Page 17 of 22 FirstFirst ... 71213141516171819202122 LastLast
Results 241 to 255 of 324

Thread: Poetry Reading Group Redux- Nominations

  1. #241
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    20,355
    Blog Entries
    248
    Quote Originally Posted by quasimodo1 View Post
    "Already
    Dusk is thickening the air,
    The sky turns deep blue, shadows
    Stretch from the hills and tilting roofs
    In the blanched light of the rising moon." This poem is all about an evening's ambience and atmosphere; Leopardi's usual inclusion of suffering and death and indifferent, hostile nature are absent. The poem, like the relief of a relaxed Saturday evening, is a break from Leopardi's heavier observations. In my reading, the Nichols version lacks the clarity of Grennon's translation. "Of all the seven days in the week
    This one gets the warmest welcome,
    Full of hope, as it is, and joy.
    Tomorrow the hours will be leaden
    With emptiness and melancholy." As Virgil suggests, themes of death are muted; the backround sounds and sights of the village at peace are presented and the only dark themes are for other days of the week.
    I agree with most of the things you say there. The one thing I might quibble over is whether the poem is really about Saturday night. Though it's set on Saturday I think it's real subject is Sunday, as most things are projecting for the next day.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  2. #242
    Registered User quasimodo1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Bensalem, PA 19020
    Posts
    3,267
    The poem does project to the next day; no disagreement there. My take on the poem is that Leopardi is giving us a "you are there" experience for Recanati village as it takes a deep breath before resuming duty.
    Last edited by quasimodo1; 03-19-2010 at 10:46 PM.

  3. #243
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    20,355
    Blog Entries
    248
    Quote Originally Posted by quasimodo1 View Post
    The poem does project to the next day; no disagreement there. My take on the poem is that Leopardi is giving us a "you are there" experience for Recanati village as it takes a deep breath before resuming duty.
    Agreed, and it's a beautifully done "you are there" experience. I loved this poem.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  4. #244
    This celestial seascape! Lynne50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Southern New Jersey near Philadelphia
    Posts
    337
    I didn't get a strong 'death motif' in this poem, only a transition from youth to maturity. I took 'Saturday to mean youth and 'Sunday to mean maturity. It was in the last line, that I think Leopardi was telling us that, while in our youth we are always hoping get to adulthood too fast. We can't wait until we become adults and then we think we have it all.

    ...I'll say no more, only
    Don't fret if your Sunday
    Seems like a long time coming.

    I think Leopardi is telling the youth of the day, don't grow up too fast.
    "What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare." W.H. Davies

  5. #245
    This celestial seascape! Lynne50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Southern New Jersey near Philadelphia
    Posts
    337
    I don't want to rush our discussion of Saturday in the Village but maybe our next poem could be Sunday Evening. It seems like it may be a continuation of Leopardi's theme from the first poem. Not sure why it comes so much later in the collection.

    I did very much like Saturday in the Village It made you feel like you were right there with the townspeople, almost like a little excerpt from a Brueghel painting.
    "What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare." W.H. Davies

  6. #246
    Of Subatomic Importance Quark's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,368
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynne50 View Post
    I don't want to rush our discussion of Saturday in the Village but maybe our next poem could be Sunday Evening.
    Makes sense, but don't go through this one too quickly. I'd like to get a chance to post on the poem. This weekend I should have some time to write, so wait a couple of days before moving on.
    "Par instants je suis le Pauvre Navire
    [...] Par instants je meurs la mort du Pecheur
    [...] O mais! par instants"

    --"Birds in the Night" by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896). Join the discussion here: http://www.online-literature.com/for...5&goto=newpost

  7. #247

    Know all that flowering time/Of yours is like the splendour of a day...

    I take this part as a key passage with the rise of the presence of the narrator in the last part of the poem. All of the earlier activity and the blending of sound and colour is all well and good, but for me the central crux is in the knowing sense of the narrator at the close.

    I like the way Leopardi (through Nichols) has captured the sense of activity, like I say, both in sound and colour from the activity of the various types of people, the old and the young, the ardent labourer and the carefree spirit of youth, as well as the “old crone” who looks back on her younger days with pride. I like how the use of sound represented in the poem is emphasised - the shrilling of the bell, the hammer and saw of the carpenter and the shouts and cheers of the boys in play – it all helps to add to the whole picture of anticipation for the Sunday effectively (though perhaps symbolic of life in general?). However for me it is the shadow of the narrator who tells the boy to “enjoy” the “happy state” and the “pleasant lull” at the close who is most important. “I say no more” he then adds, which suggests to me that we are then forced to fill in the blanks with “for it will not last”.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t particularly see the poem as “dark” as such, maybe something that “just is” but neither I am content to see this poem simply as a pleasant sketch of village life.

  8. #248
    aspiring Arthurianist Wilde woman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    grad school in upstate NY
    Posts
    703
    Thanks Virgil, for the Italian! I have to agree with you that the Nichols version is more accurate and, for me, a more successful poem.

    I'm very drawn to the labourer returning home, and how his thoughts about the Sabbath contrast so sharply with the others'. Anybody else sense a bit of irony there? To me, it seems like an interesting note on which to end the stanza.

    Also, I was really struck by the lines about the setting sun and the village being silhouetted against the white moonlight. Really beautiful.

  9. #249
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Coventry, West Midlands
    Posts
    6,363
    Blog Entries
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by Neely View Post
    I take this part as a key passage with the rise of the presence of the narrator in the last part of the poem. All of the earlier activity and the blending of sound and colour is all well and good, but for me the central crux is in the knowing sense of the narrator at the close.

    I like the way Leopardi (through Nichols) has captured the sense of activity, like I say, both in sound and colour from the activity of the various types of people, the old and the young, the ardent labourer and the carefree spirit of youth, as well as the “old crone” who looks back on her younger days with pride. I like how the use of sound represented in the poem is emphasised - the shrilling of the bell, the hammer and saw of the carpenter and the shouts and cheers of the boys in play – it all helps to add to the whole picture of anticipation for the Sunday effectively (though perhaps symbolic of life in general?). However for me it is the shadow of the narrator who tells the boy to “enjoy” the “happy state” and the “pleasant lull” at the close who is most important. “I say no more” he then adds, which suggests to me that we are then forced to fill in the blanks with “for it will not last”.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t particularly see the poem as “dark” as such, maybe something that “just is” but neither I am content to see this poem simply as a pleasant sketch of village life.
    Good post Neely. I think it is this sense that I meant when I mentioned death through the poem. It is like the narrator's shadow through it:

    the crone facing the last quarter - of her life
    The air beginning to gloom
    The shrill bell announcing the holy day - shrill for me seems to imply some discomfiture
    Tomorrow and sadness - the sadness of tomorrow
    And Neely's point about the narrator's unsaid words.

    There seems to be a few references which I need to think about:
    The crone reference to Arachne who challenged Athene to a weave off and was turned into a spider. She wove the infidelities of he Gods - which may be hinted at more in the Grennan translation in relation to he old woman's past.

    I also wondered about the carpenter. What does he need to work at all night? A coffin perhaps - hot country an all that - though is might be taking it too far. Christ was a carpenter, and the seven days seems to be a creation reference. Does the carpenter make something traditionally for the holy day? I suppose in a sense the holy day is made by Christ.

    Just musing.

  10. #250
    Yes I agree with your list of points, which I didn't mention, but had thought about to some degree in relation to the passing of time. (The tolling of the bell perhaps significant as a knelling bell, calling home a funeral too?) It is hardly coincidence for me that the old woman talks of her youth. I mean of all the things she could have uttered, she happens to coincide with the idea of the passing of time which along with everything else - seems so significant.

    With the colour thing again the description of the sky turning a deep blue all for me points towards the closing of the day (and therefore the life) of the individual which is set against the whiteness of the moon, the purity of a new beginning?

    There also seems to be a strong contrast between the energy of youth, the small boys who "crowd and leap about" with the older figures of the woman and the whistling (more sound) labourer who "thinks happily about his day of rest". I mean the old women even refers to her youth as being lively and tells of her "dancing all the night away". All of this points to an energy of youth, a zest for life, which is not found in those with a wider grasp of time’s passing – at least for me it is more than just the physical energy of youth, it is a mental attitude too or an understanding such as is grasped by the narrator.

    There is also something I think to argue about the pointlessness of it all, despite all the hard work of the labourer there is nothing to look forward to but the one day of rest and the "frugal meal" not exactly that joyful – and of course the “day of rest” could really be taken as death in itself.

    I like your thought about the reference to the carpenter which would seem to sit in terms of our reading of the poem (which seems to be very close) with the obviousness of the Sabbath and its obvious religious connotations.

  11. #251
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Coventry, West Midlands
    Posts
    6,363
    Blog Entries
    36
    Yes - as I was reading it I was thinking of Marvell's

    And always at my back I hear
    Time's winged chariot hurrying near

    In his "To His Coy Mistress"

    and the bell reminded mr of Donne's No Man is an Island with

    Therefore, send not to know
    For whom the bell tolls,
    It tolls for thee.

    Of course I'm not sure if Leopardi would have been aware of these, but the themes seem to fit.

    I like the point about the pointlessness.

  12. #252
    Yes, I think that it is quite a common theme which runs through a whole lot of literary thought in all its diversity. From the ancient to Shakespeare's sonnets, right up to the subtle tolling of Big Ben in Woolf's Dalloway and beyond, it never seems to be that far away. It is certainly the most interesting and salient point in Leopardi's poem for me anyway.

  13. #253
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    20,355
    Blog Entries
    248
    Know all that flowering time/Of yours is like the splendour of a day...
    Neely, we don't have the same translation. Which lines are these? Which stanaza?

    Paul - Excellent observation about the carpenter! I'll have to look at that more closely, but certainly an allusion to Christ is probable.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  14. #254
    Yes no doubt that there may be differences in the translations which affects the reading of it, I have been reading it solely through the Nichols one, only quickly reading the opening stanza of the Grennen which was posted. Nichols translates the last stanza as:

    Playful boy full of zest,
    Know all that flowering time
    Of yours is like the splendour of a day,
    That clear, unclouded day
    Which tends to come before life's festal prime.
    Enjoy it, little boy: a happy state
    Is yours, a pleasant lull.
    I say no more - but if your festival
    Delays, that is no reason for regret.

  15. #255
    This celestial seascape! Lynne50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Southern New Jersey near Philadelphia
    Posts
    337
    Neely After reading your translation of the last stanza, I have to agree that I like it better than Grennan's. Here are some comparisons. (G) Young lad, larking about.. (N) Playful boy, full of zest. Grennan's version, IMO, doesn't have any joy in it. Then there's this one. (G) A cloudless blue day.. (N) That clear, unclouded day.. Again, I think Nichols is more lyrical.

    And lastly, (G) Enjoy it, little one, for this is a state of bliss, a glad season.
    (N) ... instead of saying.. is a state of bliss... Nichols says Is yours, a pleasant lull.

    I state of bliss and a pleasant lull mean two different things to me.

    Thanks for all the insights that have been given so far. It's a wonder we agree at all on the interpretations when our versions are so different.
    "What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare." W.H. Davies

Similar Threads

  1. Light in August - reading group
    By Zee. in forum General Literature
    Replies: 96
    Last Post: 04-15-2012, 09:59 AM
  2. I need to know!
    By kels21 in forum Who Said That?
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 11-06-2006, 06:46 PM
  3. Great Reading Group book
    By Debra in forum The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-14-2006, 07:09 PM
  4. Valentine's Day Reading Nominations
    By Scheherazade in forum Forum Book Club
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 01-25-2006, 01:14 PM
  5. Halloween Reading Nominations
    By Scheherazade in forum Forum Book Club
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 09-28-2005, 07:35 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •