Lit.’s “LIT,” literally

The wannabe wordsmith’s
redacted //

๐Ÿ“ Conrad et al.  |  ๐Ÿ“ Plath   |  ๐Ÿ“ Walcott


โ
I love my one&only as do poets love the poetry that kills them, as do sailors the sea that drowns them.
โž

^ Adapted a little &, agreed:

โ
The classics can console. But not enough . . .
โž

A while back, as per the curriculum’s instructions, I was discovering the works of Toni Morrison. Now a similar set of instructions invites me to investigate the works of Derek Walcott. Like flotsam I’m adrift, listing and teetering, buoyed a bit — only just — by the Gulf stream’s salinity (or should I say in fact the Dead Sea’s? You tell me for, what occurred in the arena and environs of what’s today named Palestine, really underpins all that we call the Western canon of literature). I dwell, I’m sure you’ve ‘deduced’ — you [2nd pl.], the fabled fictitious, as in you aren’t at all there, you; you [2nd sing.], the mercurial one whose mental whereabouts is a mystery to humankind n beast alike — in Arabia Deserta. That is, the region above Arabia Felix — from desert to orange grove, yeah right, no, think Queen of Sheba, the heat of a relentless afternoon in Sana’a and the incessant burn of insatiable internal desire; a constant unflinching flame — and, below Arabia Petraea — that I’ll expand and add to Palestine: ‘The Hebrew Bible’, Mesopotamia, Gilgamesh and, to hell with time and geographical rigidness, Homer’s epics too. ย [1]

โ
If I should die, think only this of me…
She’s gone, and all our plans
ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย are useless indeed
And say with conviction:
“Dulce Et Decorum Est”
But fa sure, consider this rejoinder to Horace:
is it? Is it really worth it…

โž

I see it and read it in “Unspeakable, unspoken” and I see it and read it in “Omeros.” Time heals yeah? And believe you me I listened to 1619 — I even put the audio files here for posterity — but you see, we can lionise Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece because what happened there is past and what remains are beautiful things like democracy and underfloor heating and fa sure, fantastic fiction in both poetic and prose from. So yes I see colonialism and slavery as they rightly should be seen, but — dear reader — has not humankind always been unkind to fellow humankind? Us and them was not manufactured by the likes of Samuel Huntington and Francis Fukuyama. No! It was there in Sumeria, it was there lurking in the orchard, it is, I brazenly say, within the fabric of humankind, part of the human condition.

The episode involving Odysseus's confrontation with Polyphemus in the Odyssey bears similarities to Gilgamesh and Enkidu's battle with Humbaba in the Epic of Gilgamesh.
“Polyphemus”
By Guido Reni (1575โ€“1642) (c. 1640). __ Must’ve been a cold day? Right! ;P __ The episode involving Odysseus’s confrontation with Polyphemus in the Odyssey bears similarities to Gilgamesh and Enkidu’s battle with Humbaba in the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Grindstone

Here are some pages of potential interest. I hasten to emphasise and underscore the adjective ‘potential’:

01. — On vocabulary (by J.H.K., 2020)
02. — On language (by Rouse, n.d.)
03. — Literary devices (by Bonnie & Clyde)
04. — “The Elizabethan era”
05. — “British literature of the 20th c.”
06. — “Global literature” (esp. Derek Walcott)
07. — “Comparative literature” (esp. Sylvia Plath)

In terms of public interest and the greater good, a duet of works by Walcott, for study purposes only:

๐Ÿ“˜ “Collected Poems 1948-1984”
— Initially, many were self-published (Editable PDF).
๐Ÿ“˜ “Omeros”
— A take on Homer (Editable PDF).


REFERENCES

Walcott, D. (1986). Collected Poems 1948-1984. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux.

Walcott, D. (1990). Omeros. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux


Derek-Walcott's--Books
“The discontent that lies in the human condition is not satisfied simply by material things.”

— ยง —


NOTES

[1]ย ย ย To try and trace the course or deduce the derivation of something is not always a scientific endevour. No! It can be far more speculative and subjective in certain circumstances. It was a long time in coming and the comeuppance was and is harsh. See:
“Empire of Deceit: entrapped in honey, money or, plain old power?”

‘Poetic justice’

has now been served

Poetic justice is a literary device in which ultimately virtue is rewarded and viciousness is punished. In current usage it is often accompanied by an ironic twist of fate related to the individual in question’s own actions and behaviour.

‘Getting a taste of one’s own medicine’

Typically medicine don’t taste nice. Thus, if you make people feel unappreciated, insecure, jealous and anxious, you’ve little right to complain if they turn around and do the same back to you.

‘What goes around, comes around’

Similarly, what goes around comes around, means that if you treat people badly, you can’t be too surprised if one day you find yourself being treated in that same kind of way.


Poetic justice
noun
The fact of experiencing a fitting or deserved retribution for one’s actions.

Retribution
noun
The punishment inflicted on someone as vengeance for their wrong doing or criminal actions.

Vengeance
noun
The punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for causing an injury or having done something wrong.

Virtue
noun
A form of behaviour showing high moral standards.

Vicious
adjective
To be deliberately cruel and/or violent.

‘By hook or by crook’

any means necessary

‘By hook or by crook’ is an English phrase meaning “by any means necessary”, suggesting that any means possible should be taken to accomplish a goal. The phrase is old and the first currently known written instance of it is the Middle English Controversial Tracts of John Wycliffe.

Do what you have to do
Do what you have to do

One way, or another, I’m gunna gunna get ya


John Wycliffe (c. 1323โ€“1384) was an English scholastic philosopher, theologian, reformer and a professor at the University of Oxford. He became an influential dissident within the Roman Catholic priesthood during the 14th c. and is considered an important predecessor to Protestantism.

Hook / Crook
^ Look at how they spell John.

‘Message in a bottle’

Save. Our. Soul.

Bottles out at sea
This one goes outโ€ฆ

A message in a bottle is a form of communication in which a message is sealed in a container (typically a bottle) and thrown into the sea.

Messages in bottles have been used to send (1) distress messages and/or to carry letters or reports from those believing themselves to be doomed (2), in scientific studies of ocean currents, as memorial tributes and (3), to send deceased loved ones’ ashes on a final journey.

Love letters have also been sent as messages in bottles. Indeed, the lore surrounding messages in bottles has often been of a romantic or poetic nature.

Nowadays, the phrase, message in a bottle, has expanded to include metaphorical uses (uses beyond its traditional and literal meaning). Say for example, sending an estranged lover an email begging for a reprieve whilst knowing a reply, let alone a reprieve is rather unlikely.

message in a bottle

Pioneer 10 plaque
โ€ฆto the one I love.

‘Clutching at straws’

= to be willing to try anything to improve a difficult situation, even if there’s little chance of success.

The etymology of the phrase, clutching at straws, is thought to have originated in the work of Thomas More called, Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation (1534).


See More’s Utopia on this blog.


The idiom clutching at straws is therefore meant to refer to a drowning person grasping for anything, even a straw, to save their life (straw, like wooden logs, floats on water but, whereas a log wouldn’t sink if a person were to hold on to it for dear life*, straw probably would sink). Nowadays, the phrase has come to mean something like this:

โ€” to act or make a decision, usually in desperation, without there being much hope of success.

desperate
Desperate, I am.

p.s.
* British English ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง is full of references to the sea because, being an island, have a deep relationship with the seas and, if you were at sea and had fallen overboard (off of a boat or a ship) you’d hope not to end up in, Davy Jones’ Locker
.

Davy Jones’ Locker is an idiom for the bottom of the sea: the state of death among drowned sailors and shipwrecks. The phrase then is used as a euphemism for drowning (at sea) ๐Ÿดโ€โ˜ ๏ธ.