Saturday, June 10, 2023

Lord Byron's Daniel Boone

 Of all men, saving Sylla the man-slayer,
    Who passes for in life and death most lucky,
Of the great names which in our faces stare,
    The General Boon, back-woodsman of Kentucky,
Was happiest amongst mortals anywhere;
    For killing nothing but a bear or buck, he
Enjoy’d the lonely, vigorous, harmless days
Of his old age in wilds of deepest maze.

Crime came not near him—she is not the child
    Of solitude; Health shrank not from him—for
Her home is in the rarely trodden wild,
    Where if men seek her not, and death be more
Their choice than life, forgive them, as beguiled
    By habit to what their own hearts abhor—
In cities caged. The present case in point I
Cite is, that Boon lived hunting up to ninety;

And what ’s still stranger, left behind a name
    For which men vainly decimate the throng,
Not only famous, but of that good fame,
    Without which glory ’s but a tavern song—
Simple, serene, the antipodes of shame,
    Which hate nor envy e’er could tinge with wrong;
An active hermit, even in age the child
Of Nature, or the man of Ross run wild.

’Tis true he shrank from men even of his nation,
    When they built up unto his darling trees,—
He moved some hundred miles off, for a station
    Where there were fewer houses and more ease;
The inconvenience of civilisation
    Is, that you neither can be pleased nor please;
But where he met the individual man,
He show’d himself as kind as mortal can.

He was not all alone: around him grew
    A sylvan tribe of children of the chase,
Whose young, unwaken’d world was ever new,
    Nor sword nor sorrow yet had left a trace
On her unwrinkled brow, nor could you view
    A frown on Nature’s or on human face;
The free-born forest found and kept them free,
And fresh as is a torrent or a tree.

And tall, and strong, and swift of foot were they,
    Beyond the dwarfing city’s pale abortions,
Because their thoughts had never been the prey
    Of care or gain: the green woods were their portions;
No sinking spirits told them they grew grey,
    No fashion made them apes of her distortions;
Simple they were, not savage; and their rifles,
Though very true, were not yet used for trifles.

Motion was in their days, rest in their slumbers,
    And cheerfulness the handmaid of their toil;
Nor yet too many nor too few their numbers;
    Corruption could not make their hearts her soil;
The lust which stings, the splendour which encumbers,
    With the free foresters divide no spoil;
Serene, not sullen, were the solitudes
Of this unsighing people of the woods.

                                                         - from Don Juan, Canto VIII


Thursday, June 8, 2023

Extra Pound: The Limericks at Gypsy Scholar

Prof. Hodges has posted a brief note on his new book of poems. Please click his portrait to view the note:

Watch this space. We will hear more about Extra Pound: The Limericks in due course.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

John Cage: Amores (1943)

1 Solo for prepared piano

2 Trio (for 9 tom-toms and a pod rattle) [1:32]

3 Trio (for 7 wood blocks) [4:42]

4 Solo for prepared piano [5:56]

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Extra Pound: The Limericks by Horace Jeffery Hodges

On behalf of International Authors I am happy to announce the publication of a new book of poetry:

Extra Pound: The Limericks 


Horace Jeffery Hodges 

Readers familiar with International Authors books will enjoy this challenging and ingenious collection.

In this counterfactual world of the putative American fascist Extra Pound, who may or may not exist, we meet his wartime companions Kitt Katt and Rat Fink, several varieties of turtles, turtle doves, a couple of ravens, a toad or two, and some other creatures, each of whom is confronted with an overwhelming question.

Horace Jeffery Hodges was born in the Arkansas Ozarks, earned a BA in English and American literature at Baylor University, and obtained a history master’s and doctorate at UC Berkeley. He has been a “Gypsy Scholar” who has taught in various places around the globe. He is now a retired professor after teaching for over a decade at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea. He has settled there with his wife, Sun-Ae, and their two children. He has published articles, stories, poetry, as well as various translations from Korean with his wife, including Yi Kwang-Su’s epic novel The Soil. His novellas are The Bottomless Bottle of Beer and The Uncanny Story. Radiant Snow is a collection of his poems.
Please click the cover image to view the Amazon sales page:

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Highbrow Advice from C. S. Lewis

“Once people stop believing in God, the problem is not that they will believe in nothing; rather, the problem is that they will believe anything.”

                                                                 - C. S. Lewis

Saturday, June 3, 2023

When poetry is about daydreaming rather than ideas (a post-neo-classical Walter Mitty?)

         The World is Too Much With Us

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

                                           William Wordsworth