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Beneath Cherry Blossoms - The Lilliput Review Blog

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Chocolate Jesus, T. S. Eliot & the Half-Eaten Moon



Since there was a week missed while I was away, I thought I’d make up with an extra posting.  The true prompting for this was my stumbling on the Tom Waits' performance of “Chocolate Jesus” on Late Night, posted on YouTube.  Just way too good not to share.



In addition, I was struck by the following paragraph by James Longenbach in his review of the Hollander’s translation of Dante’s Paradiso in Sunday November 11th New York Times Book Review:


“T. S. Eliot said that poetry is a form of punctuation.  To divide sentences in lines (units that cut against the natural syntax of sentences) is to control the pacing and intonation of words in a way that grammatical procedures alone cannot.  Lines create patterns of sound that seduce our ears, making us linger over sonic fragments, while the ongoing sentences lure our brains forward.  A rhymed poem highlights this tension, since rhyme encourages us to hear where lines end.”



I’m not sure I totally agree with the last line; that is to say, it is true but, like a two-edged sword, may cut both ways.  Rhyme may lull us from this very purpose.  All in all, though, I found this observation cogent.



Since this is an additional posting, I thought I would dip back into issue #129 and see if there isn’t a little something more to be mined there:





            falling leaves

            deep deep seeing


                             ~Taneda Santoka

                               translated by Scott Watson







between rain showers¾

the letters making up the name

worn off the headstone

                                        ~ Gary Hotham









-- the morning birds have

            eaten half the moon –

                                  leaving plenty for us

         ~ Tim Robbins






Till next week …    Don              




Posted by donw714 at 07:07 EST | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: Saturday, 17 November 2007 08:56 EST

Monday, 19 November 2007 - 17:27 EST

Name: "LAV"
Home Page: http://libraryalchemy.wordpress.com

So gratifying...nothing enhances the refdesk experience like a smidge of high-quality poetry...

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