Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday commute lxxiii: dissolve, dull stain

Perhaps a single pining mandolin
Throbs where cicadas have quarried
To the heart of all misgiving and there
Scratches on silence like a pet locked in ..

I shall recall nights of squinting rain,

Like pig-iron on the hills: bruised
Landscapes of drumming cloud and everywhere
The lack of someone spreading like a stain.

Lawrence Durrell
The Tree of Idleness
Selected Poems
op. cit.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Suppose it were Friday lxvi: Splashmaker tests another stone

   All that good administration
   was able to do, bad manners
   have triumphantly undone.

Villiers David
Advice to my
op. cit.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Glad news of David Ferry

    Mr Ferry has won the
    for the collection
    It was indeed an-
    other occasion of
    happiness and risk.
    It would be unnatur-
    al to suppress the
    impulse to award 
    such prizes, but 
    it is almost unnat-
    ural to do so by
    extreme selection.

    Does such a gesture
    compromise intention
    to commemorate?

    What is saved by
    sharp discernment?
    Who is entitled to
    his simple answer?

    Do we love our
    playing fields be-
    cause their out-
    comes can be fair, 
    and give us broad
    elation in the game?
    Or do we love them
    because they thrust
    up heroes on demand?

    There is a cast of
    mind which has a
    blue state, a cast
    of mind of red. It
    never was more clear
    than just this year.
    It amounts to a dis-
    tinction in what a
    a treasuring is.

    Mr Ferry writes poet-
    ry of structure, bal-
    ance, endurance and
    grace. Our playing
    fields teach us to
    love these qualities
    not as ornaments: as
    features of obliga-
    tion, of readiness 
    for honest play. We
    love Ferry's poetry,
    it shines of rapture
    in the game.


David Ferry
  New Poems and Translations
op. cit.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Please, no jests at a time like this!

Quite right, Mr Hakluyt.
We shall brook no mer-
riment on the pitfalls
of romance in treacher-
ous South Asia. Efface
The Road to Oxiana and
be strict with Louis
Mayer, when faced with
spy arcana, and behav-
iour militaire. Not a
breath of ribald glee,
not a single slap of
knee, may compromise
security of gloom, as
twice imperious effigy
unravels from its loom.

Robert Byron
The Road to Oxiana
Oxford University Press, 2007©

Reading with Mies

Dr Farnsworth's house
in Plano is a moon
viewing platform from
the Katsura Villa in
a field in Illinois,
to conjure some day
a gallery in Texas
where a Raeburn can-
vas gains texture by

i     Collection Kimbell Museum of Art
ii    Residence Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
iii  Louis Kahn
      Kimbell Museum of Art