Saturday, March 24, 2012

"Sand / Is grand / But oyster / Is moister"

From the larder, a newly unearthed poem by Housman, concerning oysters and cucumbers. (Previous local coverage of Housman here.) Naturally the juxtaposition of Housman and moisture brings up that Auden sonnet:
Deliberately he chose the dry-as-dust,
Kept tears like dirty postcards in a drawer;
Food was his public love, his private lust
Something to do with violence and the poor. 
Also new to me: A.D. Hope's response to the Auden sonnet. And I am reminded that I recently stumbled upon this astoundingly bad translation of Aeschylus ("with nurture-milk it sucked the clotted blood"!). (Connection is via Housman parody that Calista pointed me to upon being sent the Aesch.)

Some unrelated linkage: Leigh Hunt's wonderful apostrophe to a fish (and the fish's response); Alice James's self-description of her body as a "mildewed toadstool".

After some grief, the defense has been scheduled! Key outstanding task now -- other than various admin. horrors -- is to write the introduction. Given how heavily my research depends on "reducing to previously solved problems," this is a delicate task; one cannot, as in papers, simply point to the appropriate references, but a detailed introduction to all the relevant ideas would entail unimaginable bloat...

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