Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A day for the attention span

To what can one object, as
Summer's statecraft rituals
persist in their debauch of
sweetness' time, itself? On-
ly their redundancy? Or the
pond'rous turn they give to
emptiness. A second treaty
of Portsmouth in 111 years,
another grief cycle in Dal-
las: really, the same day?

  Like you, one feared all of
  this coincidence would soon
  be snatched up, as it seem-
  ingly always is these days,
  as irony, and not the mean-
  ingless proof of our rather
  long sojourn in one place.

  Pope understood where we'd
  be, in a brilliant defense
  of allegory as preamble to
  his Temple of Fame. It's a
  schoolboy's recollection -
  and it's obvious, where it
  comes from. If it rolls a-
  long, it isn't irony, it's
  leading one to expect it.

          ..                     behold another Crowd
          Prefer'd the same Request, and lowly bow'd,
          The constant Tenour of whose well-spent Days
          No less deserv'd a just return of Praise.
          But strait the direful Trump or Slander sounds,
          Thro' the big Dome the doubling Thunder sounds,
          Loud as the Burst of Cannon rends the Skies,
          The dire Report thro' ev'ry Region flies:
          In ev'ry Ear incessant Rumours rung,
          And gath'ring Scandals grew on ev'ry Tongue.
          From the black Trumpet's rusty Concave broke
          Sulphureous Flames, and Clouds of rolling Smoke:
          The pois'nous Vapor blots the purple Skies,
          And withers all before it as it flies.

Alexander Pope
The Poems of
  Alexander Pope
John Butt,
  The Temple of Fame
  328 - 341
Yale University Press, 1963©
op. cit.

Piergiorgio Branzi

Damon Winter
  Donald Trump
  June 13, 2016
The New York Times©

Rui Morais de Sousa

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