A Solemn Treasury: Poetry and Reflections

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It is not creative angst that ruts her brow, dear reader, so much as envy, jealousy, despair, and rage. The Muse of Spite has inspired yet another outburst: the rejected grant, the rescinded invitation, the coveted publication prize mis-awarded to that credit-craving hack from Brooklyn, the escalating polemic with a rival School. This Little Brass Treasury collects the finest specimens of that deep well of loathing from which the poetic soul has forever mined its richest treasures. Too long have we subjected ourselves to the listless petals of the love poem, the elegy, the meandering ode. Their couplets litter church-aisles and dance-floors; they are trampled underfoot beneath every banquet table and school desk.

In what remains of our bookstores, we still find dreary little anthologies of love poems somewhere in the vicinity the self-help section, alongside collections of wedding poems, the greatest poems of all time, another book by Harold Bloom, the Norton Anthology. Here instead are poems you can unremorsefully put to use.

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The Little Brass Treasury of Hate Poems presents the purest distillation of sentiments that, like love, are often experienced wordlessly. We are not brutes. Let the lovelorn fondle their tongueless despair; let anxious wedding-guests paw through millennia of hackneyed sentiment. Here, for your use and delectation, are the sharpened instruments of rejection and refusal, the polished stones of bitter feeling. Like a helpful fist, you can clutch these poems inside your pocket as you gird up for another day in the marketplace of ideas.

The Little Brass Treasury of Hate Poems – Avidly

Keep this book by your bedside, or page through it from the warm recesses of a comfortable chair: the poems will be near at hand as you stomach yet another staff retreat, or contemplate yet another drive along the franchise-strips that conjoin your own grey suburb with its neighbor. The history of hate poetry has been largely scoured from living memory. Nor do we know the lines Cain whispered to himself the night before he smote his brother with a rock.

The Cynics, for their part, were neither rife with spite nor, as far as we know, prone to verse; and so it is to the Epic of Gilgamesh and the epics of Homer that we must look for a poetic record of the earliest ragings of the gods, the earliest studied hatreds of humankind. Such offerings suggest that hatred can be more keenly exercised than owned. But of hate itself, the intimations are more veiled: what did Helen think of Menelaus? Consider, too, the long-harbored spite of Circe in the Odyssey , or the petty effronteries of the gods.

To the discredit of the classical age, we find the acts of war disguised as grandeur. We must thus look elsewhere for more pristine expressions of hate itself.

In the great Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh, one of the balder sentiments is so pristine as to harbor no animate cause at all. Hang you [ where you cannot be seen. Enkidu hates on the door he built himself, comporting himself with terrific eloquence even as he threatens to kick it in. Only here, in the marginal subplots of the epic, do we glean the true extent to which the heroes of myth and epic may be as fueled by animosity as the poets were themselves. Its vinegar distilled, hate becomes a formal exercise, its object nothing short of arbitrary.

We thus lay aside the splendid epic. Turning to the anonymous verse of lore and custom, we find some of the purest forms of lyric hate. But instead of sentiment, we find the hardened forms— a curse, a bone— of reciprocity.

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In popular verse the work of hate is exercised in absolute and purely formal terms. Life itself, it seems, doth hate on man:. Man delights not me, the poem claims, nor woman neither. But to their ineluctable two-step the poem has added its own embellishments: lack, loss, deprivation, agony. The heart stabbed with a petty little penknife; a beltless ship, sailing off. This is what the Greeks might simply call the work of nature, physis ; it is what the poet knows as hate. We find a more pointedly intended version in the old nursery rhyme that assures the little baby of its impending fate:.

As a lullaby, the poem takes no sadistic joy in its cruel denouement; we all share in the lament. William Blake sets us back upon the bitter path. By William Blake Its mortal taste is the fruit of its consumption, not its growth. For Blake, hate is not a projectile; it is a cherished object, the fruit— not the sharpened branches— of the forbidden tree.

Karuan - Reflections Of A Poem

I shall hate you Like a dart of singing steel Shot through still air At even-tide, Or solemnly As pines are sober When they stand etched Against the sky. Hating you shall be a game Played with cool hands And slim fingers. Your heart will yearn For the lonely splendor Of the pine tree While rekindled fires In my eyes Shall wound you like swift arrows. Memory will lay its hands Upon your breast And you will understand My hatred. With Bennett addressing you, one can only wonder what it is you must have done. Here, though, hatred designates not the sport of the righteous but the very will to power itself, the living force of atrocity and domination:.

Above all, it never tires of its leitmotif — the impeccable executioner towering over its soiled victim. And what it is to them I know and hate. Martin Gwen Coniker, Servant of God, ordinary wife and mother of thirteen, teaches others how to live these dual vocations to a heroic degree. Where Are You?

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