I love reveling in archaisms and olde style poesie. My long sequence - over 3,000 lines so far, is a hodge-podge of various English poetical styles, from Pre-Chaucer up to Berryman & Ginsberg. I have basically mixed them all together in a bag, given it a good shake, and viola! - Something probably only I will want to read.
But that's not exactly true. Our Spherian friend Bill Carpenter likes the work a lot and has given me strong encouragement to continue with it.
Anyway, this thread gives me a chance to post this one:
A Conversation Between Robert Browning & Wallace Stevens
xxxA fancy restaurant, circa 1925.
My friend, what thinkst thou of my poem
You mean that Sordello whom
Pound mentioned in his canto?
That's the same.
what's the hubbub there? Those waiters swivel
and swerve like dancers in Le Sacre du
. Hast seen it, Wallace? As a spirit
that lurk'd unseen, my keen unsubtanced eye
partook at—Paris, was it, or Verona?— Grr,
the memory fuddles e'en in afterlife!
Stravinsky's? Yes, but let's talk of Sordello.
I read the book, but like Lord Alfred, saw
but two lines that seemed lucid, and the rest
mere huff and hum, a hullabaloo of words
put on the page to make poor widows wince
and scholars' fingers rush to dusty tomes
in search of fact and date.
Mere huff and hum
thou sayst? A hullabaloo of words!
Stevens, I had thought thee better read
than wincing widows. 'Zounds!
that racket! Where's
my wine? But of Sordello,
of my book
that critics found unworthy; my poor book
that left bluestockings and great men befuddled!
Well, Lizzy understood the thing, and more,
but what is that? The world is none the wiser
albeit a touch less patriarchal.
Sweet Robert, have you found the time to look
at my Comedian as the Letter C?
Of all the scribblers come to Kingdom Come
I fancy you would find it to your taste.
What? Did you speak? Hoorah!
The wine at last!
But hold, good sir, what's this? I said your best
chianti, in the bottle! Take the glass
and bring a bottle; but make sure, thou knave,
the cork is stuck! If not, I'll have thy hide!
there he scampers. I'd not have his hide,
poor scamp, for I have yet a heart in me.
Forget it, Bob. Now where's that menu? Ah!
These prices! Ho! Harrumph. Harrumph.