||[May. 13th, 2014|09:45 am]
I tracked down a poem by Southey last night. I needed it to bolster an argument I was having with myself about living too much in the past. I had thought the first line was "I have lived too much among the dead"; but it turned out to be "My days among the dead are passed"- and that instead of beating himself up for being unable to cope with modern life he's patting himself on the back for having his nose stuck in his Cicero. |
It ends with him hoping- no false modesty about our Bob- that his own name will live for ever. When Shakespeare does that sort of thing he gets away with it. When Southey does it, well....
Poor Southey; he is remembered, but it's mainly as the first generation romantic poet it's safe to disregard- or- in other words as the chap who isn't as good as Wordsworth and Coleridge. Byron took a terrific swipe at him for greasing up to royalty. Flytings are terrible things. The poet who loses is stuck in the shit forever.
He wasn't a bad poet, just a moderately decent one. There's a poem about the Battle of Blenheim which- though rather heavy-handed- deserves to be read.
I just read an article about Frieda Hughes on the BBC website, about her training to be a counselor. She's had a difficult life and I feel for her - but Christ, tin ear for poetry or what? Makes Southey look like Tennyson.
I have the lowest opinion of her father it's possible for anyone to have, but even I wouldn't say she takes after him in aptitude. He had an ear.
Edited at 2014-05-13 03:19 pm (UTC)
I don't like Hughes either- as a man or a poet- but I'll concede he had talent.
It must be tough having to carry Ted and Sylvia around as parents.
Months later, my marriage/Already rotting on its acrimonious stalk/ Follows him into the ground/And my brother too, who couldn't wait to leave
Following this devastating series of events, she describes her inner life as a wasteland.
Now my internal landscape is little more/ Than a bone yard
Holy shit, that's really terrible. She should get a day job and never ever give it up. Hopefully counselling will work for her.
I see she's had collections published. O dear :(
Poetry rarely runs in families. Coleridge had a son- Hartley- who wasn't bad. I can't think of any other example of a good poet who had a good poet among his/her offspring.
Her brother "who couldn't wait to leave" had a very respectable career as a marine biologist. Sensible bloke. I was sorry to hear about his depression and suicide.
Hartley Coleridge knocked around with Branwell Bronte, or so I've heard, which brings us round back to Southey in a very large circle. Mind you with Hartley and Branwell, hard to know which was the worse influence on the other.