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#5128 05/17/01 03:23 PM
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Pellegrinaggio

In agguato
in queste budella
di macerie
ore e ore
ho strascicato
la mia carcassa
usata dal fango
come una suola
o come un seme
di spinalba

Ungaretti
uomo di pena
ti basta un'illusione
per farti coraggio

Un riflettore
di lE
mette un mare
nella nebbia

Ungaretti (thinking of emanuela)



#5129 05/18/01 02:12 AM
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another from the Rubaiyat:

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, A Loaf of Bread-and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness-
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!


chronist

#5130 05/18/01 09:27 AM
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Mist edged its way across the knoll,
Whilst sunlight rose below.
Atop horizon's velvet prop,
She cast her stifled glow.

The time is seven, clear and true,
Yet my temper is not so,
I tried the tonics, weak and strong,
That I might allay my woe.

Now I set myself down, slotting in,
Beside this fleeting morn,
Each time mixed up throughout my games,
No different now this dawn.

Impatient perhaps zealous,
For I wasn't sure which one,
I traced footsteps in sodden shoes
back from where I'd come

Amidst heavy heart and broadening sky,
Feet shuffled down lush lines,
Glancing up, I saw a second path,
Which intertwined with mine.

Veering right along the hillside's face,
the helix brought me back;
to where I'd stood just prior to
my solemn homeward track

Shimmering on that lone hill
in her true and rightful place,
Stood she in all her splendour true,
With a ruddy, beaming face

The sun akin, aptly lit the mount
Now ablaze with promise, ..fate
Falling to my knees in bliss,
I pledged to her my faith.


#5131 05/18/01 09:36 AM
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I have heard, and I forget where, that Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubiyat is not very accurate and that several of the better known passages were ones he completely made up. Can anyone confirm/refute this?

Bingley


Bingley
#5132 05/18/01 10:20 AM
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> ...he completely made up

Is it not the case with many translations Bingley, particularly in poetry? The vast majority of the content often reflects the translators understanding of what he read, his spin on it, so to speak. It's like trying to look out onto a landscape through a stained-glass window: the general form can be discerned but nothing is as crisp and clear. Nevertheless my grandfather cherished the Fitzgerald Rubiyat regardless of whether the original text was just(!) a catalyst for his own creation.


#5133 05/18/01 02:22 PM
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Yes, Bingley, there is a lot of truth in what you have asked. The first quatrain, in particualr, ("Awake, for Morning into the bowl of night / Has cast the Stone that puts the stars to flight / and Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught / The Sultan's turret in a Noose of Light." {5th edn}{{EDIT: what AM I thinking about!! that is the 1st edition!}}) bears but a passing echo of some of the sentiments expressed by the Tentmaker. There is a vast difference in the words used to express the Dawning of the Day between the one I've quoted, which is his 1st edition, to the version he uses in the 5th edition, itself not at all the same as the 2nd edition!! Every quatrain is Fitzgerald's interpretation rather than his translation, of the original. This is shown, to some extent by the changes he makes to some of the quatrains from one edition to the next. (The absolutely top-famous quatrain about the book of verse, the loaf of bread, the flask of wine, and thou beside me in the wilderness, is a classic example of this - LIU!)
But I think - as BY has already suggested, that the strength of Fitzgeralds work lies in his capture of the spirit of Khayyam (Khayyam himself would, doubtless, have said it was the wine, not the spirit )

And to Avy, I will heartily agree that his chosen quatrain is also a firm favourite of mine - it was just, I think, that the previous postings had suggested the other two more strongly in my mind. And "The moving Finger writes ... " has been so overused - - -. (But is still a powerful piece of imagery, hey?)


#5134 05/18/01 11:10 PM
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Of the whole variety of poetry I love, the ones I can return to most naturally again and again (apart from Shakespeare) are the Romantics, tho not particularly Wordsworse. Keats To Autumn sticks in my mind:

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

And bel, specially for you I could recite La Belle Dame sans Merci

I met a lady in the meads
Full beautiful, a faery's child;
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.
I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long;
For sideways would she lean, and sing
A faery's song


Rime of the Ancient Mariner has certain stanzas that stick but I stumble over most of it however many times I go back:

With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe,
And forward bends his head,
The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,
Then southward aye we fled


Also a vivid favourite is Sam Ts Frost at Midnight

The Frost performs its secret ministry,
Unhelped by any wind. The owlet's cry
Came loud--and hark, again! loud as before.
The inmates of my cottage, all at rest,
Have left me to that solitude, which suits
Abstruser musings, save that at my side
My cradled infant slumbers peacefully.
'Tis calm indeed, so calm! - that it disturbs
And vexes meditation with its strange
And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and wood,
This populous village! Sea, and hill, and wood,
With all the numberless goings-on of life,
Inaudible as dreams! The thin blue flame
Lies on my low-burnt fire, and quivers not


Of all those I mumble to myself (and others, if they are too slow to join the other wedding guests!) the absolute old favourite is the strange and evocative magic of Kubla Khan

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery..

Perhaps this has something of the spirit you and Rhu were talking about, Avy?


#5135 05/19/01 03:18 AM
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Oh, maverick! Kubla Kahn is nearly my favorite!
William Blake's intro. to Songs of Innocence is first, though: it just rings with joy!

Introduction

Piping down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me:

``Pipe a song about a Lamb!''
So I piped with merry chear.
``Piper, pipe that song again;''
So I piped: he wept to hear.

``Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;
Sing thy songs of happy chear:''
So I sung the same again,
While he wept with joy to hear.

``Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book, that all may read.''
So he vanish'd from my sight,
And I pluck'd a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,
And I stain'd the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs,
Every child may joy to hear.


#5136 05/19/01 03:53 AM
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Oh, maverick! Kubla Kahn is nearly my favorite!

Ditto, though for me, first place would be almost anything by Emily Dickinson


MUCH madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
T is the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demur,you re straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.



#5137 05/19/01 04:16 AM
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While hunting for another of my all-time favourites, Shelley's Ozymandias,

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed.

And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.



I stumbled across this,
http://www.wmich.edu/english/tchg/lit/pms/ozymand-rival.html

Methinks that even I could do a better job of naming a sonnet!



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