Saturday, September 29, 2012

Four (thousand) holes

Sorry about the silence, I have been whelmed in deeper gulphs than formerly... (3. and 4. below are from today's feed; they reminded me of 1. and 2., there are probably other instances of this conceit out there...)

1. Derek Walcott, "The Schooner Flight" (I'm quoting more of this than necessary, I know, but I like it a fair bit):
In idle August, while the sea soft,
and leaves of brown islands stick to the rim
of this Caribbean, I blow out the light
by the dreamless face of Maria Concepcion
to ship as a seaman on the schooner Flight.
Out in the yard turning grey in the dawn,
I stood like a stone and nothing else move
but the cold sea rippling like galvanize
and the nail holes of stars in the sky roof,
till a wind start to interfere with the trees.
I pass me dry neighbour sweeping she yard
as I went downhill, and I nearly said:
"Sweep soft, you witch, 'cause she don't sleep hard",
but the bitch look through me like I was dead.
2. Elizabeth Bishop, "The Man-Moth":
He thinks the moon is a small hole at the top of the sky,
proving the sky quite useless for protection.
3. Louis MacNeice, "Star-gazer":
it was a brilliant starry night
And the westward train was empty and had no corridors
So darting from side to side I could catch the unwonted sight
Of those almost intolerably bright
Holes, punched in the sky
4. Anon, quoted by Guy Davenport:
Carnation milk is the best in the land.
I’ve got a can of it here in my hand —
No teats to pull, no hay to pitch:
You just punch a hole in the son of a bitch.

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