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Flashcards in Quotes Deck (261):
1

The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; -on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night air!...
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light..

Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach

2

He disappeared in the dead of winter:
The brooks were frozen, the airports almost deserted,
And snow disfigured the public statues;
The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day.
What instruments we have agree
The day of his death was a dark cold day.

WH Auden, In Memory of WB Yeats
(Section 1)

3

You were silly like us; your gift survived it all:
The parish of rich women, physical decay,
Yourself. Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry.
Now Ireland has her madness and her weather still,
For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives
In the valley of its making where executives
Would never want to tamper, flows on south
From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs,
Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives,
A way of happening, a mouth.

Earth, receive an honoured guest:
William Yeats is laid to rest.
Let the Irish vessel lie
Emptied of its poetry.

WH Auden, In Memory of WB Yeats
(section 2)

4

In the nightmare of the dark
All the dogs of Europe bark,
And the living nations wait,
Each sequestered in its hate

In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.

WH Auden, In Memory of WB Yeats
(Section 3)

5

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

W.H. Auden “Musée des Beaux Arts”

6

YES! in the sea of life enisled,
With echoing straits between us thrown,
Dotting the shoreless watery wild,
We mortal millions live alone.
The islands feel the enclasping flow,
And then their endless bounds they know.

But when the moon their hollows lights,
And they are swept by balms of spring,
And in their glens, on starry nights,
The nightingales divinely sing;
And lovely notes, from shore to shore,
Across the sounds and channels pour–

Oh! then a longing like despair
Is to their farthest caverns sent;
For surely once, they feel, we were
Parts of a single continent!
Now round us spreads the watery plain–
Oh might our marges meet again!

Who order’d, that their longing’s fire
Should be, as soon as kindled, cool’d?
Who renters vain their deep desire?–
A God, a God their severance ruled!
And bade betwixt their shores to be
The unplumb’d, salt, estranging sea.

Matthew Arnold, “To Marguerite—Continued”

7

"The young man's mind was carried away by his growing passion for dreams. One looking at him would not have thought him particularly sharp. With the recollection of little things occupying his mind he closed his eyes and leaned back in the car seat. He stayed that way for a long time and when he aroused himself and again looked out of the car window the town of Winesburg had disappeared and his life there had become but a background on which to paint his dreams of his manhood."

Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio (1919)

8

“Dixon was alive again. Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way; not for him the slow, gracious wandering from the halls of sleep, but a summary, forcible ejection. He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of the morning. The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he’d somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad.”

Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim (1954)

9

“Perhaps down in his heart Okonkwo was not a cruel man. But his whole life was dominated by fear, the fear of failure and of weakness.

It was deeper and more intimate that the fear of evil and capricious gods and of magic, the fear of the forest, and of the forces of nature, malevolent, red in tooth and claw.

Okonkwo’s fear was greater than these. It was not external but lay deep within himself.”

Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart (1958)

10

Were I the Moor I would not be Iago.
In following him I follow but myself;
Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
But seeming so for my peculiar end.
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
The native act and figure of my heart
In compliment extern, ’tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws to peck at. I am not what I am.

Othello
(I.i.57–65)

In this early speech, Iago explains his tactics to Roderigo. He follows Othello not out of “love” or “duty,” but because he feels he can exploit and dupe his master, thereby revenging himself upon the man he suspects of having slept with his wife. Iago finds that people who are what they seem are foolish. The day he decides to demonstrate outwardly what he feels inwardly, Iago explains, will be the day he makes himself most vulnerable: “I will wear my heart upon my sleeve / For daws to peck at.” His implication, of course, is that such a day will never come.

This speech exemplifies Iago’s cryptic and elliptical manner of speaking. Phrases such as “Were I the Moor I would not be Iago” and “I am not what I am” hide as much as, if not more than, they reveal. Iago is continually playing a game of deception, even with Roderigo and the audience. The paradox or riddle that the speech creates is emblematic of Iago’s power throughout the play: his smallest sentences (“Think, my lord?” in III.iii.109) or gestures (beckoning Othello closer in Act IV, scene i) open up whole worlds of interpretation.

11

My noble father,
I do perceive here a divided duty.
To you I am bound for life and education.
My life and education both do learn me
How to respect you. You are the lord of my duty,
I am hitherto your daughter. But here’s my husband,
And so much duty as my mother showed
To you, preferring you before her father,
So much I challenge that I may profess
Due to the Moor my lord.

Othello
(I.iii.179–188)

These words, which Desdemona speaks to her father before the Venetian senate, are her first of the play. Her speech shows her thoughtfulness, as she does not insist on her loyalty to Othello at the expense of respect for her father, but rather acknowledges that her duty is “divided.” Because Desdemona is brave enough to stand up to her father and even partially rejects him in public, these words also establish for the audience her courage and her strength of conviction. Later, this same ability to separate different degrees and kinds of affection will make Desdemona seek, without hesitation, to help Cassio, thereby fueling Othello’s jealousy. Again and again, Desdemona speaks clearly and truthfully, but, tragically, Othello is poisoned by Iago’s constant manipulation of language and emotions and is therefore blind to Desdemona’s honesty.

12

Haply for I am black,
And have not those soft parts of conversation
That chamberers have; or for I am declined
Into the vale of years—yet that’s not much—
She’s gone. I am abused, and my relief
Must be to loathe her. O curse of marriage,
That we can call these delicate creatures ours
And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad
And live upon the vapor of a dungeon
Than keep a corner in the thing I love
For others’ uses. Yet ’tis the plague of great ones;
Prerogatived are they less than the base.
’Tis destiny unshunnable, like death.

Othello
(III.iii.267–279)

When, in Act I, scene iii, Othello says that he is “rude” in speech, he shows that he does not really believe his own claim by going on to deliver a lengthy and very convincing speech about how he won Desdemona over with his wonderful storytelling (I.iii.81). However, after Iago has raised Othello’s suspicions about his wife’s fidelity, Othello seems to have at least partly begun to believe that he is inarticulate and barbaric, lacking “those soft parts of conversation / That chamberers [those who avoid practical labor and confine their activities to the ‘chambers’ of ladies] have.” This is also the first time that Othello himself, and not Iago, calls negative attention to either his race or his age. His conclusion that Desdemona is “gone” shows how far Iago’s insinuations about Cassio and Desdemona have taken Othello: in a matter of a mere 100 lines or so, he has progressed from belief in his conjugal happiness to belief in his abandonment.

The ugly imagery that follows this declaration of abandonment—Othello finds Desdemona to be a mere “creature” of “appetite” and imagines himself as a “toad” in a “dungeon”—anticipates his later speech in Act IV, scene ii, in which he compares Desdemona to a “cistern for foul toads / To knot and gender in,” and says that she is as honest “as summer flies are in the shambles [slaughterhouses], / That quicken even with blowing” (IV.ii.63–64, 68–69). Othello’s comment, “’tis the plague of great ones,” shows that the only potential comfort Othello finds in his moment of hopelessness is his success as a soldier, which proves that he is not “base.” He attempts to consider his wife’s purported infidelity as an inevitable part of his being a great man, but his comfort is halfhearted and unconvincing, and he concludes by resigning himself to cuckoldry as though it were “death.”

13

I am glad I have found this napkin.
This was her first remembrance from the Moor,
My wayward husband hath a hundred times
Wooed me to steal it, but she so loves the token—
For he conjured her she should ever keep it—
That she reserves it evermore about her
To kiss and talk to. I’ll ha’ the work ta’en out,
And give’t Iago. What he will do with it,
Heaven knows, not I.
I nothing, but to please his fantasy.

Othello
(III.iii.294–303)

This speech of Emilia’s announces the beginning of Othello’s “handkerchief plot,” a seemingly insignificant event—the dropping of a handkerchief—that becomes the means by which Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, Roderigo, Emilia, and even Iago himself are completely undone. Before Othello lets the handkerchief fall from his brow, we have neither heard of nor seen it. The primary function of Emilia’s speech is to explain the prop’s importance: as the first gift Othello gave Desdemona, it represents their oldest and purest feelings for one another.

While the fact that Iago “hath a hundred times / Wooed me to steal it” immediately tips off the audience to the handkerchief’s imminently prominent place in the tragic sequence of events, Emilia seems entirely unsuspicious. To her, the handkerchief is literally a trifle, “light as air,” and this is perhaps why she remains silent about the handkerchief’s whereabouts even when Desdemona begins to suffer for its absence. It is as though Emilia cannot, or refuses to, imagine that her husband would want the handkerchief for any devious reason. Many critics have found Emilia’s silence about the handkerchief—and in fact the entire handkerchief plot—a great implausibility, and it is hard to disagree with this up to a point. At the same time, however, it serves as yet another instance in which Iago has the extraordinary power to make those around him see only what they want to see, and thereby not suspect what is obviously suspicious.

14

Then must you speak
Of one that loved not wisely but too well,
Of one not easily jealous but, being wrought,
Perplexed in the extreme; of one whose hand,
Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away
Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued eyes,
Albeit unused to the melting mood,
Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
Their medicinable gum. Set you down this,
And say besides that in Aleppo once,
Where a malignant and a turbaned Turk
Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,
I took by th’ throat the circumcised dog
And smote him thus.

Othello
(V.ii.341-354)

With these final words, Othello stabs himself in the chest. In this farewell speech, Othello reaffirms his position as a figure who is simultaneously a part of and excluded from Venetian society. The smooth eloquence of the speech and its references to “Arabian trees,” “Aleppo,” and a “malignant and a turbaned Turk” remind us of Othello’s long speech in Act I, scene iii, lines 127–168, and of the tales of adventure and war with which he wooed Desdemona. No longer inarticulate with grief as he was when he cried, “O fool! fool! fool!,” Othello seems to have calmed himself and regained his dignity and, consequently, our respect (V.ii.332). He reminds us once again of his martial prowess, the quality that made him famous in Venice. At the same time, however, by killing himself as he is describing the killing of a Turk, Othello identifies himself with those who pose a military—and, according to some, a psychological—threat to Venice, acknowledging in the most powerful and awful way the fact that he is and will remain very much an outsider. His suicide is a kind of martyrdom, a last act of service to the state, as he kills the only foe he has left to conquer: himself.

15

The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood,
Stop up th’access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
Th’ effect and it. Come to my woman’s breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature’s mischief. Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
To cry ‘Hold, hold!’

Lady Macbeth speaks these words in Act 1, scene 5, lines 36–52, as she awaits the arrival of King Duncan at her castle. We have previously seen Macbeth’s uncertainty about whether he should take the crown by killing Duncan. In this speech, there is no such confusion, as Lady Macbeth is clearly willing to do whatever is necessary to seize the throne. Her strength of purpose is contrasted with her husband’s tendency to waver. This speech shows the audience that Lady Macbeth is the real steel behind Macbeth and that her ambition will be strong enough to drive her husband forward. At the same time, the language of this speech touches on the theme of masculinity— “unsex me here / . . . / . . . Come to my woman’s breasts, / And take my milk for gall,” Lady Macbeth says as she prepares herself to commit murder. The language suggests that her womanhood, represented by breasts and milk, usually symbols of nurture, impedes her from performing acts of violence and cruelty, which she associates with manliness. Later, this sense of the relationship between masculinity and violence will be deepened when Macbeth is unwilling to go through with the murders and his wife tells him, in effect, that he needs to “be a man” and get on with it.

16

If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
It were done quickly. If th’assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
With his surcease success: that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all, here,
But here upon this bank and shoal of time,
We’d jump the life to come. But in these cases
We still have judgement here, that we but teach
Bloody instructions which, being taught, return
To plague th’inventor. This even-handed justice
Commends th’ingredience of our poisoned chalice
To our own lips. He’s here in double trust:
First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
Who should against his murderer shut the door,
Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued against
The deep damnation of his taking-off,
And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubin, horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye
That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition which o’erleaps itself
And falls on th’other.

In this soliloquy, which is found in Act 1, scene 7, lines 1–28, Macbeth debates whether he should kill Duncan. When he lists Duncan’s noble qualities (he “[h]ath borne his faculties so meek”) and the loyalty that he feels toward his king (“I am his kinsman and his subject”), we are reminded of just how grave an outrage it is for the couple to slaughter their ruler while he is a guest in their house. At the same time, Macbeth’s fear that “[w]e still have judgement here, that we but teach / Bloody instructions which, being taught, return / To plague th’inventor,” foreshadows the way that his deeds will eventually come back to haunt him. The imagery in this speech is dark—we hear of “bloody instructions,” “deep damnation,” and a “poisoned chalice”—and suggests that Macbeth is aware of how the murder would open the door to a dark and sinful world. At the same time, he admits that his only reason for committing murder, “ambition,” suddenly seems an insufficient justification for the act. The destruction that comes from unchecked ambition will continue to be explored as one of the play’s themes. As the soliloquy ends, Macbeth seems to resolve not to kill Duncan, but this resolve will only last until his wife returns and once again convinces him, by the strength of her will, to go ahead with their plot.

17

Whence is that knocking?—
How is’t with me, when every noise appals me?
What hands are here! Ha, they pluck out mine eyes.
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red.

Macbeth says this in Act 2, scene 2, lines 55–61. He has just murdered Duncan, and the crime was accompanied by supernatural portents. Now he hears a mysterious knocking on his gate, which seems to promise doom. (In fact, the person knocking is Macduff, who will indeed eventually destroy Macbeth.) The enormity of Macbeth’s crime has awakened in him a powerful sense of guilt that will hound him throughout the play. Blood, specifically Duncan’s blood, serves as the symbol of that guilt, and Macbeth’s sense that “all great Neptune’s ocean” cannot cleanse him—that there is enough blood on his hands to turn the entire sea red—will stay with him until his death. Lady Macbeth’s response to this speech will be her prosaic remark, “A little water clears us of this deed” (2.2.65). By the end of the play, however, she will share Macbeth’s sense that Duncan’s murder has irreparably stained them with blood.

18

Out, damned spot; out, I say. One, two,—why, then ’tis time to do’t. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier and afeard? What need we fear who knows it when none can call our power to account? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?

These words are spoken by Lady Macbeth in Act 5, scene 1, lines 30–34, as she sleepwalks through Macbeth’s castle on the eve of his battle against Macduff and Malcolm. Earlier in the play, she possessed a stronger resolve and sense of purpose than her husband and was the driving force behind their plot to kill Duncan. When Macbeth believed his hand was irreversibly bloodstained earlier in the play, Lady Macbeth had told him, “A little water clears us of this deed” (2.2.65). Now, however, she too sees blood. She is completely undone by guilt and descends into madness. It may be a reflection of her mental and emotional state that she is not speaking in verse; this is one of the few moments in the play when a major character—save for the witches, who speak in four-foot couplets—strays from iambic pentameter. Her inability to sleep was foreshadowed in the voice that her husband thought he heard while killing the king—a voice crying out that Macbeth was murdering sleep. And her delusion that there is a bloodstain on her hand furthers the play’s use of blood as a symbol of guilt. “What need we fear who knows it when none can call our power to account?” she asks, asserting that as long as her and her husband’s power is secure, the murders they committed cannot harm them. But her guilt-racked state and her mounting madness show how hollow her words are. So, too, does the army outside her castle. “Hell is murky,” she says, implying that she already knows that darkness intimately. The pair, in their destructive power, have created their own hell, where they are tormented by guilt and insanity.

19

She should have died hereafter.
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time.
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle.
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

These words are uttered by Macbeth after he hears of Lady Macbeth’s death, in Act 5, scene 5, lines 16–27. Given the great love between them, his response is oddly muted, but it segues quickly into a speech of such pessimism and despair—one of the most famous speeches in all of Shakespeare—that the audience realizes how completely his wife’s passing and the ruin of his power have undone Macbeth. His speech insists that there is no meaning or purpose in life. Rather, life “is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing.” One can easily understand how, with his wife dead and armies marching against him, Macbeth succumbs to such pessimism. Yet, there is also a defensive and self-justifying quality to his words. If everything is meaningless, then Macbeth’s awful crimes are somehow made less awful, because, like everything else, they too “signify nothing.”

Macbeth’s statement that “[l]ife’s but a poor player / That struts and frets his hour upon the stage” can be read as Shakespeare’s somewhat deflating reminder of the illusionary nature of the theater. After all, Macbeth is only a “player” himself, strutting on an Elizabethan stage. In any play, there is a conspiracy of sorts between the audience and the actors, as both pretend to accept the play’s reality. Macbeth’s comment calls attention to this conspiracy and partially explodes it—his nihilism embraces not only his own life but the entire play. If we take his words to heart, the play, too, can be seen as an event “full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing.”

20

Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth. I love your majesty
According to my bond; no more nor less.

Cordelia speaks these words when she address her father, King Lear, who has demanded that his daughters tell him how much they love him before he divides his kingdom among them (1.1.90–92). In contrast to the empty flattery of Goneril and Regan, Cordelia offers her father a truthful evaluation of her love for him: she loves him “according to my bond”; that is, she understands and accepts without question her duty to love him as a father and king. Although Cordelia loves Lear better than her sisters do, she is unable to “heave” her heart into her mouth, as her integrity prevents her from making a false declaration in order to gain his wealth. Lear’s rage at what he perceives to be her lack of affection sets the tragedy in motion. Cordelia’s refusal to flatter Lear, then, establishes her virtue and the authenticity of her love, while bringing about Lear’s dreadful error of judgment.

21

Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines
Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base?



Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land.
Our father’s love is to the bastard Edmund
As to the legitimate. Fine word—“legitimate”!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper.
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!


Edmund delivers this soliloquy just before he tricks his father, Gloucester, into believing that Gloucester’s legitimate son, Edgar, is plotting against him (1.2.1–22). “I grow; I prosper,” he says, and these words define his character throughout the play. Deprived by his bastard birth of the respect and rank that he believes to be rightfully his, Edmund sets about raising himself by his own efforts, forging personal prosperity through treachery and betrayals. The repeated use of the epithet “legitimate” in reference to Edgar reveals Edmund’s obsession with his brother’s enviable status as their father’s rightful heir. With its attack on the “plague of custom,” this quotation embodies Edmund’s resentment of the social order of the world and his accompanying craving for respect and power. He invokes “nature” because only in the unregulated, anarchic scheme of the natural world can one of such low birth achieve his goals. He wants recognition more than anything else—perhaps, it is suggested later, because of the familial love that has been denied him—and he sets about getting that recognition by any means necessary.

22

O, reason not the need! Our basest beggars
Are in the poorest thing superfluous.
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man’s life’s as cheap as beast’s . . .

You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!

If it be you that stir these daughters’ hearts
Against their father, fool me not so much
To bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger,
And let not women’s weapons, water-drops,
Stain my man’s cheeks! No, you unnatural hags,


No, I’ll not weep.
I have full cause of weeping, but this heart
Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws,
Or ere I’ll weep. O fool, I shall go mad!

Lear delivers these lines after he has been driven to the end of his rope by the cruelties of Goneril and Regan (2.4.259–281). He rages against them, explaining that their attempts to take away his knights and servants strike at his heart. “O, reason not the need!” he cries, explaining that humans would be no different from the animals if they did not need more than the fundamental necessities of life to be happy. Clearly, Lear needs knights and attendants not only because of the service that they provide him but because of what their presence represents: namely, his identity, both as a king and as a human being. Goneril and Regan, in stripping Lear of the trappings of power, are reducing him to the level of an animal. They are also driving him mad, as the close of this quotation indicates, since he is unable to bear the realization of his daughters’ terrible betrayal. Despite his attempt to assert his authority, Lear finds himself powerless; all he can do is vent his rage.

23

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport.


Gloucester speaks these words as he wanders on the heath after being blinded by Cornwall and Regan (4.1.37–38). They reflect the profound despair that grips him and drives him to desire his own death. More important, they emphasize one of the play’s chief themes—namely, the question of whether there is justice in the universe. Gloucester’s philosophical musing here offers an outlook of stark despair: he suggests that there is no order—or at least no good order—in the universe, and that man is incapable of imposing his own moral ideas upon the harsh and inflexible laws of the world. Instead of divine justice, there is only the “sport” of vicious, inscrutable gods, who reward cruelty and delight in suffering. In many ways, the events of the play bear out Gloucester’s understanding of the world, as the good die along with the wicked, and no reason is offered for the unbearable suffering that permeates the play.

24

Howl, howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stones:
Had I your tongues and eyes, I’d use them so
That heaven’s vault should crack. She’s gone forever!
I know when one is dead, and when one lives;
She’s dead as earth.

Lear utters these words as he emerges from prison carrying Cordelia’s body in his arms (5.3.256–260). His howl of despair returns us again to the theme of justice, as he suggests that “heaven’s vault should crack” at his daughter’s death—but it does not, and no answers are offered to explain Cordelia’s unnecessary end. It is this final twist of the knife that makes King Lear such a powerful, unbearable play. We have seen Cordelia and Lear reunited in Act 4, and, at this point, all of the play’s villains have been killed off, leaving the audience to anticipate a happy ending. Instead, we have a corpse and a howling, ready-for-death old man. Indeed, the tension between Lear as powerful figure and Lear as animalistic madman explodes to the surface in Lear’s “Howl, howl, howl, howl,” a spoken rather than sounded vocalization of his primal instinct.

25

Yea, there thou mak’st me sad and mak’st me sin
In envy that my Lord Northumberland
Should be the father to so blest a son—
A son who is the theme of honour’s tongue,
Amongst a grove the very straightest plant,
Who is sweet Fortune’s minion and her pride—
Whilst I, by looking on the praise of him
See riot and dishonor stain the brow
Of my young Harry. O, that it could be proved
That some night-tripping fairy had exchanged
In cradle clothes our children where they lay,
And called mine Percy, his Plantagenet!

Henry the IV
(I.i.77–88)

These lines, which King Henry speaks in the first scene of the play, set the stage for the conflict between Prince Harry and Hotspur. Henry describes the fame and fortune of young Hotspur (the son of “my Lord Northumberland”), calling him “the theme of honour’s tongue”; in comparison, he says, Prince Harry (“my young Harry”) has been sullied by “riot and dishonour.” He then refers to an old English folk superstition—one of the many references to folk culture and magic in the play—about fairies who switched young children at birth. Henry wishes that a fairy had switched Harry and Hotspur at birth, so that Hotspur were really his son and Harry the son of Northumberland. This quote is important for a number of reasons. It foreshadows the rivalry of Harry and Hotspur, and it helps establish Henry’s careworn, worried condition. Furthermore, it lets the audience know that Harry is generally considered a disappointment, and, by presenting both Harry and Hotspur as potential son figures for Henry, it inaugurates the motif of doubles in the play.

26

I know you all, and will awhile uphold
The unyoked humour of your idleness.
Yet herein will I imitate the sun,
Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
To smother up his beauty from the world,
That when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted, he may be more wondered at
By breaking through the foul and ugly mists
Of vapours that did seem to strangle him.
If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work;
But when they seldom come, they wished-for come,
And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.
So, when this loose behaviour I throw off
And pay the debt I never promisèd,
By how much better than my word I am,
By so much shall I falsify men’s hopes;
And like bright metal on a sullen ground,
My reformation, glitt’ring o’er my fault,
Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes
Than that which hath no foil to set it off.
I’ll so offend to make offence a skill,
Redeeming time when men think least I will.

Henry the IV
(I.ii.173–195)

Prince Harry addresses this monologue to Falstaff and his friends, even though they have just left the room, leaving Harry all alone. It is in this speech that Harry first reveals his deception. His idling with the Boar’s Head company is all an act, and when the need arises, he will cast off the act and reveal his true noble nature. Harry tells the departed Falstaff that he “will a while uphold / The unyoked humour of your idleness,” but that, just as the sun permits itself to be covered by clouds so that the people who miss its light will be all the happier when it reappears, he too will eventually emerge from the cloud cover of his lower-class friends. Harry says that people quickly grow used to and tire of anything that is familiar: if every day were a holiday, he says, then holidays would seem as tiresome as work, because “nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.”

Therefore, Harry concludes that by earning the people’s disapproval with his current behavior, he sets himself up to appear all the more glorious when he finally decides to earn their approval, since they will not take his high merit for granted. This quote is extremely important to the play, because it establishes the dramatic irony of Harry’s character, known to no one but the audience and the prince himself. It also exposes the complexities and ambiguities of Harry’s mind, showing an apparently virtuous young man who can manipulate and lie to others to achieve his somewhat selfish, albeit important, goals.

27

When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
. . .
Came there a certain lord, neat and trimly dressed,
Fresh as a bridegroom, and his chin, new-reaped
Showed like a stubble-land at harvest-home.
He was perfumèd like a milliner,
. . .
With many holiday and lady terms
He questioned me; amongst the rest demanded
My prisoners in your majesty’s behalf.
I then, all smarting with my wounds being cold —
To be so pestered with a popinjay! —
Out of my grief and my impatience
Answered neglectingly, I know not what —
He should, or should not — for he made me mad
To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,
And talk so like a waiting gentlewoman
. . .
So cowardly, and but for these vile guns
He would himself have been a soldier.

Henry the IV
(I.iii.28–68)

Hotspur gives this speech to Henry to explain why he did not release a group of prisoners when ordered to do so by Henry’s messenger. (The conflict over this group of prisoners is what precipitates the Percys’ break from Henry in Act I.) Hotspur says that this messenger confronted him immediately after a pitched battle and that the man was so simpering and effeminate that it disgusted him. The speech is important because of the early insight it offers into Hotspur’s character. He is a soldier through and through and has no patience for weakness, fashion, cowardice, manners, or the niceties of courtly behavior. It is highly ironic that Hotspur’s speech about the messenger is so long and elaborate, because Hotspur takes such pains to portray himself as a man of action rather than words. Hotspur’s description of his encounter with this man, on the other hand, is remarkably vivid and eloquent. Shakespeare achieves much through Hotspur’s detailed account of the “neat and trimly dressed” courtier, who talks in “holiday and lady terms” and reminds Hotspur of a “popinjay” and a “waiting gentlewoman.” Hotspur’s disgust reaches its height when the courtier says that he too would have become a soldier “but for these vile guns.” Thus, Shakespeare creates an amusing and believable character, the courtier, who never appears onstage, and also firmly establishes Hotspur’s aggressive, masculine nature.

Hotspur gives this speech to Henry to explain why he did not release a group of prisoners when ordered to do so by Henry’s messenger. (The conflict over this group of prisoners is what precipitates the Percys’ break from Henry in Act I.) Hotspur says that this messenger confronted him immediately after a pitched battle and that the man was so simpering and effeminate that it disgusted him. The speech is important because of the early insight it offers into Hotspur’s character. He is a soldier through and through and has no patience for weakness, fashion, cowardice, manners, or the niceties of courtly behavior. It is highly ironic that Hotspur’s speech about the messenger is so long and elaborate, because Hotspur takes such pains to portray himself as a man of action rather than words. Hotspur’s description of his encounter with this man, on the other hand, is remarkably vivid and eloquent. Shakespeare achieves much through Hotspur’s detailed account of the “neat and trimly dressed” courtier, who talks in “holiday and lady terms” and reminds Hotspur of a “popinjay” and a “waiting gentlewoman.” Hotspur’s disgust reaches its height when the courtier says that he too would have become a soldier “but for these vile guns.” Thus, Shakespeare creates an amusing and believable character, the courtier, who never appears onstage, and also firmly establishes Hotspur’s aggressive, masculine nature.

28

But to say I know more harm in him than in myself were to say more than I know. That he is old, the more the pity, his white hairs do witness it. But that he is, saving your reverence, a whoremaster, that I utterly deny. If sack and sugar be a fault, God help the wicked. If to be old and merry be a sin, then many an old host that I know is damned. If to be fat be to be hated, then Pharaoh’s lean kine are to be loved. No, my good lord, banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish Poins, but for sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff, and therefore more valiant being, as he is, old Jack Falstaff,
Banish not him thy Harry’s company,
Banish not him thy Harry’s company.
Banish plump Jack, and banish all the world.
Prince: I do; I will.

Henry the IV
(II.v.425–439)

This exchange occurs during Harry and Falstaff’s game of role–playing, as Falstaff pretends to be Harry so that Harry can prepare for his upcoming meeting with his father. Falstaff uses his time in the role of King Henry mainly to praise himself, urging Harry to keep Falstaff near him—something that the real king would never do, but certainly in keeping with Falstaff’s character. Playing Harry, Falstaff lists his own faults, and then excuses each of them—“If sack and sugar be a fault, God help the wicked. If to be old and merry be a sin, then many and old host that I know is damned”—and then, improbably, begins to list his own supposed virtues, calling himself “sweet,” “kind,” “true,” and “valiant.” Falstaff is not sweet, kind, true, or valiant, but his constant claims to be these things are part of what makes him endearing. In any case, this speech is important because it lets us in on some of the complexities of Harry and Falstaff’s relationship. Falstaff understands that he is undesirable company for Harry and worries that Harry will one day break his ties with him. So, in the role of King Henry, Falstaff urges Harry not to do so. Harry’s icy reply, “I do; I will,” foreshadows the moment of the actual break in the next play, 2 Henry IV.This exchange occurs during Harry and Falstaff’s game of role–playing, as Falstaff pretends to be Harry so that Harry can prepare for his upcoming meeting with his father. Falstaff uses his time in the role of King Henry mainly to praise himself, urging Harry to keep Falstaff near him—something that the real king would never do, but certainly in keeping with Falstaff’s character. Playing Harry, Falstaff lists his own faults, and then excuses each of them—“If sack and sugar be a fault, God help the wicked. If to be old and merry be a sin, then many and old host that I know is damned”—and then, improbably, begins to list his own supposed virtues, calling himself “sweet,” “kind,” “true,” and “valiant.” Falstaff is not sweet, kind, true, or valiant, but his constant claims to be these things are part of what makes him endearing. In any case, this speech is important because it lets us in on some of the complexities of Harry and Falstaff’s relationship. Falstaff understands that he is undesirable company for Harry and worries that Harry will one day break his ties with him. So, in the role of King Henry, Falstaff urges Harry not to do so. Harry’s icy reply, “I do; I will,” foreshadows the moment of the actual break in the next play, 2 Henry IV.

29

Well, ’tis no matter; honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I come on? How then? Can honour set-to a leg? No. Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound? No. Honour hath no skill in surgery, then? No. What is honour? A word. What is in that word “honour”? What is that “honour”? Air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it? He that died o’ Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. ’Tis insensible then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it. Therefore I’ll none of it. Honour is a mere scutcheon. And so ends my catechism.

Henry the IV
(V.i.129–139)

Falstaff delivers this diatribe against honor during the battle at Shrewsbury, just before the climax of the play. Linking honor to violence, Falstaff, who is about to go into battle, says that honor “pricks him on” to fight, meaning that honor motivates him; he then asks what he will do if honor “pricks him off,” that is, kills or injures him. He says that honor is useless when one is wounded: it cannot set an arm or a leg, or take away the “grief of a wound,” and it has “no skill in surgery.” In fact, being merely a word, honor is nothing but thin air—that is, the breath that one exhales in saying a word. He says that the only people who have honor are the dead, and it does them no good, for they cannot feel or hear it. Furthermore, honor doesn’t “live with the living” because honor is gained through death. Falstaff therefore concludes that honor is worthless, “a mere scutcheon,” and that he wants nothing to do with it. In a play obsessed with the idea of honor, this speech comes out of nowhere to call into question the entire set of moral values on which most of the characters base their lives. It is one of the remarkable aspects of Falstaff’s character that he is able to live so far outside the normal mores and expectations of his society; this speech epitomizes Falstaff’s independent streak

30

You taught me language, and my profit on’t
Is I know how to curse. The red plague rid you
For learning me your language!

Tempest
(I.ii.366–368)
This speech, delivered by Caliban to Prospero and Miranda, makes clear in a very concise form the vexed relationship between the colonized and the colonizer that lies at the heart of this play. The son of a witch, perhaps half-man and half-monster, his name a near-anagram of “cannibal,” Caliban is an archetypal “savage” figure in a play that is much concerned with colonization and the controlling of wild environments. Caliban and Prospero have different narratives to explain their current relationship. Caliban sees Prospero as purely oppressive while Prospero claims that he has cared for and educated Caliban, or did until Caliban tried to rape Miranda. Prospero’s narrative is one in which Caliban remains ungrateful for the help and civilization he has received from the Milanese Duke. Language, for Prospero and Miranda, is a means to knowing oneself, and Caliban has in their view shown nothing but scorn for this precious gift. Self-knowledge for Caliban, however, is not empowering. It is only a constant reminder of how he is different from Miranda and Prospero and how they have changed him from what he was. Caliban’s only hope for an identity separate from those who have invaded his home is to use what they have given him against them.

31

There be some sports are painful, and their labour
Delight in them sets off. Some kinds of baseness
Are nobly undergone, and most poor matters
Point to rich ends. This my mean task
Would be as heavy to me as odious, but
The mistress which I serve quickens what’s dead
And makes my labours pleasures.

Temptest
(III.i.1-7)

Ferdinand speaks these words to Miranda, as he expresses his willingness to perform the task Prospero has set him to, for her sake. The Tempest is very much about compromise and balance. Prospero must spend twelve years on an island in order to regain his dukedom; Alonso must seem to lose his son in order to be forgiven for his treachery; Ariel must serve Prospero in order to be set free; and Ferdinand must suffer Prospero’s feigned wrath in order to reap true joy from his love for Miranda. This latter compromise is the subject of this passage from Act III, scene i, and we see the desire for balance expressed in the structure of Ferdinand’s speech. This desire is built upon a series of antitheses—related but opposing ideas: “sports . . . painful” is followed by “labour . . . delights”; “baseness” can be undergone “nobly”; “poor matters” lead to “rich ends”; Miranda “quickens” (makes alive) what is “dead” in Ferdinand. Perhaps more than any other character in the play, Ferdinand is resigned to allow fate to take its course, always believing that the good will balance the bad in the end. His waiting for Miranda mirrors Prospero’s waiting for reconciliation with his enemies, and it is probably Ferdinand’s balanced outlook that makes him such a sympathetic character, even though we actually see or hear very little of him on-stage.

32

[I weep] at mine unworthiness, that dare not offer
What I desire to give, and much less take
What I shall die to want. But this is trifling,
And all the more it seeks to hide itself
The bigger bulk it shows. Hence, bashful cunning,
And prompt me, plain and holy innocence.
I am your wife, if you will marry me.
If not, I’ll die your maid. To be your fellow
You may deny me, but I’ll be your servant
Whether you will or no

Tempest (III.i.77–86)

Miranda delivers this speech to Ferdinand in Act III, scene i, declaring her undying love for him. Remarkably, she does not merely propose marriage, she practically insists upon it. This is one of two times in the play that Miranda seems to break out of the predictable character she has developed under the influence of her father’s magic. The first time is in Act I, scene ii, when she scolds Caliban for his ingratitude to her after all the time she has spent teaching him to speak. In the speech quoted above, as in Act I, scene ii, Miranda seems to come to a point at which she can no longer hold inside what she thinks. It is not that her desires get the better of her; rather, she realizes the necessity of expressing her desires. The naïve girl who can barely hold still long enough to hear her father’s long story in Act I, scene ii, and who is charmed asleep and awake as though she were a puppet, is replaced by a stronger, more mature individual at this moment. This speech, in which Miranda declares her sexual independence, using a metaphor that suggests both an erection and pregnancy (the “bigger bulk” trying to hide itself), seems to transform Miranda all at once from a girl into a woman.
At the same time, the last three lines somewhat undercut the power of this speech: Miranda seems, to a certain extent, a slave to her desires. Her pledge to follow Ferdinand, no matter what the cost to herself or what he desires, is echoed in the most degrading way possible by Caliban as he abases himself before the liquor-bearing Stephano. Ultimately, we know that Ferdinand and Miranda are right for one another from the fact that Ferdinand does not abuse the enormous trust Miranda puts in him.

33

Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep
Will make me sleep again; and then in dreaming
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked
I cried to dream again

Temptest
(III.ii.130–138).

This speech is Caliban’s explanation to Stephano and Trinculo of mysterious music that they hear by magic. Though he claims that the chief virtue of his newly learned language is that it allows him to curse, Caliban here shows himself capable of using speech in a most sensitive and beautiful fashion. This speech is generally considered to be one of the most poetic in the play, and it is remarkable that Shakespeare chose to put it in the mouth of the drunken man-monster. Just when Caliban seems to have debased himself completely and to have become a purely ridiculous figure, Shakespeare gives him this speech and reminds the audience that Caliban has something within himself that Prospero, Stephano, Trinculo, and the audience itself generally cannot, or refuse to, see. It is unclear whether the “noises” Caliban discusses are the noises of the island itself or noises, like the music of the invisible Ariel, that are a result of Prospero’s magic. Caliban himself does not seem to know where these noises come from. Thus his speech conveys the wondrous beauty of the island and the depth of his attachment to it, as well as a certain amount of respect and love for Prospero’s magic, and for the possibility that he creates the “[s]ounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.”

34

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve;
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

Temptest
(IV.i.148–158)
Prospero speaks these lines just after he remembers the plot against his life and sends the wedding masque away in order to deal with that plot. The sadness in the tone of the speech seems to be related to Prospero’s surprising forgetfulness at this crucial moment in the play: he is so swept up in his own visions, in the power of his own magic, that for a moment he forgets the business of real life. From this point on, Prospero talks repeatedly of the “end” of his “labours” (IV.i.260), and of breaking his staff and drowning his magic book (V.i.54–57). One of Prospero’s goals in bringing his former enemies to the island seems to be to extricate himself from a position of near absolute power, where the concerns of real life have not affected him. He looks forward to returning to Milan, where “every third thought shall be my grave” (V.i.315). In addition, it is with a sense of relief that he announces in the epilogue that he has given up his magic powers. Prospero’s speech in Act IV, scene i emphasizes both the beauty of the world he has created for himself and the sadness of the fact that this world is in many ways meaningless because it is a kind of dream completely removed from anything substantial.
His mention of the “great globe,” which to an audience in 1611 would certainly suggest the Globe Theatre, calls attention to Prospero’s theatricality—to the way in which he controls events like a director or a playwright. The word “rack,” which literally means “a wisp of smoke” is probably a pun on the “wrack,” or shipwreck, with which the play began. These puns conflate the theatre and Prospero’s island. When Prospero gives up his magic, the play will end, and the audience, like Prospero, will return to real life. No trace of the magical island will be left behind, not even of the shipwreck, for even the shipwreck was only an illusion.

35

...
You need not clap your torches to my face.
Zooks, what's to blame? you think you see a monk!
What, 'tis past midnight, and you go the rounds,
And here you catch me at an alley's end
Where sportive ladies leave their doors ajar? [...]

Your hand, sir, and good-bye: no lights, no lights!
The street's hushed, and I know my own way back,
Don't fear me! There's the grey beginning. Zooks!

Fra Lippo Lippi (First and Last)

Robert Browning

36

THE rain set early in to-night,

The sullen wind was soon awake,

It tore the elm-tops down for spite,

And did its worst to vex the lake:

I listened with heart fit to break.

When glided in Porphyria; straight

She shut the cold out and the storm [...]

Porphyria's love: she guessed not how

Her darling one wish would be heard.

And thus we sit together now,

And all night long we have not stirred,

And yet God has not said a word!

Porphria's Lover (First and Last)
Robert Browning

37

That's my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now: Fra Pandolf's hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will `t please you sit and look at her? I said
"Fra Pandolf" by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
[']Nay, we'll go
Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innshruck cast in bronze for me!

My Last Duchess (first and last)
Robert Browning

38

Come unto these yellow sands,
And then take hands:
Curtsied when you have, and kiss'd
The wild waves whist,
Foot it featly here and there;
And, sweet sprites, the burthen bear.
Hark, hark!
Bow-wow.
The watch-dogs bark.
Bow-wow.
Hark, hark! I hear
The strain of strutting chanticleer
Cry, Cock-a-diddle-dow.

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Ding-dong.
Hark! now I hear them—Ding-dong, bell.

In Act I, Scene II of The Tempest, the "airy Spirit" Ariel is ordered by Prospero to lead the shipwrecked Ferdinand to him. She does this by invisibly singing the above song to gain his attention and guide him by the sound of her voice. The second stanza is of particular relevance to Ferdinand since his father drowned.

39

The best art and poetry of the Greeks, in which religion and poetry are one, in which the idea of beauty and of a human nature perfect on all sides adds to itself a religious and devout energy, and works in the strength of that, is on this account of such surpassing interest and instructiveness for us, though it was,—as, having regard to the human race in general, and, indeed, having regard to the Greeks themselves, we must own,—a premature attempt, an attempt which for success needed the moral and religious fibre in humanity to be more braced and developed than it had yet been. But Greece did not err in having the idea of beauty, harmony, and complete human perfection, so present and paramount; it is impossible to have this idea too present and paramount; only the moral fibre must be braced too.

Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy (1869). Note Arnold's Hellenism and general sense that classical culture valued beauty and human virtue more than his own capital-obsessed age

40

Other well-meaning friends of this new power are for leading it, not in the old ruts of middle-class [42] Philistinism, but in ways which are naturally alluring to the feet of democracy, though in this country they are novel and untried ways. I may call them the ways of Jacobinism. Violent indignation with the past, abstract systems of renovation applied wholesale, a new doctrine drawn up in black and white for elaborating down to the very smallest details a rational society for the future,—these are the ways of Jacobinism. Mr. Frederic Harrison and other disciples of Comte,—one of them, Mr. Congreve, is an old acquaintance of mine, and I am glad to have an opportunity of publicly expressing my respect for his talents and character,—are among the friends of democracy who are for leading it in paths of this kind. Mr. Frederic Harrison is very hostile to culture, and from a natural enough motive; for culture is the eternal opponent of the two things which are the signal marks of Jacobinism,—its fierceness, and its addiction to an abstract system. Culture is always assigning to system-makers and systems a smaller share in the bent of human destiny than their friends like.

Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy (1869). Arnold's easiest identifiers are "sweetness and light" and the idea of "the philistine"

41

"Protected in war; so warriors earn / Their fame, and wealth is shaped with a sword"

Example: Beowulf:

Old English Verse Verse characterized by the internal alliteration of lines and a strong midline pause called a caesura

42

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

---Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Elizabeth Bishop, "One Art". Identify this one by the iambic pentameter, villanelle structure--a complex and challenging form

43

THE POOL PLAYERS.
SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

Gwendolyn Brooks, “We Real Cool”

44

“But what is the philosophy of this generation? Not God is dead, that point was passed long ago. Perhaps it should be stated Death is God. This generation thinks – and this is its thought of thoughts – that nothing faithful, vulnerable, fragile can be durable or have any true power. Death waits for these things as a cement floor waits for a dropping light bulb. The brittle shell of glass loses its tiny vacuum with a burst, and that is that. And this is how we teach metaphysics on each other. "You think history is the history of loving hearts? You fool! Look at these millions of dead. Can you pity them, feel for them? You can nothing! There were too many. We burned them to ashes, we buried them with bulldozers. History is the history of cruelty, not love as soft men think.”

Saul Bellow, Herzog

45

“Oh, God,” ... “Let me out of my trouble. Let me out of my thoughts, and let me do something better with myself. For all the time I have wasted I am very sorry. Let me out of this clutch and into a different life. For I am all balled up. Have mercy.”

Saul Bellow, Seize the Day

46

“Brother raises a hand against brother and son against father (how terrible!) and the father also against son. And moreover it is a continuity-matter, for if the father did not strike the son, they would not be alike. It is done to perpetuate similarity. Oh, Henderson, man cannot keep still under the blows.... A hit B? B hit C?--we have not enough alphabet to cover the condition. A brave man will try to make the evil stop with him. He shall keep the blow. No man shall get it from him, and that is a sublime ambition.”

Henderson the Rain King, Bellow

47

“I know of a wild region whose librarians repudiate the vain superstitious custom of seeking any sense in books and compare it to looking for meaning in dreams or in the chaotic lines of one's hands . . . They admit that the inventors of writing imitated the twenty-five natural symbols, but they maintain that this application is accidental and that books in themselves mean nothing. This opinion - we shall see - is not altogether false.”

Library of Babel, Borges

48

It was as if I had waited all this time for this moment and for the first light of this dawn to be vindicated. Nothing, nothing mattered, and I knew why. So did he. Throughout the whole absurd life I'd lived, a dark wind had been rising toward me from somewhere deep in my future, across years that were still to come, and as it passed, this wind leveled whatever was offered to me at the time, in years no more real than the ones I was living.

Camus, The Stranger (1942)

49

In a somer seson, whan softe was the sonne,
I shoop me into shroudes as I a sheep were,
In habite as an heremite unholy of werkes,
Wente wide in this world wondres to here.
Ac on a May morwenynge on Malverne hilles
Me bifel a ferly, of Fairye me thoghte.

Piers Plowman (1380), William Langland. Written in alliterative long line; part of the 14th century alliterative revival that also produced Sir Gawain and the Green Night. A set of dream visions in which the dreamer Will searches for Truth, the poem concerns the narrator's intense quest for the true Christian life, in the terms of the medieval Catholic mind. That quest entails a series of dream-visions and an examination into the lives of three allegorical characters, Do-Wel ( "Do-Well" ), Do-Bet ( "Do-Better" ), and Do-Best, who are sought by Piers, the humble plowman of the title. Look for elements like interior consciousness and especially first-person voice, in contrast with the characters of Chaucer or the Pearl poet

50

"I have y-sein segges," quod he, "in the cite of London
Beren bighes ful brighte abouten her nekkes,
And some colers of crafty werk; uncoupled thei wenden
Both in wareine and in waste, where hem leve lyketh;
And otherwise thei aren elleswhere, as I here telle..."

Piers Plowman (1380), William Langland. Written in alliterative long line; part of the 14th century alliterative revival that also produced Sir Gawain and the Green Night. A set of dream visions in which Will searches for Truth. Look for elements like interior consciousness and especially first-person voice, in contrast with the characters of Chaucer or the Pearl poet

51

Then they addressed themselves to the water, and entering, X began to sink, and crying out to his good friend Hopeful, he said, I sink in deep waters; the billows go over my head; all his waves go over me. Selah. Then said the other, Be of good cheer, my brother: I feel the bottom, and it is good. Then said X, Ah! my friend, the sorrows of death have compassed me about, I shall not see the land that flows with milk and honey. And with that a great darkness and horror fell upon X, so that he could not see before him. Also here he in a great measure lost his senses, so that he could neither remember nor orderly talk of any of those sweet refreshments that he had met with in the way of his pilgrimage. But all the words that he spoke still tended to discover that he had horror of mind, and heart-fears that he should die in that river, and never obtain entrance in at the gate. Here also, as they that stood by perceived, he was much in the troublesome thoughts of the sins that he had committed, both since and before he began to be a pilgrim. It was also observed that he was troubled with apparitions of hobgoblins and evil spirits; for ever and anon he would intimate so much by words.

Pilgrim's Progress (1678),, John Bunyan. Cf. Piers Plowman, but here in early modern English prose rather than alliterative poetry

52

I saw then in my dream, that he went on thus, even until he came at the bottom, where he saw, a little out of the way, three men fast asleep, with fetters upon their heels. The name of the one was Simple, of another Sloth, and of the third Presumption.

X then seeing them lie in this case, went to them, if peradventure he might awake them, and cried, you are like them that sleep on the top of a mast, for the Dead Sea is under you, a gulf that hath no bottom: awake, therefore, and come away; be willing also, and I will help you off with your irons. He also told them, If he that goeth about like a roaring lion comes by, you will certainly become a prey to his teeth. With that they looked upon him, and began to reply in this sort: Simple said, I see no danger; Sloth said, Yet a little more sleep; and Presumption said, Every tub must stand upon its own bottom. And so they lay down to sleep again, and X went on his way.

Pilgrim's Progress (1678),, John Bunyan. Cf. Piers Plowman, but here in early modern English prose.

53

Thus she him trayned, and thus she him taught,
In all the skill of deeming wrong and right,
Vntill the ripenesse of mans yeares he raught;
That euen wilde beasts did feare his awfull sight,
And men admyr'd his ouerruling might;
Ne any liu'd on ground, that durst withstand
His dreadfull heast, much lesse him match in fight,
Or bide the horror of his wreakfull hand,
When so he list in wrath lift vp his steely brand.
Which steely brand, to make him dreaded more,
She gaue vnto him, gotten by her slight
And earnest search, where it was kept in store
In Ioues eternall house, vnwist of wight,
Since he himselfe it vs'd in that great fight
Against the Titans, that whylome rebelled
Gainst highest heauen; Chrysaor it was hight;
Chrysaor that all other swords excelled,
Well prou'd in that same day, when Ioue those Gyants quelled.

The Faerie Queene (1590-6), Edmund Spenser. Note the the focus, in each book, upon one of a set of virtues, as well as the common allegorical structure relating the physical preparation of the chivalrous knight to moral constancy. Also the deliberately archaic diction and the use of Spenserian stanza (iamb. pent. 8 followed by iamb. hex./alex. 1 ababbcbcc.

54

It falles me here to write of Chastity,
That fairest vertue, farre aboue the rest;
For which what needs me fetch from Faery
Forreine ensamples, it to haue exprest?
Sith it is shrined in my Soueraines brest,
And form'd so liuely in each perfect part
That to all Ladies, which haue it profest,
Need but behold the pourtraict of her hart,
If pourtrayd it might be by any liuing art.

The Faerie Queene (1590-6), Edmund Spenser. Note the courtly praise of Elizabeth and the focus, in each book, upon one of a set of virtues. Also the deliberately archaic diction and the use of Spenserian stanza (iamb. pent. 8 followed by iamb. hex./alex. 1 ababbcbcc.

55

Not weigh'd, or winnow'd by the multitude;
But swallow'd in the mass, unchew'd and crude.
Some truth there was, but dash'd and brew'd with lies;
To please the fools, and puzzle all the wise.
Succeeding times did equal folly call,
Believing nothing, or believing all.
Th' Egyptian rites the Jebusites embrac'd;
Where gods were recommended by their taste.

Absalom and Achitophel (1680-1), John Dryden. Heroic couplets, long poem about the Succession Crisis. Look for Hellenic and Hebraic names and places broadly; reference the story of David and his sons specifically

56

In pious times, ere priest-craft did begin,
Before polygamy was made a sin;
When man, on many, multipli'd his kind,
Ere one to one was cursedly confin'd:
When Nature prompted, and no Law deni'd
Promiscuous use of concubine and bride;
Then, Israel's monarch, after Heaven's own heart,
His vigorous warmth did variously impart
To wives and slaves: and, wide as his command,
Scatter'd his Maker's image through the land.

Absalom and Achitophel (1680-1), John Dryden. Heroic couplets, long poem about the Succession Crisis. Look for Hellenic and Hebraic names and places broadly; reference the story of David and his sons specifically

57

What dire offence from amorous causes springs, What mighty contests rise from trivial things, I sing This verse to CARYLL, Muse! is due:
This, ev'n Belinda may vouchsafe to view:
Slight is the subject, but not so the praise,
If She inspire, and He approve my lays.

The Rape of the Lock (1712), Alexander Pope. NB heroic couplets and natural line breaks in the work, which is the most famous English mock epic. This is Pope's comic version of the epic invocation

58

Oft, when the world imagine women stray,
The sylphs through mystic mazes guide their way, Through all the giddy circle they pursue,
And old impertinence expel by new.
What tender maid but must a victim fall
To one man's treat, but for another's ball?

The Rape of the Lock (1712), Alexander Pope. NB heroic couplets and natural line breaks in the work, which is the most famous English mock epic. The sylphs and other elemental beings here stand in for Homeric deities, exerting their own force over social life

59

How hints, like spawn, scarce quick in embryo lie,
How new−born nonsense first is taught to cry,
Maggots half−form'd in rhyme exactly meet,
And learn to crawl upon poetic feet.
Here one poor word an hundred clenches makes,
And ductile dulness new meanders takes;
There motley Images her fancy strike,
Figures ill pair'd, and Similies unlike.
She sees a Mob of Metaphors advance,
Pleas'd with the madness of the mazy dance:
How Tragedy and Comedy embrace;
How Farce and Epic get a jumbled race;

The Dunciad (1741), Alexander Pope. Mock-epic written in heroic couplets. NB the continual reference to styles and authors of poetry and prose

60

GET up, get up for shame, the blooming morn
Upon her wings presents the god unshorn.
See how Aurora throws her fair
Fresh-quilted colours through the air:
Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see
The dew bespangling herb and tree.

Herrick, "Corinna's Going A-Maying" (in Hesperides, 1648). The same carpe diem theme as the more famous "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time"

61

I weep for Adonais--he is dead!
Oh, weep for Adonais! though our tears
Thaw not the frost which binds so dear a head!
And thou, sad Hour, selected from all years
To mourn our loss, rouse thy obscure compeers,
And teach them thine own sorrow, say: "With me
Died Adonais; till the Future dares
Forget the Past, his fate and fame shall be
An echo and a light unto eternity!"

Shelley, Adonais (1821)

62

The everlasting universe of things
Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves,
Now dark--now glittering--now reflecting gloom--
Now lending splendour, where from secret springs
The source of human thought its tribute brings
Of waters--with a sound but half its own,
Such as a feeble brook will oft assume,
In the wild woods, among the mountains lone,
Where waterfalls around it leap for ever,
Where woods and winds contend, and a vast river
Over its rocks ceaselessly bursts and raves.

Shelley, "Mont Blanc" (1816)

63

Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies
Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!
Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like wither'd leaves to quicken a new birth!
And, by the incantation of this verse,
Scatter, as from an unextinguish'd hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawaken'd earth
The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

Shelley, "Ode to the West Wind" (1819), composed on the same trip as Mont Blanc.

64

HAIL to thee, blithe spirit!
Bird thou never wert—
That from heaven or near it
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art. 5

Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest,
Like a cloud of fire;
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

Shelley, "To a Skylark" (1820). Identify Shelley by his interest in how Natural things are just manifestations of a deeper and intrinsically poetic divinity

65

Poet of Nature, thou hast wept to know
That things depart which never may return:
Childhood and youth, friendship, and love's first glow,
Have fled like sweet dreams, leaving thee to mourn.
These common woes I feel. One loss is mine
Which thou too feel'st, yet I alone deplore.
Thou wert as a lone star whose light did shine
On some frail bark in winter's midnight roar:
Thou hast like to a rock-built refuge stood
Above the blind and battling multitude:
In honoured poverty thy voice did weave
Songs consecrate to truth and liberty.
Deserting these, thou leavest me to grieve,
Thus having been, that thou shouldst cease to be.

Shelley, "To Wordsworth"

66

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.

Coleridge, Kubla Khan (1797). Note this work was left unfinished by the arrival of a Person from Porlock

67

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free:
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.

Coleridge, "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798). Note the unusual and recognizable metre.
Coleridge divides the poem into seven parts. Most of the stanzas in the poem have four lines; several have five or six lines. In the four-line stanzas, the second and fourth lines usually rhyme. In the five- and six-line stanzas, the second or third line usually rhymes with the final line. The meter alternates between iambic tetrameter (with four feet per line) and iambic trimeter (with three feet per line)
Figures: the Mariner, Death, Life-in-Death, the Albatross, the Sea

68

All Bibles or sacred codes, have been the causes of the following Errors.
1. That Man has two real existing principles Viz: a Body & a Soul.
2. That Energy, call'd Evil, is alone from the Body, & that Reason, call'd Good, is alone from the Soul.
3. That God will torment Man in Eternity for following his Energies.

But the following Contraries to these are True.
1. Man has no Body distinct from his Soul; for that call'd Body is a portion of Soul discern'd by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age.
2. Energy is the only life and is from the Body and Reason is the bound or outward circumference of Energy.
3. Energy is Eternal Delight.

Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-3). The second set of views are spoken by the Devil, informing the speaker's own view

69

I cry, Love! Love! Love! Happy, happy love, free as the mountain wind!
Can that be love that drinks another as a sponge drinks water,
That clouds with jealousy his nights, with weepings all the day,
To spin a web of age around him, grey and hoary, dark,
Till his eyes sicken at the fruit that hangs before his sight?
Such is self-love that envies all, a creeping skeleton
With lamplike eyes watching around the frozen marriage bed.

Blake, "Visions of the Daughters of Albion" (1793)--spoken by Oothoon on the hypocrisy of Theotormon

70

I wander thro' each charter'd street,
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forg'd manacles I hear.

How the Chimney-sweeper's cry
Every black'ning Church appalls ;
And the hapless Soldier's sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls.

But most thro' midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlot's curse
Blasts the new-born Infant's tear,
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.

Blake, "London"

71

For nature then
(The coarser pleasures of my boyish days,
And their glad animal movements all gone by)
To me was all in all. -- I cannot paint
What then I was. The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colours and their forms, were then to me
An appetite; a feeling and a love,
That had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, nor any interest
Unborrowed from the eye.

Wordsworth, Tintern Abbey (in the Lyrical Ballads, 1798). Be sure to distinguish the autobiographical form of this piece from The Prelude. W dwells on the difference between his more cultured but more alienated present and the pure nature-worship of his childhood, which colours his experience of seeing the titular abbey and the rural landscape more generally

72

The principal object, then, proposed in these Poems was to choose incidents and situations from common life, and to relate or describe them, throughout, as far as was possible in a selection of language really used by men, and, at the same time, to throw over them a certain colouring of imagination, whereby ordinary things should be presented to the mind in an unusual aspect; and, further, and above all, to make these incidents and situations interesting by tracing in them, truly though not ostentatiously, the primary laws of our nature: chiefly, as far as regards the manner in which we associate ideas in a state of excitement. Humble and rustic life was generally chosen, because, in that condition, the essential passions of the heart find a better soil in which they can attain their maturity, are less under restraint, and speak a plainer and more emphatic language; because in that condition of life our elementary feelings coexist in a state of greater simplicity, and, consequently, may be more accurately contemplated, and more forcibly communicated; because the manners of rural life germinate from those elementary feelings, and, from the necessary character of rural occupations, are more easily comprehended, and are more durable; and, lastly, because in that condition the passions of men are incorporated with the beautiful and permanent forms of nature.

Wordsworth's Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1800), a central work of Romantic literary theory. In the Preface, Wordsworth discusses what he sees as the constituents of a new type of poetry, one based on the "real language of men" and which avoids the poetic diction of much eighteenth-century poetry. Wordsworth also gives his famous definition of poetry in the Preface as "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings from emotions recollected in tranquility."

73

The world is too much with us ; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours ;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon !
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon ;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers ;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune ;
It moves us not. - Great God ! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn ;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn ;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea ;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

Wordsworth, "The World Is Too Much with Us"

74

Ye Presences of Nature in the sky
And on the earth! Ye Visions of the hills!
And Souls of lonely places! can I think
A vulgar hope was yours when ye employed
Such ministry, when ye, through many a year
Haunting me thus among my boyish sports,
On caves and trees, upon the woods and hills,
Impressed, upon all forms, the characters
Of danger or desire; and thus did make
The surface of the universal earth,
With triumph and delight, with hope and fear,
Work like a sea?

The Prelude (1805)

Wordsworth. An epic poem in blank verse on Wordsworth's childhood and the development of his mind, in his own words. Content-wise it's hard to distinguish, but look for ruminations on childhood mischief, the worship of nature, etc.

75

Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile,
The short and simple annals of the poor.

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike th'inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

"Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard" (1751), Thomas Gray. Note the interest in rustic/rural life, in memento mori and memorialization more broadly; look for this solemn tone to distinguish it.
Other lines: "Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife"; "leaves the world to darkness and to me"; "Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood."

76

But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.

"To His Coy Mistress" (1681), Marvell in "Poems". This poem is likely to be the subject of a tested allusion in other works-- see also "Had we but world enough, and time";
"Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life.
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run."

77

Leave thee alone, for the comparison
Of all that insolent Greece or haughty Rome
Sent forth; or since did from their ashes come.
Triumph, my Britain! Thou hast one to show
To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe.
He was not of an age, but for all time!
And all the Muses still were in their prime,
When, like Apollo, he came forth to warm
Our ears, or, like a Mercury, to charm.
Nature herself was proud of his designs,
And joy'd to wear the dressing of his lines,
Which were so richly spun, and woven so fit
As, since, she will vouchsafe no other wit.
The merry Greek, tart Aristophanes,
Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please;
But antiquated and deserted lie,
As they were not of Nature's family.
Yet must I not give Nature all!

Ben Jonson, "To the Memory of My Beloved, The Author, Mr. William Shakespeare, and What He Hath Left Us". First major response to Shakespeare's work and legacy; printed with F1. Note other lines: "Swan of Avon"; "Soul of the age"; "shake a stage"; etc.

78

Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
The liquefaction of her clothes!
Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave vibration each way free,
—O how that glittering taketh me!

"Upon Julia's Clothes," (1648), by Robert Herrick in Hesperides (a collection of over 400 short poems). Note the open sensuality (cf. "Upon Julia's Breasts")--this is characteristic of the Restoration lyric

79

HER eyes the glow-worm lend thee,
The shooting stars attend thee ;
And the elves also,
Whose little eyes glow
Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee.

No Will-o'-th'-Wisp mislight thee,
Nor snake or slow-worm bite thee ;
But on, on thy way,
Not making a stay,
Since ghost there's none to affright thee.

"The Night-Piece, to Julia" (1648), by Robert Herrick in Hesperides (a collection of over 400 short poems).

80

A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
- Fair as a star when only one
Is shining in the sky.

"She Dwelt Among The Untrodden Ways" (1800), William Wordsworth in Lyrical Ballads. Part of the series of "Lucy" poems, about the unremarked life and death of a remarkable young rural girl. Cf. Gray's "Country Church Yard" on the theme of mortality, memorialization, etc.

81

I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!

Ulysses (1842), Tennyson. Interesting theme of the individual's relationship to the community, the need for activity as rejuvenating force

82

Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Ulysses (1842), Tennyson. A kind of Victorian imperial and fraternal masculinity expressed here

83

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

"The Second Coming" (Jan. 1919), Yeats. Melancholy at the destructive, almost apocalyptic force of WWI. Cited in many later works, including Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart".

84

And, moved thro' life of lower phase,
Result in man, be born and think,
And act and love, a closer link
Betwixt us and the crowning race

Of those that, eye to eye, shall look
On knowledge, under whose command
Is Earth and Earth's, and in their hand
Is Nature like an open book;

No longer half-akin to brute,
For all we thought and loved and did,
And hoped, and suffer'd, is but seed
Of what in them is flower and fruit;

Whereof the man, that with me trod
This planet, was a noble type
Appearing ere the times were ripe,
That friend of mine who lives in God,

That God, which ever lives and loves,
One God, one law, one element,
And one far-off divine event,
To which the whole creation moves.

"In Memoriam A.H.H." (1849), Tennyson. Note the "In Memoriam stanza" of iambic tetrameter (abba), unusual in a poem of this length. A long set of musings on life, death, knowledge, theology, science, etc. that cycles around the issue of Arthur Henry Hallam's death.

85

In a somer seson, whan softe was the sonne,
I shoop me into shroudes as I a sheep were,
In habite as an heremite unholy of werkes,
Wente wide in this world wondres to here.
Ac on a May morwenynge on Malverne hilles
Me bifel a ferly, of Fairye me thoghte.

Piers Plowman (1380), William Langland. Written in alliterative long line; part of the 14th century alliterative revival that also produced Sir Gawain and the Green Night. A set of dream visions in which the dreamer Will searches for Truth, the poem concerns the narrator's intense quest for the true Christian life, in the terms of the medieval Catholic mind. That quest entails a series of dream-visions and an examination into the lives of three allegorical characters, Do-Wel ( "Do-Well" ), Do-Bet ( "Do-Better" ), and Do-Best, who are sought by Piers, the humble plowman of the title. Look for elements like interior consciousness and especially first-person voice, in contrast with the characters of Chaucer or the Pearl poet

86

"I have y-sein segges," quod he, "in the cite of London
Beren bighes ful brighte abouten her nekkes,
And some colers of crafty werk; uncoupled thei wenden
Both in wareine and in waste, where hem leve lyketh;
And otherwise thei aren elleswhere, as I here telle..."

Piers Plowman (1380), William Langland. Written in alliterative long line; part of the 14th century alliterative revival that also produced Sir Gawain and the Green Night. A set of dream visions in which Will searches for Truth. Look for elements like interior consciousness and especially first-person voice, in contrast with the characters of Chaucer or the Pearl poet

87

After Crystenmasse com þe crabbed lentoun,
Þat fraystez flesch wyth þe fysche and fode more symple;
Bot þenne þe weder of þe worlde wyth wynter hit þrepez,
Colde clengez adoun, cloudez vplyften,
Schyre schedez þe rayn in schowrez ful warme,
Fallez vpon fayre flat, flowrez þere schewen,
Boþe groundez and þe greuez grene ar her wedez,
Bryddez busken to bylde, and bremlych syngen
For solace of þe softe somer þat sues þerafter
bi bonk;
And blossumez bolne to blowe
Bi rawez rych and ronk,
Þen notez noble innoȝe

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1375-1400), by the Pearl Poet. Above all, look for an alliterative poem with shorter lines and the distinctive bob and wheel

88

The king himself the sacred unction made,
As king by office, and as priest by trade:
In his sinister hand, instead of ball,
He plac'd a mighty mug of potent ale;
Love's kingdom to his right he did convey,
At once his sceptre and his rule of sway;
Whose righteous lore the prince had practis'd young,
And from whose loins recorded Psyche sprung,
His temples last with poppies were o'er spread,
That nodding seem'd to consecrate his head:
Just at that point of time, if fame not lie,
On his left hand twelve reverend owls did fly.

"Mac Flecknoe" (1676), John Dryden. A mock-heroic, satiric coronation of Dryden's rival Shadwell as the king of literary dulness. Look for heroic couplets, any mention of Shadwell or other Jacobean/Restoration poets, and classical allusions

89

Did we behold the German fashionable dress of the Fifteenth Century, we might smile; as perhaps those bygone Germans, were they to rise again, and see our haberdashery, would cross themselves, and invoke the Virgin. But happily no bygone German, or man, rises again; thus the Present is not needlessly trammelled with the Past; and only grows out of it, like a Tree, whose roots are not intertangled with its branches, but lie peaceably underground. Nay it is very mournful, yet not useless, to see and know, how the Greatest and Dearest, in a short while, would find his place quite filled up here, and no room for him; the very Napoleon, the very Byron, in some seven years, has become obsolete, and were now a foreigner to his Europe. Thus is the Law of Progress secured; and in Clothes, as in all other external things whatsoever, no fashion will continue.

Sartor Resartus (1833-6), Thomas Carlyle. A philosophical work in fiction influenced by contemporary German thinkers, including Kant and Goethe—means The Tailor Reclothed. Note the Sterne-esque style and emphasis on history and clothing

90

I frequently asked myself, if I could, or if I was bound to go on living, when life must be passed in this manner. I generally answered to myself that I did not think I could possibly bear it beyond a year. When, however, not more than half that duration of time had elapsed, a small ray of light broke in upon my gloom. I was reading, accidentally, Marmontel's Mémoires, and came to the passage which relates his father's death, the distressed position of the family, and the sudden inspiration by which he, then a mere boy, felt and made them feel that he would
be everything to them—would supply the place of all that they had lost. A vivid conception of the scene and its feelings came over me, and I was moved to tears. From this moment my burden grew lighter.

John Stuart Mill, from his Autobiography (1873). Mill's period of youthful depression as a result of an education that emphasized logic over the cultivation of feeling and sense is a favourite of ETS

91

When a young girl comes within the sphere of such a man, she is as perilously situated as the maiden whom, in the old classical myths, the people used to expose to a dragon. If I had any duty whatever, in reference to Hollingsworth, it was to endeavor to save Priscilla from that kind of personal worship which her sex is generally prone to lavish upon saints and heroes. It often requires but one smile out of the hero's eyes into the girl's or woman's heart, to transform this devotion, from a sentiment of the highest approval and confidence, into passionate love. Now, Hollingsworth smiled much upon Priscilla,--more than upon any other person. If she thought him beautiful, it was no wonder. I often thought him so, with the expression of tender human care and gentlest sympathy which she alone seemed to have power to call out upon his features.

Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance (1852). Set in an agrarian utopian community based on Brook Farm -- look for a lighter tone in comparison with H's other work.

92

Phoebe Pyncheon slept, on the night of her arrival, in a chamber that looked down on the garden of the old house. It fronted towards the east, so that at a very seasonable hour a glow of crimson light came flooding through the window, and bathed the dingy ceiling and paper-hangings in its own hue. There were curtains to Phoebe's bed; a dark, antique canopy, and ponderous festoons of a stuff which had been rich, and even magnificent, in its time; but which now brooded over the girl like a cloud, making a night in that one corner, while elsewhere it was beginning to be day. The morning light, however, soon stole into the aperture at the foot of the bed, betwixt those faded curtains. Finding the new guest there,—with a bloom on her cheeks like the morning's own, and a gentle stir of departing slumber in her limbs, as when an early breeze moves the foliage,—the dawn kissed her brow. It was the caress which a dewy maiden—such as the Dawn is, immortally—gives to her sleeping sister, partly from the impulse of irresistible fondness, and partly as a pretty hint that it is time now to unclose her eyes.

Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables (1851). Distinguished by its Gothic tone from Blithedale R.

93

I am enamour'd of growing out-doors,
Of men that live among cattle or taste of the ocean or woods,
Of the builders and steerers of ships and the wielders of axes and mauls, and the drivers of horses,
I can eat and sleep with them week in and week out.

What is commonest, cheapest, nearest, easiest, is Me,
Me going in for my chances, spending for vast returns,
Adorning myself to bestow myself on the first that will take me,
Not asking the sky to come down to my good will,
Scattering it freely forever.

Whitman, "Song of Myself" from Leaves of Grass (1855). NB the open, modern-seeming free verse and buoyant emphasis on theself and subjective experience

94

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung--for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths--for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck
You've fallen cold and dead.

Whitman, "O Captain! My Captain!" from Leaves of Grass (1855). The emphasis on embodiment and almost homoerotic dimension help ID Whitman here

95

I hide myself within my flower,
That wearing on your breast,
You, unsuspecting, wear me too —
And angels know the rest.

I hide myself within my flower,
That, fading from your vase,
You, unsuspecting, feel for me
Almost a loneliness.

Dickinson, "With a Flower" (1890). Note the distinctive dashes and D's sensitive, interiorized first-person voice

96

When I was small, a woman died.
To-day her only boy
Went up from the Potomac,
His face all victory,

To look at her ; how slowly
The seasons must have turned
Till bullets clipt an angle,
And he passed quickly round !

If pride shall be in Paradise
I never can decide ;
Of their imperial conduct,
No person testified.

But proud in apparition,
That woman and her boy
Pass back and forth before my brain,
As ever in the sky.

DIckinson, "Along the Potomac" (1890).

97

It was all dry: all withered: all spent. They ought not to have asked her; she ought not to have come. One can't waste one's time at forty-four, she thought. She hated playing at painting. A brush, the one dependable thing in a world of strife, ruin, chaos — that one should not play with, knowingly even: she detested it. But he made her. You shan't touch your canvas, he seemed to say, bearing down on her, till you've given me what I want of you. Here he was, close upon her again, greedy, distraught.

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (1927). Lily Briscoe's anxiety at the pressures of marriage and artistic production.

98

Going and coming, beckoning, signalling, so the light and shadow which now made the wall grey, now the bananas bright yellow, now made the Strand grey, now made the omnibuses bright yellow, seemed to Septimus Warren Smith lying on the sofa in the sitting-room; watching the watery gold glow and fade with the astonishing sensibility of some live creature on the roses, on the wall-paper. Outside the trees dragged their leaves like nets through the depths of the air; the sound of water was in the room and through the waves came the voices of birds singing. Every power poured its treasures on his head, and his hand lay there on the back of the sofa, as he had seen his hand lie when he was bathing, floating, on the top of the waves, while far away on shore he heard dogs barking and barking far away. Fear no more, says the heart in the body; fear no more.

Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (1925). Smith is a shell-shocked veteran of WWI

99

Everything's going on the same or so it appeals to all of us, in the old holmsted here. Coughings all over the sanctuary, bad scrant to me aunt Florenza. The horn for breakfast, one o'gong for lunch and dinnerchime. As popular as when Belly the First was keng and his members met in the Diet of Man.

Joyce, Finnegans Wake (1939). The mishmash of languages, jargons, styles, and periods of comic fiction should help ID this. Look also for HCE as a recurring image

100

When the shadow of the sash appeared in the curtains it was between seven and eight oclock and then I was in time again, hearing the watch. It was Grandfather's and when Father gave it to me he said I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire; it's rather excruciatingly apt that you will use it to gain the reducto absurdum of all human experience which can fit your individual needs no better than it fitted his or his father's. I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all your breath trying to conquer it

Faulkner, Sound and the Fury (1929).

101

I can remember how when I was young I believed death to be a phenomenon of the body; now I know it to be merely a function of the mind — and that of the minds who suffer the bereavement. The nihilists say it is the end; the fundamentalists, the beginning; when in reality it is no more than a single tenant or family moving out of a tenement or a town

Faulkner, As I Lay Dying (1930). NB that the different narrators might make this novel challenging to identify; some are more lucid than others

102

Anna had great pride in the knowledge and possessions of her cherished Miss Mathilda, but she did not like her careless way of wearing always her old clothes. "You can't go out to dinner in that dress, Miss Mathilda," she would say, standing firmly before die outside door, "You got to go and put on your new dress you always look so nice in." "But Anna, there isn't time." "Yes there is, I go up and help you fix it, please Miss Mathilda you can't go out to dinner in that dress and next year if we live till then, I make you get a new hat, too. It's a shame Miss Mathilda to go out like that."

Gertrude Stein, Three Lives (1909). Look for Bridgepointe, the titular trio of female characters Anna, Melanctha, and Lena

103

Tell about the South. What's it like there. What do they do there. Why do they live there. Why do they live at all.

Faulkner, Absalom! Absalom! (1936)

104

I was born in San Francisco, California. I have in consequence always
preferred living in a temperate climate but it is difficult, on the
continent of Europe or even in America, to find a temperate climate and
live in it. My mother's father was a pioneer, he came to California in
'49, he married my grandmother who was very fond of music. She was a
pupil of Clara Schumann's father. My mother was a quiet charming woman
named Emilie. My father came of Polish patriotic stock. His grand-uncle raised a
regiment for Napoleon and was its colonel. His father left his mother
just after their marriage, to fight at the barricades in Paris, but his
wife having cut off his supplies, he soon returned and led the life of a
conservative well to do land owner. I myself have had no liking for violence and have always enjoyed the
pleasures of needlework and gardening. I am fond of paintings, furniture,
tapestry, houses and flowers and even vegetables and fruit-trees. I like
a view but I like to sit with my back turned to it.

Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933). Look for Stein's characteristic wit and for the names of modernist luminaries in Paris, but not for the difficult style of her other poetry

105

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,

Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: "I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all"—
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: "That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all."

Eliot, "Prufrock" (1920)

106

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

Eliot, "Prufrock" (1920)

107

At the violet hour, when the eyes and back
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits
Like a taxi throbbing waiting,
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,
Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,
The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights

Her stove, and lays out food in tins.
Out of the window perilously spread
Her drying combinations touched by the sun's last rays,
On the divan are piled (at night her bed)
Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.
I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs
Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest—
I too awaited the expected guest.

Eliot, The Waste Land (1922)

108

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question ...
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.

Eliot, "Prufrock" (1920)

109

Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,

A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying "Stetson!
You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!

That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men,
Or with his nails he'll dig it up again!
You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!"

Eliot, The Waste Land (1922)

110

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Eliot, The Hollow Men (1925). This is the only line from this work likely to be tested

111

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the agèd eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Eliot, Ash Wednesday (1930). Look for more conventional religious imagery and sentiment to distinguish this from Eliot's other poetry

112

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.

Eliot, Four Quartets (1946)

113

She had had no hidden motive in wishing him not to take her home; it simply struck her that for some days past she had consumed an inordinate quantity of his time, and the independent spirit of the American girl whom extravagance of aid places in an attitude that she ends by finding "affected" had made her decide that for these few hours she must suffice to herself. She had moreover a great fondness for intervals of solitude, which since her arrival in England had been but meagrely met. It was a luxury she could always command at home and she had wittingly missed it. That evening, however, an incident occurred which--had there been a critic to note it--would have taken all colour from the theory that the wish to be quite by herself had caused her to dispense with her cousin's attendance. Seated toward nine o'clock in the dim illumination of Pratt's Hotel and trying with the aid of two tall candles to lose herself in a volume she had brought from Gardencourt, she succeeded only to the extent of reading other words than those printed on the page--words that Ralph had spoken to her that afternoon. Suddenly the well-muffed knuckle of the waiter was applied to the door, which presently gave way to his exhibition, even as a glorious trophy, of the card of a visitor. When this memento had offered to her fixed sight the name of Mr. Caspar Goodwood she let the man stand before her without signifying her wishes.

James, Portrait of a Lady (1881). Note almost exclusive emphasis on Isabel's (female) POV, dilemmas, etc.

114

"I've come, you know, to make you break with everything, neither more nor less, and take you straight home; so you'll be so good as immediately and favourably to consider it!"—Strether, face to face with Chad after the play, had sounded these words almost breathlessly, and with an effect at first positively disconcerting to himself alone. For Chad's receptive attitude was that of a person who had been gracefully quiet while the messenger at last reaching him has run a mile through the dust. During some seconds after he had spoken Strether felt as if he had made some such exertion; he was not even certain that the perspiration wasn't on his brow. It was the kind of consciousness for which he had to thank the look that, while the strain lasted, the young man's eyes gave him. They reflected—and the deuce of the thing was that they reflected really with a sort of shyness of kindness—his momentarily disordered state; which fact brought on in its turn for our friend the dawn of a fear that Chad might simply "take it out"—take everything out—in being sorry for him. Such a fear, any fear, was unpleasant. But everything was unpleasant; it was odd how everything had suddenly turned so.

Henry James, The Ambassadors (1903)

115

hardly know whether it was the analogies or the differences that were uppermost in the mind of a young American, who, two or three years ago, sat in the garden of the "Trois Couronnes," looking about him, rather idly, at some of the graceful objects I have mentioned. It was a beautiful summer morning, and in whatever fashion the young American looked at things, they must have seemed to him charming. He had come from Geneva the day before by the little steamer, to see his aunt, who was staying at the hotel—Geneva having been for a long time his place of residence. But his aunt had a headache— his aunt had almost always a headache—and now she was shut up in her room, smelling camphor, so that he was at liberty to wander about. He was some seven-and-twenty years of age; when his friends spoke of him, they usually said that he was at Geneva "studying." When his enemies spoke of him, they said—but, after all, he had no enemies; he was an extremely amiable fellow, and universally liked. What I should say is, simply, that when certain persons spoke of him they affirmed that the reason of his spending so much time at Geneva was that he was extremely devoted to a lady who lived there—a foreign lady—a person older than himself.

Henry James, Daisy Miller (1878); spoken of the cosmopolite Winterbourn

116

He accepted her amendments, he enjoyed her corrections, though the moral of them was, she pointed out, that he really didn't remember the least thing about her; and he only felt it as a drawback that when all was made strictly historic there didn't appear much of anything left. They lingered together still, she neglecting her office—for from the moment he was so clever she had no proper right to him—and both neglecting the house, just waiting as to see if a memory or two more wouldn't again breathe on them. It hadn't taken them many minutes, after all, to put down on the table, like the cards of a pack, those that constituted their respective hands; only what came out was that the pack was unfortunately not perfect—that the past, invoked, invited, encouraged, could give them, naturally, no more than it had. It had made them anciently meet—her at twenty, him at twenty-five; but nothing was so strange, they seemed to say to each other, as that, while so occupied, it hadn't done a little more for them. They looked at each other as with the feeling of an occasion missed; the present would have been so much better if the other, in the far distance, in the foreign land, hadn't been so stupidly meagre. There weren't, apparently, all counted, more than a dozen little old things that had succeeded in coming to pass between them; trivialities of youth, simplicities of freshness, stupidities of ignorance, small possible germs, but too deeply buried—too deeply (didn't it seem?) to sprout after so many years. Marcher could only feel he ought to have rendered her some service—saved her from a capsized boat in the bay or at least recovered her dressing-bag, filched from her cab in the streets of Naples by a lazzarone with a stiletto. Or it would have been nice if he could have been taken with fever all alone at his hotel, and she could have come to look after him, to write to his people, to drive him out in convalescence. Then they would be in possession of the something or other that their actual show seemed to lack.

Henry James, The Beast in the Jungle (1903)

117

Mr. Pardon, as Olive observed, was a little out of this combination; but he was not a person to allow himself to droop. He came and seated himself by Miss Chancellor and broached a literary subject; he asked her if she were following any of the current "serials" in the magazines. On her telling him that she never followed anything of that sort, he undertook a defence of the serial system, which she presently reminded him that she had not attacked. He was not discouraged by this retort, but glided gracefully off to the question of Mount Desert; conversation on some subject or other being evidently a necessity of his nature. He talked very quickly and softly, with words, and even sentences, imperfectly formed; there was a certain amiable flatness in his tone, and he abounded in exclamations—"Goodness gracious!" and "Mercy on us!"—not much in use among the sex whose profanity is apt to be coarse. He had small, fair features, remarkably neat, and pretty eyes, and a moustache that he caressed, and an air of juvenility much at variance with his grizzled locks, and the free familiar reference in which he was apt to indulge to his career as a journalist. His friends knew that in spite of his delicacy and his prattle he was what they called a live man; his appearance was perfectly reconcilable with a large degree of literary enterprise.

The Bostonians (1886). Henry James. Look for discussions of politics, journalism, and (as here) the "serial" system of publication

118

In reality they all lived in a kind of hieroglyphic world, where the real thing was never said or done or even thought, but only represented by a set of arbitrary signs; as when Mrs Welland, who knew exactly why Archer had pressed her to announced her daughter's engagement at the Beaufort ball (and had indeed expected him to do no less), yet felt obliged to simulate reluctance, and the air of having her hand forced, quite as, in the books on Primitive Man that people of advanced culture were beginning to read, the savage bride is dragged with shrieks from her parents' tent

Wharton, The Age of Innocence (1920)

119

Most timidities have such secret compensations, and Miss Bart was discerning enough to know that the inner vanity is generally in proportion to the outer self-depreciation. With a more confident person she would not have dared to dwell so long on one topic, or to show such exaggerated interest in it; but she had rightly guessed that Mr. Gryce's egoism was a thirsty soil, requiring constant nurture from without. Miss Bart had the gift of following an undercurrent of thought while she appeared to be sailing on the surface of conversation; and in this case her mental excursion took the form of a rapid survey of Mr. Percy Gryce's future as combined with her own. The Gryces were from Albany, and but lately introduced to the metropolis, where the mother and son had come, after old Jefferson Gryce's death, to take possession of his house in Madison Avenue--an appalling house, all brown stone without and black walnut within, with the Gryce library in a fire-proof annex that looked like a mausoleum.

Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth (1905)

120

Backwards up the mossy glen
Turned and trooped the goblin men,
With their shrill repeated cry,
"Come buy, come buy."
When they reached where Laura was
They stood stock still upon the moss,
Leering at each other,
Brother with queer brother;
Signalling each other,
Brother with sly brother.
One set his basket down,
One reared his plate;
One began to weave a crown
Of tendrils, leaves, and rough nuts brown
(Men sell not such in any town);
One heaved the the golden weight
Of dish and fruit to offer her:
"Come buy, come buy," was still their cry.

Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market (1862). Note the sexualized and Edenic imagery conjoined with the childlike simplicity of the language

121

There is a knowledge which is desirable, though nothing come of it, as being of itself a treasure, and a sufficient remuneration of years of labor

Cardinal Newman, The Idea of a University (1873)

122

I do not know when I first learnt to consider that Antiquity was the true exponent of the doctrines of Christianity and the basis of the Church of England; but I take it for granted that Bishop Bull, whose works at this time I read, was my chief introduction to this principle. The course of reading which I pursued in the composition of my work was directly adapted to develop it in my mind. What principally attracted me in the ante-Nicene period was the great Church of Alexandria, the historical centre of teaching in those times. Of Rome for some centuries comparatively little is known. The battle of Arianism was first fought in Alexandria; Athanasius, the champion of the truth, was Bishop of Alexandria; and in his writings he refers to the great religious names of an earlier date, to Origen, Dionysius, and others who were the glory of its see, or of its school. The broad philosophy of Clement and Origen carried me away; the philosophy, not the theological doctrine; and I have drawn out some features of it in my volume, with the zeal and freshness, but with the partiality of a neophyte.

Cardinal Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864)

123

A perfect Judge will read each Work of Wit
With the same Spirit that its Author writ,
Survey the Whole, nor seek slight Faults to find,
Where Nature moves, and Rapture warms the Mind;
Nor lose, for that malignant dull Delight,
The gen'rous Pleasure to be charm'd with Wit.
But in such Lays as neither ebb, nor flow,
Correctly cold, and regularly low,
That shunning Faults, one quiet Tenour keep;
We cannot blame indeed--but we may sleep.
In Wit, as Nature, what affects our Hearts
Is nor th' Exactness of peculiar Parts;
'Tis not a Lip, or Eye, we Beauty call,
But the joint Force and full Result of all.
Thus when we view some well-proportion'd Dome,
The World's just Wonder, and ev'n thine O Rome!)
No single Parts unequally surprize;
All comes united to th' admiring Eyes;
No monstrous Height, or Breadth, or Length appear;
The Whole at once is Bold, and Regular.

Pope, Essay on Criticism (1711). Note Pope's characteristic heroic couplets and aphoristic/apothegm-filled style

124

Dead mean naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

Dylan Thomas, "And Death Shall Have No Dominion" (1936)

125

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas, "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" (1952). NB this is an exemplary modern version of the villanelle

126

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

Kubla Khan, unfinished poem by S. T. Coleridge
Look for: Abyssinian maid, Xanadu, Mount Abora, other fanciful names. Iambic tetrameter and pentameter with interlocking end rhymes

127

It's when you feel like this that, out of resentment, you begin to bump people back. And, let me confess, you feel that way most of the time. You ache with the need to convince yourself that you do exist in the real world, that you're a part of all the sound and anguish, and you strike out with your fists, you curse and you swear to make them recognize you. And, alas, it's seldom successful.

Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952). The work explores the theme of man's search for his identity and place in society, as seen from the perspective of a black man in the New York City of the 1940's. In contrast to his contemporaries such as Richard Wright and James Baldwin, Ellison created characters who are dispassionate, educated, articulate and self-aware. Through the protagonist, Ellison explores the contrasts between the Northern and Southern varieties of racism and their alienating effect. The narrator is "invisible" in a figurative sense, in that "people refuse to see" him, and also experiences a kind of dissociation.

128

This great and just character of --- gave me an extreme curiosity to see him, especially when I knew he spoke French and English, and that I could talk with him. But though I had heard so much of him, I was as greatly surprised when I saw him as if I had heard nothing of him; so beyond all report I found him. He came into the room, and addressed himself to me and some other women with the best grace in the world. He was pretty tall, but of a shape the most exact that can be fancied: the most famous statuary could not form the figure of a man more admirably turned from head to foot. His face was not of that brown rusty black which most of that nation are, but of perfect ebony, or polished jet. His eyes were the most awful that could be seen, and very piercing; the white of 'em being like snow, as were his teeth. His nose was rising and Roman, instead of African and flat.

Aphra Behn, Oroonoko (1688)

129

CAN we not force from widow'd poetry,
Now thou art dead, great Donne, one elegy,
To crown thy hearse ? Why yet did we not trust,
Though with unkneaded dough-baked prose, thy dust,
Such as the unscissor'd lecturer, from the flower
Of fading rhetoric, short-lived as his hour,
Dry as the sand that measures it, might lay
Upon the ashes on the funeral day ?
Have we nor tune nor voice ? Didst thou dispense
Through all our language both the words and sense?
'Tis a sad truth. The pulpit may her plain
And sober Christian precepts still retain ;
Doctrines it may, and wholesome uses, frame,
Grave homilies and lectures ; but the flame
Of thy brave soul, that shot such heat and light,
As burn'd our earth, and made our darkness bright,
Committed holy rapes upon the will,
Did through the eye the melting heart distil,
And the deep knowledge of dark truths so teach,
As sense might judge what fancy could not reach,
Must be desired for ever.

Carew, "An Elegy upon the Death of the Dean of St. Paul's, Dr. John Donne"

130

I doubt not God is good, well-meaning, kind
And did He stoop to quibble could tell why
The little buried mole continues blind,
Why flesh that mirrors Him must some day die,
Make plain the reason tortured Tantalus
Is baited by the fickle fruit, declare
If merely brute caprice dooms Sisyphus
To struggle up a never-ending stair.
Inscrutable His ways are, and immune
To catechism by a mind too strewn
With petty cares to slightly understand
What awful brain compels His awful hand.
Yet do I marvel at this curious thing:
To make a poet black, and bid him sing!

Countee Cullen (1903-46) was an American poet, one of the finest of the Harlem Renaissance. His most famous poems are "Yet Do I Marvel" and "Incident", the latter of which describes a childhood trip to Baltimore marred by a racial slur. Countee Cullen was raised and educated in a primarily white community. Countee Cullen differed from many other poets of the Harlem Renaissance because he lacked the background to comment from personal experience on the lives of other blacks or use popular black themes in his writing.

131

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes, "Montage of a Dream Deferred" (1951), the title work of a book length poem suite in a jazzy, almost improvisational style. Hughes was influenced by Walt Whitman and Carl Sandburg among others

132

My father... warned me that my white friends in high school were not really my friends and that I would see, when I was older, how white people would do anything to keep a Negro down

James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son (1955). Essays detailing racial issues in America and Europe

133

So Janie began to think of Death. Death, that strange being with the huge square toes who lived way in the West. The great one who lived in the straight house like a platform without sides to it, and without a roof. What need has Death for a cover, and what winds can blow against him? He stands in his high house that overlooks the world. Stands watchful and motionless all day with his sword drawn back, waiting for the messenger to bid him come. Been standing there before there was a where or a when or a then. She was liable to find a feather from his wings lying in her yard any day now. She was sad and afraid too. Poor Jody! He ought not to have to wrassle in there by himself. She sent Sam in to suggest a visit, but Jody said No. These medical doctors wuz all right with the Godly sick, but they didn't know a thing about a case like his.

Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)

134

I am no romantic glorifier of the Spanish woman, nor did I ever think of a casual piece as anything much other than a casual piece in any country. But when I am with Maria I love her so that I feel, literally, as though I would die and I never believed in that or thought that it could happen

Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940). Characters: Robert Jordan, Pablo, Maria

135

You're an expatriate. You've lost touch with the soil. You get precious. Fake European standards have ruined you. You drink yourself to death. You become obsessed by sex. You spend all your time talking, not working. You are an expatriate, see? You hang around cafés.

Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (1926)

136

I am bound by my own definition of criticism: a disinterested endeavour to learn and propagate the best that is known and thought in the world. How much of current English literature comes into this "best that is known and thought in the world"? Not very much, I fear; certainly less, at this moment, than of the current literature of France or Germany... the criticism I am really concerned with,--the criticism which alone can much help us for the future, the criticism which, through-out Europe, is at the present day meant, when so much stress is laid on the importance of criticism and the critical spirit,--is a criticism which regards Europe as being, for intellectual and spiritual purposes, one great confederation, bound to a joint action and working to a common result; and whose members have, for their proper outfit, a knowledge of Greek, Roman, and Eastern antiquity, and of one another

Arnold, "Essay on Criticism at the Present Time"

137

CAN we not force from widow'd poetry,
Now thou art dead, great Donne, one elegy,
To crown thy hearse ? Why yet did we not trust,
Though with unkneaded dough-baked prose, thy dust,
Such as the unscissor'd lecturer, from the flower
Of fading rhetoric, short-lived as his hour,
Dry as the sand that measures it, might lay
Upon the ashes on the funeral day ?
Have we nor tune nor voice ? Didst thou dispense
Through all our language both the words and sense?
'Tis a sad truth. The pulpit may her plain
And sober Christian precepts still retain ;
Doctrines it may, and wholesome uses, frame,
Grave homilies and lectures ; but the flame
Of thy brave soul, that shot such heat and light,
As burn'd our earth, and made our darkness bright,
Committed holy rapes upon the will,
Did through the eye the melting heart distil,
And the deep knowledge of dark truths so teach,
As sense might judge what fancy could not reach,
Must be desired for ever.

Carew, "An Elegy upon the Death of the Dean of St. Paul's, Dr. John Donne"

138

I AM A SICK MAN.... I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I believe my liver is diseased. However, I know nothing at all about my disease, and do not know for certain what ails me. I don't consult a doctor for it, and never have, though I have a respect for medicine and doctors. Besides, I am extremely superstitious, sufficiently so to respect medicine, anyway (I am well-educated enough not to be superstitious, but I am superstitious).

Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground (1864)

139

OF writing many books there is no end;
And I who have written much in prose and verse
For others' uses, will write now for mine,-
Will write my story for my better self,
As when you paint your portrait for a friend,
Who keeps it in a drawer and looks at it
Long after he has ceased to love you, just
To hold together what he was and is.

E.B.B., Aurora Leigh (1856). Nine books of blank verse; first-person narrative from the scholarly Aurora's perspective. Called "a novel in verse" by its creator, shifts from reporting past events to giving accounts of the present in a diary-like form.

140

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints!---I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!---and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnets from the Portuguese (1845-6). A sonnet in a diction unlike Shakespeare's or Spenser's is a good candidate for Browning

141

...
You need not clap your torches to my face.
Zooks, what's to blame? you think you see a monk!
What, 'tis past midnight, and you go the rounds,
And here you catch me at an alley's end
Where sportive ladies leave their doors ajar?
The Carmine's my cloister: hunt it up,
Do,--harry out, if you must show your zeal,
Whatever rat, there, haps on his wrong hole,
And nip each softling of a wee white mouse,
Weke, weke, that's crept to keep him company!

Robert Browning, "Fra Lippo Lippi". Note the dramatic monologue form

142

The rain set early in to-night,
The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
And did its worst to vex the lake:
I listen'd with heart fit to break.
When glided in Porphyria; straight
She shut the cold out and the storm,
And kneel'd and made the cheerless grate
Blaze up, and all the cottage warm;
Which done, she rose, and from her form
Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl,
And laid her soil'd gloves by, untied
Her hat and let the damp hair fall,
And, last, she sat down by my side
And call'd me.

Robert Browning, "Porphyria's Lover". Note the dramatic monologue form

143

Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse, and under his ribs the heart of the people, Laughing!

Sandburg, "Chicago". Note social realist tone and interest in working people's vitality

144

For three years, out of key with his time,
He strove to resuscitate the dead art
Of poetry; to maintain "the sublime"
In the old sense. Wrong from the start --
No, hardly, but, seeing he had been born
In a half savage country, out of date;
Bent resolutely on wringing lilies from the acorn;
Capaneus; trout for factitious bait:

Pound, "Hugh Selwyn Mauberley" Cf. "an old bitch gone in the teeth"

145

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), Modernist poet, "The Snow Man". Be careful to distinguish him from William Carlos Williams by the latter's more idiosyncratic line endings and rhythms

146

By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast-a cold wind. Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen
patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees
All along the road the reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them

William Carlos Williams, "Spring and All". Note the influence of dadaist and surrealist description and his spare but striking depiction of the banal and local.
Recognize also : The Red Wheelbarrow, Landscape With the Fall of Icarus

147

for inspection, "imaginary gardens with real toads in them,"
shall we have
it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,
the raw material of poetry in
all its rawness and
that which is on the other hand
genuine, you are interested in poetry.

Marianne Moore, "Poetry". Moore was an American modernist poet who scorned regular metre in favour of more free "syllabics"

148

The young Endymion sleeps Endymion's sleep;
The shepherd-boy whose tale was left half told!
The solemn grove uplifts its shield of gold
To the red rising moon, and loud and deep
The nightingale is singing from the steep;
It is midsummer, but the air is cold;
Can it be death? Alas, beside the fold
A shepherd's pipe lies shattered near his sheep.
Lo! in the moonlight gleams a marble white,
On which I read: "Here lieth one whose name
Was writ in water." And was this the meed
Of his sweet singing? Rather let me write:
"The smoking flax before it burst to flame
Was quenched by death, and broken the bruised reed."

HW Longfellow, "Keats". Note sonnet form and numerous allusions to Keats' work

149

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-94), "The Chambered Nautilus". Holmes was a physician and popular poet of the nineteenth century. The shell serves as a metaphor for the winding spirals of spiritual growth. Look for marine imagery to identify this one

150

I WISH either my father or my mother,
or indeed both of them, as they
were in duty both equally bound to it,
had minded what they were about when
they begot me; had they duly consider'd
how much depended upon what they
were then doing; -- that not only the
production of a rational Being was con-
cern'd in it, but that possibly the happy
formation and temperature of his body,
perhaps his genius and the very cast of
his mind ; -- and, for aught they knew
to the contrary, even the fortunes of his
whole house might take their turn from
the humours and dispositions which were
then uppermost : ---- Had they duly
weighed and considered all this, and
proceeded accordingly, ---- I am verily
persuaded I should have made a quite
different figure in the world, from that,
in which the reader is likely to see me.

Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy (1759-67). Note the distinctive orthography and the sprawling comic tone

151

We are long before we are convinced that happiness is never to be found, and each believes it possessed by others, to keep alive the hope of obtaining it for himself

Samuel Johnson, Rasselas (1759). Note that both here and in "The Vanity of Human Wishes" Johnson is concerned with the aesthetic and moral choices made by the individual in seeking happiness

152

Edward returned to them with fresh admiration of the surrounding country; in his walk to the village, he had seen many parts of the valley to advantage; and the village itself, in a much higher situation than the cottage, afforded a general view of the whole, which had exceedingly pleased him. This was a subject which ensured Marianne's attention, and she was beginning to describe her own admiration of these scenes, and to question him more minutely on the objects that had particularly struck him, when Edward interrupted her by saying, "You must not enquire too far, Marianne--remember I have no knowledge in the picturesque, and I shall offend you by my ignorance and want of taste if we come to particulars. I shall call hills steep, which ought to be bold; surfaces strange and uncouth, which ought to be irregular and rugged; and distant objects out of sight, which ought only to be indistinct through the soft medium of a hazy atmosphere. You must be satisfied with such admiration as I can honestly give. I call it a very fine country--the hills are steep, the woods seem full of fine timber, and the valley looks comfortable and snug--with rich meadows and several neat farm houses scattered here and there. It exactly answers my idea of a fine country, because it unites beauty with utility--and I dare say it is a picturesque one too, because you admire it; I can easily believe it to be full of rocks and promontories, grey moss and brush wood, but these are all lost on me. I know nothing of the picturesque."

Austen, Sense and Sensibility (1811)

153

His mind resembled the vast ampitheatre, the Colisæum at Rome. In the centre stood his judgement, which like a mighty gladiator, combated those apprehensions that, like the wild beasts of the Arena, were all around in cells, ready to be let out upon him. After a conflict, he drives them back into their dens; but not killing them, they were still assailing him

Boswell's Life of Johnson (1791)

154

A single woman, with a very narrow income, must be a ridiculous, disagreeable, old maid! the proper sport of boys and girls; but a single woman, of good fortune, is always respectable, and may be as sensible and pleasant as anybody else.

Austen, Emma (1816). Note the difference between this bit of wisdom and that which begins Pride and Prejudice--Emma's independence (financially speaking) is a good way of ID'ing this work

155

Let us leave it to the reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans. Let us not desert one another; we are an injured body. Although our productions have afforded more extensive and unaffected pleasure than those of any other literary corporation in the world, no species of composition has been so much decried. From pride, ignorance, or fashion, our foes are almost as many as our readers. And while the abilities of the nine-hundredth abridger of the History of England, or of the man who collects and publishes in a volume some dozen lines of Milton, Pope, and Prior, with a paper from the Spectator, and a chapter from Sterne, are eulogized by a thousand pens — there seems almost a general wish of decrying the capacity and undervaluing the labour of the novelist, and of slighting the performances which have only genius, wit, and taste to recommend them. "I am no novel-reader — I seldom look into novels — Do not imagine that I often read novels — It is really very well for a novel." Such is the common cant. "And what are you reading, Miss — ?" "Oh! It is only a novel!" replies the young lady, while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame. "It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda"; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.

Austen, Northanger Abbey (1817). Note the metafictional interest in novels (especially the Gothic) and, despite the parody of novel readers like Catherine Morland, this spirited defense of the form

156

My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and excellent counsel against what he foresaw was my design. He called me one morning into his chamber, where he was confined by the gout, and expostulated very warmly with me upon this subject. He asked me what reasons, more than a mere wandering inclination, I had for leaving father's house and my native country, where I might be well introduced, and had a prospect of raising my fortune by application and industry, with a life of ease and pleasure. He told me it was men of desperate fortunes on one hand, or of aspiring, superior fortunes on the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to rise by enterprise, and make themselves famous in undertakings of a nature out of the common road; that these things were all either too far above me or too far below me; that mine was the middle state, or what might be called the upper station of low life, which he had found, by long experience, was the best state in the world, the most suited to human happiness, not exposed to the miseries and hardships, the labour and sufferings of the mechanic part of mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and envy of the upper part of mankind.

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (1719)

157

NOW, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!

Dickens, Hard Times (1854). NB the satire of utilitarianism in the figure of Thomas Gradgrind (the speaker here)

158

He might have been in a deserted village. We picture the world as thick with conquering and elate humanity, but here, with the bugles of the tempest pealing, it was hard to imagine a peopled earth. One viewed the existence of man then as a marvel, and conceded a glamour of wonder to these lice which were caused to cling to a whirling, fire-smote, ice-locked, disease-stricken, space-lost bulb. The conceit of man was explained by this storm to be the very engine of life. One was a coxcomb not to die in it. However, the Swede found a saloon

Stephen Crane, The Blue Hotel (1899), part of The Monster and Other Stories

159

I can remember the time, when I used to sleep quietly without working in my thoughts, whole nights together, but now it is other wayes with me. When all are fast about me, and no eye open, but his who ever waketh, my thoughts are upon things past, upon the awfull dispensation of the Lord towards us; upon his wonderfull power and might, in carrying of us through so many difficulties, in returning us in safety, and suffering none to hurt us. I remember in the night season, how the other day I was in the midst of thousands of enemies, and nothing but death before me; It is then hard work to perswade my self, that ever I should be satisfied with bread again. "But now we are fed with the finest of the Wheat, and, as I may say, With honey out of the rock

Anne Rowlandson (1637-1711), The Sovereignty and Goodness of God: Being a Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson. R was a colonial American author who wrote about living in captivity with Native Americans for 11 week

160

Farewell, dear babe, my heart's too much content,
Farewell sweet babe, the pleasure of mine eye,
Farewell fair flower that for a space was lent,
Then ta'en away unto eternity.
Blest babe, why should I once bewail thy fate,
Or sigh thy days so soon were terminate,
Sith thou art settled in an everlasting state.
By nature trees do rot when they are grown,
And plums and apples throughly ripe do fall,
And corn and grass are in their season mown,
And time brings down what is both strong and tall.
But plants new set to be eradicate,
And buds new blown to have so short a date,
Is by his hand alone that guides nature and fate.

Anne Bradstreet, (1612-72), "In Memory of My Dear Grandchild Elizabeth Bradstreet". Bradstreet was the first published female author in America. Other works include:
"Before the Birth of One of Her Children"
"Verses Upon the Burning of Our House"
"In Honour of that High and Mighty Princess Queen Elizabeth"
"The Author To Her Book"
Look for domestic subject matter and intimate tone (poems dedicated to family members, etc.)

161

'Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted soul to understand
That there's a God, that there's a Saviour too:
Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.
Some view our sable race with scornful eye,
"Their colour is a diabolic die."
Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain,
May be refin'd and join th'angelic train.

"On Being Brought from Africa to America", Phillis Wheatley (1753-84). A child prodigy and slave who, having learned to read, wrote remarkable--mostly pious--poetry. Met with luminaries like Ben Franklin and George Washington. Look for any references to Egypt, Africa, etc., especially with the first-person pronoun. Most often writes in iambic pentameter couplets.

162

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me -
Yes! - that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my

Annabel Lee. Poe, Annabel Lee (1849)

163

"I now replaced the nail and regarded it attentively. A person passing out through this window might have reclosed it, and the spring would have caught—but the nail could not have been replaced. The conclusion was plain, and again narrowed in the field of my investigations. The assassins must have escaped through the other window. Supposing, then, the springs upon each sash to be the same, as was probable, there must be found a difference between the nails, or at least between the modes of their fixture. Getting upon the sacking of the bedstead, I looked over the head-board minutely at the second casement. Passing my hand down behind the board, I readily discovered and pressed the spring, which was, as I had supposed, identical in character with its neighbor. I now looked at the nail. It was as stout as the other, and apparently fitted in the same manner—driven in nearly up to the head.

Poe, "Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841).

164

The characters chiefly noted in American speech by all who have discussed it, are, first, its general uniformity throughout the country, so that dialects, properly speaking, are confined to recent immigrants, to the native whites of a few isolated areas and to the negroes of the South; and, secondly, its impatient disregard of rule and precedent, and hence its large capacity (distinctly greater than that of the English of England) for taking in new words and phrases and for manufacturing new locutions out of its own materials.

Mencken, "The American Language" (1909)

165

Our logrolling, our stumps and their politics, our fisheries, our Negroes, and Indians, our boasts, and our repudiations, the wrath of rogues, and the pusillanimity of honest men, the northern trade, the southern planting, the western clearing, Oregon, and Texas, are yet unsung... Wherever snow falls or water flows or birds fly, wherever day and night meet in twilight, wherever the blue heaven is hung by clouds or sown with stars, wherever are forms with transparent boundaries, wherever are outlets into celestial space, wherever is danger, and awe, and love, there is Beauty, plenteous as rain, shed for thee, and though thou shouldest walk the world over, thou shalt not be able to find a condition inopportune or ignoble

Emerson, The Poet (1844). A call for a new American bard to sing of the country's unique social and economic conditions, taken up by Whitman

166

If the red slayer think he slays,
Or if the slain think he is slain,
They know not well the subtle ways
I keep, and pass, and turn again.

Far or forgot to me is near,
Shadow and sunlight are the same,
The vanished gods to me appear,
And one to me are shame and fame.

They reckon ill who leave me out;
When me they fly, I am the wings;
I am the doubter and the doubt,
And I the hymn the Brahmin sings.

The strong gods pine for my abode,
And pine in vain the sacred Seven;
But thou, meek lover of the good!
Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.

Emerson, "Brahma" (1856). Iambic tetrameter

167

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

Emerson, Concord Hymn (1837). Oft-quoted celebration of one of the first battles of the American Revolution

168

To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches. One might think the atmosphere was made transparent with this design, to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime. Seen in the streets of cities, how great they are! If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.

Emerson, "Nature" (1836). Cf. Descartes or Locke's ideas of achieving a clean mental slate through interiorizing withdrawal (often into a literal room/study)

169

Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. No man yet knows what it is, nor can, till that person has exhibited it. Where is the master who could have taught Shakspeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? Every great man is a unique. The Scipionism of Scipio is precisely that part he could not borrow. Shakspeare will never be made by the study of Shakspeare. Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much. There is at this moment for you an utterance brave and grand as that of the colossal chisel of Phidias, or trowel of the Egyptians, or the pen of Moses, or Dante, but different from all these. Not possibly will the soul all rich, all eloquent, with thousand-cloven tongue, deign to repeat itself; but if you can hear what these patriarchs say, surely you can reply to them in the same pitch of voice; for the ear and the tongue are two organs of one nature. Abide in the simple and noble regions of thy life, obey thy heart, and thou shalt reproduce the Foreworld again.

Emerson, "Self-Reliance" (1841). Echoes E's belief that individual experience is not transferred down through society in a progressive development, but that each person's abilities and actions are wholly their own to grasp

170

Men think that it is essential that the Nation have commerce, and export ice, and talk through a telegraph, and ride thirty miles an hour, without a doubt, whether they do or not; but whether we should live like baboons or like men, is a little uncertain. If we do not get out sleepers, and forge rails, and devote days and nights to the work, but go to tinkering upon our lives to improve them, who will build railroads? And if railroads are not built, how shall we get to heaven in season? But if we stay at home and mind our business, who will want railroads? We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us. Did you ever think what those sleepers are that underlie the railroad? Each one is a man, an Irishman, or a Yankee man. The rails are laid on them, and they are covered with sand, and the cars run smoothly over them. They are sound sleepers, I assure you. And every few years a new lot is laid down and run over; so that, if some have the pleasure of riding on a rail, others have the misfortune to be ridden upon. And when they run over a man that is walking in his sleep, a supernumerary sleeper in the wrong position, and wake him up, they suddenly stop the cars, and make a hue and cry about it, as if this were an exception. I am glad to know that it takes a gang of men for every five miles to keep the sleepers down and level in their beds as it is, for this is a sign that they may sometime get up again.

Thoreau, Walden (1854). Note the passage's underlying emphasis on "Simplicity!" despite its lack of natural description. Know too: "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary."

171

To speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it. After all, the practical reason why, when the power is once in the hands of the people, a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule, is not because they are most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest. But a government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it.

Thoreau, Civil Disobedience (1849)

172

I will teach you my townspeople
how to perform a funeral--
for you have it over a troop
of artists--
unless one should scour the world--
you have the ground sense necessary.

See! the hearse leads.
I begin with a design for a hearse.
For Christ's sake not black--
nor white either--and not polished!
Let it be weathered--like a farm wagon--
with gilt wheels (this could be
applied fresh at small expense)
or no wheels at all:
a rough dray to drag over the ground.

William Carlos Williams, "Tract". Note the near-Imagistic compression and emphasis on local, physical detail. Somewhere between Pound and Wallace Stevens, with a bit of HD perhaps.

173

...
like a buttercup
upon its branching stem-
save that it's green and wooden-
I come, my sweet,
to sing to you.
We lived long together
a life filled,
if you will,
with flowers. So that
I was cheered
when I came first to know
that there were flowers also
in hell.

William Carlos Williams, "Aspodel, that greeny flower". An example of Williams' idea of the "triadic line" and the "variable foot" that makes it up--one divides a single metrical phrase into three staggered free verse lines.

174

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.

Robert Frost, "Mending Wall" (1914). Note the poet's unrhymed blank verse, natural line breaks, and rural settings

175

I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
On a white heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth --
Assorted characters of death and blight
Mixed ready to begin the morning right,
Like the ingredients of a witches' broth --
A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth,
And dead wings carried like a paper kite.

What had that flower to do with being white,
The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appall?--
If design govern in a thing so small.

Robert Frost, "Design"

176

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Frost, "Acquainted With the Night" (1928). The poem is written in strict iambic pentameter, with 14 lines like a sonnet, and with a terza rima rhyme scheme, which follows the complex pattern, aba bcb cdc dad aa.

177

...
unappeasable Henry sulked.
I see his point,—a trying to put things over.
It was the thought that they thought
they could do it made Henry wicked & away.
But he should have come out and talked.

All the world like a woolen lover
once did seem on Henry's side.
Then came a departure.
Thereafter nothing fell out as it might or ought.
I don't see how Henry, pried
open for all the world to see, survived.

What he has now to say is a long
wonder the world can bear & be.
Once in a sycamore I was glad
all at the top, and I sang.
Hard on the land wears the strong sea
and empty grows every bed.

Berryman, "Dream Songs 1: Huffy Henry hid the day" (1964)

178

How do you sound, your words, are they
yours? The ghost you see in the mirror, is it really
you, can you swear you are not an imitation greyboy,
that the sister you have you hand on is not really
so full of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton is
coming out of her ears. You may even have to be Richard
with a white shirt and face, and four million negroes
think you cute, you may have to be Elizabeth Taylor, old
lady,
if you want to sit up in your crazy spot dreaming about
dresses,
and the say of certain porters' hips. Check yourself,
learn who it is
speaking, when you make some ultrasophisticated point,
check yourself,
when you find yourself gesturing like Steve McQueen,
check it out, ask
in your black heart who it is you are, and is that image
black or white,

Amiri Baraka, "Poem for Half White College Students". Must attempt to distinguish this style from that of the Harlem Renaissance--look for the unique cultural content of each period (Burton/Taylor here)

179

I walk in a yellow dress
and a white pocketbook stuffed with cigarettes,
enough pills, my wallet, my keys,
and being twenty-eight, or is it forty-five?
I walk. I walk.
I hold matches at street signs
for it is dark,
as dark as the leathery dead
and I have lost my green Ford,
my house in the suburbs,
two little kids
sucked up like pollen by the bee in me
and a husband
who has wiped off his eyes
in order not to see my inside out
and I am walking and looking
and this is no dream
just my oily life
where the people are alibis
and the street is unfindable for an
entire lifetime.

Anne Sexton, 45 Mercy Street. Cf. Plath's verse, if a little less caustic and tenebrous

180

...
with a dead box of stones and spoons,
with two children, two meteors
wandering loose in a tiny playroom,
with your mouth into the sheet,
into the roofbeam, into the dumb prayer,
...
where did you go
after you wrote me
from Devonshire
about raising potatoes
and keeping bees?)

Anne Sexton, "Sylvia's Death". Might need to know that this is about Sylvia Plath

181

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

---Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Elizabeth Bishop, "One Art". Identify this one by the iambic pentameter, villanelle structure--a complex and challenging form

182

And now our fairy
decorator brightens his shop for fall,
his fishnet's filled with orange cork,
orange, his cobbler's bench and awl,
there is no money in his work,
he'd rather marry.

One dark night,
my Tudor Ford climbed the hill's skull,
I watched for love-cars. Lights turned down,
they lay together, hull to hull,
where the graveyard shelves on the town. . . .
My mind's not right.

Robert Lowell, "Skunk Hour" (1959). Note the confession of mental illness--striking for 1959. Dedicated to elizabeth Bishop

183

A very little thing, a little worm,
Or hourglass-blazoned spider, it is said,
Can kill a tiger. Will the dead
Hold up his mirror and affirm
To the four winds the smell
And flash of his authority? It's well
If God who holds you to the pit of hell,
Much as one holds a spider, will destroy
Baffle and dissipate your soul. As a small boy

On Windsor March, I saw the spider die
When thrown into the bowels of fierce fire:
There's no long struggle, no desire
To get up on its feet and fly--
It stretches out its feet
And dies. This is the sinner's last retreat;
Yes, and no strength exerted on the heat
Then sinews the abolished will, when sick
And full of burning, it will whistle on a brick.

Lowell, "Mr. Edwards and the Spider". Refers to the Puritan theologian John Edwards' comment that the God who holds mankind over the flaming pit of hell, as one would hold a spider, is to be feared

184

Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.

You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

Plath, "Daddy", in Ariel (1965)

185

Abortions will not let you forget.
You remember the children you got that you did not get,
The damp small pulps with a little or with no hair,
The singers and workers that never handled the air.
You will never neglect or beat
Them, or silence or buy with a sweet.
You will never wind up the sucking-thumb
Or scuttle off ghosts that come.
You will never leave them, controlling your luscious sigh,
Return for a snack of them, with gobbling mother-eye.

Gwendolyn Brooks, "The Mother" (1945)

186

Go, little book, go, little myn tragedye,
Ther God thy makere yet, er that he dye,
So sende might to make in some comedye!
But little book, no making thou n'envie,
But subgit be to alle poesye;
And kiss the steppes, whereas thou seest pace
Virgile, Ovide, Omer, Lucan, Stace.
And down from thennes faste he gan avyse
This littel spot of erthe, that with the se
Embraced is, and fully gan despise
This wrecched world, and held al vanite
To respect of the pleyn felicite
That is in hevene above; and at the laste,
There he was slayn, his lokyng down he caste.
And in hymself he lough right at the wo
Of hem that wepten for his deth so faste;
And dampned al oure werk that foloweth so
The blynde lust, the which that may not laste,M
And shoulden al oure herte on heven caste.
And forth he wente, shortly for to telle,
Ther as Mercurye sorted hym to dwelle.

Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde (1380s). Look for the polished style and rhyme royal verse, as well as numerous allusions to C's source in Boccaccio and the classical writers of Virgil, Ovid, Cicero, etc.

187

He shewed me a little thing, the quantity of an hazel-nut, in the palm of my hand; and it was as round as a ball. I looked thereupon with eye of my understanding, and thought: What may this be? And it was answered generally thus: It is all that is made. I marvelled how it might last, for methought it might suddenly have fallen to naught for little. And I was answered in my understanding: It lasteth, and ever shall for that God loveth it. And so All-thing hath the Being by the love of God.

In this Little Thing I saw three properties. The first is that God made it, the second is that God loveth it, the third, that God keepeth it. But what is to me verily the Maker, the Keeper, and the Lover, — I cannot tell; for till I am Substantially oned to Him, I may never have full rest nor very bliss: that is to say, till I be so fastened to Him, that there is right nought that is made betwixt my God and me.

It needeth us to have knowing of the littleness of creatures and to hold as nought all-thing that is made, for to love and have God that is unmade. For this is the cause why we be not all in ease of heart and soul: that we seek here rest in those things that are so little, wherein is no rest, and know not our God that is All-mighty, All-wise, All-good. For He is the Very Rest. God willeth to be known, and it pleaseth Him that we rest in Him; for all that is beneath Him sufficeth not us. And this is the cause why that no soul is rested till it is made nought as to all things that are made. When it is willingly made nought, for love, to have Him that is all, then is it able to receive spiritual rest.

Julian of Norwich. NB too the even more oft-quoted lines of her "Revelations of Divine Love": "all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."

188

"Sche cam beforn the Erchebischop and fel down on hir kneys, the Erchebischop seying ful boystowsly unto hir, "Why wepist thu so, woman?" Sche, answeryng, seyde, "Syr, ye schal welyn sum day that ye had wept as sor as I."

Margery Kempe in her eponymous Book (ca. 1438). NB the autobiographical, third-person middle English prose (helps distinguish from both the period's poems and something like Piers Plowman)

189

Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
But as for me, hélas, I may no more.
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,
I am of them that farthest cometh behind.
Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore
Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore,
Sithens in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
As well as I may spend his time in vain.
And graven with diamonds in letters plain
There is written, her fair neck round about:
Noli me tangere, for Caesar's I am,
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.

Thomas Wyatt, "Whose List to Hunt". An imitation/translation of one of Petrarch's sonnets, following not the later English sonnet form but Petrarch's Italian one: (1) first stanza (octave): ABBA, ABBA; (2) second stanza (sestet): CDE, CDE (or CDC, CDC; or CDE, DCE). NB that Wyatt's work in this vein predates Surrey's

190

THE soote season, that bud and bloom forth brings,
With green hath clad the hill, and eke the vale.
The nightingale with feathers new she sings;
The turtle to her make hath told her tale.
Summer is come, for every spray now springs,
The hart hath hung his old head on the pale;
The buck in brake his winter coat he slings;
The fishes flete with new repaired scale;
The adder all her slough away she slings;
The swift swallow pursueth the flies smale;
The busy bee her honey now she mings;
Winter is worn that was the flowers' bale.
And thus I see among these pleasant things
Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs!

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, "DESCRIPTION OF SPRING, WHEREIN EVERY THING RENEWS, SAVE ONLY THE LOVER." NB Surrey's English sonnets are predated by Wyatt's work in this vein. This poem has the same English meter/rhyme scheme later used by authors like Shakespeare, among others (abab cdcd efef gg)

191

See heere my shew; look on this spectacle!
Heere lay my hope, and heere my hope hath end;
Heere lay my hart, and heere my hart was slaine;
Heere lay my treasure, heere my treasure lost;
Heere lay my blisse, and heere my blisse bereft.
But hope, hart, treasure, ioy and blisse,—
All fled, faild, died, yea, all decaide with this.
From froth these wounds came breath that gaue me life;
They murdred me that made these fatall markes.
The cause was loue whence grew this mortall hate

Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy. Note the relatively archaic language (compared with Marlowe and esp. Shakespeare) and the almost melodramatic tone of the mourning

192

Her voice reuiues the leaden stringes,
And doth in highest noates appeare,
As any challeng'd eccho cleere ;
But when she doth of mourning speake,
Eu'n with her sighes the strings do breake.

And as her lute doth liue or die,
Led by her passion, so must I,
For when of pleasure she doth sing,
My thoughts enioy a sodaine spring,
But if she doth of sorrow speake,
Eu'n from my hart the strings doe breake.

Thomas Campion (1567-1620), "When to her lute Corrina sings".

193

If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every shepherd's tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee and be thy love.

Time drives the flocks from field to fold
When rivers rage and rocks grow cold,
And Philomel becometh dumb;
The rest complains of cares to come.

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning yields;
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.

The gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses,
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,—
In folly ripe, in reason rotten.

Thy belt of straw and ivy buds,
Thy coral clasps and amber studs,
All these in me no means can move
To come to thee and be thy love.

But could youth last and love still breed,
Had joys no date nor age no need,
Then these delights my mind might move
To live with thee and be thy love.

Sir Walter Raleigh (1554-1618), "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd" (1596). Part of a larger trend of response to Marlowe's original pastoral invocation, including works by Donne, Herrick, and even 20th century poets like C. Day-Lewis

194

Only the poet, disdaining to be tied to any such subjection, lifted up with the vigor of his own invention, doth grow, in effect, into another nature, in making things either better than nature bringeth forth, or, quite anew, forms such as never were in nature, as the heroes, demi-gods, cyclops, chimeras, furies, and such like; so as he goeth hand in hand with nature, not enclosed within the narrow warrant of her gifts, but freely ranging within the zodiac of his own wit. Nature never set forth the earth in so rich tapestry as divers poets have done; neither with pleasant rivers, fruitful trees, sweet-smelling flowers, nor whatsoever else may make the too-much-loved earth more lovely; her world is brazen, the poets only deliver a golden.

SIdney, A Defence of Poesy (1595)

195

Since there's no help, come let us kiss and part,
Nay, I have done: you get no more of me,
And I am glad, yea glad with all my heart,
That thus so cleanly I myself can free.
Shake hands for ever, cancel all our vows,
And when we meet at any time again
Be it not seen in either of our brows
That we one jot of former love retain.
Now at the last gasp of Love's latest breath,
When his pulse failing, Passion speechless lies,
When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death,
And Innocence is closing up his eyes,
Now, if thou wouldst, when all have given him over,
From death to life thou might'st him yet recover.

Michael Drayton (1563-1631), "Since there's no help, come let us kiss and part". A Shakespearean sonnet not by Shakespeare has a good chance of being this one

196

Cou'd our First Father, at his toilsome Plough,
Thorns in his Path, and Labour on his Brow,
Cloath'd only in a rude, unpolish'd Skin,
Cou'd he a vain Fantastick Nymph have seen,
In all her Airs, in all her antick Graces,
Her various Fashions, and more various Faces;
How had it pos'd that Skill, which late assign'd
Just Appellations to Each several Kind!
A right Idea of the Sight to frame;
T'have guest from what New Element she came;
T'have hit the wav'ring Form, or giv'n this Thing a Name.

Anne Finch (1661-1720), "Adam Pos'd"
NB: In the classic essay A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf both critiques Finch's writing and expresses great admiration for it. In Woolf's examination of the "female voice" and her search for the history of female writers, she argues that Finch's writing is "harassed and distracted with hates and grievances," pointing out that to Finch "men are hated and feared, because they have the power to bar her way to what she wants to do--which is to write."

197

French truth, Dutch prowess, British policy,
Hibernian learning, Scotch civility,
Spaniard's dispatch, Dane's wit are mainly seen in thee.
The great man's gratitude to his best friend,
King's promises, whore's vows, towards thee they bend,
Flow swiftly to thee, and in thee never end.

Rochester, "Upon Nothing"--it's the riddling answer to this list. Note Rochester's satiric edge

198

What needs my Shakespear for his honour'd Bones,
The labour of an age in piled Stones,
Or that his hallow'd reliques should be hid
Under a Star- ypointing Pyramid ?
Dear son of memory , great heir of Fame,
What need'st thou such weak witnes of thy name?
Thou in our wonder and astonishment
Hast built thy self a live-long Monument.
For whilst to th' shame of slow- endeavouring art,
Thy easie numbers flow, and that each heart
Hath from the leaves of thy unvalu'd Book,
Those Delphick lines with deep impression took,
Then thou our fancy of it self bereaving,
Dost make us Marble with too much conceaving ;
And so Sepulcher'd in such pomp dost lie,
That Kings for such a Tomb would wish to die.

Milton, "On Shakespeare". Cf. Jonson's verses on Shakespeare, which express similar sentiments

199

When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
I fondly ask; But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies "God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at His bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.

Milton, "When I consider.../ On His Blindness" (1652). An Italian sonnet; NB octet and sestet

200

Blind mouthes! that scarce themselves know how to hold
A Sheep-hook, or have learn'd ought els the least
That to the faithfull Herdmans art belongs!
What recks it them? What need they? They are sped;
And when they list, their lean and flashy songs
Grate on their scrannel Pipes of wretched straw,
The hungry Sheep look up, and are not fed,
But swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread:
Besides what the grim Woolf with privy paw
Daily devours apace, and nothing sed,
But that two-handed engine at the door,
Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.

Milton, "Lycidas" (1637). While mostly a pastoral elegy in blank verse commemorating classmate Edward King, the poem also launches this attack on the church government of Milton's own time.

201

Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints, whose bones
Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold,
Even them who kept thy truth so pure of old,
When all our fathers worshiped stocks and stones;
Forget not: in thy book record their groans
Who were thy sheep and in their ancient fold
Slain by the bloody Piedmontese that rolled
Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans
The vales redoubled to the hills, and they
To Heaven. Their martyred blood and ashes sow
O'er all th' Italian fields where still doth sway
The triple tyrant; that from these may grow
A hundred-fold, who having learnt thy way
Early may fly the Babylonian woe.

Milton, "On the Late Massacre in Piedmont" (1655)

202

This is the month, and this the happy morn,
Wherein the Son of Heav'n's eternal King,
Of wedded maid and virgin mother born,
Our great redemption from above did bring;
For so the holy sages once did sing,
That He our deadly forfeit should release,
And with His Father work us a perpetual peace.

Milton, "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity" (1629)

203

The Muses' garden, with pedantic weeds
O'erspread, was purg'd by thee ; the lazy seeds
Of servile imitation thrown away,
And fresh invention planted ; thou didst pay
The debts of our penurious bankrupt age

Carew, Elegy on the Death of Donne. NB the sense that Donne revolutionized the world of poetry

204

Come then, my Celia, we'll no more forbear
To taste our joys, struck with a panic fear,
But will depose from his imperious sway
This proud usurper, and walk as free as they,
With necks unyoked ; nor is it just that he
Should fetter your soft sex with chastity,
Whom Nature made unapt for abstinence ;
When yet this false impostor can dispense
With human justice and with sacred right,
And, maugre both their laws, command me fight
With rivals or with emulous loves that dare
Equal with thine their mistress' eyes or hair.
If thou complain of wrong, and call my sword
To carve out thy revenge, upon that word
He bids me fight and kill ; or else he brands
With marks of infamy my coward hands.
And yet religion bids from blood-shed fly,
And damns me for that act. Then tell me why
This goblin Honour, which the world adores,
Should make men atheists, and not women whores?

Carew, "A Rapture". Note the libertine tone and call for sexual freedom combined with a darker undertone of the real harm of social norms

205

GET up, get up for shame, the blooming morn
Upon her wings presents the god unshorn.
See how Aurora throws her fair
Fresh-quilted colours through the air:
Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see
The dew bespangling herb and tree.

Herrick, "Corinna's Going A-Maying" (in Hesperides, 1648). The same carpe diem theme as the more famous "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time"

206

FOR God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love ;
Or chide my palsy, or my gout ;
My five gray hairs, or ruin'd fortune flout ;
With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve ;
Take you a course, get you a place,
Observe his Honour, or his Grace ;
Or the king's real, or his stamp'd face
Contemplate ; what you will, approve,
So you will let me love.

Donne, "The Canonization" (in Songs and Sonnets 1633). Exemplary of the young Donne's wit and irony; note, of course, the English sonnet form as an identifier

207

Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
Purpled thy nail in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty be,
Except in that drop which it suck'd from thee?
Yet thou triumph'st, and say'st that thou
Find'st not thyself nor me the weaker now.
'Tis true ; then learn how false fears be ;
Just so much honour, when thou yield'st to me,
Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee.

Donne, "The Flea" (in Songs and Sonnets 1633). Exemplary of the young Donne's wit and irony

208

BUSY old fool, unruly Sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains, call on us?
Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run ?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late school-boys and sour prentices,
Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices ;
Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.

Donne, "The Sun Rising" (in Songs and Sonnets 1633). Exemplary of the young Donne's wit and irony, in contrast with the later Holy Sonnets. NB this parody of the epic invocation

209

Batter my heart, three-person'd God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

Donne, "Batter My Heart, Three-Person'd God" (in Holy Sonnets, 1633), characteristic of the older Donne. NB it uses the same English sonnet form as D's earlier poetry to a much different end

210

And new philosophy calls all in doubt,
The element of fire is quite put out,
The sun is lost, and th'earth, and no man's wit
Can well direct him where to look for it.
And freely men confess that this world's spent,
When in the planets and the firmament
They seek so many new; they see that this
Is crumbled out again to his atomies.

Donne, "Anatomy of the World"

211

WHERE, like a pillow on a bed,
A pregnant bank swell'd up, to rest
The violet's reclining head,
Sat we two, one another's best.

Our hands were firmly cemented
By a fast balm, which thence did spring ;
Our eye-beams twisted, and did thread
Our eyes upon one double string.

Donne, "The Ecstasy"

212

As lines, so loves oblique may well
Themselves in every angle greet;
But ours so truly parallel,
Though infinite, can never meet.

Therefore the love which us doth bind,
But Fate so enviously debars,
Is the conjunction of the mind,
And opposition of the stars.

Marvell, "The Definition of Love" (1681). NB iambic tetrameter alternating rhymes (abab)--not as common as, say, pentameter rhyming couplets, so use this as an identifier

213

Just Heav'n Thee, like Tiresias, to requite,
Rewards with Prophesie thy loss of Sight.
Well might thou scorn thy Readers to allure
With tinkling Rhime, of thy own Sense secure;
While the Town-Bays writes all the while and spells,
And like a Pack-Horse tires without his Bells.
Their Fancies like our bushy Points appear,
The Poets tag them; we for fashion wear.
I too transported by the Mode offend,
And while I meant to Praise thee, must Commend.
Thy verse created like thy Theme sublime,
In Number, Weight, and Measure, needs not Rhime.

Marvell, "On Mr. Milton's Paradise Lost" (1681). NB the reference to Milton's mighty blank verse, a stark contrast to the rhyming couplets of most of their shared contemporaries

214

I STRUCK the board, and cry'd, No more ;
I will abroad.
What ? shall I ever sigh and pine ?
My lines and life are free ; free as the rode,
Loose as the winde, as large as store.
Shall I be still in suit ?

Herbert, "The Collar" (in The Temple, 1633). Note the disjointed style and especially the quality of vexed dialogue between the self and the divine--this is very similar to the one on the practice test

215

From hence, ye beauties undeceived,
Know, one false step is ne'er retrieved,
And be with caution bold.
Not all that tempts your wand'ring eyes
And heedless hearts is lawful prize;
Nor all that glisters, gold.

Thomas Gray, "On The Death Of A Favourite Cat, Drowned In A Tub Of Gold Fishes"; the poem is about a real cat, Selima, belonging to Horace Walpole, that drowned in a giant china pitcher of goldfish

216

'Ruin seize thee, ruthless King!
Confusion on thy banners wait,
Tho' fanned by Conquest's crimson wing
They mock the air with idle state.
Helm, nor Hauberk's twisted mail,
Nor even thy virtues, Tyrant, shall avail
To save thy secret soul from nightly fears,
From Cambria'sÊ curse, from Cambria's tears!'
Such were the sounds, that o'er the crested pride
Of the first Edward scatter'd wild dismay,
As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side
He wound with toilsome march his long array.
Stout Glo'ster stood aghast in speechless trance:
'To arms!' cried Mortimer, and couch'd his quiv'ring lance.

Thomas Gray, "The Bard" ( ). NB that this long Pindaric ode is on the same rebellion and conflict dramatized by Marlowe in Edward II

217

Awake, Aeolian lyre, awake,
And give to rapture all thy trembling strings.
From Helicon's harmonious springs
A thousand rills their mazy progress take:
The laughing flowers that round them blow
Drink life and fragrance as they flow.
Now the rich stream of Music winds along,
Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong,
Thro' verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign;
Now rolling down the steep amain,
Headlong, impetuous, see it pour;
The rocks and nodding groves re-bellow to the roar.

Thomas Gray, "The Progress of Poesy", a Pindaric ode.

218

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on :
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal-yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn (1819). Note the use of interlocking and half-rhymes.

219

No, no go not to Lethe, neither twist
Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss'd
By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;
For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

Keats, Ode on Melancholy (1819).

220

Darkling I listen ; and for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call'd him soft names in many a musèd rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath ;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy !
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain -
To thy high requiem become a sod.

Keats, Ode to a Nightingale (1819).

221

MUCH have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told 5
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken; 10
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star'd at the Pacific—and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

Keats, On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer (1816).

222

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

Lord Byron, "She Walks in Beauty..." (1814).

223

But thou, my babe! shalt wander like a breeze
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags
Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds,
Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores
And mountain crags: so shalt thou see and hear
The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible
Of that eternal language, which thy God
Utters, who from eternity doth teach
Himself in all, and all things in himself.
Great universal Teacher! he shall mould
Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.

Coleridge, "Frost at Midnight" (1798). Note the poet's deism showing through

224

MÁRGARÉT, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow's spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

Hopkins, "Spring and Fall" (1918)

225

Glory be to God for dappled things -
For skies of couple-colour as a brindled cow;
For rose-moles in all stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoals chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced - fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Hopkins, "Pied Beauty" (1877; pub. 1918). Note that this is a curtal sonnet (an eleven-line (or, more accurately, ten-and-a-half-line) sonnet, but rather than the first eleven lines of a standard sonnet it consists of precisely ¾ of the structure of a Petrarchan sonnet shrunk proportionally. The octave of a sonnet becomes a sestet and the sestet a quatrain plus an additional "tail piece." That is, the first eight lines of a sonnet are translated into the first six lines of a curtal sonnet and the last six lines of a sonnet are translated into the last four and a half lines of a curtal sonnet)

226

I CAUGHT this morning morning's minion, king-
dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Hopkins, "The Windhover" (1918)--the bird is often read as an image of Christ

227

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light.

Dylan Thomas, Fern Hill (1945)

228

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
"Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free."
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
"The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
'Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue."
And I am two-and-twenty
And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true.

A.E. Housman, "When I Was One and Twenty", from A Shropshire Lad (1896)

229

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

Today, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honors out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.

So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round the early-laureled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's

A.E. Housman, "To an Athlete Dying Young", from A Shropshire Lad (1896)

230

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear the water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

Yeats, "The Lake Isle of Innisfree".

231

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

Yeats, "The Wild Swans at Coole"

232

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
- Those dying generations - at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

Yeats, "Sailing to Byzantium"

233

Mother is putting my new secondhand clothes in order. She prays now, she says, that I may learn in my own life and away from home and friends what the heart is and what it feels. Amen. So be it. Welcome, O life, I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race

Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

234

INELUCTABLE MODALITY of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read, seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide, that rusty boot. Snotgreen, bluesilver, rust: coloured signs. Limits of the diaphane. But he adds: in bodies. Then he was aware of them bodies before of them coloured. How? By knocking his sconce against them, sure. Go easy. Bald he was and a millionaire, maestro di color che sanno. Limit of the diaphane in. Why in? Diaphane, adiaphane. If you can put your five fingers through it it is a gate, if not a door. Shut your eyes and see.

Joyce, Ulysses (from Stephen's musings on the beach). Don't let the oddness of the language fool you into thinking this is Finnegans Wake!

235

The world is
not with us enough.
...

the subway Bible poster said,
meaning The Lord, meaning
if anything all that lives
to the imagination's tongue,

grief, mercy, language,
tangerine, weather, to
breathe them, bite,
savor, chew, swallow, transform

into our flesh our
deaths, crossing the street, plum, quince,
living in the orchard and being

hungry, and plucking
the fruit.

"O Taste and See", Denise Levertov

236

I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what's really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.

Larkin, "Aubade" (1977). Death is a common theme of Larkin's work--look for it

237

Loneliness clarifies. Here silence stands
Like heat. Here leaves unnoticed thicken,
Hidden weeds flower, neglected waters quicken,
Luminously-peopled air ascends;
And past the poppies bluish neutral distance
Ends the land suddenly beyond a beach
Of shapes and shingle. Here is unfenced existence:
Facing the sun, untalkative, out of reach.

Larkin, "Here". NB the "very English" alienation critics ascribe to Larkin.

238

"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice"

One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) Marquez.

239

Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that;
The coward slave-we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that.
Our toils obscure an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The Man's the gowd for a' that.

Burns, "A Man's a Man for A' That" (1975). Note the Scots dialect and the theme of social justice

240

When chapman billies leave the street,
And drouthy neibors, neibors, meet;
As market days are wearing late,
And folk begin to tak the gate,
While we sit bousing at the nappy,
An' getting fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps and stiles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Where sits our sulky, sullen dame,
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

Burns, "Tam o' Shanter" (1790). The title character stays out drinking too late, must ride home through the Ayrshire countryside in the dark and encounters a Black Mass at the church; the devils chase him but he manages to cross the bridge just in time, though his mare's tail is pulled off by a witch

241

It was as if I had waited all this time for this moment and for the first light of this dawn to be vindicated. Nothing, nothing mattered, and I knew why. So did he. Throughout the whole absurd life I'd lived, a dark wind had been rising toward me from somewhere deep in my future, across years that were still to come, and as it passed, this wind leveled whatever was offered to me at the time, in years no more real than the ones I was living.

Camus, The Stranger (1942)

242

"O harp and altar, of the fury fused . . . "
"Terrific threshold of the prophet's pledge . . . "
"Unfractioned idiom, immaculate sigh of stars . . . "

Hart Crane, "The Bridge" (1930). This image of a "harp" (stringed suspension) will help with identification

243

Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray;
Along the cool sequester’d vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way.

"Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard" (1751), Thomas Gray. Note the interest in rustic/rural life, in memento mori and memorialization more broadly; look for this solemn tone to distinguish it.

244

...
defunct
who used to
ride a watersmooth-silver
stallion
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
Jesus

he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death

e.e. cummings, "Buffalo Bill's" (1920)

245

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o’er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

"Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard" (1751), Thomas Gray. Note the interest in rustic/rural life, in memento mori and memorialization more broadly; look for this solemn tone to distinguish it.

246

It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.

WEB Du Bois, "The Souls of Black Folk" (1903)

247

and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use of the ellipse the catalog the meter & the vibrating plane,

who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soulbetween 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus

to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet confessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm of thought in his naked and endless head,

the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting down here what might be left to say in time come after death,

Ginsberg, "Howl" (1956)

248

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light.

Edna St. Vincent Millay, "First Fig" (1920)

249

The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,—
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.
But East and West will pinch the heart
That can not keep them pushed apart;
And he whose soul is flat—the sky
Will cave in on him by and by.

Edna St. Vincent Millay, "Renascence" (1917). A long poem in modern dialect and iambic tetrameter is likely to be this one

250

Every Angel is terror. And yet,

ah, knowing you, I invoke you, almost deadly

birds of the soul. Where are the days of Tobias,

when one of the most radiant of you stood at the simple threshold,

disguised somewhat for the journey and already no longer awesome

(Like a youth, to the youth looking out curiously).

Let the Archangel now, the dangerous one, from behind the stars,

take a single step down and toward us: our own heart,

beating on high would beat us down. What are you?

Rilke, The Duino Elegies 2 (1912-22)

251

THE sun was up so high when I waked that I judged it was after eight o'clock. I laid there in the grass and the cool shade thinking about things, and feeling rested and ruther comfortable and satisfied. I could see the sun out at one or two holes, but mostly it was big trees all about, and gloomy in there amongst them. There was freckled places on the ground where the light sifted down through the leaves, and the freckled places swapped about a little, showing there was a little breeze up there. A couple of squirrels set on a limb and jabbered at me very friendly.

I was powerful lazy and comfortable--didn't want to get up and cook breakfast. Well, I was dozing off again when I thinks I hears a deep sound of "boom!" away up the river. I rouses up, and rests on my elbow and listens; pretty soon I hears it again. I hopped up, and went and looked out at a hole in the leaves, and I see a bunch of smoke laying on the water a long ways up--about abreast the ferry. And there was the ferryboat full of people floating along down. I knowed what was the matter now. "Boom!" I see the white smoke squirt out of the ferryboat's side. You see, they was firing cannon over the water, trying to make my carcass come to the top.

Twain, Huckleberry Finn (1885). Look for the Southern dialect and first-person voice

252

The minister gave out his text and droned along monotonously through an argument that was so prosy that many a head by and by began to nod -- and yet it was an argument that dealt in limitless fire and brimstone and thinned the predestined elect down to a company so small as to be hardly worth the saving. Tom counted the pages of the sermon; after church he always knew how many pages there had been, but he seldom knew anything else about the discourse. However, this time he was really interested for a little while. The minister made a grand and moving picture of the assembling together of the world's hosts at the millennium when the lion and the lamb should lie down together and a little child should lead them. But the pathos, the lesson, the moral of the great spectacle were lost upon the boy; he only thought of the conspicuousness of the principal character before the on-looking nations; his face lit with the thought, and he said to himself that he wished he could be that child, if it was a tame lion.

Twain, Tom Sawyer (1876)

253

Why do you lie with your legs ungainly huddled,
And one arm bent across your sullen cold
Exhausted face? It hurts my heart to watch you,
Deep-shadow'd from the candle's guttering gold;
And you wonder why I shake you by the shoulder;
Drowsy, you mumble and sigh and turn your head....
You are too young to fall asleep for ever;
And when you sleep you remind me of the dead.

Sassoon, "The Dug-Out" (1919)

254

I've heard it said
That but to see him in the first surprise
Of widower and father, nursing me,
Unmothered little child of four years old,
His large man's hands afraid to touch my curls,
As if the gold would tarnish,-his grave lips
Contriving such a miserable smile,
As if he knew needs must, or I should die,
And yet 'twas hard,-would almost make the stones
Cry out for pity.

E.B. Browning, "Aurora Leigh". Note the first-person tone and the citation of Shakespeare (Titus)

255

There I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair linèd slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

Marlowe, "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" (1599). First major example of pastoral love poetry extant in Renaissance English literature. Alluded to in later poetry by Sir Walter Raleigh, Donne, Herrick, and C. Day-Lewis

256

riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.
Sir Tristram, violer d'amores, fr'over the short sea, had passen-core rearrived from North Armorica on this side the scraggy isthmus of Europe Minor to wielderfight his penisolate war

Finnegan's Wake, Joyce

257

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary."

Thoreau, Walden

258

"the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings from emotions recollected in tranquility."

Preface to the Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth

259

"all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."

"Revelations of Divine Love": Julian Norwich

260

...
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did

Women and men (both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

e.e. cummings, "anyone lived in a pretty how town" (1940)

261

Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
The little tyrant of his fields withstood,
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country’s blood.

"Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard" (1751), Thomas Gray. Note the interest in rustic/rural life, in memento mori and memorialization more broadly; look for this solemn tone to distinguish it.