Crux Ansata (ansat) wrote,
Crux Ansata
ansat

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I think my favorite line in poetry is from "Leda and the Swan":

And Agamemnon dead.


The brutality of loss and love and death, the desperation of survival. But more the blow to the reader. Yeats had so mastered the form he could break it, make it a weapon. We feel the life gone, but we also survive with her. We don't just know he is gone; we feel he is lost.

Only half a line, though, I suppose. But I shall make up for it by saying the line I feel is most fun is from "Annabel Lee", but maliciously quote half a stanza!

And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:


The third line is my favorite. (I always hear it as "shall" rather than "can." Oddly optimistic of me. "Can" implies a stasis. There is no future; there is no life. Poe seems to be trying to say there is one eternal night. Time has stopped. No matter how many moons there may be, no matter how many stars in the sky, there never is a morning; only a memory. "Shall" for me has a hint of defiance. It's not just that they cannot be severed, as if they were conjoined twins joined at the head, but that he refuses to let her go. He sees a future -- of pain, but a future nonetheless. "Shall" returns power to the sufferer. But I was saying:) It has a music in it that makes me wonder if Poe was chuckling at himself or chuckling at his reader. I almost find it too fun for the poem, but if ever there were a poem that needs a bit of the piss take out of it, that's the one.
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