[ilds] Durrell as poet

Kennedy Gammage gammage.kennedy at gmail.com
Thu Jan 7 12:16:42 PST 2016


Just re-read “On First Looking into Loeb’s Horace” in my used copy of the
Grove Press Selected Poems, ironically with the same pencilled underlinings
by a prior owner that the poet addresses in the first line: ‘I found your
Horace with the writing in it;’. That’s a great poem. Enjoyed Roger Bowen’s
gloss online, which I believe comes from his _Many Histories Deep: The
Personal Landscape Poets in Egypt, 1940-45_. I would welcome anyone else’s
comments on this poem, which clearly deals with death. Note the power of
the occasional rhyme.

Cheers - Ken


On Thu, Jan 7, 2016 at 11:50 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
wrote:

> I don't think Durrell was being disingenuous.  He would prefer, I think,
> being known as a poet.  Poetry, after all, is by far the older and higher
> calling.  Plagiarism might be a test of this.  I don't detect plagiarism in
> his poetry.  He may revise, rework, and exceed his predecessors.  But I
> don't see him engaged in wholesale theft, as occasioned in his prose.  I
> think he considered poetry too sacred.  Harold Bloom talks about this in
> his "Anxiety of Influence," although he would surely not consider Durrell a
> "strong poet."  You're right--Durrell's poetry deserves "deep study."  I
> find it very mysterious.
>
> Bruce
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Jan 7, 2016, at 11:30 AM, Denise Tart & David Green <
> dtart at bigpond.net.au> wrote:
>
> Which begs the question, was Durrell being disingenuous when he claimed it
> was as a poet that he wished to be remembered. There is wonderful prose
> poetry in many of his books, the opening page of Justine for one, but it
> not as a poet that he is remembered. If he is remembered at all it is as
> the author of the Alexandria Quartet. Durrell read he great poets, even
> knew some of them, including Dylan Thomas. But poetry, despite the sense of
> personal satisfaction it gives, doesn't pay much. Larry said more than once
> that he wrote for loot. However, his poetry is worthy of deeper study.
>
> David Whitewine.
>
> Sent from my iPad
>
> On 8 Jan 2016, at 6:06 AM, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> No, not like “Good Lord Nelson,” more like some of the poems in *The
> Ikons* (1967) and *Vega* (1973).  Durrell was quite versatile.  He could
> be funny or oracular.  It’s useful to start with Peter Porter’s collection
> of Durrell’s *Selected Poems* (Faber, 2006).  Porter considers “Loeb’s
> Horace” a “great achievement” and concludes by calling Durrell “one of the
> best [poets] of the past hundred years.”  High praise from a fellow poet.
> Unfortunately few share this view.
>
> Bruce
>
>
>
>
>
> On Jan 6, 2016, at 7:21 PM, James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> Like the "Ballad of the Good Lord Nelson"?  We even had a performance of
> the musical setting at the Ottawa conference in 2002...
>
> Best,
> James
>
> On 2016-01-06 8:11 PM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
>
> Agreed.  Not enough is done with Durrell’s poetry.  It’s really much
> undiscovered territory.  Why?  Because much is so cryptic.
>
> Bruce
>
>
>
> On Jan 6, 2016, at 6:22 PM, Denise Tart & David Green <
> dtart at bigpond.net.au> wrote:
>
> William, happen to agree with your last line about Durrell's poetry. Some
> of his poems are amongst my favs. Look forward to a Margherita with you
> some day. Sadly, won't be to Crete this year. Have to work this year.
>
> David Whitewine
>
> Sent from my iPad
>
> On 7 Jan 2016, at 10:02 AM, William Apt <billyapt at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Fellow members:
>
> I just received the latest issue of the Herald and noticed that the
> University of Texas's British Studies Dept. will be hosting a Waugh archive
> discussion on April 8th. I am a long time member of the British Studies
> Lecture Series and former undergrad student of Prof. William Roger Louis,
> its Director. If any of you will be in in Austin to attend, please do let
> me know. I know the best Mexican food and BBQ places in town and how to
> make a good margarita - a real margarita, the way God likes them!
>
> All the best, and looking forward to Crete,
>
> Billy
>
> PS: Christopher Middleton, author of the Heraldic Universe, and noted by
> MacNivan as one of the first scholars to understand what LD was trying to
> achieve artistically, lived here until his death this past November. I
> tried to get him to attend OMG in London but he just wasn't interested. He
> felt his interest in LD was from long ago and that he had moved on. He did
> tell me that LD's poetry was LD's greatest achievement.
>
> WILLIAM APT
> Attorney at Law
> 812 San Antonio St, Ste 401
> Austin TX 78701
> 512/708-8300
> 512/708-8011 FAX
>
>
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