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Old 06-07-2017, 11:26 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is online now
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Default Perfection: Hardy's The Garden Seat

No doubt most of you know this poem. I thought I would post it nonetheless. It is rare that we encounter absolute perfection in this life. I hold this lyric up as an example of it:

The Garden Seat

Its former green is blue and thin,
And its once firm legs sink in and in;
Soon it will break down unaware,
Soon it will break down unaware.

At night when reddest flowers are black
Those who once sat thereon come back;
Quite a row of them sitting there,
Quite a row of them sitting there.

With them the seat does not break down,
Nor winter freeze them, nor floods drown,
For they are as light as upper air,
They are as light as upper air!
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:54 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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Well, I wouldn’t know “absolute perfection” if it bit me in the ass or struck me blind and have never seriously hoped to see, hear, smell, or feel it (though a few orgasms are contenders). The Hardy is quite neat geometrically, but the notion that the past invisibly observes and informs the presence is hardly new or expressed perfectly, however that might be. Others may see it differently, and I hope they do and tell me why I'm blind to its perfection.
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Last edited by RCL; 06-09-2017 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 06-08-2017, 06:17 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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I agree with Ralph. It's a fine poem, I suppose, but it doesn't pack a wallop with me. The last lines about "air" put me in mind of a favorite of mine by Robert Louis Stevenson:


To Any Reader


As from the house your mother sees
You playing round the garden trees,
So you may see, if you will look
Through the windows of this book,
Another child, far, far away,
And in another garden, play.
But do not think you can at all,
By knocking on the window, call
That child to hear you. He intent
Is all on his play-business bent.
He does not hear; he will not look,
Nor yet be lured out of this book.
For, long ago, the truth to say,
He has grown up and gone away,
And it is but a child of air
That lingers in the garden there.
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:00 AM
David Callin David Callin is offline
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I don't know whether it's perfect or not, but I think that's an acceptably enthusiastic hyperbole for poems we love, and I love this one - one of my more recent Hardy loves.

There's something about the contrast between the refrain of S2 - perfect idiomatic English of the time (and not much seen in poetry?) - and the more elevated refrain of S3 that I find very moving.
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Old 06-08-2017, 03:37 PM
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Default A Spell !

After more readings, I do like the repetitive spell-like diction and rhythm conjuring the spirits. There is that magic here.

Bebiede že arisan cwicum (?)
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Last edited by RCL; 06-08-2017 at 03:58 PM.
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