جمعه، مرداد ۳۱، ۱۳۸۲

Friday, October 25, 2002 THEODORE ROETHKEI Know a Woman The poet uses a two-fold description of a woman and her movements. Two images of her are juxtaposed: a graceful woman and sociable (experienced) woman. He even gives the background for both: "Of her choice virtues only gods should speak, Or English poets who grew up on Greek I swear she cast a shadow white as stone." "Stone" goes along with "Greek" statues. In another image, "the errant note" connotates the paper money: "Her full lips pursed, the errant note to seize; She played it quick,she played it light and loose; "The idea in the poem is only part of the total experience which it communicates: Passiveness versus grace, old versus flexibility, femininity versus sentimentality. The idea has been truly and deeply felt by the poet. He tells us of the affair he had with a "woman". Since there is an audience, he uses metaphor and irony. "The shapes a bright container can contain Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay: I'm martyr to a motion not my own" He humorously puts together all the elements of poetry to indicate the tone of the poem. He is a rather old and passive follower; and he has a job, a family and a passion. "How well her wishes went! / She taught me Turn, / I, poor I, the rake, / What's freedom for? / These old bones". The woman is sentimental, well-built, and harmoniously graceful (and perhaps experienced). "Lovely in her bones, / When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them; / She taught me Touch, that undulant white skin; / She was the sickle; / Her several parts could keep a pure repose, / Or one hip quiver with a mobile nose". The last stanza is an objective description and gives the echo of the first three subjective stanzas. This shows the polarity which magnetizes in itself a part of the outer world in this poem. "I Knew a Woman" is in iambic pentameter made of four stanzas."I knew a woman, lovely in her bones," Except for lines 6, 13, 20, the other lines are end-stopped. So, the rhythm is halting or disconnected. Half of the lines have a full stop or pause (the caesura) inside the lines. This gives emphasis by causing the poem to be read slowly. The variation of the caesuras in the verse avoids monotony: "I'm martyr to a motion || not my own; (I measure time || by how a body sways)." Alliteration ("I'm a "m•artyr to a "m•otion not "m•y own,"), assonance (These "o•ld b"o•nes live to learn her want"o•n ways), and rhyme bind lines together. The verse is a variation on rime royal (ababbcc). Its rhyme is abcdeee, fgfghhh, ijijkkk, mnonppp. The poet utilizes repetition of words for emphasis and dramatization. "Ah, when small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them; She played it quick, she played it light and loose." These musical devices provide a palpable and delicate pleasure for the ear and add dimension to the meaning. They carry the meaning - and a tragic one - like a joyous pain. This becomes a device by which the poet's own immediate past and eternalization of it, discharges itself like an electric charge. The poem is a product of joy and grief, not happiness and depression. The technicality of the poem also discharges and balances the tension between the whole past and eternity. ***************************** JOHN CROWE RANSOM Dead Boy "Pig" is not intelligent. It only "wrenches" away the "bough" without any further use; and transmutes it to its origin, soil. Here is an image of death (pig) "with a pasty face," "kinned by poor pretense," takes youngs (cookies). But, where? To "a noble house" in paradise?! The poet's analogy of tree and animal is pretty old. Obviously, it is derived from the primitive tales, the religious books, and superficial observation of putrification of dead leaves and dead bodies. Scientifically, they both evolved from the same origin (cell) with different environments. As the poet imagines it, the substance of the aged tree has intermingled with and become a part of Virginia, but its vital principle continues. Certainly the tree's "wound" gets healed and perhaps there is a replacement and/or the tree survives to contribute "pale and little" fruits. Which means that the existence of the tree is independent of these minor events. It stands as durable as a community through seasonal alterations. The fruits, leaves and boughs unite with the foothold soil and become sap, limbs. Time goes on. But for the individual, this process is painful: "There hearts are hurt with a deep dynastic wound." With this analogy of tree and body, the poet subconsciously consoles the reader; because the reader conceives assurance through the liveliness of the tree. Anthropomorphism is used for the tree which is not aware of the loss or human emotions. And, if Freud's sychoanalysis is applied; indeed, there come other births because the father (symbolized as sword) is alive: "A sword beneath his mother's heart." The tree lives a mysterious life of its own beyond that of ephemeral "little man". This sense of a life deeper and more mysterious than that of the passing generations of man is summarized in the following lines: "I see the forebears' antique lineaments.The elder men have strode by the box of death To the wide flag porch," The accent in this instance is religious. There is a contrast between "I" and "the Preacher"'s ideas in the way of expressing their sympathies. "I" has a tempered tongue and "the Preacher" has the conventional dictum of biblical style. "A pig with a pasty face, so I had said,The first-fruits, saith the Preacher, the Lord hath taken;" The moral and religious attitudes implicit in the poem, have been related to the theme, namely, death. The death here is viewed by an intellectual and sensible man. The poet, though, has made an inefficient adaptation to the modern environment. The tragedy is not the boy's death, it is the death of a living body who was like "a green bough", "not beautiful, nor good, nor clever." Poet's attitude is not a naive personal matter, rather, it is a common one. "Dead Boy" is in iambic pentameter with anapaestic and trochaic variations made of five quatrain stanzas with a poor inner structure. The first stanza announces the death of a "little cousin." The second quatrain is a description of the boy and of the mother's patience. The third stanza is the poet's allegorical expression of death. The fourth and fifth stanzas concern the "neighbors" reaction and the poet's observation (not feeling). "The little cousin is dead by foul subtraction A green bough from Virginia's aged tree." The variation of metrical feet, use of three "little"s and conventional metaphors and images are interrelated with the theme on one hand; and on the other hand, they indicate the lack of a sharp imagination or a felt catastrophe by the poet. He reports the events with no justification or concrete detail. "The little cousin is dead, by foul subtraction, And none of the county kin like the transaction, Nor some of the world of outer dark, like me. A boy not beautiful, nor good, nor clever, But the little man quite dead, I see the forebear's antique lineaments." On the same theme Dylan Thomas in "A Refusal to Mourn the Death by Fire of a Child in London," presents a turbulent meter and rhythm along with closely related motives; or Federico Garcia Lorca's "Gacela of the Dead Child" which has a good internal structure. It starts with a report of the death of the child in Granada and gives three images from earth to sky and back to earth, and, finally, it ends in sky which is supposedly the soul's mirage: "Not a flicker of lark was left in the sky/ Not the crumb of a cloud was over ground" to cover God's vision for this crime. The last stanza puts all previous images together with other related motives to set a climax as humanistic as possible: "A giant of water sprawled over the hills, the valley tumbling with lilies and dogs, Through my hands' violet shadow, your body, dead on the bank, was an archangel, cold." "The crumb of a cloud" now is a "giant of water sprawled" and "hands' violet shadow," the dead body of the child. "The valley" goes along with an uncovered grave and "the hill", a newly filled grave which stands a little higher than the old graves because it is not settled down yet by absorption of rain; finally "an archangel," late and lonesome. Except lines 7, 10, 13, 14, the other lines are end-stopped. Half of the lines have either a full-stop or pause inside the lines. The variation of the caesuras in the verse avoids monotony. So, the rhythm is halting or disconnected. This is not emotional and natural compared to D. Thomas' "A Refusal" with lots of run-ons to intensify the emotions. The rhythm has also been lightened by the feminine rhyme. "The little cousin is dead, by foul subtraction," The feelings of the poet are artificial. If he looks at the tragedy or the circumstance with the eyes of children by utilization of their vocabulary, "little cousin," "a pig," "cookies," "house," "box," "fruit," "sword;" then, how could he use traditional words: "noble," "old," "dynastic,"? Alliteration ("..."c•ountry "k•in li"k•e the transa"c•tion,") is artificial, for these unnatural sounds in an elegy are not comparable to the nuzzle sounds: m, n, l. Assonance ("Their h"e•arts "a•re h"u•rt with a deep dynastic wound") is quite tragic; especially with the echo of die in ""dy•nastic" and "heart" goes along with "hurt" melodiously as well as by meaning. ***************************** ALLEN TATE Death of Little Boys The poem captures the intense and peculiar sensations of an experience, namely death. The poet succeeds in saying something new on an old subject in a way that makes it more accessible to our understanding, he adds to our capacity for interpretation of the experience, even though the poem is obscure. To extend his expressive power, Tate uses images which contain a subject that is the center of attention, and some other element that is brought in for the sake of pointing out some quality in the subject. Similies are used in lines 3 and 16: "The event will rage terrific as the sea;" and "your little town / Reels like a sailor drunk in a rotten skiff." These images give familiar qualities of the "sea" and a "sailor" to the "event" and the "town" respectively. Metaphors are utilized in the poem, too: "the ultimate dream" and "Gold curls now deftly intricate with gray," are death and hair, respectively. Most images of the poem are parts of coherent views of life that are different enough from ordinary attitudes to lead the poet to nsights. The rhythmic pattern of the poem suggests an irregular meter abundant in iambs: "And over his chest the covers in the ultimate dream." The number of feet per line is a variable greater than tetrameter. There are 8 caesuras in the poem. Half of the lines are end-stopped; the other half are run-on lines. These properties give semi-conversational and semi-formal effects. The rhyme is abab cdcd efef ghgh ijij. Although alliteration is not used, assonance is abundant: "Out to the milkweed amid the fields of wheat." There are feminine rhymes (i.e., lines 17 and 19) and masculine rhymes (i.e., lines 2 and 4). The words by themselves are most expressive only when they appear in their contexts. Just as the rest of a line is the context of a particular word, and influence its meaning, so an individual word is part of the context of the words around it, and has an effect on them. This effect is not fully utilized in the poem: "From one "peeled aster drenched• with the wind all day." Intelligibility is not only a matter of words, but of the relationships created by the arrangement of images and ideas, it depends on the structure of the poem. In line 9, "his chest" is not clear to whose chest the poet refers to. If it is the little boys' chest, then, it should be their chests. In line 16, "a rotten skiff" can only exist at the bottom of the sea; and "the cliff of Norway" is unusual, because the fjord of Norway is famous. Although the images related to the sea (lines 3, 8, 14, 16) are numerous, they do not serve as an amplifying technique. The vegetation on the and (aster, milkweed, and wheat) do not go with the vigor of the sea. There is no ground or horizon in the poem as a starting point. Other poets have written poems on the death of children. In "A Refusal to Mourn the Death by Fire, of a Little Child in London", Dylan Thomas intensifies the emotion to a climax, through related images and ideas, so brilliantly. John Crowe Ransom uses a light tone in "Dead Boy", and Fedrico Garcia Lorca sets a sequence of highly visual images to describe the theme in "Gacela of the Dead Child". posted by Sam at 2:24 PM ROBERT FROST Acquainted With the Night This is one of Frost's poems that is worked out entirely in urban terms, remote from his preferred world of farm and countryside. It may be that not only the time but the place as well is "neither wrong nor right." (See "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening".) It has an efficient adaptation to the modern environment with the usage of psychedelics "city light," "city lane," "sound of feet," "interrupted cry," "luminary clock." This poem can be seen as a more sharply defined and fully realized version of "A Late Walk," with its sense of man's psychic alienation from the world in which he (or the poet) must live and move and have his being. It achieves something like perfection in its modulated understatement and careful ambiguity. The latter poem is a rural one: "And when I come to the garden ground, The whir of sober birds Up from the tangle of withered weeds is sadder than any words." It resembles the idea of this urban one: "I have outwalked the furthest city light. I have looked down the saddest city lane. When far away an interrupted cry Came over houses from another street, But not to call me back or say goodbye." An uncertain teleologist, the poet records effectively the data from his past without resort to the other's explicit - and questionably relevant - assertiveness. He,"unwilling to explain," sets up a pulsatory world of Lucretian indifference, impersonality and otherness. The poem's theme is one of a quest for some kind of meaningful epiphany in such a world, a quest that is apparently frustrated. (Lucretius Carus, "Of the Nature of Things," "Look below on other men / And see them ev'rywhere wand'ring, All dispersed / In their lone seeking for the road of life.") Yet the final note is not clearly one of frustration, "I have been one acquainted with the night." It is something in the past though the aloneness of the poet in the world brings him negative capability - uncertainties, doubts, mysteries. Frost's knowledge of nature is closer to Epicurus, Lucretius and Omar Khayyam than to Darwin, Mendel and Einstein. They all belong to the same category for their materialistic observance, but nature was an oversimplified, impersonal, indifferent for the former group; whereas for the latter one, it is relative, evolving, and detectable through experimentation. Frost personified "the night" which is just the hours that the sun's light is on the other side of the earth. He uses the same thing for "the time" which is not absolute as Newton thought; rather, it is interrelated with the space to form events rather than a concrete or abstract flow of a unidimensional variable in a cumulative course: "The time was neither wrong nor right. / I have been one acquainted with the night." Frost is an ordinary man who lives by creative spirit. He thinks in images and dreams in fantasy; he lives by poetry. Yet he seems to distrust it. Action is evident in his poem's frequent use of certain verbs. His simple vocabulary and sharp observation turn forgotten thoughts into unforgettable phrases: "I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain." He puts the living speech of men and women into his poem: "But not to call me back or say good-bye." The poem does not occur in a moment; rather, it is a long experience between country side and "city". His verse has a growing intimacy; it radiates an honest neighborliness in which "wit and wisdom" are joined. His central subject is humanity. His poem lives with a particular aliveness because it experiences living people. The poem is autobiographical. The sense lives vividly in it because it is crowded with the intimate human drama. The simplicity of his verse is the simplicity - not of nature - but of a serious and profoundly critical spirit. The revelation of the theme is gradual; it is not contained in an instantaneous flash, but in the whole movement. The rhymes of the poem parallel that of the epigraph to Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: "In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself In a dark wood where the straight way was lost I cannot rightly tell how I entered it I looked up and saw its shoulders already clothed with the rays of the Planet, The night that I passed so piteously" (Dante, Inferno, l) The epigraph and the above lines indicate Frost's impression of "The Divine Comedy." But, if Dante met Virgil in Canto l; and, then, proceeded on the "journey," Frost did not meet a companion, and refrained emphatically: "I have been "one, acquainted with the night." "Acquainted With the Night" is a sonnet, rhyming aba, bcb, cdc, dad, aa. It deviates from the Shakespearean sonnet by a tighter rhyming; but, it is still an iambic pentameter in five stanzas. The first four stanzas have three lines each. The last one has two lines. The last line is a refrain of the first line to make fourteen lines, not "thirteen," because of superstition! Rhythm's regularity gives the iterative experience which the poet had. Except for lines 5, 7, 8, 12, the other lines are end-stopped. Therefore, the rhythm is halting or disconnected which is appropriate for a well established experience; and, it is thoughtful, too. The variation of the caesuras in the verse put emphasis on the proceeding or preceding words. "I have walked out in rain || and back in rain. ||I have outwalked || the furthest city light." Repetition of certain words, phrases and even a refrain give depth and dimension to the poem. Frost's typical words are here, too: stop, watch, sound, stood. Alliteration ("I have "s•tood "s•till and "s•topped the "s•ound of feet") to impress the reader by "s" in repetitious rigidity, and assonance (e as in "been," i as in "sky," and a as in "rain") to soften the aloneness of the "I" give a unity or a composite of iterative units. Placing the accent in the lines starting with "I have" either on "I" or on "have" are both meaningful. For example, ""I• have been acquainted with the night" (and presumably still am), then clearly nothing happened; it is the king's horses and the king's men all over again. But if the accent is shifted to "have", then the caesura after the first "rain" takes on additional depth; something did happen, or at least may have happened. There is no way of knowing whether day did follow night, and if so whether that day was one of enlightenment or of the desired epiphany or of some third, and quite indefinable, mode of acceptance. Such a suspended conclusion may help to justify Louise Bogan's remark that "Frost's later poems indicate that he knows more than he ever allows himself to say." Frost selects a word with one meaning out of the many it possesses and uses that only. Most poetry proceeds by the opposite method. It is much nearer, in a curious way, to the stories of Kafka, who also starts from a simple position and by rejecting false hypotheses arrives at very strange conclusions, than to some other poetry. Frost uses the intense visual imagery: "One luminary clock against the sky." Form is inseparable from the content or thought of a poem. The main concern of a reader is with a poem's meaning rather than its texture or technical details. Since Frost tells the reader about his experience in a society, indistinguishable at night and in rain; then the poem has a well organized and established pattern: length of the lines are about equal, tight rhymes, regular rhythm. Remove the external world from the poem, something more than symbol or exemplum is gone, something that is intimately involved with a bent, a way of looking at the world, a set of instinctive or near-instinctive affirmations and denials that have manifested themselves with an almost undeviating persistence. External world has a philosophically serious significance, either deliberately worked out or revealed by its implicit presence in a substantial body of poems. Frost's view of nature does not possess a persistent ethical or metaphysical dimension of very substantial importance in the poem. But he gives no comparably clear statement of principles, offering instead a mask of skeptical or whimsical equivocation, though with intellectual content. posted by Sam at 1:37 PM FOREWARD The collected literary articles, some of which were previously published in various journals, are grouped into three sections. The first section comprises an analysis of a poem or a short story by an American poet or writer. Section 2 includes a Chronology of the 20th Century major events in Iran and brief sketches on 9 prominent Iranian writers. The third section gives reviews of specific books by Middle Eastern authors. CONTENTS PAGE FOREWORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 ROBERT FROST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 THEODORE ROETHKE . . . . . . . . . 12 JOHN CROWE RANSOM. . . . . . . . 14 ALLEN TATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS. . . . .20 THOMAS MCAFEE. . . . . . . . . . . . 22 A SURVEY OF IRANIAN LITERATURE 27 CHRONOLOGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 FARROKHY YAZDY . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 A. LAHOOTY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 NIMA YUSHIJ. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 MEHDY AKHAVAN(c)SALLES . . . . . .41 AHMAD SHAMLU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 FORUQ FARROKHZAD . . . . . . . . . . . 45 SAEED SOLTANPUR . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 KHOSROW GOLSORKHY. . . . . . . . . .53 SAMAD BEHRAGYY . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 MARZIEH OSKUYEE. . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 BAQER TULUI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 MEHDY BAZERGAN . . . . . . . . . . . 63 SHAFIEE KADKANY. . . . . . . . . . . .65 MIRZA IBRAHIMOV. . . . . . . . . . . . .67 MOHAMMAD SOROOR MOWLAEE.69 SIYAVASH KASRAIY . . . . . . . . . . . 71 ALIREZA NABDEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 MOHAMMAD AZARY . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 AHMAD SHAMLU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 ASQAR VAQEDY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 YAHYA ARYANPUR . . . . . . . . . . . . .83 posted by Sam at 12:46 PM A CARD A PLANE DIASPORA EPIGRAM 1 EPIGRAM 2 EPIGRAM 3 EPIGRAM 4 EPIGRAM 5 EPIGRAM 6 EPIGRAM 7 FERMI AGE THEORY FROM A COLORFUL DIARY HAIKU 1 HAIKU 2 HAIKU 3 HAIKU 4 HAPPY VALETINE LOVE LYRIC 1 LYRIC 10 LYRIC 11 LYRIC 12 LYRIC 13 LYRIC 14 LYRIC 15 LYRIC 4 LYRIC 7 LYRIC 8 LYRIC 9 LYRIC 6 NOCTURNE 1 NOCTURNE 2 NOCTURNE 3 ONE BIG EYE SEASONS SKETCH 1 SKETCH 2 SKETCH 3 SKETCH 4 SKETCH 5 THE AIR WAR THE FALL THE FLOWING FALL THE PRAYER THE RECURRING FALL THE SUBTRACTED STRANGER TWO CATS VARIATION posted by Sam at 12:26 PM

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