‘Could a rule be given from without, poetry would cease to be poetry, and sink into a mechanical art. It would be μóρφωσις, not ποίησις. The rules of the IMAGINATION are themselves the very powers of growth and production. The words to which they are reducible, present only the outlines and external appearance of the fruit. A deceptive counterfeit of the superficial form and colours may be elaborated; but the marble peach feels cold and heavy, and children only put it to their mouths.’ [Coleridge, Biographia ch. 18]

‘ποίησις’ (poiēsis) means ‘a making, a creation, a production’ and is used of poetry in Aristotle and Plato. ‘μóρφωσις’ (morphōsis) in essence means the same thing: ‘a shaping, a bringing into shape.’ But Coleridge has in mind the New Testament use of the word as ‘semblance’ or ‘outward appearance’, which the KJV translates as ‘form’: ‘An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form [μóρφωσις] of knowledge and of the truth in the law’ [Romans 2:20]; ‘Having a form [μóρφωσις] of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away’ [2 Timothy 3:5]. I trust that's clear.

There is much more on Coleridge at my other, Coleridgean blog.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Wodwo Vergil: Eclogue 8



For I will consider the pastoral Muse of Damon and Alphesiboeus.
For the cows were so broadly amazed at their singing they forgot even to graze.
For it hypnotised the lynxes three two one and you're under.
For the rivers were rendered stony-astonished and stuttered like snakes and stopped flowing altogether.
For I will tell the story of the pastoral Muse of Damon and Alphesiboeus.
For though you are sailing dextrously past the hefty, sheared-off coastal defensive blocks of Timavus.
For though you are tacking laboriously through the Illyrian sea.
For you cannot be certain the day ever dawn when I will tell your story.
For freedom to sing if not guaranteed in this world.
For who could ever be as good as Sophocles?
For you are where I begin.
For your reputation will end me.
For ivy twitches a nematode wriggle across your wide forehead.

For it was barely nightfall. Daylight's impetus had not wholly drained from the sky.
For dew saturated the grass, like water in the lungs of a drowned woman.
For the cutstring puppet of Damon was propped against an olive trunk
and it sang, it sang:
“Wake up, morning star, sleepy head.
My love for promised Nysa is quite dead.
so I am dead.
Maenalan songs spurt from my pipe, if you know what I mean.

Maenalus made the woodland shudder.
Made Pan and shepherds clutch one another.
With a song of murder.
Maenalan songs spurt from my pipe, if you know what I mean.

Hard Mopsus fucked Nysa then and there.
You think lovers won't stop and stare?
Griffins rape mares.

It's a new age. Here's an end to hope.
Wild dogs force deer's lips to the cup
Mospus! Light it up!

Here comes the bride! Here comes the bride.
Confetti! Husband: she's yours to ride.
Jam your cock inside.
Maenalan songs spurt from my pipe, if you know what I mean.

Oeta startles the evening star into running off,
going into witness-protection.
Maenalan songs spurt from my pipe, if you know what I mean.

Married now, bitch? No escape.
Could've had me instead of this ape.
So cry the river we're presently sitting beside.
You hated my face. You hated my beard.
You think the gods ever really cared?
Maenalan songs spurt from my pipe, if you know what I mean.

I've been stalking you. I lurked in the hedge.
Watched as you played with your little kid.
Stealing fruit from the orchard.
Man, I wanted you then and there
Hard as a rod, I stared, I stared
I hid.
Maenalan songs spurt from my pipe, if you know what I mean.

Love is psychosis. Tmarus's bare stones
Brain blanking heat. Distant Garamantes
No human infant.
Maenalan songs spurt from my pipe, if you know what I mean.

Sociopathic Love taught a mother.
The drain her children’s blood in murder.
That was hard core.
Maenalan songs spurt from my pipe, if you know what I mean.

But who was the guilty party here?
The mother, or the madness of desire?
It was the latter.
Maenalan songs spurt from my pipe, if you know what I mean.

Sheep chase down wolves. Gold apples grow on oaks.
Alders bloom with daffodils,. The rough barks
of tamarisks ooze honey-blood amber.
Oaks out-sing swans. Dumb lose to dumber.

Let Tityrus cosplay Orpheus in the woodland.
Or swim with dolpghins dressed an Arion
Maenalan songs spurt from my pipe, if you know what I mean.

Let the fucking ocean swallow everything
Lowlands, forest, towns, everything
I'll stand on the summit of Everest and watch everything
swirl into the Apocalypse Sea, and when everything
has drowned I'll throw myself in.
My pipe is drained dry of Maenalan songs for now.”

For this was Damon's song, unplugged, harsh.
For it made the river weep incoherently through its mouthful of mud.
For the Muses, being women, were not pleased.
For this reason, Alphesiboeus stood up, wearing his guitar like bodyarmour, and sang
and sang:
“Bring out water.
Wrap soft wool around this altar;
Burn fine-smelling herbs and male frankincense,
Accompany my magic with this incense.
Set my lover's cold mind on fire.
Desire. Desire. Desire.
Come to me Daphnis, this magic spell will bring you home.

Dislodge the moon from its roulette-wheel spin
Sing to draw it down.
Like Circe sang Ulysses' men into swine
The cold snake in the meadows is torn outside-in
The string of its guts ripped out clean
Come to me Daphnis, this magic spell will bring you home.

To tie you up I use three cords each a different colour.
To charm you I move your image three times around the altar.
Witch-magic works in threes.
The three knots Amaryllis weaves
Iridesce as the colours change.
She is making magic lover's chains.
Come to me Daphnis, this magic spell will bring you home.

The clay hardens on my voodoo doll.
I hold this other one over a flame until wax drops fall.
So may Daphnis melt with love for me!
Sprinkle some flour
on the fire
Burn bay-leaves til they crackle
and blacken.
Daphnis burns; this burning leaf is Daphnis.
Come to me Daphnis, this magic spell will bring you home.

Daphnis will want me. He will yearn
On and on.
Like a long-horn heifer
Who's been looking for a mate, like, forever,
Lost in the woods, collapsing by a stream
Where the marsh sedges grow white and green
Forlorn, forlorn, forlorn.
He will want me more and more.
Come to me Daphnis, this magic spell will bring you home.

He's a fucking traitor for leaving me, is the God's honest.
These momentos of the affair are all I have left.
I'll bury them in the soil to send the spell west.
Come to me Daphnis, this magic spell will bring you home.

These herbs are from Pontis.
I made these poisons myself. Moeris himself
Gave them me – they grow wild in Pontus.
By their aid I have with my own eyes seen Moeris
Turn werewolf and lope into the wood
And also call spirits from the dead
And charm sown corn away from neighbouring farmstead
Come to me Daphnis, this magic spell will bring you home.

Carry out the ashes, Amaryllis,
Throw them over your head into running water
And don't look back.
With their help I'll make Daphnis pay.
Come to me Daphnis, this magic spell will bring you home.

The ashes that were dead and desiccated and white
Have of themselves rekindled and caught alight.
Now the flame shivers on the altar
I coud barely believe what my eyes saw.
Hylax the dog is yapping outside the door.
Is swallows Seems.
Do lovers invent their own dreams?
Come to me Daphnis, this magic spell will bring you home.”

.

No comments:

Post a Comment