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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Reading biographies of poets . . .

. . . presents one with the problem of comparison, & I am so not H.D., who in Barbara Guest's words "was fond of making entrances. She also liked to 'elevate' the conversation in a goddesslike fashion, speaking airily of nearby Mount Olympus. Her rather large feet tended to skim the earth. An enemy would find her a natural target for satire, and she had two rather serious enemies." (Perhaps that's because she was "very fond of gossip," or maybe they too were simply envious.)

OK, well, I do have rather large feet. & she was also 5' 11", like me.

But she (& Mina Loy & Edna Millay & a young James Merrill in Europe) are all enviably poetical compared to our overly reasonable oh so self-conscious milieu. It's a shame that the only flamboyance allowed us these days is either the drunken fistfight after a slurred reading or hysterical romantic intrigues, neither of which is particularly appealing to me. The dramatic "poet voice" recitations they can keep, but I'd like to at least be able to get away with sporting a cape or a headdress on special occasions.

I kid, sort of.

The book.

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