Re: "The Spy in Black" in verse
- View SourceThank you so much. I rarely read poetry but this guy sounds like loads of fun. What a way with words!!
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "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.")
> FROM THE ANNALS
> 'Now pick up your motorbike and go to bed.'
> 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.
> 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.
> 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.