Sunday, August 17, 2014

Poetry Sunday: "Poetry is the supreme fiction"

As some of you know, for approaching two years I have been writing a poem. Yes, one poem. Among the many things I have learned is that indeed, “Poetry is the supreme fiction.” Here are some parts of poems…no they are the entire poems, but appear as scraps. They were all written by the same talented person. Whether the talent is reflected in the poetry, I leave up to the reader.

“While questing once in noble wood of grey Medieval pine 
I came upon a tomb rain-slick’d, rubbed-cool ethereal;
It’s inscription long vanished. Yet still within its melancholy fissures”

“The painter’s brush touched the inchoate face by ends of nimble bristles
And with their blush of first color, rendered her lifeless cheek living.”

“E’en the most gifted bard’s rhyme can only sing
But to the lack of her and all she isn’t!
His tongue doth. .  .”

(Then there’s a poem, but we might want to start on the soup since it’s 46 stanzas.)
“A moist, black ash dampens the filth of dung-dark rat’s nest
And mingles with the thick scent of wood rot
While the lark song of a guttersnipe. . .”

(How’s our darling Agatha?)
“Twas first light when I saw her face upon the heath,
And hence did I return day-by-day, entranced,
Tho’ vinegar did brine my heart, never. . .”
(Very good. I’m going to stop you there because the alarm has sounded, but remember where 
we left off because I insist you finish later.)

“Tis oft’-remarked, no single, falling-flake does any other
In its pure and perfect form. . .”

“‘If this do be me end, farewell!’ cried the wounded piper-boy,
Whilst the muskets cracked and yeomen roared ‘Hurrah!’
And the ramparts fell.
‘Methinks me breathes me last, me fears¡’ said he
(Holy shit! You got him! Well done, Zero!)

“Whence came these two radiant, celestial brothers,
United, for an instant, as they crossed the stratosphere of our starry window?
One from the East and one from the West.”
(Very good.

Don’t flirt with her.)


Big Myk said...

I assume that, like William Goldman's edition of "S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure," this post is a "good parts version" of the poem, eliminating tiresome details of Florinese history and customs, court etiquette and lengthy descriptions of the queeen's wardrobe.

James R said...

Your reference is most apt. Each one of the above listed 'verses' (separated by a blank line) is as complete as the poem ever got, just like William Goldman's edition is as complete as the S. Morgenstern classic ever got. And certainly, if the lines presented are any indication of what was to follow, we are thankful that the details were eliminated.

Of course that doesn't preclude my recognition and response to these saved stanzas as boffo.

Big Myk said...

I got the Wes Anderson reference (although to what purpose eludes me), and I like the painter rendering the lifeless cheek living, but after that I'm stumped.

James R said...

Yes, they are all from The Grand Budapest Hotel and all written by Wes Anderson for that movie. I really enjoyed the movie and thought the poetry as funny, purpose-eluding, and appropriate as the rest of the marvelous mockery of culture, art, and life (and possibly the movie itself). Poetry, as "rain-slick'd, rubbed-cool ethereal" and all the other verses could have been dashed off or deviously manipulated. I found them hilarious, but also reminders that most poems (perhaps any poem), especially when placed in a context, are manipulations.

The institution of "melancholy fissures", "nimble bristles", "guttersnipe", "entranced", "oft'-remarked", "piper-boy", or "celestial brothers" may be meaningful or mockery. Poetry is the supreme fiction.