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Re: "The Spy in Black" in verse

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  • Operafille
    Thank you so much. I rarely read poetry but this guy sounds like loads of fun. What a way with words!! Operafilly
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 8, 2010
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      Thank you so much. I rarely read poetry but this guy sounds like loads of fun. What a way with words!!


      --- In conradveidt@yahoogroups.com, "katya" <katya617@...> wrote:
      > Did y'all know that Geoffrey Hill, a well-known British poet (i.e.,
      > he's well-known to other poets) wrote a poem about "The Spy in Black?"
      > It's actually a sequence of three sonnets, if I'm any judge of such
      > matters. Regardless of what you think they're *really* about, Hill is
      > obviously a keen viewer of "The Spy in Black" and he picked up on its
      > funniest line.
      > -- Katya
      > (The poem appears in a collection of Hill poems called "Without Title.")
      > 'Now pick up your motorbike and go to bed.'
      > I
      > Imperilled by a virgin's lack of nous,
      > and she a Presbyterian in love,
      > too generous when encountering the world's ways
      > ex machina - motor so opportune,
      > like clockwork, chauffeused by a butch young thug
      > (her low Lugerian accent); gräfin in back
      > dispensing chloroform out of her furs.
      > (Changes in continuity my credit.)
      > Slightly obtuse those Viking-blooded gaels,
      > magnificent auxiliaries, who emerge
      > snorting their cosmic roles as engineers
      > with bears of cotton-waste and most chaste oaths.
      > Caesar himself dictates the signal flags
      > proud, choppy, flown at regulation height.
      > II
      > Metaphysics of physics: what is the secret
      > that nothing turns on though around it
      > everything circulates, the pull of this
      > interminable grey light in focused seance?
      > No intermission as the shock flotilla
      > moves to a change of course with spray-clawed bows.
      > Strike a good posture, comrade, time the reel.
      > Playing myth-bound, pure spirit that you are,
      > feign mind and soul like eerie Harpo Marx,
      > wiped off the celluloid, all watches primed
      > to set and match, a day saved by default
      > just as I said it would be. Gallant old tub
      > founders with an immediate deep upsurge.
      > Musical flotsam churns post-mortem Elgar.
      > III
      > No, no, no. Metaphysics of chemistry -
      > mystery play of the synapses for Veidt
      > and dominatrix Hobson. But play it as
      > convention's act of war. Is it possible
      > to love two men at once? I'd have said not
      > but this confounds me and is worth the price.
      > Passionate timing - saved by the torpedo.
      > (Error in detail there; write me about it,
      > you whacking bore. I yield to my invention.)
      > I've yielded to much else; and few are drawn
      > well purged into senescence. I should guess
      > that Iron Cross (2nd Class) is their mistake.
      > And what an exit-line - It was my own
      > boat that sank us - splendid! And valedictions.
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