[ilds] DG Bitter Lemons -- A WATER-COLOUR OF VENICE

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Fri Jul 6 13:40:14 PDT 2007

Charles, perhaps you could expand on that claim.


-----Original Message-----
>From: slighcl <slighcl at wfu.edu>
>Sent: Jul 5, 2007 8:14 PM
>To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>Subject: Re: [ilds] DG Bitter Lemons -- A WATER-COLOUR OF VENICE
>Has anyone ever put forward a claim that Durrell's poetry from the 
>1950s--/The Tree of Idleness/ &c.--is his strongest verse?
>            Durrell, Lawrence:  A WATER-COLOUR OF VENICE [from Collected
>            Poems: 1931-1974 (1985), Faber and Faber]
>            Zarian was saying: Florence is youth,
>            And after it Ravenna, age,
>            Then Venice, second-childhood.
>            The pools of burning stone where time
>            And water, the old siege-masters,
>            Have run their saps beneath
>            A thousand saddle-bridges,
>            Puffed up by marble griffins drinking,
>            [Page 214 ]
>            And all set free to float on loops
>            Of her canals like great intestines
>            Now snapped off like a berg to float,
>            Where now, like others, you have come alone,
>            To trap your sunset in a yellow glass,
>            And watch the silversmith at work
>            Chasing the famous salver of the bay ...
>            Here sense dissolves, combines to print only
>            These bitten choirs of stone on water,
>            To the rumble of old cloth bells,
>            The cadging of confetti pigeons,
>            A boatman singing from his long black coffin ...
>            To all that has been said before
>            You can add nothing, only that here,
>            Thick as a brushstroke sleep has laid
>            Its fleecy unconcern on every visage,
>            At the bottom of every soul a spoonful of sleep.
>            1955/1950

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