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Old 06-11-2018, 11:39 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Default The Lobster Quadrille

"What matters it how far we go?"
His scaly friend replied.
"There is another shore, you know,
Upon the other side.
The further off from England,
The nearer is to France.
Then turn not pale, beloved snail,
But come and join the dance."

I've long loved these lines, which IMO perfectly describe Dante's Purgatorio. I can also confirm from experience that indeed, the further off from England, the nearer is to France.

Cheers,
John

Last edited by John Isbell; 06-12-2018 at 02:45 AM.
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:12 PM
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Woody Long Woody Long is offline
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For reference the full text of the poem & the poem it parodies are here.

Dodgson/Carroll was a mathematician, a logician, and a clergyman. There are some indications of all that in S3 & also in the poem as a whole.

Some darker undertones, characteristic I think of Carroll.

The whiting tries to tempt the snail by offering a chance to get nearer to France. Lots of luck, snail! The animals are food animals. Even, poetically, the mock turtle.

Carroll was surreal before surrealism.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:53 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Yup, the whiting gets eaten in England, as Alice discusses, the snail in France, as she does not. Thanks for pointing that out, Woody!

Cheers,
John
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:50 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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I love Alice and everything about it. You Are Old Father William, How Doth The Little Crocodile...they all haunt my sweaty dreams of childhood. He was spiky and weird, AA Milne was dry and sweet and funny. Beatrix Potter is overrated rubbish (nice pictures though).

Remember the mock turtle's rules of mathematics? Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.
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Old 06-23-2018, 02:35 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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I once appeared in print on the page facing Christopher Robin. To the extent that Christopher Robin exists.

Cheers,
John
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Old 06-23-2018, 02:36 AM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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Mark, you have to have lived and observed for a long time before you can see those four fine words in context. They are a sequence, a natural progression. There, despite the grace of God, go most of us.

And John, I did so in an anthology, opposite Auden. We settle companionably face-to-face each time the book closes. To the extent, of course, that we both exist.
.

Last edited by Ann Drysdale; 06-23-2018 at 02:42 AM. Reason: in answering Mark, I overlooked John, who had crept up behind me while I wasn't looking.
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Old 06-23-2018, 02:44 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Yes, Carroll was, besides all else, a genius.
Anne, how lovely to share a page with Auden! A fine poet and a fine man, from the little I know. Also, you're there on merit. Such was not particularly my case.

Cheers,
John

Update: to say one must watch out for me creeping up behind them.
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Old 06-23-2018, 04:04 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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https://nonsenselit.wordpress.com/th...nderland-1903/

This is good. From 1903!

I always instinctively knew, even as a child, that they were parodies because the various creatures bully Alice like schoolteachers and demand that she recite them. But I never thought before to research what they were all parodies of. Obviously I knew 'twinkle twinkle...'

Edit: Oh, I knew the Isaac Watts! I remember reading that Blake had his moral poems for children in mind and subtly subverted them with some of the 'Songs of Innocence' like the Chimney Sweeper: 'so if all do their duty they need not fear harm'.

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 06-23-2018 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:10 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Anne: "To the extent, of course, that we both exist."
Quite so! And I was also referring to the new Christopher Robin movie, in which A.A. Milne points out to his young son that there is no such person as Christopher Robin, so he needn't worry. It's a central theme of the (rather good, I thought) movie.

Cheers,
John

Update: Mark, yes, I agree completely about how creatures bully Alice throughout, particularly about the poems. And what I tell you three times is true.
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:49 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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What a pleasure to eavesdrop in on this. I don't suppose this thread will go on forever, will it? I thought so...
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