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  •  Here is a poem of Hardy's, full of nimbleness and (1+ / 0-)
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    punch (I don't have time to comb through his books for fine paragraphs). No doubt he read Ozymandias.

    In between the passages you find stilted in his prose are passages like this, where he hits his mark with precision and grace:


    The Children and Sir Nameless

    Sir Nameless, once of Athelhall, declared:
    "These wretched children romping in my park
    Trample the herbage till the soil is bared,
    And yap and yell from early morn till dark!
    Go keep them harnessed to their set routines:
    Thank God I've none to hasten my decay;
    For green remembrance there are better means
    Than offspring, who but wish their sires away."

    Sir Nameless of that mansion said anon:
    "To be perpetuate for my mightiness
    Sculpture must image me when I am gone."
    - He forthwith summoned carvers there express
    To shape a figure stretching seven-odd feet
    (For he was tall) in alabaster stone,
    With shield, and crest, and casque, and word complete:
    When done a statelier work was never known.

    Three hundred years hied; Church-restorers came,
    And, no one of his lineage being traced,
    They thought an effigy so large in frame
    Best fitted for the floor. There it was placed,
    Under the seats for schoolchildren. And they
    Kicked out his name, and hobnailed off his nose;
    And, as they yawn through sermon-time, they say,
    "Who was this old stone man beneath our toes?"

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 12:12:37 PM PDT

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    •  I bow to Ozymandias. (1+ / 0-)
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      I think one of the greatest unfinished poems in the English language begins "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree..."

      I think that poem you just published would be perfect ammunition for Dorothy Parker to skewer.

      It is stilted, amateurish, and jejune.


      Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

      by Youffraita on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 01:57:39 PM PDT

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      •  The argument's become pointless. You're not taking (1+ / 0-)
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        the time to think, you're making knee-jerk responses based on your strong feelings.

        I know you're smart, well-read, full of opinions. But you have a mental block here. Your prejudice against Hardy is so strong that you can't see past it, to the text itself.

        It's not that he can't be criticized. It's that the adjectives you use have no relation to the text itself.

        Hardy can be stilted, but isn't here - except in the actual words of Sir Nameless, which deliberately reflect his pompous personality. Hardy manages his words, rhythms and meanings with skill and sharp aim, and shapes his tale nicely. Your "amateurish, and jejune" aren't in the poem - they're just labels you've pasted to your mental image of Hardy.

        Perhaps I was appearing pompous myself, in my defense of Hardy, and you felt like tweaking me. I enjoy your opinions, Youffraita, and your spirited defense of them. But if your opinions on Hardy are completely sincere, than they are also short-sighted.

        I believe your feelings against Hardy are too strong for you to read him and make an objective judgment. We all have blind spots like this. I think we judge more fairly when we notice our own blindnesses. You're welcome to point out mine, when you spot them.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 04:29:48 PM PDT

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