Description

Welcome to The Once Lost Wanderer. The name is derived from two poems: Amazing Grace by reformed slave trader John Newton, and All That is Gold Does Not Glitter by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Poetry of William Shakespeare (April is Poetry Month)

The play’s the thing– unless of course you are reading Shakespeare’s poetry vs one of his plays

And since April is Poetry Month, I thought it a good time to finish off the rest of Shakespeare’s poetry. The rest – meaning everything besides The Sonnets, which I previously commented on HERE.

That leaves two lengthy poems, a mid-length poem, and a number of shorter works.


Venus and Adonis– (199 x six line stanzas, or 1194 lines)
Is the tale of the goddess Venus and her tragic love for the beautiful young Adonis. For all her legendary beauty and charm, Venus cannot win the love of Adonis who just wants to go hunting.

O what a war of looks was then between them!
Her eyes, petitioners to his eyes suing;
His eyes saw her eyes as they had not seen them
Her eyes woo’d still, his eyes disdain’d the wooing

When Adonis is killed on the hunt, Venus despairs and curses love forever to be marked by sorrow and pain.


The Rape of Lucrece– (265 x seven line stanzas, or 1855 lines)

You can probably infer the subject. Lucrece is the beautiful and virtuous wife of Roman soldier Collatine, who makes the mistake of bragging of her beauty to Tarquin, a fellow soldier. Tarquin must see for himself, and when he does, tragically – the die is cast. Once the deed is done, Tarquin flees.

He thence departs a heavy convertite;
She there remains a hopeless castaway;
He in his speed looks for the morning light;
She prays she never may behold the day; …

Tarquin flees, Lucrece sends for Collatine, and vows…

‘Yet die I will not till my Collatine
Have heard the cause of my untimely death;
That he may vow, in that sad hour of mine,
Revenge on him that made me stop my breath.
My stained blood to Tarquin I’ll bequeath
Which by him tainted shall for him be spent,
And as his due writ in my testament.


A Lover’s Complaint(47 x seven line stanzas, or 329 lines)

The tragic tale of a young maid, who yields to a charming seducer, who abandons her shortly after having his way. A kindly older gentleman sees her despair and inquires; she tells of how artfully she was seduced.

‘But woe is me! Too early I attended
A youthful suit (it was to gain my grace)
Of one by nature’s outwards so commended
That maiden’s eyes struck over all his face;
Love lack’d a dwelling, and made him her place;

And yet, she also admits, she would yield again.

‘O, that infected moisture of his eye,
O, that false fire which in his cheek so glow’d
O, that forc’d thunder from his heart did fly,
O, that sad breath his spongy lungs bestow’d
O, all that borrow’d motion, seeming ow’d
Would yet again betray the fore-betray’d
And new pervert a reconciled maid!’

The Passionate Pilgrim(collection of 20 short poems, most of which are now considered not genuinely Shakespeare, but still published under this collective title.

Sonnets to Sundry Notes of Music(six miscellaneous sonnets, distinct from The Sonnets)

He that is thy friend indeed,
He will help thee in thy need
If thou sorrow he will weep;
If thou wake, he cannot sleep;
Thus of every grief in heart
He with thee doth bear a part
These are certain signs to know
Faithful friend from flattering foe


The Phoenix and the Turtle

The name is a bit of a misnomer; it about the Phoenix and the Turtledove – representing perfection and love, or in combination perfect love. 

Yay! finally a cheerful poem, yes?

No. The poem is about their funeral, attended by other birds of various symbolism. 


Not surprising, Shakespeare’s poetry is rather morose. Hence, I cannot say I enjoyed any of it, but I certainly admired the works. The longer poems in particular – to keep the meter, pattern, rhyme, and rhythm, and also tell a cohesive tale – is truly remarkable.
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Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (April is Poetry Month)


With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion; and the passions should be held in reverence; they must not – they cannot at will be excited, with an eye to the paltry compensations, or the more paltry commendations, of mankind. ~ Edgar Allan Poe, preface to the Poems

Since this is my first entry in the poetry section, let me first confess, I am not student of poetry, and to be honest, not a great fan – even though I write a little poetry myself.

But I am a believer in reading outside your comfort zone. I expect to gain a better appreciation of poetry. Just don't expect my commentary to be very scholarly.

As I expected, I found Poe’s poetry to be rather dour, if not outright despairing…sometimes quite powerful, even beautiful, but seldom very cheerful.

He also uses unconventional rhythm and meter, which for me was not very appealing. He often changes rhythm or meter mid-stream, which is even more distracting. But there is no denying, the cleverness of his wordplay and his vast knowledge of literature and the abundant subtle allusions in his poetry.

Here are just a few excerpts that I either enjoyed or admired:

From Lenore
To friends above, from fiends below, the indignant ghost is riven –
From Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven –
From grief and groan, to a golden throne, beside the King of Heaven

From Elizabeth
Read nothing, written less – in short’s a fool
Being ignorant of one important rule,
Employed in even the theses of the school – 
Called – I forget the heathenish Greek name
(Called anything, its meaning is the same)
‘Always write first things uppermost in the heart.’

From To Helen
How dark a woe, yet how sublime a hope!
How silently serene a sea of pride!
How daring an ambition; yet how deep – 
How fathomless a capacity for love!

Final lines from The Conqueror Worm
And the angels, all pallid and wan,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm
That the play is the tragedy ‘Man’,
And its hero the conqueror worm.

Final lines from Eldorado
Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,
The shade replied –
If you seek for Eldorado

Final stanza from The Village Street
Sad and pale the Autumn moonlight
Through the sighing foliage streams,
And each morning, midnight shadow,
Shadow of my sorrow seems,
Strive, O heart, forget thine idol!
And, O soul forget thy dreams!

Opening lines from Alone
(I found this poem extremely poignant, and revealing about the poet)
From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As other saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.


You can’t discuss Poe’s poetry without mentioning his most famous poem, and perhaps even his most famous work – The Raven


I’ve always admired it. I think it is brilliantly clever – and terribly sad. So, in a bit of shameless self-promotion, here is a link to my own composition that mimics Poe in rhythm, meter, and structure but is in theme the exact antithesis. The Lovebird



Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A Sherlock Holmes short story

The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor is part of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes collection.(The sixth story, chronologically, in the complete Sherlock Holmes canon.)

Holmes takes the case that every detective must eventually solve – the disappearing bride (or groom in some instances). The abandoned groom is an illustrious personage, British lord, and the disappearing bride is an American commoner, but newly enriched heiress who disappears almost immediately – before the marriage is consummated – fortunately. (bit of a spoiler that, IF…you have Holmes’ power of deduction.

Holmes was a bit different in this adventure – more gregarious than he’s been before. In one respect, that made feel more pleasant, but perhaps less fun as Holmes lacked his usual contempt and biting sarcasm. He still manages to infuriate and embarrass inspector Lestrade. 

I liked this adventure. It is very short.

Few excerpts I liked:

Holmes on opening what looks like an invitation to a social event:
This looks like one of those unwelcome social summonses which call upon a man either to be bored or to lie.

To an American, after the case is solved:
It is always a joy to meet an American, Mr. Moulton, for I am one of those who believe that the folly of a monarch and the blundering of a Minister in fargone years will not prevent our children from being some day citizens of the same world-wide country under a flag which shall be a quartering of the Union Jack with the Stars and Stripes.

To Watson, the closing line:
Draw your chair up, and hand me my violin, for the only problem which we have still to solve is how to while away these bleak autumnal evenings.
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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

I Spy Book Challenge

I haven’t done a book tag in a while and I won’t be doing my normal reading tonight (left my read at the office), so I thought I’d take part in this tag. I saw it first at Jessie’s Dwell in Possibility, though rumor has it it started with Lala at BooksandLala

Pretty simple, find a book on your bookshelves that contains, either imagery or words, portraying each subject. A separate book for all 20 please. I assume there are severe penalties if you reuse a book. There is also a suggestion it should be done in 5 minutes, but I’m thinking…not so much.

From my shelves: I was trying for imagery in most cases (cuz I wanted to). A few require explanation.


1. Food




















2. Transportation
 


















3. Weapon
The ONE RING is the weapon of the enemy…see what I did there?
 


















4. Animal
 


















5. Number
 


















6. Something you read
Needs a little explanation. In this novel, there is a fictional poet, who writes a fiction poem title Pale Fire. The actual author of the novel, named the novel Pale Fire as well…but still, Pale Fire is the title of a poem, something you read.
 



















7. Body of water
 


















8. Product of fire
I may be cheating just a little, but I’m OK with it. This is more of a producer of fire.
 


















9. Royalty
 


















10. Architecture
The book is about architecture, but the cover also depicts it.
 


















11. Item of clothing
I just like the cloaked outfit on the cover.
 


















12. Family member
 


















13. Time of Day
 


















14. Music
A Dance to the Music of Time
 


















15. Paranormal Being



















16. Occupation
 


















17. Season
It might seem like I’m cheating, but I’m not. The rather stunning cover, depicts light in August, and August is late spring, so the cover depicts spring. BOOM! Stop challenging me.
 


















18. Color
Cuz, ya know…orange is a color.
 


















19. Celestial Body
 


















20. Something that grows
The cover is full of rich verdure



















And yeah, if you read this consider yourself tagged. The original challenge was a couple years ago...so take your time.
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