A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bad Poetry: Fred Emerson Brooks

Fred Emerson Brooks was a very popular late-nineteenth-century poet. He wrote collections of verse on a wide variety of subjects. A literary device he was especially fond of was writing in dialect. Audiences ate it up.

Brooks was touted as "Always Smiling. Always There. The Man Who Never Disappoints." The Central Lyceum Board of Chicago gushed about him: "To supply the place of Brooks we would have to secure the best humorist, the finest orator, a star actor, the foremost character delineator, a dialect reader, a story-teller, a ventriloquist, an animal imitator, and there would still be lacking the author."

This is an except from Old Eagle. Not too many words rhyme with "eagle," but that doesn't worry Fred:

From thine eyrie, the crag,
Watch over thy flag,
And ne'er let it trail in the dust!
Soaring high in the air
Ever this aegis bear:
"In Freedom and God is our Trust."

Fear not, grand eagle,
The bay of the beagle!

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Anonymous Christopher said...

I've obtained a copy of an earlier draft of this poem.

The crucial couplet once read, "Fear not grand eagle/ The jangling of treacle." But the imperfect rhyme left Mr. Brooks dissatisfied, perfectionist that he was.

9:24 AM  

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