Thursday, February 21, 2013

Parallel passages

1. Paul Muldoon, "White Shoulders":
My heart is heavy. For I saw Fionnuala,
"The Gem of the Roe," "The Flower of Sweet Strabane,"
when a girl reached down into a freezer bin
to bring up my double scoop of vanilla.
2. Peter Porter, "Homage to Gaetano Donizetti":
There was a sugar farmer's son (hyperthyroid)
I knew who was just like Nemorino,
And a girl in the Everest Milk Bar
Whose tits rubbed the cold of the ice cream churn
As she reached down with her cheating scoop--
You saw more if you asked for strawberry--
NB (i) As advice, this is inconclusive. (ii) I am not aware of anything Muldoon wrote about Porter or vice versa, though one expects that they'd have had a fair bit in common. (Other than Muldoon being a much better poet of course.) Re Porter, I refer you to this post which includes all you need to know. 

For the relevance of cold in this context, see also this bit from a Richard Wilbur poem:
liquor went
Like an ice-pick in my mind. 
Beneath her skirt I spied
Two sea-cows on a floe.
"Go talk to Mary Jo, son,
She's reading a book inside."


a giant squid said...

Dear Sir,
I have by accident become an avid reader of your blogs and drool over your literary references, and as such was shocked! to find such a damning dismissal of Peter Porter, whom I find to have an ear for the very fine line between satire, modern kitsch and true feeling.
"Well, at forty, the grievances lie around/ like terminal moraine..."
On that note, may I pass on to you also this very fine Snout,
with my compliments, and the faint hope that a million other people have not yet made the same Snout-gag.

Zed said...

Oh but I like Porter! I'm sorry if I implied otherwise, I tend to sound grumpier than I mean...

And it is a fine snout!