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POETRYETC  February 2012

POETRYETC February 2012

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Subject:

Re: Elidius before the island

From:

Lawrence Upton <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc: poetry and poetics

Date:

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 16:46:37 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (142 lines)

I know. I know.

That's not a rejection. I just do know it. But it focusses me. Ta

I may come back to it. (I am treating this very much as a workshop space.

I can sometimes get away with it, the problem we've touched on that I *was
born mid 20th century... and cannot therefore think as though I am in any
part of the middle ages

I got away with it in what *I call the second Steven poem when I speak of
farmers and sailors -- vague recollections of axioms, of Hesiod, of Vergil

but honestly any farmer who said Oh it's spring I'd better do something is
doomed

I was on my favourite farm a few weeks ago, short days, overcast etc; and
they were working like madmen so they'd be ready for spring

It occurred to me when I posted it that this is probably unequivocal proof
whether I planned it or not (not) that Elidius knows nothing much of such
trades; but one can't so easily absorb the present of a startrek tricorder
in the 18th century, which is the sort of territory I am getting into with
the diction you refer to

so I get away with it as someone might dab in a bit of green for trees and
draw the eye foreground to something he *can draw

It can be done better, I am sure. Robert Harris has written two impressive
novels on Cicero through the eyes of his amanuensis which do not clutter
us with intrusive authentic artefact placement; and maybe I can go in and
alter the vocabulary.

When I said _I know I know_ I am not sure that I *had focussed on the
economic diction as such; I just knew the whole thing is a modern
exchange; and maybe I could go for other terms that get round that without
bogging me down in historical novel minutiae

One thing Harris gets very nicely is how Roman bigwigs have enormous
cellars full of gold...

Harris's books for instance show exactly these kinds of ethical stress
without sounding overtly out of tune, to quote your phrase -- a specialist
in republican Rome might disagree

but...

I'll look at that and thank you for the focus -- of course the other way
is to adapt Cage's advice to keep doing what doesn't work until it does;
but maybe not. I could put it elsewhere. In another book; but I didn't
want to lay all the weight of the problem on the bondsman.

(It's quite novel for me doing plot. I usually just throw another
disjuncted metaphor on the page and have a snooze)

The advice itself comes from someone -- can't remember who -- in this
space when _we_ began going into Afghanistan; I shouted about it and
someone said several combats down the thread that if principles don't
deliver their intended dividend (my words) change the principles (his
word)

It still outrages me

L

On Wed, February 22, 2012 16:19, Douglas Barbour wrote:
> Well, we are getting into his 'situation,' here, Lawrence. In the three
> of tis title: but this one: feels a bit out of time/tune, a kind of
> anachronism in that economic language? I like the point, & how it works
> here, but...?
>
> Doug
> On 2012-02-21, at 11:33 AM, Lawrence Upton wrote:
>
>
>> Before all this, one I had thought a friend
>> came to me and said: “For God’s sake, do talk to him. He wants you on his
>> side. I asked
>> “For God’s sake”?
>> “For your own sake, fool!
>> He’ll exile you or else he’ll kill you here.
>> You’ll die elsewhere.
>> You are his counsellor
>> but unofficially. You are not safe.” I replied: “All I have done is speak
>> out on matters of principle. Where is the harm?” And he, who cannot write
>> the word easily nor without much hesitation and breath said: “Principles
>> are of importance. Yes! How could I not agree? But say, my friend,
>> what assistance have they been to you, careerwise?
>>
>> None, I see?
>> I thought so.
>> They never are
>> unless chosen carefully under guidance, as with anything. Principles, if
>> unproductive, should be abandoned, exchanged, for ones that work. Audit
>> your ethical profitability every few months and set yourself targets
>> which are achievable; and good guidelines which do not inhibit social
>> progress.” I thanked him. He went away.
>> I worried.
>>
>>
>
> Douglas Barbour
> [log in to unmask]
>
> http://www.ualberta.ca/~dbarbour/
> http://eclecticruckus.wordpress.com/
>
>
> Latest books:
> Continuations (with Sheila E Murphy)
> http://www.uap.ualberta.ca/UAP.asp?LID=41&bookID=664
> Wednesdays'
> http://abovegroundpress.blogspot.com/2008/03/new-from-aboveground-press_10
> .html
>
>
> The day will come when this will be given as a curious illustration of
> the blindness of preconceived opinion.
>
> Charles Darwin.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>


-----
UNFRAMED PICTURES by Lawrence Upton
42 pages; A5 paperback; colour cover
Writers Forum 978 1 84254 277 4
wfuk.org.uk/blog
----

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