Bradapalooza

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De Quincey’s talent was recognized early on. At age fifteen, his schoolmaster at Bath purportedly said,

That boy could harangue an Athenian mob better than you or I could address an English one.

However, for various reasons, mostly financial, De Quincey didn’t attend Oxford until he was about 19 and was granted a reduced cost.

De Quincey completed his studies at Oxford but didn’t get his degree because he didn’t take the oral part of his exams. Apparently, he was extremely peeved that the tests weren’t given in Greek.

He had already written a chunk of Confessions of an English Opium-Eater before entering Oxford though, so let no one say he was uneducated.

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Clouds are vaporous, so it’s almost like the speaker is non-tangible at the beginning of the poem.

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April 14th, 2014

Clouds are in the air, while the daffodils the author observes are on the ground. Since land and air are separated, there is a distinct difference between the two. If this was compared to a party or gathering, the cloud would be the shy bystander watching the daffodils dance beneath it. He is the “lonely cloud” or the silent observer.

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De Quincey’s original footnote:

Sublime Goddesses”:— The word σεμνος is usually rendered venerable in dictionaries,— not a very flattering epithet for females. But I am disposed to think that it comes nearest to our idea of the sublime,— as near as a Greek word could come.

An explanation as to why he calls them Sublime Goddesses

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This, the reader will be aware, applies chiefly to the cotton and tobacco States of North America; but not to them only: on which account I have not scrupled to figure the sun which looks down upon slavery as tropical, — no matter if strictly within the tropics, or simply so near to them as to produce a similar climate.

De Quincey’s original notation — clarifying about his use of “tropical” as a descriptor for the sun that slaves stare at.

Typical De Quinceyan rambling.

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De Quincey’s actual notation:

As I have never allowed myself to covet any man’s ox nor his ass, nor anything that is his, still less would it become a philosopher to covet other people’s images or metaphors. Here, therefore, I restore to Mr. Wordsworth this fine image of the revolving wheel and the glimmering spokes, as applied by him to the flying successions of day and night. I borrowed it for one moment in order to point my own sentence; which being done, the reader is witness that I now pay it back instantly by a note made for that sole purpose. On the same principle I often borrow their seals from young ladies, when closing my letters, because there is sure to be some tender sentiment upon them about “memory,” or “hope,” or “roses,” or “reunion,” and my correspondent must be a sad brute who is not touched by the eloquence of the seal, even if his taste is so bad that he remains deaf to mine.

Notice how De Quincey’s mind tends to wonder down tangents at a crazy rate — which is arguably both his greatest flaw and biggest strength. (There is a lot of commentary discussing this aspect of De Quincey’s wondering.)

De Quincey originated the IDGAF style.

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De Quincey draws a parallel to the other famous triads: the Muses and Furies for example.

De Quincey’s triad of the “Ladies of Sorrow” has been made into a trilogy of films by Dario Argento — a film per mother.

Argento’s first film, Suspiria, is widely lauded as one of the greatest and most influential horror films of all time (number thirty-four on RottenTomatoes list). It has a crazy storyline and set-pieces straight out of an opium trip:

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A reference both to radioactive materials and (probably) “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.”

Notice the speed with which Plath switches metaphors — Love, to hanging, to Prufrock, to nuclear weapons, all in a span of a few lines.

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This is one of the most famous examples of Plath’s loud, flowing metaphors.

Isadora Duncan was a famous dancer who lived a crazy life and had to leave the United States because of all the press harassment she received (from being a disreputable woman).

Duncan, pictured above, eventually died when one of her long scarves caught in the spokes and rear axle of the car she was riding in, instantly strangling her.

Plath is suggesting death by hanging by referencing Duncan here.

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This closing dash is usually removed in the modernizations of the poem, but it adds to the effect of “Ozymandias.”

By adding a dash, Shelley is causing one to linger on the line and suggesting something like: “that’s all there is to say about that — this random traveller from an antique land put it perfectly.”

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This is a parenthetical statement, identifying the medium the passions (line 6) of the two ancients — the one who ordered things (presumably Ozymandias) and the sculptor — survive through.

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"Oft-misused" (Stephen Pringle – Is Twitter the Future of Writing?) | pending

It’s becoming more and more common to vary from the 5-7-5 form but it has always happened as far as I know. There are one word haikus (which I think is somewhat silly) but while I don’t know the on count for this poem, it was translated variously like one of the following:

No sky
No earth — but still
snowflakes fall

3-4-3

or

no sky
no land — just
snow falling

2, 3, 3

The original in japanese, which I can’t read obviously, is like so:

ten mo chi mo nashi tada yuki no furishikiru

"The frenzied juxtapositions of “Howl,”" (Austin Allen – Close Reading: Frank O'Hara, "The Day Lady Died") | pending

“Howl” actually does have a very formal structure beneath all the chaos but that’s not the image in the public mind of the poem. Also, that’s in my top five favorite clauses from “Howl.”

"Oft-misused" (Stephen Pringle – Is Twitter the Future of Writing?) | pending

As far as I know, haiku’s didn’t actually have to adhere to 5-7-5 on either. That was simply a common form. I believe haiku’s were more focused on maximum impact with minimal words — concision — so there’s no real reason to stick to the 5-7-5 rule except to let people get what you’re trying to do.

"Dust Squad" (Rap Genius Editors – Rap Genius Dictionary) | accepted

I did so much fuckin' work to get you guys back — my knowledge of dust <<<<< y'alls.

I called Ilan to discuss it and revealed all that shit about Gavin.

coughcoughdemoddedforlowiqpointsorsomethingelsecough

"Caesura" (Education Genius – Glossary of Poetic and Literary Terms) | accepted

Caesuras (or caesurae) come in hard and soft variations. A period is generally referred to as a hard caesura in prosody/scansion. A semicolon can go either way (there are hard and soft semicolons, after all). A comma is a soft caesura in prosody, if it is counted as all (it normally is).

This has nothing to do with sex. It has to do with the fact Ted Hughes (who dressed in academic gowns or suits since he taught at Cambridge and became Poet Laureate of Britain) left Plath alone and abandoned and eloped with another woman. That was the torture.

", no not / Any less the black man who" (Sylvia Plath – Daddy) | pending

No — this is about Ted Hughes.

Her husband was Ted Hughes, who eventually became the Poet Laureate of Britain. He edited Ariel after Plath’s suicide, which is the source of a great deal of controversy. His headstone is vandalized all the fucking time.