Monday, 9 November 2009

Octember and the 2 Henrys

Lamb House, Rye, East Sussex, Henry James' Residence, 1898 - 1916

The yellow leaves of the lilac
happily dapple the last of the green grass,
a lush golden flush before winter.
Palest sky and no cats,
only a fat lonely magpie,
and another wake at the Club.
Mirrored inside and outside:
the sacred and the profane,
prose to the left, prosaic to the right:
The Master and The Masterpieces Guide,
Funk, spunk, junk and bunk.
You couldn’t make it up if you tried.

A book by a German born in Amsterdam, translated into English from French, about a German philosopher notorious for posing translation problems.

Wry Rye-mmmh:

Bread, Henry’s house, Catcher, whisky and rye;
But it was shandy we drank in the heat
On the tombstones - oblivious to James (why?) -
Which is made from lemonade ‘n wheat.

A quote:

“And this in the black frenzied nothingness of the hollow of absence leaves a gloomy feeling of saturated despondency not unlike the topmost tip of desperation which is only the gay juvenile maggot of death’s exquisite rupture with life.”

(Capricorn, p 99; yes, he was.)

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