T.S. Elliot, Beyond “The Wasteland”

   FOR EZRA POUND
                                IL MIGLIOR FABBRO
              I. The Burial of the Dead
  April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

 

LINK TO ANNOTATION OF The Wasteland: http://genius.it/www.bartleby.com/201/1.html

I cannot praise The Wasteland enough, but I will leave you with the first few lines for now, and, as experience as taught me, April most certainly is the cruellest month. But as Fitzgerald said:

“Well, let it pass, he thought; April is over, April is over. There are all kinds of love in the world, but never the same love twice.”-The Sensible Thing

Please click this LINK: http://genius.com/artists/Ts-eliot

and read all of TS Elliot’s poetry, but especially:

1. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

2. Rhapsody on a Windy Night

3. Portrait of a Lady

4. The Four Quartets

5. Little Gidding

and

6. Hysteria

Some of his lines from the above selections “which cross and cross across [my] brain” (Rhapsody on a Windy Night):

 

1: “Do I dare disturb the universe?”

“Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent”

“In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.”

“And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,”

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;”

“Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?”
  “Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
               That is not it, at all.”
“Do I dare to eat a peach?”

Continue reading “T.S. Elliot, Beyond “The Wasteland””

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Baudelaire, “Les fleurs du Mal”

39. ‘I give to you these verses’

I give to you these verses, that, if in

Some future time my name lands happily

To bring brief pleasure to humanity,

The craft supported by a great north wind,

 

Your memory, like tales from ancient times,

Will bore the reader like a dulcimer,

And by a strange fraternal chain live here

As if suspended in my lofty rhymes.

 

From deepest pit into the highest sky

Damned being, only I can bear you now.

-O shadow, barely present to the eye,

 

You lightly step, with a serene regard

On mortal fools who’ve judged you mean and hard-

Angel with eyes of jet, great burnished brow!

 

39. ‘Je te donne ces vers…’
Je te donne ces vers afin que si mon nom

Aborde heureusement aux époques lointaines,

Et fait rêver un soir les cervelles humaines,

Vaisseau favorisé par un grand aquilon,

 

Ta mémoire, pareille aux fables incertaines,

Fatigue le lecteur ainsi qu’un tympanon,

Et par un fraternel et mystique chaînon

Reste comme pendue à mes rimes hautaines;

 

Être maudit à qui; de l’abîme profond

Jusqu’au plus haut du ciel, rien, hors moi, ne répond!

-Ô toi qui, comme une ombre à la trace éphémère,

 

Foules d’un pied léger et d’un regard serein

Les stupides mortels qui t’ont jugée amère,

Statue aux yeux de jais, grand ange au front d’airain!

Continue reading “Baudelaire, “Les fleurs du Mal””

Jessica

“The Merchant of Venice”

Literature:

The Mercent of Venice-Shakespeare: http://shakespeare.mit.edu/merchant/full.html

Ophelia

One of my favorite Shakespearian plays, Hamlet is beloved for Hamlet’s sharp wit, visceral melancholy, and famous  “To be or not to be” speech.

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Hugues Merle- Hamlet and Ophelia

BUT Poor Ophelia, caught in the arms of Hamlet in her grave, he swearing by forty-thousand brothers, all too late. Like Helena Bonham Carter, I agree that the character of Ophelia is paled to Hamlet certainly, but throughout the entire play as well. Her ‘mad scene’ is as significant to that of Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking scene, perhaps more subtle, but nonetheless imbued with meaning. Like Macbeth, the audience never witnesses the leading lady’s suicide, and each women’s tragic influence by their male counterparts is rarely acknowledged. Ophelia, driven mad with her father’s murder at the hands of her lover, lost completely without Polonius’ or Laertes’ guidance, devastated by an absent Hamlet’s scorn, on the surface seems to revert back to childhood, wandering the halls of Elsinore, unkept and furtive, singing. However, her song is a vulgar one, a dirge of an unrequited lover.

ophelia-1889
Ophelia (1889)-John William Waterhouse

Ophelia is known as a naive, obedient child. But she is much more than that. She lived in the shadow of men with loose tongues all her life, and when they left one by one, first her brother, Laertes, then her father, Polonius, and lastly, her lover, Hamlet, she had no way to tell which way was north and which was south, and she lost her way. She was torn between loyalty to her heart, Hamlet, and her blood, Polonius, never having been shown loyalty and love to herself. As the bearer of truth, she is doomed to die, and be ignored, misunderstood, taken advantage of, and under appreciated.

Literature:

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark-William Shakespeare-http://shakespeare.mit.edu/hamlet/full.html

Hamlet and His Problems by T.S. Elliot-http://www.bartleby.com/200/sw9.html

Music:

The Lumineers-“Ophelia”:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTOC_q0NLTk

Film:

  1. Hamlet (1990) directed by Franco Zeffirelli, with Helena Bonham Carter as Ophelia

LINK TO interview with Helena Bonham Carter for Hamlet:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI0N0JIOY50&feature=youtu.be

2. Hamlet (1996) directed by Kenneth Branagh who stars as Hamlet. Full adaptation of the play (just under 4 hrs)

HAMLET
That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should
admit no discourse to your beauty.

OPHELIA
Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than
with honesty?

HAMLET
Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner
transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the
force of honesty can translate beauty into his
likeness: this was sometime a paradox, but now the
time gives it proof. I did love you once.

OPHELIA
Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.

HAMLET
You should not have believed me; for virtue cannot
so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of
it: I loved you not.

OPHELIA
I was the more deceived.

HAMLET
Get thee to a nunnery: why wouldst thou be a
breeder of sinners?

Robin Hood

Robin and Maid Marian

Another obsession of mine: the historical and literary figure, force, and legend Robin Hood.

How much was man and how much myth? Does it matter?

 

Lady Marian: “Why, you speak treason!”

Robin Hood: “Fluently.”

-The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

 

Films

  1. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LChoIULnPo
  2. Robin Hood BBC Series Seasons 1 & 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSJ7yzl9rJY
  3. Robin of Sherwood Series (1984-1986)

Books

  1. The Adventures of Robin Hood by J. Walker McSpadden