Post Number: 162
|Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 2:47 pm: || |
The following are from A CENTURY OF HUMOROUS VERSE in Everyman's Library (Dent: London; Dutton:
New York, 1959, 1973) on pages 153 - 159. That
is the selection (many from LAPSUS CALAMI) of Stephen's poetry.
Will there never come a season
Which shall rid us from the curse
Of a prose which knows no reason
And an unmelodious verse:
When the world shall cease to wonder
At the genius of an Ass,
And a boy's eccentric blunder
Shall not bring success to pass:
When mankind shall be delivered
From the clash of magazines,
And the inkstand shall be shivered
Into countless smithereens:
When there stands a muzzled stripling,
Mute, beside a muzzled bore:
When the Rudyards cease from Kipling,
And the Haggards Ride no more.
A Sonnet on Wordsworth
Two voicesa are there: one is of the deep;
It learns the storm-cloud's thunderous melody,
Now roars, now murmurs with the changing sea,
Now bird-like pipes, now closes soft in sleep:
And one is of an old half-witted sheep
Which bleats articulate monotony,
And indicates that two and one are three,
That grass is green, lakes damp, and mountains steep:
And, Wordsworth, both are thine: at certain times
Forth from the hear of thy melodious rhymes,
The form and pressure of high thoughts will burst:
At other times -- good Lord! I'd rather be
Quite unacquainted with the A B C.
Than write such hopeless rubbish as thy worst.
SENEX TO MATT. PRIOR
Ah! Matt.:old age has brought to me
Thy wisdom, less thy certainty:
The world's a jest, and joy's a trinket:
I knew that once: but now -- I think it.
CYNICUS TO W. SHAKSPERE
You wrote a line too much, my sage,
Of Seers the first, and first of sayers;
For only half the world's a stage,
And only all the women players.
I think he had too high an opinion of his opinions on other writers. People still read
Shakespeare, Wordsworth, and Kipling (and Rider
Haggard for that matter). I'm not sure how many
still read Matthew Prior. But more read Prior than turn to Stephen's poetry.
Robert Charles Linford
Post Number: 1293
|Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 3:22 pm: || |
Thanks for posting that. There's some more of his stuff at http://oldpoetry.com/Poetry
Andy and Sue Parlour
Post Number: 68
|Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2003 - 1:37 pm: || |
To appreciate J.K.Stephen's work you really need to read all his work. Luckily we do have his complete works. He had 2 main books published before his death and his brother Herbert had a book of selected poems from Lapsis Culami and Quo Musa Tendis published not long after.
|Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2003 - 8:35 pm: || |
If all the harm that women have done
Were put in a bundle and rolled into one
Earth would not hold it
The sky could not enfold it
It could not be lighted or warmed by the sun.
Such masses of evil
Would puzzle the devil
And keep him in fuel while Time's wheels run
Kind of makes you wonder what happened to the man, maybe in his childhood, to make him write such a thing.
Andy and Sue Parlour
Post Number: 69
|Posted on Friday, November 21, 2003 - 2:35 pm: || |
Many poets write verse that indicates the state of their mind at a specific mind. Perhaps he wrote that after he had been spurned by a female shortly before.
JK was a man of many moods. He was passionately in love with Stella Duckworth a cousin by marriage. He proposed to her on numerous occassions.
He was often a speaker at the Cambridge Union on championing the advancement of women's rights in all walks of public life, and won many votes in support of women at Cambridge.
To say he was anti women is a mistake many writers have made.
Many of his poems tell of his love for the fairer sex. He is very satirical at times also.
As I said you need to read all his works, not just the odd one or two which are reproduced
from time to time.
Post Number: 560
|Posted on Friday, November 21, 2003 - 4:23 pm: || |
Regardless of the sentiment expressed, that poem by JK is a masterpiece that causes pause for thought, not at content but at the power of words when used in a particular fashion.
It puts me in mind of TE Lawrence's poem at the start of Seven Pillars, another rare masterpiece.
Generally when I look at poetry I ignore the content and meaning, and pleasure myself purely in the sheer value of the words just as words.
No person should ever be offended by poetry.
Andy and Sue Parlour
Post Number: 70
|Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2003 - 7:00 am: || |
Could not have put it better myself.
|Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2003 - 2:05 pm: || |
Yes, I think you're right that I shouldn't take a single work to point out that he has misogynist tendences (although I've seen another poem or two with similar vehemence toward women). And certainly a moment's anger expressed in a poem doesn't translate to violence toward women. So you believe he was straight, then? Was Stella the only woman he ever loved or hoped to marry? Where did you find out information about him? I'm having so much trouble finding anything (at least anything that isn't negative). Oh btw, I did find a copy of your book for sale and bought it. I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks.
|Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 6:24 am: || |
I have a spare copy of "Lapsus Calami" if anyone is interested in buying it.
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