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Friday August 29, 2014

Hecate by Stéphane Mallarmé, 1880

Hecate was said to favor offerings of garlic, which was closely associated with her cult.

Plants of Life, Plants of Death, Frederick J. Simoons, University of Wisconsin Press, 1998, p. 143.

In art and in literature Hecate is constantly represented...as accompanied by a dog. Her approach was heralded by the howling of a dog. 

The Lupercalia Alberta Mildred Franklin, Columbia University, 1921, p. 67.

See Lupercalia.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
8/22/2014 5:01 am
Labels: Hecate

ACT III. SCENE V. A Heath. Thunder.

Enter the three Witches, meeting Hecate.

FIRST WITCH. Why, how now, Hecate? You look angerly.

HECATE. Have I not reason, beldams as you are,
Saucy and overbold? How did you dare
To trade and traffic with Macbeth
In riddles and affairs of death,
And I, the mistress of your charms,
The close contriver of all harms,
Was never call'd to bear my part,
Or show the glory of our art?
And, which is worse, all you have done
Hath been but for a wayward son,
Spiteful and wrathful, who, as others do,
Loves for his own ends, not for you.
But make amends now. Get you gone,
And at the pit of Acheron
Meet me i' the morning. Thither he
Will come to know his destiny.
Your vessels and your spells provide,
Your charms and everything beside.
I am for the air; this night I'll spend
Unto a dismal and a fatal end.
Great business must be wrought ere noon:
Upon the corner of the moon
There hangs a vaporous drop profound;
I'll catch it ere it come to ground.
And that distill'd by magic sleights
Shall raise such artificial sprites
As by the strength of their illusion
Shall draw him on to his confusion.
He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
His hopes 'bove wisdom, grace, and fear.
And you all know security
Is mortals' chiefest enemy.

"Music and a song within,
Come away, come away."

Hark! I am call'd; my little spirit, see,
Sits in a foggy cloud and stays for me.

Exit

FIRST WITCH. Come, let's make haste; she'll soon be back again.

Exuent

Macbeth William Shakespeare, 1606

~

Hecate is the goddess of witchcraft, and one can view her as the ruler of the Three Witches. In Act 3, Scene 5, Hecate appears before the Witches and demands to know why she has been excluded from their meetings with Macbeth. 

She tells them Macbeth will be back to know his destiny and she proclaims that he will see apparitions that will, "by the strength of their illusion" lead him to conclude that he is safe. She plays an important role in the play because of the lines she utters at the end of the scene: "And you all know, security/Is mortals' chiefest enemy." She reveals in these lines that Macbeth's belief that he is untouchable will ultimately result in his downfall.

For a detailed examination of Hecate and the theory that she is not Shakespeare's creation, please see the Macbeth Glossary (1.1).

From Shakespeare Online

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
8/21/2014 8:57 pm

"Frank O’Hara’s 'Lunch Poems' Turn 50" At 61st & 5th I always think of Frank O'Hara & 'Music', the first of his 'Lunch Poems'.

Music

If I rest for a moment near The Equestrian
pausing for a liver sausage sandwich in the Mayflower Shoppe,
that angel seems to be leading the horse into Bergdorf's
and I am naked as a table cloth, my nerves humming.
Close to the fear of war and the stars which have disappeared.
I have in my hands only 35c, it's so meaningless to eat!
and gusts of water spray over the basins of leaves
like the hammers of a glass pianoforte. If I seem to you
to have lavender lips under the leaves of the world,
I must tighten my belt.
It's like a locomotive on the march, the season
of distress and clarity
and my door is open to the evenings of midwinter's
lightly falling snow over the newspapers.
Clasp me in your handkerchief like a tear, trumpet
of early afternoon! in the foggy autumn.
As they're putting up the Christmas trees on Park Avenue
I shall see my daydreams walking by with dogs in blankets,
put to some use before all those coloured lights come on!
But no more fountains and no more rain,
and the stores stay open terribly late.

Frank O’Hara

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
8/20/2014 6:20 am

Dream Song 29

There sat down, once, a thing on Henry’s heart
só heavy, if he had a hundred years
& more, & weeping, sleepless, in all them time
Henry could not make good.
Starts again always in Henry’s ears
the little cough somewhere, an odour, a chime.

And there is another thing he has in mind
like a grave Sienese face a thousand years
would fail to blur the still profiled reproach of. Ghastly,
with open eyes, he attends, blind.
All the bells say: too late. This is not for tears;
thinking.

But never did Henry, as he thought he did,
end anyone and hacks her body up
and hide the pieces, where they may be found.
He knows: he went over everyone, & nobody’s missing.
Often he reckons, in the dawn, them up.
Nobody is ever missing.

~

John Berryman was born in 1914 and classically trained in formal poetry at Columbia and Cambridge Universities. His early work includes a cycle of love sonnets called Sonnets for Chris and the collection Homage to Mistress Bradstreet, which marked his turn towards more innovative and experimental forms.

The publication of 77 Dream Songs in 1964 marked the beginning of the major project of Berryman’s career, ultimately culminating in nearly four hundred of his astonishing near-sonnets. Many of the poems are narrated by Henry, Berryman’s alterego, who speaks as if from a dream world, among uninterpretable, but strangely familiar dream symbols and situations. Awarded a Pulitzer Prize, the poems of 77 Dream Songs are characterized by their unusual syntax, mix of high and low diction, and virtuosic language. Commonly anthologized dream songs include “Filling her compact & delicious body," “Henry sats, " “I’m scared a lonely," and “Henry’s Confession.” The book famously begins:

Huffy Henry hid the day,
unappeasable Henry sulked.
I see his point,--a trying to put things over.
It was the thought that they thought
they could do it made Henry wicked & away.
But he should have come out and talked.

Sometimes grouped with the Confessional poets, along with Sylvia Plath and Robert Lowell, Berryman is separated from these writers by the startling world his characters inhabit, which obscures any sense of autobiography—Henry is at once Berryman, and not Berryman, and comparisons become, quickly, besides the point. Berryman once said, “Henry is accused of being me and I am accused of being Henry and I deny it and nobody believes me.”

From poets.org 

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
8/19/2014 8:35 pm

ACT I. SCENE I. A desert place. Thunder and lightning.

Enter three Witches.

FIRST WITCH. When shall we three meet again In thunder, lightning, or in rain? 

SECOND WITCH. When the hurlyburly's done, When the battle's lost and won. 

THIRD WITCH. That will be ere the set of sun. 

FIRST WITCH. Where the place?  

SECOND WITCH. Upon the heath.  

THIRD WITCH. There to meet with Macbeth.

FIRST WITCH. I come, Graymalkin,  

SECOND WITCH. Paddock calls.

THIRD WITCH. Anon!    

ALL. Fair is foul, and foul is fair. Hover through the fog and filthy air.

Exeunt.

~

The three witches are quite important to Shakespeare and to Macbeth and to the theatergoer. They prophecise; we know what we believe; our mind has decided, our gods are firm and unchanging and we know what is so whether it is or not.

Macbeth's witches are his beliefs and our beliefs are our witches too; "Fair is foul, and foul is fair".

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
8/19/2014 4:24 pm
Labels: Macbeth, Shakespeare

Lady Macbeth is evil and she is purposeful and she is a delight.

She plans to have Macbeth kill king Duncan who spends a night in Macbeth's castle to celebrate his victory in the revolt against the king.

After the mayhem Macbeth will be the new king as the three hoary witches had prophesied; here is some of what dear Lady Macbeth wishes for in a soliloquy,

Come, you spirits
    That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here
    And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
    Of direst cruelty! Make thick my blood ...

Come to my woman's breasts,
    And take my milk for gall, your murthering ministers ...

Come, thick night,
    And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell ... 

The Tragedy of Macbeth (1.5.41-53) 1606, William Shakespeare.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
8/14/2014 8:53 pm
Labels: Macbeth, Shakespeare

On the execution of the thane of Cawdor,

Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it. _ Malcolm

The Tragedy of Macbeth (1.3.7-8) 1606, William Shakespeare.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
8/14/2014 4:53 pm
Labels: Macbeth, Shakespeare

I found most of this on Le fou de Proust.

The Big Sleep, adapted from the Raymond Chandler novel by William Faulkner et al, starring Humphrey Bogart as Marlowe and Lauren Bacall as Vivian, directed by Howard Hawks, 1946,

Vivian : So you do get up, I was beginning to think you worked in bed like Marcel Proust.

Marlowe : Who’s he ?

Vivian : You wouldn’t know him, a French writer.

Marlowe : Come into my boudoir.

~

 The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler 1939, 

« Well, you do get up », she said, wrinkling her nose at the faded red settee, the two odd semi-easy chairs, the net curtains that needed laundering and the boy’s size library table with the venerable magazines on it to give the place a professional touch. « I was beginning to think perhaps you worked in bed, like Marcel Proust. »

« Who’s he ? » I put a cigarette in my mouth and stared at her. She looked a little pale and strained, but she looked like a girl who could function under a strain. « A French writer, a connoisseur in degenerates. You wouldn’t know him. »

« Tut, tut, » I said. « Come into my boudoir. »

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
8/14/2014 4:11 pm

... for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

Middlemarch, George Eliot 1871, page 490.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
8/12/2014 9:35 pm

Or Mrs. Casaubon calls on Mrs. Lydgate or "Dodo" calls on "Rosy",

Dorothea waited a little; she had discerned a faint pleasure stealing over Rosamond's face. But there was no answer, and she went on, with a gathering tremor, "Marriage is so unlike everything else. There is something even awful in the nearness it brings. ..."

MiddlemarchGeorge Eliot 1871, page 465.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
8/12/2014 7:33 pm

The Bulstrodes, Harriet and Nicholas, confront a sad and regretful moment, soiling their present, of his past. George Eliot talks sublimely and solemnly of the love that some of her characters have.

His confession was silent, and her promise of faithfulness was silent. Open-minded as she was, she nevertheless shrank from the words which would have expressed their mutual consciousness, as she would have shrunk from flakes of fire. She could not say, "How much is only slander and false suspicion?" and he did not say, "I am innocent."

Middlemarch, George Eliot 1871, page 440.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
8/12/2014 2:09 pm

The Lydgates, Rosamond and Tertius, were soiled by the same affair that tainted the Bulstrodes but in the present. The marriages contrast and are moral if one thinks of selfishness as a lack of trust and selflessness as loving. One marriage is of spousal acceptance, the other is not and the Lydgates (the "not") are many years younger than the Bulstrodes.

"Rosamond, have you heard anything that distresses you?"

"Yes," she answered, laying down her work, which she had been carrying on with a languid semi-consciousness, most unlike her usual self.

"What have you heard?"

"Everything, I suppose. Papa told me."

"That people think me disgraced?"

"Yes," said Rosamond, faintly, beginning to sew again automatically.

There was silence. Lydgate thought, "If she has any trust in me—any notion of what I am, she ought to speak now and say that she does not believe I have deserved disgrace."

But Rosamond on her side went on moving her fingers languidly. Whatever was to be said on the subject she expected to come from Tertius. What did she know? And if he were innocent of any wrong, why did he not do something to clear himself?

Middlemarch, George Eliot 1871, page 443.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
8/12/2014 1:09 pm

And on Lydgate's enthusiasm there was constantly pressing not a simple weight of sorrow, but the biting presence of a petty degrading care, such as casts the blight of irony over all higher effort.

Middlemarch, George Eliot 1871, page 344, (my emphasis).

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
8/10/2014 8:47 pm

Mrs. Cadwallader said, privately, "You will certainly go mad in that house alone, my dear. You will see visions. We have all got to exert ourselves a little to keep sane, and call things by the same names as other people call them by. To be sure, for younger sons and women who have no money, it is a sort of provision to go mad: they are taken care of then. But you must not run into that. I dare say you are a little bored here with our good dowager; but think what a bore you might become yourself to your fellow-creatures if you were always playing tragedy queen and taking things sublimely. Sitting alone in that library at Lowick you may fancy yourself ruling the weather; you must get a few people round you who wouldn't believe you if you told them. That is a good lowering medicine."

"I never called everything by the same name that all the people about me did," said Dorothea, stoutly.

"But I suppose you have found out your mistake, my dear," said Mrs. Cadwallader, "and that is a proof of sanity."

Middlemarch, George Eliot 1871, page 315, (my emphasis).

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
8/7/2014 9:30 pm

But this result was questionable. And what else could he do for Dorothea? What was his devotion worth to her? It was impossible to tell. He would not go out of her reach. He saw no creature among her friends to whom he could believe that she spoke with the same simple confidence as to him. She had once said that she would like him to stay; and stay he would, whatever fire-breathing dragons might hiss around her.

Middlemarch, George Eliot 1871, page 276.

Posted by: Eugene Wyatt
8/6/2014 1:24 pm