Re: MD Poetic Quality

From: Mark Steven Heyman (
Date: Wed Oct 20 2004 - 01:47:51 BST

  • Next message: David Morey: "Re: MD A bit of reasoning (correction)"

    Thanks for taking the time to read and reply, Jim. You're the first.
     I'll wait a day or two, and see what comes around on this, then try
    to put into words what I think.


    On 19 Oct 2004 at 21:01, Jim Ledbury wrote:


    Took a couple of reads, but #2.

    I think it's the ironic sentiment. #1 is a bit too winsome for me.
    I.e #2 encomapsses more: because of its nod and wink to the ribald
    seems more sincere. There seems to have been more lost.


    Mark Steven Heyman wrote:

    >Hi all,
    >I love the bit in ZMM where Phaedrus demonstrates to his students
    >that they know what Quality is, even if they can't define it. I
    >thought it might be fun and instructive to try something similar
    >here. So, which of the following poems has the highest quality, and
    >why? (Note: I think both of these poems are great, so this is no
    >straw man operation here.)
    > For the Anniversary of My Death
    > Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
    > When the last fires will wave to me
    > And the silence will set out
    > Tireless traveller
    > Like the beam of a lightless star
    > Then I will no longer
    > Find myself in life as in a strange garment
    > Surprised at the earth
    > And the love of one woman
    > And the shamelessness of men
    > As today writing after three days of rain
    > Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
    > And bowing not knowing to what
    > Sad Steps
    >Groping back to bed after a piss
    >I part the thick curtains, and am startled by
    >The rapid clouds, the moon's cleanliness.
    >Four o'clock: wedge-shaped gardens lie
    >Under a cavernous, a wind-pierced sky.
    >There's something laughable about this,
    >The way the moon dashes through the clouds that blow
    >Loosely as cannon-smoke to stand apart
    >(Stone-coloured light sharpening the roofs below)
    >High and preposterous and separate--
    >Lozenge of love! Medallion of art!
    >O wolves of memory! Immensements! No,
    >One shivers slightly, looking up there.
    >The hardness and the brightness and the plain
    >Far-reaching singleness of that wide stare
    >Is a reminder of the strength and pain
    >Of being young; that it can't come again,
    >But is for others undiminished somewhere.

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