?

Log in

No account? Create an account
The Bronze Medallist - Eroticdreambattle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tony Grist

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

The Bronze Medallist [Apr. 6th, 2018|04:30 pm]
Tony Grist
"Wandering between two worlds, one dead, one powerless to be born..."

I'd been reading an article about world politics- how the nation state is dying and the future is global- and these lines came into my head.

Apt.

I couldn't think who the author was. Shelley? Yeats? Neither as it turns out. They're by Matthew Arnold- from his Stanzas on the Grande Chartreuse.

Arnold is the third great Victorian poet. Tennyson is a supreme lyricist, Browning is the life force personified and Arnold can seem starchy and a little laboured by comparison. He's not quite as good, he takes the bronze while they compete for gold and silver. He's better perhaps in odd lines than in complete poems; Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse, if I remember rightly, is a humourless exercise in late-romantic self-pity, and much too long....

But he's very quotable. "City of dreaming spires" is one of his. So is

"And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept by confused alarms of struggle and flight
Where ignorant armies clash by night"

That's from Dover Beach- which, whatever else one might say about him and his work, is a very great poem.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2018-04-06 04:08 pm (UTC)
I like darkling plain
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-04-06 06:33 pm (UTC)
He was a great phrase maker.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: steepholm
2018-04-07 02:47 pm (UTC)
I'd have to add Hopkins to your list, even if he wasn't published till later. I'd also love to add Rossetti (Christina of that ilk), but can't quite make the case...
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-04-07 05:20 pm (UTC)
Hopkins stand a little apart. I don't quite see him as a great Victorian, but I suppose the dates say he is. I agree about Christina Rossetti. Are there any other serious contenders? I love early William Morris and there might- just- be a case to be made for Swinburne- who I thought was wonderful when I was teen- but now find rather silly.

Hardy, Kipling and Yeats were all Victorians- and wrote significant work during her reign- but belong more properly- I think- in the 20th century.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)