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Subject:

Fw: A Terrible Poem

From:

"John Temple" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

John Temple

Date:

Wed, 1 Nov 2000 23:52:47 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (110 lines)

Candice,
>What England?
No easy answers, I suspect. But I thought 'what conscience?' was as
equivocal in its way as 'The conscience of England' and to move up a peg,
only the barely redeemable require(s) a Redeemer (cf-- since he came
up--HH's _The Light of the World_) Q: Is this the same one as 'The Muckrake'
that used to hang over my Grandma's fireplace??? Undark _implies_ the
luminously challenged.
I suppose England as in: 'and that will be the end of---------; Lie back and
think of-------; The Last
of---------;--------'sgreen'npleasant;----------expects;----------expectorat
es;--------------swings (like a pendulum do);---------, my/ their/
anyone's-------------; O2B in-------;--------that was wont to conquer others
etc; this--------.'
    Let me say that, rather than making the link as explicitly as I imputed
to him, Robin Purves says, 'Earlier poems by Prynne...exhibit a propensity
for reasonably direct statement that has since been curtailed'. With
apologies to Robin (and indeed to JW) for lifting their words out of context
(but returning were as weary etc)
the relevant passage is:  'The claim, by John Wilkinson, that "when Iain
Sinclair in _Radon Daughters_ described his Prynne-figure, Simon Undark, as
'the conscience of England' he is closer to the mark than any previously
published interpreter of Prynne".. is, with Sinclair's original claim, the
most grotesque manifestation of the urge to endow the poet with an
unimpeachable moral seriousness and responsibility over and above the
specific pertinences of his written oeuvre.'
       Being the 'conscience of England' has never been easy. In Elizabethan
times it could mean the sacrifice of a Court career. The poignant closing
line of that recently recovered (Antiques Roadshow, Welsh Dresser) m/s of
the Original Cambridge School All Stars of 1590 Miscellany, abducted in the
West Midlands en route to the Manchester printers, by a chancer in
deerpoacher's uniform plus ridiculous crow-feathers, makes the point most
eloquently: 'Thus conscience doth make cowherds of us all'.
    On a more serious note, I'm aware that some of you girls are unhappy
with our new branch manager, Mr. Sinclair. As you know, formal complaints
have to go through Head Office and since none of us want that, if you catch
my drift, I'll have a quiet word with him myself. (We meet alternate
Wednesday's in the Hall across from the Blauwe Zauberflote Theme Pub just
north of Raynham, on the A666)
Happy Halloween,

John
----- Oorspronkelijk bericht -----
Van: <[log in to unmask]>
Aan: <[log in to unmask]>
Verzonden: dinsdag 31 oktober 2000 23:12
Onderwerp: Re: A Terrible Poem


> Uh, break-dancing? UR such a doood, JT!
>
> Okay, where are we in this ruptural rapture of yours? A--or rather
> THE break, I guess your saying--between _Force of Circumstance_
> and _Kitchen Poems_: yes, agreed, although you can see something
> faintly dawnish breaking (haha) near the end of _Circumstance_,
> such as the potential role of song, for instance.
>
> Now your second break/dancin' around _Brass_, which you now want
> to style as more of "a distancing gesture" and point to that book's
> epigraph doing the trick; again, I'd agree about some sort of tonal
> shift and one that sounds like "aha!" to my ear. I think it has
> something to do with French, but not wanting another onset (in the
> Irish sense) to ensue as it did the last time I raised it here, let
> me just drop that subject, toot sweet.
>
> On the "Conscience of England," however, I would like to ask if
> the question is not "what conscience" but what ENGLAND? (What say,
> JT?) Remember who "saddled" our pony with it, speaking of "sardonic":
> Wasn't it Mr SinSardoniclair (or am I Miss Remembering)? And wasn't
> the epithet originally applied not to Prynne _precisely_, but rather
> to that simplex Pi-man Simon Undark in _Radon Daughters_? If so,
> whose "gesture" is it, then, or, who's under that saddle and who's
> sitting pretty atop it?
>
> Witches to say TRICK or TREAT?
>
> Candice
>
>
> >Hi Candice,
> >     'Dissociation-of-sensibility' arbitrary bullshit underlying most
> >'break'dancing, it's good to get your reaction. The only true _break_ in
> >jhp's career is between a 'disavowed' early book (remember that Holman
Hunt?
> >painting- 'your child, Sir'?) and what followed. And timely for Nate to
> >remind us of that, I'd say.
> >    What I most had in mind, I think, was that epigraph to _Brass_, hard
to
> >see as other than sardonic, and-- while maybe a little short of 'no more
Mr.
> >nice guy!'-- still a distancing gesture from that everpresent ethical
> >urgency of the early poetry, which as Robin Purves points out (in The Gig
> >#2) continues to saddle him with that 'The Conscience of England' (what
> >conscience??) handle: 'On eut crié 'bravo! Ouvrage bien morale! Nous
étions
> >sauvés'. David Kennedy's post (The Less Received) reminds us that we
could
> >resist the urge to scratch,
> >
> >All best,
> >John
> >
> >
> >
>



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