Monday, July 9, 2012

Rheumatic dewdrops

More parallel passages (gannet picture via Calista).

1. Pasternak, "September" (trans. Lowell):
The moment the sun rises, it disappears.
Last night, the marsh by the swimming-pool shivered with fever;
the last bell-flowers waste under the rheumatic dewdrop,
a dirty lilac stain souses the birches.

Cf. Geoffrey Hill, "Damon's lament for his Clorinda, Yorkshire 1654":
No sooner has the sun   
swung clear above earth’s rim than it is gone.   
We live like gleaners of its vestiges
There are also analogies with Hill's dove that "bursts through the leaves with an untidy sound" and Stevens's "pool of pink / clippered with lilies scudding the bright chromes," and with this.

2. Pasternak, "September" (a few lines further down):
The thinning birchwood has not ceased to water its color --
more and more watery, its once regal shade.
Hill, sounding oddly Audenesque, in his first book:
Though there are wild dogs 
Infesting the roads 
We have recitals, catalogues 
Of protected birds; 

And the rare pale sun
To water our days.
And, much more recently: "the watered gold that February drains / out of the overcast"

More relevantly, Charles Wright:
I remember the way the mimosa tree
                                                   buttered the shade
Outside the basement bedroom, soaked in its yellow bristles.
3. Pasternak, "For Anna Akhmatova" (again trans. Lowell): "I hear the soiled, dripping small talk of the roofs" -- and "the shallows smell like closets full of last summer's clothes." For the former, cf. Paul Muldoon's "soiled grey blanket of Irish rain"; for the latter, cf. Hollinghurst, "his own rectal smell -- a soft stench like stale flower-water."

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