At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Monday, September 30, 2013


My mother's reaction to poets in Berkeley, during the fifties when she was working on her masters degrees, was mental nausea and retching. At that time, poetic types were aiming for "meaningful", and the fullest intellectual expression of 'truth' and 'beauty'.
'Beowulf' never dabbled in meaningful, truth, or beauty; and Chaucer proved himself as pissy as he was a poet; a wicked ribald man.

The rot, in my mother's opinion, started with the English-language poets of the Victorian age, and simply got worse in the twentieth century.
Berkeley in her day was filled with rancid rhymers.

Good thing altogether that she never met the intellectual types infesting North Beach for the past generation. Her nausea and retching would no longer have been mental.
In addition to thoroughly stinko free-verse, they also smell bad.
Some of them still use patchouli, but most don't bathe often enough and huff way too much pot.
Pot is "meaningful". Heck, it's "green". Must be good!
It's wunnerful, man! Beauty!

Personally I am still not convinced that post-Elizabethan English is a good tongue for poetry. And judging by what students are commonly exposed to in American schools, society seems determined to prove that point.
Most poetry is absolutely frightful piffle.

I do however get an immense kick out of the Dutch poets. Not only the bad boys of the Golden Age -- for instance Bredero, who wrote epic verse about young women, among many other things, and Vondel, who saw fit to flatter his patrons -- but also several notorious and diseased rabble-rousers and homosexuals in the centuries since, even up to the present-day. Many Netherlandish bards either had very public flaws or very secret vices.

It may have been the beer; there's an insanity to tipsy Dutchmen.

And, remarkably, there is a refined earthiness to the language.

Which makes it fit for brutal wit and subtle irony.

As well as horribly descriptive.

If drill sergeants in modern America demand that their sissy recruits should develop some testicular fortitude pretty darn quick ladies, the versifier in Dutch already has an edge on him; his tongue itself exudes scrotism.
But you'll just have to learn it on your own, I shan't demonstrate.
It does not translate well at all, its sonnets even worse.
My talents do not extend to doubling Dutch.
Or making mongrel doggerel.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


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