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Poetry/Ecomnium

Rating: 8 votes, 5.00 average.
Pt Two to Mod American Poetry (all under revision)

II

ECOMNIUM TO THE GLORIOUS ROMANTIC ERA

Once upon a midnight dream I saw
Twin toppled towers astride a mottled moon
Which from below a dim-lit bower gazed on
Between two tree tops hung in wretched gloom

The arbor door cracked, revealed a somber sprite
Whose hollowed eyes bespoke some horrid tale
A tragic figure! This small frame all wrapped in white
Which hurried to the far side of the dale.

Before the armied forest she ceased her flight
Aside a weak Willow, its bleak face buried in the ground
Then stretched forth her hand, released some glinted gold
Spread forth the shiny dew-drops all around.

The gilded tears glimmered, shimmied grim unnatural dance -
A terrible twosome tango betwix the lunar haze
That pierced the darkness like a wicked wizard’s glance -
Then rose up - nay, grew - from ghastly flowers into graves!

“These are my children” she moaned or seemed to, for her lips stayed fixed
Like twins attached.
“An unearthly school, a mottled lot from another shore.
This one, a white albatross brought home, and this one, a black raven named Lenore.”

Lenore. At that name a diabolical pitch arose from below the freckled dust
A paralyzing sound, unutterable! No human word could form
The cacophonic cries that soared from that damnable ground,
Or shape the wraiths which ascended from that condemned shore.

With ghoulish countenances each, in turn, took a bow
And introduced himself, first Coleridge, then Byron and Yeats,
Poe recited a melancholic round while Wollstonecraft read verse
To Shelly and Johann Keats.

Then that cursed light whose advent heralds the sun
Stormed through the shade, across my naked cheeks
To peer below my peaceful, virgiled lids
And with grim reality, my dreamer’s dream erased -
NEVERMORE!

Here's Pt 1 with accompanying explanation...


MODERN AMERICAN POETRY

Naked Poetasters
Streaming verse of “ideas”
Couched in pop politics and religion
Of the current age.

“Naked” as in “the emperor has no clothes“. “Ideas” a reference to WC William’s mandate “no ideas but in things” (may change it to things for clarity). “Pop politics and religion” reference the content or at the very least the framework for the majority of contemporary A. poetry.

The preeminent aristocrats
Pontificate supreme fiction philosophy

Supreme Fiction philosophy is a Wallace Steven’s concept.

Their withered straws of novelty
- Wilted and impotent -
Lying on the butcher’s reading table.

Phallic allusion: “Withered Straws”. Their novelty is old and powerless. The juxtaposition of “butcher” with this allusion is intended to frighten. “Butcher” simultaneously refers to contemporary publishers, essentially bribed buyers who “hack” and “destroy” the product before publishing it.

But what about the stark imagist?
Dressed in clown clothes and a pot hat

An allusion to the clown in Beckett’s Godot. Just as Beckett mocks their waiting with a farce, so I mock the imagist with an absurd image. Also, a guy at Walmart has a “flowerpot” hat. I love the idea of doubling the absurdity.

Ringing UPC labels through
The commercial product mood.

These “images” are “products” sold on the mass market.

“A Red Wheelbarrow, one White Horse
And Trees in the Garden.

Red Wheelbarrow - a WC Williams reference. The horse and trees refer to poems by D.H. Lawrence.

That will be two Pulitzer Prizes
And acknowledgement from Harvard,
Please.”

My study of Modern American Poetry has shown that most promoted poets have attended this prestigious school, and it’s well known that only the elite gain entry to it. Using a Venn diagram, one can easily see how this precludes the common man (however talented he may be) from success.

A costly Wasteland you say ? Indeed.

Wasteland = Pound.

But we do take credit, check or money
Order made out to our finest institutions.

Another reference to Harvard.

Oh, I see.
Your poetry’s simple and plain you say?
A droll realist like E Hemingway?

Don’t worry, that’s perfectly okay
A phony friendship or two will do,
With Gertrude Stein or Mr. McGoo!

Aside from attending Harvard, the other method poets have successfully employed is befriending and playing mentee to an existing power player. Stein and Pound are famous for mentoring upcoming poets.

We do very good business here, you see.
At Walmart’s Renaissance School of Three!
The Lost Generation’s on sale in France
In William Faulkner’s underpants!
(Were they never lost?)

Reference to so-called Renaissance and Lost Generation schools, which epitomized the “famous-by-friendship” method.

II

ECOMNIUM TO THE GLORIOUS ROMANTIC ERA

Once upon a midnight dream I saw
Twin toppled towers astride a mottled moon
Which from below a dim-lit bower gazed on
Between two tree tops hung in wretched gloom

The arbor door cracked, revealed a somber sprite
Whose hollowed eyes bespoke some horrid tale
A tragic figure! This small frame all wrapped in white
Which hurried to the far side of the dale.

Before the armied forest she ceased her flight
Aside a weak Willow, its bleak face buried in the ground
Then stretched forth her hand, released some glinted gold
Spread forth the shiny dew-drops all around.

The gilded tears glimmered, shimmied grim unnatural dance -
A terrible twosome tango betwix the lunar haze
That pierced the darkness like a wicked wizard’s glance -
Then rose up - nay, grew - from ghastly flowers into graves!

“These are my children” she moaned or seemed to, for her lips stayed fixed
Like twins attached.
“An unearthly school, a mottled lot from another shore.
This one, a white albatross brought home, and this one, a black raven named Lenore.”

Lenore. At that name a diabolical pitch arose from below the freckled dust
A paralyzing sound, unutterable! No human word could form
The cacophonic cries that soared from that damnable ground,
Or shape the wraiths which ascended from that condemned shore.

With ghoulish countenances each, in turn, took a bow
And introduced himself, first Coleridge, then Byron and Yeats,
Poe recited a melancholic round while Wollstonecraft read verse
To Shelly and Johann Keats.

Then that cursed light whose advent heralds the sun
Stormed through the shade, across my naked cheeks
To peer below my peaceful, virgiled lids
And with grim reality, my dreamer’s dream erased -
NEVERMORE!
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Comments

  1. Niamh's Avatar
    nice poem Countess. full of imagery.
  2. kiz_paws's Avatar
    OMG, Countess ... brilliant. Your final verse was the crowning glory, bravo! (also, the explanations were a nice touch, helps everyone get a feel for what it was that you were shootin' at!)
  3. applepie's Avatar
    I don't know much about writing poetry, but I enjoyed your poem when I read it. I really liked the images painted in my head while I was reading the beginning. ~Meg~
  4. GrayFoxDown's Avatar
    Some strange, profound and wonderful imagery in your poems (in the manner, I think, of Browning's "Childe Harolde to the Dark Tower Came"); if anything, it's captivating and engrossing. However, in your "More American Poetry," isn't "Wasteland" associated with Eliot and not Pound? T.S. was the most romantic of modernist poets: THE WASTELAND (as I read it) being an attack on Modernism's failed efforts along with the modern world's. Insofar as butchery in publishing is concerned, the "butchers" really thrived before the advent of international copyright laws (this was one of Dickens' favorite gripes).
  5. andave_ya's Avatar
    bravo, bravo, bravo! Lovely imagery indeed, and the literary references are brilliant!