July 3, 2011

Air and Angel

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--Description: 17th C, Donne J., Celestial, Love--
Twice or thrice had I loved thee,
Before I knew thy face or name;
So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame,
Angels affect us oft, and worshipped be;
Still when, to where thou wert, I came,
Some lovely glorious nothing I did see.
But since my soul, whose child love is,
Takes limbs of flesh, and else could nothing do,
More subtle than the parent is,
Love must not be, but take a body too;
And therefore what thou wert, and who,
I bid love ask, and now
That it assume thy body I allow,
And fix itself to thy lip, eye, and brow.

Whilst thus to ballast love I thought,
And so more steadily to have gone,
With wares which would sink admiration,
I saw I had love's pinnace overfraught
Every thy hair for love to work upon
Is much too much, some fitter must be sought;
For, nor in nothing, nor in things
Extreme and scatt'ring bright, can love inhere.
Then as an angel, face and wings
Of air, not pure as it, yet pure doth wear,
So thy love may be my love's sphere.
Just such disparity
As is 'twixt air and angel's purity,
'Twixt women's love and men's will ever be.
John Donne

--Did You Know: (1572 – 31 March 1631) Donne was an English Jacobean poet, preacher and a major representative of the metaphysical poets of the period. His works are notable for their realistic and sensual style and include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs, satires and sermons. His poetry is noted for its vibrancy of language and inventiveness of metaphor, especially as compared to those of his contemporaries. Read more at: John Donne

--Weekly Poetry Terminology: anagram -
The transposition of letters from a word or phrase to form a new word or phrase. All schoolboys know that T.S.Eliot = toilets.

--Word of the Day: swain \SWEYN\, noun:
1. A male admirer or lover.
2. A country lad.
3. A country gallant.
Example:
Ms. Henley knows too how life-changing revelations arrive in grotesque little packages, as when Lenny admits over the phone her traumatizing inability to have babies and forthwith counters her swain's answer with a slight shock and vast elation: "They're not all little snot- nosed pigs!
-- John Simon, ""Living Beings, Cardboard Symbols", New York Magazine

--Quote of the Day: Outside the open window
The morning air is all awash with angels.
~Richard Purdy Wilbur

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