Well…we’ve got tragedy, longing and Tom Jones this week…
Love Song, by William Carlos Williams
Read by Xe Sands
Poets slip under my defenses by different means. Some pack a powerful punch, especially at the end…they can turn a phrase in such a way that I find myself somewhat destroyed before my brain has caught up with the meaning of the words. And some just sum up what I’m experiencing so perfectly, I have no choice but to allow them in.
But there are those, like William Carlos Williams, Lawrence, e.e. cummings Neruda…those who slip in on a visceral level. They create work that seems to soak into your skin, make you feel something on a physical level.
So this poem. Hmm. I don’t even know exactly what Williams is really trying to say – and I don’t need to. I just feel something slide over me, around me, slip under my defenses and float along in my bloodstream. That’s a whole lot of power for a poet to have.
From Hamlet Act IV Sc 1, by William Shakespeare
Read by Diane Havens and Robert Jadah
A pivotal moment in the plot from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” where a distraught Gertrude tells Claudius that Hamlet has mistakenly murdered Polonius.
From the free literature podcasts “Acting It Out.”
Tom Jones – Book 4, Chapter 11, by Henry Fielding
Read by Mark Turetsky
Book 4 Chapter 11 of Tom Jones.
This is part of an ongoing project in which I will record and post one chapter per week of Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones over the course of four years.
Yet another instance of Tom Jones doing precisely the right thing, but losing everyone else’s respect for it. Tom gallops home to Allworthy’s estate and takes full responsibility for corrupting Molly (while it’s pretty firmly established that things happened vice versa). Allworthy rescinds his sentence sending Molly to a correctional home, and Blifil, with Square and Thwackum in tow, finish out the chapter trashing Tom.
A few quick thoughts:
– I love Fielding’s references to the events of books 1 and 2, telling the reader to go back and read them in case they’ve forgotten.
– Square’s railing against Tom,”I am resolved, from this instance, never to […] think anything virtue which doth not exactly quadrate with the unerring rule of right.” Moral absolutism AND geometry!
– Fielding’s nod to the previous chapter, where Squire Western claims that he often went out “whoring” with Allworthy, where he says it was a complete fabrication, as Allworthy didn’t even go to college.
– And, while on the subject, Fielding refers to this as an unnamed monosyllable. The critical edition I have of the novel is stumped, and suggests the, rather timid, “rant.”