Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-16-2018, 10:47 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 3,791
Default John Peale Bishop

I have been reading the neglected American poet John Peale Bishop. He has several stretches of greatness. Take, for example, these two sections from his elegy for F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Hours:"

IV
You have outlasted the nocturnal terror,
The head hanging in the hanging mirror,
The hour haunted by a harrowing face.
Now you are drunk at last. And that disgrace
You sought in oblivious dives you have
At last, in the dissolution of the grave.
I have lived with you the hour of your humiliation.
I have seen you turn upon the others in the night
And of sad self-loathing
Concealing nothing
Heard you cry: I am lost. But you are lower I
And you had that right.
The damned do not so own their damnation.
I have lived with you some hours of the night,
The late hour
When the lights lower,
The later hour
When the lights go out,
When the dissipation of the night is past,
Hour of the outcast and the outworn whore,
That is past three and not yet four
When the old blackmailer waits beyond the door
And from the gutter with unpitying hands
Demands the same sad guiltiness as before,
The hour of utter destitution
When the soul knows the horror of its loss
And knows the world too poor

V
For restitution,
Past three o'clock
And not yet four
When not pity, pride,
Or being brave,
Fortune, friendship, forgetfulness of drudgery
Or of drug avails, for all has been tried,
And nothing avails to save
The soul from recognition of its night.
The hour of death is always four o'clock.
It is always four o'clock in the grave.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-17-2018, 01:26 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 3,184
Default

That is very nice. Thank you for posting, Aaron.

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-17-2018, 09:29 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 3,791
Default

Thank you, John. I will post a great poet by him, "The Return" below. I think these two pieces are his best:

The Return

NIGHT and we heard heavy cadenced hoofbeats
Of troops departing; the last cohorts left
By the North Gate. That night some listened late
Leaning their eyelids toward Septentrion.

Morning blared and the young tore down the trophies
And warring ornaments: arches were strong
And in the sun but stone; no longer conquest
Circled our columns; all our state was down

In fragments. In the dust, old men with tufted
Eyebrows whiter than sunbaked faces gulped
As it fell. But they no more than we remembered
The old sea-fights, the soldiers' names and sculptors'.

We did not know the end was coming: nor why
It came; only that long before the end
Were many wanted to die. Then vultures starved
And sailed more slowly in the sky.

We still had taxes. Salt was high. The soldiers
Gone. Now there was much drinking and lewd
Houses all night loud with riot. But only
For a time. Soon the taverns had no roofs.

Strangely it was the young, the almost boys,
Who first abandoned hope; the old still lived
A little, at least a little lived in eyes.
It was the young whose child did not survive.

Some slept beneath the simulacra, until
The gods' faces froze. Then was fear.
Some had response in dreams, but morning restored
Interrogation. Then O then, O ruins!

Temples of Neptune invaded by the sea
And dolphins streaked like streams sportive
As sunlight rode and over the rushing floors
The sea unfurled and what was blue raced silver.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-17-2018, 06:32 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 3,184
Default

Thank you, Aaron. I enjoyed that one too.

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-17-2018, 11:38 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 3,791
Default

Thank you, John. I hope I can find more top-shelf stuff from him.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-18-2018, 03:45 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 3,184
Default

Hmm. My top shelves require one of those little moveable spiral stair things. But then, I'm not very tall.

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-20-2018, 08:43 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 3,791
Default

His "Ancestors" is pretty damned good, too: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poe...ssue=4&page=13
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-20-2018, 12:30 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 3,791
Default

Ooh, this is a good one--"The Hunchback": https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poe...ontentId=15162
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-20-2018, 12:43 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 3,184
Default

I like "Ancestors" quite a bit. Thanks for introducing me to this poet. :-)

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
 
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 7,908
Total Threads: 19,298
Total Posts: 249,037
There are 212 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online