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

My Photo
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.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bad Poetry: Harmonious Hog

The Reverend Samuel Wesley, Sr., is possibly best known as the father of John Wesley, founder of Methodism. He was also a poet, not always a first-rate one. The following excerpt, from his first volume, Maggots, is a good example. It's a stanza from his A Pindaricque on the Grunting of a Hog. A "Pindaricque," for those who might not know it, is an ode after the mode of the ancient Greek lyric poet Pindar.

Pindaric odes are long lyric encomia--poems written to praise and glorify someone or something. The subject should be lofty, the treatment serious. Pindaric odes are modeled on the songs of the chorus in Greek drama (strophe, antistrophe, epode), thus have a triadic structure. Many odes after Cowley in the mid-17th century retain the tone, style, and subject matter of the Pindaric ode, but not the stanzaic regularity.

Why an Anglican minister should think the grunting of a hog a subject worthy of a pindaric ode is anybody's guess.

from A Pindaricque on the Grunting of a Hog

Harmonious Hog draw near!
No bloody butchers here,
Thou need'st not fear.
Harmonious Hog draw near, and from they beauteous Snowt,
Whilst we attend with Ear
Like thine prik't up devout,
To taste thy sugry Voice, which hear, and there,
With wanton Curls, Vibrates around the Circling Air,
Harmonious Hog! Warble some Anthem out!

Labels: ,


Anonymous Maggie Tucker said...

I love this poem. It just begs to be read aloud. Even the title is ridiculously overdone. I do appreciate the occasional pig.

9:08 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home