The Cummings concluding couplet is the best part of the poem for me, Max. Maybe silence can mould strangeness and 'glassy darkness' : crying in the dark, I presume. But I get lost at 'my once more illustrious arms'.
The Kees one is a spookier beast.
Thanks, (I think), for sharing,
> On 31 Jan 2015, at 6:09 am, Max Richards <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Reviewing a new book on The Sonnets of Shaks,
> Glyn Maxwell
> In the sonnets, Shakespeare’s incomparable awareness and capacity for expression has a physical effect. Like the sun at its zenith it casts no shadows, makes no weather. The last couplets of two great modern sonnets — E. E. Cummings’s “turning from the tremendous lie of sleep / i watch the roses of the day grow deep” and Weldon Kees’s “These speculations sour in the sun. / I have no daughter. I desire none” — make the sound of a guessable soul in a seeable place, fading into a spot of time. Someone is there.
> Struck by this from Maxwell, I have looked out these two sonnets he fancies, and here they are now…(still digesting them so not adding my own comment)…
> (hoping transmission doesn’t wreck their layout. Max)
> First the cummings, then the Kees
> It Is At Moments After I Have Dreamed
> it is at moments after i have dreamed
> of the rare entertainment of your eyes,
> when(being fool to fancy)i have deemed
> with your peculiar mouth my heart made wise;
> at moments when the glassy darkness holds
> the genuine apparition of your smile
> (it was through tears always)and silence moulds
> such strangeness as was mine a little while;
> moments when my once more illustrious arms
> are filled with fascination, when my breast
> wears the intolerant brightness of your charms:
> one pierced moment whiter than the rest
> —turning from the tremendous lie of sleep
> i watch the roses of the day grow deep.
> For My Daughter
> BY WELDON KEES
> Looking into my daughter’s eyes I read
> Beneath the innocence of morning flesh
> Concealed, hintings of death she does not heed.
> Coldest of winds have blown this hair, and mesh
> Of seaweed snarled these miniatures of hands;
> The night’s slow poison, tolerant and bland,
> Has moved her blood. Parched years that I have seen
> That may be hers appear: foul, lingering
> Death in certain war, the slim legs green.
> Or, fed on hate, she relishes the sting
> Of others’ agony; perhaps the cruel
> Bride of a syphilitic or a fool.
> These speculations sour in the sun.
> I have no daughter. I desire none.