The organist has closed his instrumentAfter recessional, and closed his book;Counterpoint that his fingers undertookInto the world of light has made ascent.Airy agilities for perfection spentHave quieted at last, but not the lookFrom the musician's eyes that will not brookA blundering word upon a great event.Far from New England's leafiness I writeIn that land of the old latinityAnd golden air to which at length he came,My master and friend, as to his own birthright.What farther land he found I hope to seeWhen by my change our evenings are the same.
Robert Fitzgerald (1910-1985) is best known as a translator, largely from Latin and Greek. (Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid, among others.) But he was a poet in his own right. Dudley Fitts, (1903-1968) was also a translator and poet. Fitzgerald had Dudley Fitts as an instructor at Choate as a teenager; they later went on to cooperate on several translations from Euripides and Sophocles.
Dudley Fitts was also an organist.
C.H.F. will be Dudley Fitts' wife--or, I suspect, widow, though I'm not entirely sure when this poem was written--Cornelia Hewitt Fitts.
New Directions didn't feel the need to do anything fancy with the cover to sell this book, did they?
It's such a good book!ReplyDelete
I've known his translations forever, but his own poetry is a pretty new find for me. Good stuff.Delete
Yes, a serviceable cover indeed!ReplyDelete
They haven't changed it either. It's still there on their website.Delete
I love those three lines near the beginning:ReplyDelete
Counterpoint that his fingers undertook
Into the world of light has made ascent.
Airy agilities for perfection spent.
Isn't it great?Delete