is Cabestan’s heart in the dish.”
    “It is Cabestan’s heart in the dish?”
    “No other taste shall change this.”
    And she went toward the window,
    the slim white stone bar
    Making a double arch;
    Firm even fingers held to the firm pale stone;
    Swung for a moment,
    and the wind out of Rhodez
    Caught in the full of her sleeve.
    . . . the swallows crying:
    ‘Tis. ‘Tis. ‘Ytis!
    ActŠon…
    and a valley,
    The valley is thick with leaves, with leaves, the trees,
    The sunlight glitters, glitters a-top,
    Like a fish-scale roof,
    Like the church roof in Poictiers
    If it were gold.
    Beneath it, beneath it
    Not a ray, not a slivver, not a spare disc of sunlight
    Flaking the black, soft water;
    Bathing the body of nymphs, of nymphs, and Diana,
    Nymphs, white-gathered about her, and the air, air,
    Shaking, air alight with the goddess
    fanning their hair in the dark,
    Lifting, lifting and waffing:
    Ivory dipping in silver,
    Shadow’d, o’ershadow’d
    Ivory dipping in silver,
    Not a splotch, not a lost shatter of sunlight.
    Then ActŠon: Vidal,
    Vidal. It is old Vidal speaking,
    stumbling along in the wood,
    Not a patch, not a lost shimmer of sunlight,
    the pale hair of the goddess.

    The dogs leap on ActŠon,
    “Hither, hither, ActŠon,”
    Spotted stag of the wood;
    Gold, gold, a sheaf of hair,
    Thick like a wheat swath,
    Blaze, blaze in the sun,
    The dogs leap on ActŠon.
    Stumbling, stumbling along in the wood,
    Muttering, muttering Ovid:
    “Pergusa… pool… pool… Gargaphia,
    “Pool… pool of Salmacis.”
    The empty armour shakes as the cygnet moves.

    Thus the light rains, thus pours, e lo soleills plovil
    The liquid and rushing crystal
    beneath the knees of the gods.
    Ply over ply, thin glitter of water;
    Brook film bearing white petals.
    The pine at Takasago
    grows with the pine of IsÚ!
    The water whirls up the bright pale sand in the spring’s mouth
    “Behold the Tree of the Visages!”
    Forked branch-tips, flaming as if with lotus.
    Ply over ply
    The shallow eddying fluid,
    beneath the knees of the gods.

    Torches melt in the glare
    set flame of the corner cook-stall,
    Blue agate casing the sky (as at Gourdon that time)
    the sputter of resin,
    Saffron sandal so petals the narrow foot: HymenŠus Io!
    Hymen, Io HymenŠe! Aurunculeia!
    One scarlet flower is cast on the blanch-white stone.

    And So-Gyoku, saying:
    “This wind, sire, is the king’s wind,
    This wind is wind of the palace,
    Shaking imperial water-jets.”
    And Hsiang, opening his collar:
    “This wind roars in the earth’s bag,
    it lays the water with rushes.”
    No wind is the king’s wind.
    Let every cow keep her calf.
    “This wind is held in gauze curtains…”
    No wind is the king’s…

    The camel drivers sit in the turn of the stairs,
    Look down on Ecbatan of plotted streets,
    “DanaŰ! DanaŰ!
    What wind is the king’s?”
    Smoke hangs on the stream,
    The peach-trees shed bright leaves in the water,
    Sound drifts in the evening haze,
    The bark scrapes at the ford,
    Gilt rafters above black water,
    Three steps in an open field,
    Gray stone-posts leading…

    PŔre Henri Jacques would speak with the Sennin, on Rokku,
    Mount Rokku between the rock and the cedars,
    Polhonac,
    As Gyges on Thracian platter set the feast,
    Cabestan, Tereus,
    It is Cabestan’s heart in the dish,
    Vidal, or Ecbatan, upon the gilded tower in Ecbatan
    Lay the god’s bride, lay ever, waiting the golden rain.
    By Garonne. “Saave!”
    The Garonne is thick like paint,
    Procession,—“Et sa’ave, sa’ave, sa’ave Regina!”—
    Moves like a worm, in the crowd.
    Adige, thin film of images,
    Across the Adige, by Stefano, Madonna in hortulo,
    As Cavalcanti had seen her.
    The Centaur’s heel plants in the earth loam.
    And we sit here…
    there in the arena…

  2. #32
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    Do you like it? I like it a lot.

  3. #33
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    I haven't read all of it, but yeah. I've just been reading bits and pieces as I find them online.

  4. #34
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    I meant the palace in smoky light one.

  5. #35
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    I'll take a photograph of my guide to the cantos in a little bit. You know, for the relevant page sort of thing.

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  7. #36
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    i recognize that line from vegetable empire

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  9. #37
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    The only person except me that's ever read it! I appreciate you yyyaldrin.

  10. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    I meant the palace in smoky light one.
    Oh. Yeah, I do -- particularly the opening stanza and last two lines.

  11. #39
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    I like that he explicitly mentions European scientists in the other one too. Something that really made an impression on me from that Prynne interview with The Paris Review was his locking onto the book on molecules. I like it when artists etc. engage and play around with that sort of thing -- Pynchon talking about the benzene ring, Joyce detailing the acceleration of gravity, D&G hijacking scientific terms. It shouldn't just be the playground of the Michael Crichtons and Asimovs.

  12. #40
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    That clip of him reading on the previous page is awful. Some people know how to bring their work to life, some don't. He definitely didn't.

  13. #41
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    I agree. I can't do that in my stuff cos I'm too thick but I like it when they do it. I like the claims that using it makes for poetry apart from anything else. Same with economics and other discourses that are Jnr,used in the cantos and in prynne

  14. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by version View Post
    That clip of him reading on the previous page is awful. Some people know how to bring their work to life, some don't. He definitely didn't.
    His voice and manner is ridiculous. A ridiculous man. But a good poet.

  15. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    I agree. I can't do that in my stuff cos I'm too thick but I like it when they do it. I like the claims that using it makes for poetry apart from anything else. Same with economics and other discourses that are Jnr,used in the cantos and in prynne
    Totally. I read something recently where it was pointed out that the categories of wind in a particular dictionary read almost like poetry, the tension ratcheting up, a short burst of words describing each.

    0 - Calm - Less than 1mph - Calm: smoke rises vertically
    1 - Light air - 1–3mph - Direction of wind shown by smoke but not by wind vanes
    2 - Light breeze - 4–7mph - Wind felt on face; leaves rustle; ordinary vane moved by wind
    3 - Gentle breeze - 8–12mph - Leaves and small twigs in constant motion; wind extends light flag
    4 - Moderate breeze - 13–18mph - Raises dust and loose paper; small branches are moved
    5 - Fresh breeze - 19–24mph - Small trees in leaf begin to sway; crested wavelets form on inland waters
    6 - Strong breeze - 25–31mph - Large branches in motion; telegraph wires whistle; umbrellas used with difficulty
    7 - Moderate gale - 32–38mph - Whole trees in motion; inconvenience in walking against wind
    8 - Fresh gale - 39–46mph - Breaks twigs off trees; generally impedes progress
    9 - Strong gale - 47–54mph - Slight structural damage occurs; chimney pots and slates removed
    10 - Whole gale - 55–63mph - Trees uprooted; considerable structural damage occurs
    11 - Storm - 64–72mph - Very rarely experienced; accompanied by widespread damage
    12–17 - Hurricane - 73–136mph - Devastation occurs

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  17. #44
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    That reminds me of Pound telling would be poets to read Linneaus

  18. #45
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    And aspire to that degree of accuracy

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