Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Imperfect bellowings"

A passage that recently came to my mind, for no reason, from Dryden's play The Conquest of Granada:
Not heads of poppies (when they reap the grain)
Fall with more ease before the lab'ring swain
Than fell his head:
It fell so quick, it did even death prevent,
And made imperfect bellowings as it went.
Then all the trumpets victory did sound;
And yet their clangors in our shouts were drown'd.

This is from a description of a bullfight (I think; I have no recollection of why the bullfight was in the play, which I read some years ago). The Conquest of Granada is entirely wonderful to my mind, despite/because of its extreme absurdity as satirized in The Rehearsal, and not invisible here; the plot makes very little sense but the whole thing has a swing to it. (Btw "imperfect bellowings" is very repurposeable I think.)

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