My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.
Monday, August 18
Twirling your blue skirts, travelling the sward
Under the towers of your seminary,
Go listen to your teachers old and contrary
Without believing a word.
Tie the white fillets then about your hair
And think no more of what will come to pass
Than bluebirds that go walking on the grass
And chattering on the air.
Practice your beauty, blue girls, before it fail;
And I will cry with my loud lips and publish
Beauty which all our power shall never establish,
It is so frail.
For I could tell you a story which is true;
I know a woman with a terrible tongue,
Blear eyes fallen from blue,
All her perfections tarnished—yet it is not long
Since she was lovelier than any of you.
Another by Ransom that echoes T. S. Eliot’s warning in “The Hollow Men,” in which the world ends, “not with a bang, but a whimper.” In “The End of the World,” Ransom envisions the world as a circus, with all the meaninglessness of near-comical circus acts, ending with the top being blown off and the frightening image above of an immense bird of prey, black skies, and “nothing, nothing, nothing--nothing at all.”
Quite unexpectedly, as Vasserot
The armless ambidextrian was lighting
A match between his great and second toe,
And Ralph the lion was engaged in biting
The neck of Madame Sossman while the drum
Pointed, and teeny was about to cough
In waltz-time swinging Jocko by the thumb
Quite unexpectedly the top blew off:
And there, there overhead, there, there hung over
Those thousands of white faces, those dazed eyes,
There in the starless dark, the poise, the hover,
There with vast wings across the cancelled skies,
There in the sudden blackness the black pall
Of nothing, nothing, nothing—nothing at all.
The poet uses a combination of the English and Italian sonnet, English by the rhyme pattern and Italian by the octave/sestet split. Two paradoxes stand out: an armless ambidextrian and this huge bird which is really nothing. All the circus images are in the tradition of Theatre of the Absurd, funny but also frightening, saying something about the absurdity of life on earth. The other thing worth mentioning is the unnerving staccato of the sestet, “there” repeated seven times and “nothing” repeated four times. I loved teaching this poem, and most of my students, still babes-in-arms, probably hated its dark pessimism.
- ► 2017 (71)
- ► 2016 (143)
- ► 2015 (133)
- ▼ August (14)
- ► 2013 (152)
- ► 2012 (226)
- ► 2011 (218)
- ► 2010 (120)