> so permeable to contradiction that when (since you spoke of the
> Epithalamion) he gives us a portrait of his bride, he compares her effect on
> the beholder to Medusa's.
Not only does he give us a petrifying, gorgon bride, but (as I said last
year on this list, about the Iraq invasion, I think) he gives us a
conjugal consummation in total silence, at the culmination of a hymn. The
'song made in lieu of many ornaments' has a funny, muted kind of heart.
Of course by one way of thinking this 'experience of the center' is
conventional; but on the other hand the dramatization of it in
Epithalamion is pretty relentless, and almost (to me) as painful as the
end of the Cantos of Mutabilitie. Look how the crown which Ariadne wore:
at the center of the labyrinth is the terrifying presence that will
release, and consume, you.