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BRITISH-IRISH-POETS  1998

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS 1998

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Subject:

Re: entice new readers

From:

Alan Halsey <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Alan Halsey <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 9 Feb 1998 13:00:25 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (53 lines)

How cruel of you Ric to throw a real heavyweight into the ring. But, who
knows: TH might donate a portion of the prize money towards a Golding
reprint?

AH

In message <Pine.GSO.3.95-960729.980209083508.1162A-
[log in to unmask]>, R I Caddel <[log in to unmask]> writes
>Well I still haven't managed to read that book we were talking about a
>while back, but I did pick up a prizewinning and acclaimed Tales from Ovid
>which is "Ovid for the Millenium" and "should entice new readers to the
>ancient stories". And I came across this bit, from The Flood:
>
>A few crowds are squeezed on diminishing islets
>Of hill-tops.
>Men are rowing in circles aimlessly, crazed,
>Where once they ploughed straight furrows or steered waggons.
>
>And that sent me back to a version some hundreds of years earlier:
>
>Some climbed up to the tops of hils, and some rowde to and fro
>In Botes, where they not long before to plough and Cart did go
>
>Now the top one is in the present tense, which should give it that much
>more in the way of immediacy, urgency, no? And yet, it seems to me that
>all the energy is in the rough, monosyllabic sound of the second. Where
>the first is weighed down with descriptors which pull the energy out of it
>("diminishing" "aimlessly") the second carries no such extra baggage. And
>whilst, obviously, the second is using a fairly conventional metre (which,
>nevertheless, is made energetic by the irregular internal rhyming, and the
>syntax), what is the first doing? Why is the line break where it is at the
>end of the first line? it neither supports a movement nor creates tension
>with it...
>
>And so on. I hope there are folks out there who'll tell me just as
>specifically why the first bit is so appropriate to our millenial times,
>which I just can't see, except that it's scaled the whole event to a
>passage of an official bbc report. I'm still waiting for the cris cheek
>version - that, I'd guess, would put the energy and range back into it
>which I find so sadly lacking, or which I just don't get, in the first
>bit. I tried, as always, but I just don't get it.
>
>RC 
>
>
>

-- 
Alan Halsey


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