Tag Archives: Robert Graves

Some Say Poetry

In a poetry review, a remark on being a student has drawn my attention:

In My Poets, a work of autobiographical criticism with occasional ventriloquial interludes, McLane recalls two “early impasses in reading,” freshman-year encounters with Charles Olson and Frank O’Hara. She writes about not “getting it” but wanting to get it, about a desire to get it that was left wanting by code-breaking and analysis and satisfied by hearing and feeling.

This is from the second half of a “New Books” column by Christine Smallwood, in the Reviews section of Harper’s, July 2017. After quoting Smallwood’s review, I want to say something about learning and creating, in poetry and also in mathematics.

Potted palms with plaster farm animals on hillside behind

Kuzguncuk, 2017.11.05

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On Chapman’s Homer’s Iliad, Book I

This is the first of twenty-four posts, one on each book of Homer’s Iliad in Chapman’s translation.

Achilles banefull wrath” is to be resounded by the Goddess, whom the poet invokes.

Strife between Achilles and Agamemnon is the story of the Iliad. It begins with Apollo, who has plagued the Greek army.

Homer denies no human responsibility. Apollo has plagued the army, because Agamemnon insists on keeping a man’s daughter as his slave. The woman’s father is a priest of Apollo called Chryses; we shall come to know the daughter’s name only as Chryseis. She has been taken in a Greek raid on her home town, which will be called Chrysa. We shall hear more about the raid later in Book I, when Achilles tells the story to his mother.

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