The Past is the Present
If external action is effeteand rhyme is outmoded,I shall revert to you,Habakkuk, as on a recent occasion I was goadedinto doing, by XY, who was speaking of unrhymed verse.This man said--I think that I repeathis identical words:"Hebrew poetry isprose with a sort of heightened consciousness. 'Ecstasy affordsthe occasion and expediency determines the form.'"
I've been looking into Marianne Moore (1887-1972) again after reading Richard Howard. Though in most ways they're pretty different, both use a syllable-counting scheme in their poetics. (Moore, pretty much always; Howard, frequently.) For example, the first line of each stanza in this has nine syllables. There is a rhyme scheme, though it's not very intrusive: effete/repeat, outmoded/goaded, words/affords, with the last one being only a sight rhyme.
XY is the Rev. Edwin Henry Kellogg, Moore tells us in a note.
Moore was an inveterate rewriter of her poems; this is the first version, published in 1915 and first collected in her book Observations of 1924. There is another version. Her most famous poem, 'Poetry', the one that begins 'I, too, dislike it...' goes from thirty lines in the earliest version to three in the final.
Phew, that is an exacting revision process, from 30 to 3. I wonder if, in the kitchen, she began with a stew and ended up with a steamed potato.ReplyDelete
Ha! I'm not always sure I like the later versions--I think my favorite Poetry might have been one of the ones in the middle--and I'm quite sure I'd prefer the stew to the steamed potato!Delete
i'd like to make a noun out of "circuitous" but i don't know how...ReplyDelete
Circuitry? ;-) That might be too electrifying...Delete
I'm not sure I'm smart enough to read her poetry. ;DReplyDelete
Nah! I don't believe that... ;-)Delete
I suspect that's what she wanted people to think.Delete
"Hebrew poetry isReplyDelete
prose with a sort of heightened consciousness"
So true, as I think of The Bible. Love your poetry Thursdays!! Keep them coming!!
Thanks! Glad you enjoy them.Delete
How interesting. I have to look at more Marianne Moore poetry.ReplyDelete
I think she's pretty good.Delete
I'm with Lark. This kind of poetry puts me off. BUT I recently dabbled in some Walt Whitman and strangely liked it...ReplyDelete
I don't think Whitman or Moore are difficult--I don't much like gratuitously difficult--but one does need to get used to their style. But Moore in particular is pretty formal, just in a weird kind of way.Delete
Sometimes I wish I'd devoted my life to reading only poetry. I'd love to know more about this poet.ReplyDelete
All poetry might be a little too rich for my system! ;-) But I do like it and have been reading more lately.Delete