Sunday, January 17, 2016

Keith Francese writes

modernist studies

I want to say it is urban legend.

that kid they say roams the halls

muttering The Waste Land under his breath.

his dissertation a Carthage in his eyes.

perhaps you had one at your school.

perhaps you waited one day, all

day, to catch a glimpse of him

outside the door to Philosophy in Literature

in Film, undoubtedly Flaubert over and over and over.

I want to say it isn’t true. that they found him,

sitting upright, nude, in the campus

reflecting pool one night of a no moon. 
 Gustave Flaubert -- Eugène Giraud


  1. Gustave Flaubert was a major 19th-century French novelist whose approach to literature continued to influence the art of 20th-century Modernists and Post-Modernists because of his deep commitment to aesthetic principles, his devotion to style, and his indefatigable pursuit of the perfect expression, "le mot juste" ("the right word"); never satisfied with what he had written, he sometimes spent a week to complete a single page; Walter Pater referred to him as the "martyr of style." The Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan claimed that he derived all his knowledge of media from Flaubert (and from later 19th-century French poets Arthur Rimbaud and Charles Baudelaire), and nearly every major literary analyst of the 20th century (including Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, and Pierre Bourdieu) has discussed the role of his art. Jean-Paul Sartre wrote of him in psychoanalytic terms in THE FAMILY IDIOT. Mario Vargas Llosa devoted the entire PERPETUAL ORGY to his art and much of his LETTERS TO A YOUNG NOVELIST. James Wood wrote that "Novelists should thank Flaubert the way poets thank spring; it all begins again with him. There really is a time before Flaubert and a time after him." His lean and precise writing style has had a large influence on writers such as J. M. Coetzee and especially Franz Kafka, who used the vocabularies of law and science to give his work an ironic precision without the author's private sentiments intruding. His novel, Salammbô, was completed in 1862 after four years of work. It was set in Carthage during the 3rd century BCE, at the time of the Mercenary Revolt shortly after the First Punic War. Modest Mussorgsky and Sergei Rachmaninoff attempted to write operas based on the novel, but these were never completed; but Ernest Reyer and Josef Matthias Hauer
    succeeded in operatizing it, as did Philippe Fénelon, with a libretto by Jean-Yves Masson that used Flaubert's own words; a fictional opera was featured in Orson Welles' film CITIZEN CANE -- "Salammbo's Aria" was composed by Bernard Herrmann. Pierre Marodon and Sergio Grieco made movies, and Charles Ludlam a play, based on the book. Phillippe Druillet wrote a series of graphic novels, while "Salammbo: Battle for Carthage," a Windows game by Dreamcatcher Interactive, was based on the work of both Flaubert and Druillet.

  2. Carthage (Qart-ḥadašt, "New City") was located on the eastern side of Lake Tunis. According to Greek historians it was founded by Canaanite-speaking Phoenician colonists from Tyre, in modern Lebanon, and thus the civilization that developed there is referred to as Punic (a form of the word "Phoenician"). Philistos of Syracuse dated its founding to ca. 1215 BCE, and the Roman historian Appian dated it to 50 years prior to the Trojan War (which would have been between 1244 and 1234 BCE according to the chronology of Eratosthenes), but the Roman poet Virgil placed it at the end of that war. Modern historians date the actual founding at between 846 and 813 BCE. According to tradition, the city was founded by Queen Dido, who fled Tyre after her younger brother Pygmalion slew her husband, the co-king, in a coup. After she reached Africa with the mutinous Tyrian fleet, the local king granted her the land that could be covered by an oxhide in order to establish a city; she cut the hide into enough thin strips to surround the hill of Byrsa. According to Virgil, only seven years after the exodus from Tyre the Carthaginians offered asylum to Aeneas and his Trojan refugees, but Jupiter sent Mercury to remind Aeneas that he was destined to found Rome, not to stay in Africa with his lover. Jilted, Dido killed herself after swearing eternal strife between her people and those of Aeneas: "rise up from my bones, avenging spirit." Eventually, the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Etruscans displaced the Phoenician economic influence, and Carthage emerged at the head of a new commercial empire; Aristotle claimed that it, along with the Greek states of Sparta and Crete, had the world's best-governing institutions. At its peak it came to be called the "shining city" that ruled 300 other cities around the western Mediterranean, in the process gaining the undying hostility of Syracuse, Numidia, and especially the rising Republic of Rome; in the words of Cato the Elder, "Carthago delenda est" ("Carthage must be destroyed"). Three major wars between Carthage and Rome were fought; during the First Punic War (264 to 241 BCE), Rome became a major naval power, developed new naval tactics, and strategically employed its naval and military might, and local political alliances, to defeat Carthage, which had begun the war as the region's major naval power. The peace treaty forced Carthage to give up "all islands lying between Sicily and Italy" and to pay Rome 1,000 talents of gold immediately and another 2,000 over the next decade. In Sicily, Hamilcar Barca had recruited 20,000 mercenaries (Iberians, Celt-Iberians, Balearic Islanders, Ligurians, Celts, and Greeks) but refused to negotiate with them when they gathered at Sicca Veneria (modern El Kef, 170 km southwest of Carthage) to demand payment. Hanno the Great met with them and rejected their demands, so they seized Tunis, some 21 km from Carthage. The government sent Gesco, the general who had transported them from Sicily to Africa, to resume negotiations. Carthage agreed to pay not only the mercenaries but also the Libyans whom Carthage had conscripted, as well as other Numidians and escaped slaves who had joined the rebels; however, the Libyan conscripts became convinced that Carthage would retaliate against them once the mercenaries were paid and disbanded. Two mercenary commanders, Spendius and Mathos, took control, captured Gesco and other officials, gained support from several Libyan cities, and blockaded Utica and Hippakra. Thus began the two-year Mercenary War (also called the Libyan War and the Truceless War due to the associated atrocities).

  3. Carthage put Hanno the Great in charge, but he was defeated at Utica and forced to share military command with Hamilacar, who defeated his former troops there and raised the siege. Meanwhile, other rebels seized Sardinia and sought Roman support, but Rome, wanting Carthage to to continue its indemnities, released Carthaginian prisoners of war and prohibited trade with the mercenaries; but when Carthage prepared a force against the Sardinians, Rome annexed both Sardinia and Corsica and declared war on Carthage, which agreed to pay an additional 1,200 talents to end the conflict. Hanno defeated the rebels at the Bagradas River, while Hamilcar persuaded Navaras, a Numidian rebel leader, to defect with about 2,000 men. After his reinforced army again defeated the rebels, Hamilcar pardoned his captives, accepting into his army anyone who would fight for Carthage and exiling any who would not. To prevent the possibility of a negotiated settlement and to discourage further defections, Mathos and Spendius dealth with Gesco and 700 of his men: their arms and legs were broken and their hands amputated, they were castrated and thrown into a pit to die. Then Utica joined the revolt, and the mercenaries besieged Carthage. Hamilcar, now in sole command, ended the siege by striking at enemy supply lines and then, launching a series of running engagements against them, forced them into a box canyon; at the battle of "The Saw," the rebels resorted to cannibalism to survive; Spendius was imrisoned when he tried to surrender; the mercenary army attempted to fight its way out, but Hamilcar destroyed them and executed some 40,000 of them. Then Hamilcar and his son Hannibal reduced the rebel Libyan cities and besieged Mathos' army at Tunis; within sight of the enemy battlements they crucified Spendius and other captives. Mathos launched a counter attack against Hannibal and captured him, the crucified several high ranking Carthaginians at the site of Spendius'execution. But Hanno's reinforcements arrivedand defeated Mathos, who was captured, tortured, taken to Carthage, and lynched. The two Carthaginian generals then reduced Utica and Hippacritae, ending the war. The losses of Sardinia and Sicily destroyed Carthage's trafe, its traditional source of wealth, leading the Barcids (Hamilcar, his son-in-law Hasdrubal, and Hannibal) to establish a new power base in Hispania, outside Rome's sphere of influence; this became the source of wealth and manpower for Hannibal's initial campaigns in the Second Punic War. His invasion of Italy culminated in his victory at Cannae, but the Romans invaded Africa and defeated Carthage at Zama in 202 BCE. After the Third Punic War, the Romans destroyed the city in 146 BCE.

  4. Among the 20th-century writers whose work was inspired by Flaubert was the Anglo-Americam poet and critic T. S. Eliot. Published in 1922, "The Waste Land" is a long poem in five sections that is widely regarded as one of the most important literary works of the 20th century. Ezra Pound, Eliot's mentor and friend who played a large role in editing and shaping the poem, and getting it published in the United States, called it "the justification of the ‘movement,’ of our modern experiment." The poem, like Flaubert's Carthaginian novel, was not only thoroughly researched but contained both lyric and epic elements. He defined the lyric as “the voice of the poet talking to himself, or to nobody,” and "The Waste Land as a "piece of rhythmical grumbling," while Pound defined an epic as a "poem including history." The two men, along with other early Modernists, wanted to adapt the techniques of the pre-World War I French avant-garde to address broad, historical questions, but were suspicious of attempts to tell the history of the world from a single, unified perspective. Instead of the perspective of the first line of Virgil's "Aeneid, "the “Arms and the man I sing," in which both the narrator and his hero are singular, Eliot treated his subject from a variety of ever-shifting perspectives. In the language of the scholar rather than that of the poet, Eliot appended a series of notes to explain his allusions; in a note to the third section of the poem, he wrote, "Tiresias, although a mere spectator and not indeed a 'character,' is yet the most important personage in the poem, uniting all the rest. Just as the one-eyed merchant, seller of currants, melts into the Phoenician Sailor, and the latter is not wholly distinct from Ferdinand Prince of Naples, so all the women are one woman, and the two sexes meet in Tiresias. What Tiresias sees, in fact, is the substance of the poem." And, although the World War was the essential background to the poem, Eliot never addressed it directly, alluding only to the battle of Mylae in the Punic Wars, thus perhaps suggesting that all wars are really one war. In “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” he wrote of the mind of the poet as a catalyst, echoing Flaubert's own approach to the novel: When two gases "are mixed in the presence of a filament of platinum, they form sulphurous acid. This combination takes place only if the platinum is present; nevertheless the newly formed acid contains no trace of platinum, and the platinum itself is apparently unaffected; has remained inert, neutral, and unchanged. The mind of the poet is the shred of platinum. It may partly or exclusively operate upon the experience of the man himself; but, the more perfect the artist, the more completely separate in him will be the man who suffers and the mind which creates; the more perfectly will the mind digest and transmute the passions which are its material." This doctrine of Flaubertian impersonality was closely linked to Eliot’s own claim that his poetry was "classical," not “romantic,” that it was concerned with form and balance rather than with the expression of emotion.


    I. The Burial of the Dead

    April is the cruellest month, breeding
    Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
    Memory and desire, stirring
    Dull roots with spring rain.
    Winter kept us warm, covering
    Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
    A little life with dried tubers.
    Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
    With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
    And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
    And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
    Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
    And when we were children, staying at the arch-duke’s,
    My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
    And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
    Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
    In the mountains, there you feel free.
    I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

    What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
    Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
    You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
    A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
    And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
    And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
    There is shadow under this red rock,
    (Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
    And I will show you something different from either
    Your shadow at morning striding behind you
    Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
    I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
    Frisch weht der Wind
    Der Heimat zu
    Mein Irisch Kind,
    Wo weilest du?
    “You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
    “They called me the hyacinth girl.”
    —Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
    Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
    Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
    Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
    Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
    Oed’ und leer das Meer.

    Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
    Had a bad cold, nevertheless
    Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
    With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
    Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
    (Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)
    Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
    The lady of situations.
    Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
    And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
    Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
    Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
    The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
    I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
    Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
    Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
    One must be so careful these days.

    Unreal City,
    Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
    A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
    I had not thought death had undone so many.
    Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
    And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
    Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
    To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
    With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
    There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying: “Stetson!
    “You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!
    “That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
    “Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
    “Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
    “Oh keep the Dog far hence, that’s friend to men,
    “Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again!
    “You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!”

  6. II. A Game of Chess

    The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne,
    Glowed on the marble, where the glass
    Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines
    From which a golden Cupidon peeped out
    (Another hid his eyes behind his wing)
    Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra
    Reflecting light upon the table as
    The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it,
    From satin cases poured in rich profusion;
    In vials of ivory and coloured glass
    Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes,
    Unguent, powdered, or liquid—troubled, confused
    And drowned the sense in odours; stirred by the air
    That freshened from the window, these ascended
    In fattening the prolonged candle-flames,
    Flung their smoke into the laquearia,
    Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling.
    Huge sea-wood fed with copper
    Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone,
    In which sad light a carvéd dolphin swam.
    Above the antique mantel was displayed
    As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene
    The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king
    So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale
    Filled all the desert with inviolable voice
    And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
    “Jug Jug” to dirty ears.
    And other withered stumps of time
    Were told upon the walls; staring forms
    Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.
    Footsteps shuffled on the stair.
    Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair
    Spread out in fiery points
    Glowed into words, then would be savagely still.

    “My nerves are bad tonight. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
    “Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak.
    “What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
    “I never know what you are thinking. Think.”

    I think we are in rats’ alley
    Where the dead men lost their bones.

    “What is that noise?”
    The wind under the door.
    “What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?”
    Nothing again nothing.
    “You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember


  7. I remember
    Those are pearls that were his eyes.
    “Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?”

    O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag—
    It’s so elegant
    So intelligent
    “What shall I do now? What shall I do?”
    “I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
    “With my hair down, so. What shall we do tomorrow?
    “What shall we ever do?”
    The hot water at ten.
    And if it rains, a closed car at four.
    And we shall play a game of chess,
    Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.

    When Lil’s husband got demobbed, I said—
    I didn’t mince my words, I said to her myself,
    Now Albert’s coming back, make yourself a bit smart.
    He’ll want to know what you done with that money he gave you
    To get yourself some teeth. He did, I was there.
    You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set,
    He said, I swear, I can’t bear to look at you.
    And no more can’t I, I said, and think of poor Albert,
    He’s been in the army four years, he wants a good time,
    And if you don’t give it him, there’s others will, I said.
    Oh is there, she said. Something o’ that, I said.
    Then I’ll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight look.
    If you don’t like it you can get on with it, I said.
    Others can pick and choose if you can’t.
    But if Albert makes off, it won’t be for lack of telling.
    You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique.
    (And her only thirty-one.)
    I can’t help it, she said, pulling a long face,
    It’s them pills I took, to bring it off, she said.
    (She’s had five already, and nearly died of young George.)
    The chemist said it would be all right, but I’ve never been the same.
    You are a proper fool, I said.
    Well, if Albert won’t leave you alone, there it is, I said,
    What you get married for if you don’t want children?
    Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon,
    And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot—
    Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight.
    Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight.
    Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.

  8. III. The Fire Sermon

    The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
    Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind
    Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed.
    Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.
    The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,
    Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends
    Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed.
    And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors;
    Departed, have left no addresses.
    By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept . . .
    Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,
    Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.
    But at my back in a cold blast I hear
    The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.

    A rat crept softly through the vegetation
    Dragging its slimy belly on the bank
    While I was fishing in the dull canal
    On a winter evening round behind the gashouse
    Musing upon the king my brother’s wreck
    And on the king my father’s death before him.
    White bodies naked on the low damp ground
    And bones cast in a little low dry garret,
    Rattled by the rat’s foot only, year to year.
    But at my back from time to time I hear
    The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring
    Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring.
    O the moon shone bright on Mrs. Porter
    And on her daughter
    They wash their feet in soda water
    Et O ces voix d’enfants, chantant dans la coupole!

    Twit twit twit
    Jug jug jug jug jug jug
    So rudely forc’d.

  9. Unreal City
    Under the brown fog of a winter noon
    Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant
    Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants
    C.i.f. London: documents at sight,
    Asked me in demotic French
    To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel
    Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.

    At the violet hour, when the eyes and back
    Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits
    Like a taxi throbbing waiting,
    I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,
    Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see
    At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives
    Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,
    The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights
    Her stove, and lays out food in tins.
    Out of the window perilously spread
    Her drying combinations touched by the sun’s last rays,
    On the divan are piled (at night her bed)
    Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.
    I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs
    Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest—
    I too awaited the expected guest.
    He, the young man carbuncular, arrives,
    A small house agent’s clerk, with one bold stare,
    One of the low on whom assurance sits
    As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.
    The time is now propitious, as he guesses,
    The meal is ended, she is bored and tired,
    Endeavours to engage her in caresses
    Which still are unreproved, if undesired.
    Flushed and decided, he assaults at once;
    Exploring hands encounter no defence;
    His vanity requires no response,
    And makes a welcome of indifference.
    (And I Tiresias have foresuffered all
    Enacted on this same divan or bed;
    I who have sat by Thebes below the wall
    And walked among the lowest of the dead.)
    Bestows one final patronising kiss,
    And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit . . .

    She turns and looks a moment in the glass,
    Hardly aware of her departed lover;
    Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:
    “Well now that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over.”
    When lovely woman stoops to folly and
    Paces about her room again, alone,
    She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,
    And puts a record on the gramophone.

    “This music crept by me upon the waters”
    And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street.
    O City city, I can sometimes hear
    Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street,
    The pleasant whining of a mandoline
    And a clatter and a chatter from within
    Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls
    Of Magnus Martyr hold
    Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold.

    The river sweats
    Oil and tar
    The barges drift
    With the turning tide
    Red sails
    To leeward, swing on the heavy spar.
    The barges wash
    Drifting logs
    Down Greenwich reach
    Past the Isle of Dogs.
    Weialala leia
    Wallala leialala

    Elizabeth and Leicester
    Beating oars
    The stern was formed
    A gilded shell
    Red and gold
    The brisk swell
    Rippled both shores
    Southwest wind
    Carried down stream
    The peal of bells
    White towers
    Weialala leia
    Wallala leialala

    “Trams and dusty trees.
    Highbury bore me. Richmond and Kew
    Undid me. By Richmond I raised my knees
    Supine on the floor of a narrow canoe.”

    “My feet are at Moorgate, and my heart
    Under my feet. After the event
    He wept. He promised a ‘new start.’
    I made no comment. What should I resent?”

    “On Margate Sands.
    I can connect
    Nothing with nothing.
    The broken fingernails of dirty hands.
    My people humble people who expect
    la la

    To Carthage then I came

    Burning burning burning burning
    O Lord Thou pluckest me out
    O Lord Thou pluckest


  10. IV. Death by Water

    Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
    Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
    And the profit and loss.
    A current under sea
    Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
    He passed the stages of his age and youth
    Entering the whirlpool.
    Gentile or Jew
    O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
    Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.

  11. V. What the Thunder Said

    After the torchlight red on sweaty faces
    After the frosty silence in the gardens
    After the agony in stony places
    The shouting and the crying
    Prison and palace and reverberation
    Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
    He who was living is now dead
    We who were living are now dying
    With a little patience

    Here is no water but only rock
    Rock and no water and the sandy road
    The road winding above among the mountains
    Which are mountains of rock without water
    If there were water we should stop and drink
    Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think
    Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand
    If there were only water amongst the rock
    Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit
    Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit
    There is not even silence in the mountains
    But dry sterile thunder without rain
    There is not even solitude in the mountains
    But red sullen faces sneer and snarl
    From doors of mudcracked houses
    If there were water
    And no rock
    If there were rock
    And also water
    And water
    A spring
    A pool among the rock
    If there were the sound of water only
    Not the cicada
    And dry grass singing
    But sound of water over a rock
    Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees
    Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop
    But there is no water

    Who is the third who walks always beside you?
    When I count, there are only you and I together
    But when I look ahead up the white road
    There is always another one walking beside you
    Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
    I do not know whether a man or a woman
    —But who is that on the other side of you?

    What is that sound high in the air
    Murmur of maternal lamentation
    Who are those hooded hordes swarming
    Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
    Ringed by the flat horizon only
    What is the city over the mountains
    Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
    Falling towers
    Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
    Vienna London

    A woman drew her long black hair out tight
    And fiddled whisper music on those strings
    And bats with baby faces in the violet light
    Whistled, and beat their wings
    And crawled head downward down a blackened wall
    And upside down in air were towers
    Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours
    And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.


  12. In this decayed hole among the mountains
    In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing
    Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel
    There is the empty chapel, only the wind’s home.
    It has no windows, and the door swings,
    Dry bones can harm no one.
    Only a cock stood on the rooftree
    Co co rico co co rico
    In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust
    Bringing rain

    Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves
    Waited for rain, while the black clouds
    Gathered far distant, over Himavant.
    The jungle crouched, humped in silence.
    Then spoke the thunder
    Datta: what have we given?
    My friend, blood shaking my heart
    The awful daring of a moment’s surrender
    Which an age of prudence can never retract
    By this, and this only, we have existed
    Which is not to be found in our obituaries
    Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider
    Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor
    In our empty rooms
    Dayadhvam: I have heard the key
    Turn in the door once and turn once only
    We think of the key, each in his prison
    Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison
    Only at nightfall, aethereal rumours
    Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus
    Damyata: The boat responded
    Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar
    The sea was calm, your heart would have responded
    Gaily, when invited, beating obedient
    To controlling hands

    I sat upon the shore
    Fishing, with the arid plain behind me
    Shall I at least set my lands in order?
    London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down
    Poi s’ascose nel foco che gli affina
    Quando fiam uti chelidon—O swallow swallow
    Le Prince d’Aquitaine à la tour abolie
    These fragments I have shored against my ruins
    Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo’s mad againe.
    Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.
    Shantih shantih shantih


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