Poetry Book On Cd..acanthus And Wild Grape By F.o. Call For Sale
Poetry Book on CD Edition
Originally Published: 1920
Wordcount:8,876 /35 pg
Acanthus and Wild Grape
NOTE: Many of these poems were first published in Canadian Magazines, and the Author wishes to thank the publishers of the _University Magazine_, the _Canadian Magazine_, the _Westminster_, the _Canadian Bookman_, _Canada West_, and the _Mitre_ for permission to reprint.
Foreword Acanthus The Old Gods The Obelisk Gray Birds After Tea Through a Long Cloister Cathedral Vespers The Lotus-Worshippers The Broken Mast The Lace-maker of Burges Rheims Calvary Gone West Peace Hidden Treasure A River Sunset The Madonna An Idol in a Shop Window In a Forest The Golden Bowl On a Swiss Mountain The Nun's Garden You Went Away in Summertime To a Modern Poet The Mystic Ad Episcopi Collegium A Song of the Homeland The Mirror I Made a Little Song Birds The Bluebird's Wing The Answer
Wild Grape To a Greek Statue Omnipresence My Cathedral The Foundry
Poetry has been defined as "Thought touched by Emotion," and I know no better working definition, although no doubt more scientific and accurate ones could be found. The best poets of all ages seem to have had this ideal plainly before them, whether consciously or unconsciously, and I cannot see how modern poets can dispense with either thought or emotion if they are to write real poetry. For one is not enough without the other. Take for example the first lines of Master's "Spoon River Anthology."
"Where are Elmer, Herman, Bert, Tom and Charley, The weak of will, the strong of arm, the clown, the boozer,
the fighter? All, all, are sleeping on the hill, One passed in a fever, One was buried in a mine, One was killed in a brawl, One died in a jail, One fell from a bridge toiling for children and wife, All, all are sleeping on the hill."
This sounds tragic indeed, but seems to have aroused no emotion on the part of the poet and excites none in his readers. In fact, through the whole poem, emotion is held in check with a strong hand, and only allowed to show itself in some distorted cynicism.
Let us take an example of the opposite extreme where emotion, whether real or fancied, has stifled thought.
O World! O Men! O Sun! to you I cry, I raise my song defiant, proud, victorious, And send this clarion ringing down the sky: "I love, I love, I love, and Love is glorious!"
The definition chosen need not hamper the most "modern" poet nor restrict his choice of subject, for there are few things that cannot awaken both thought and emotion if looked at in the right way. An iron foundry and a Venetian palace have immense possibilities of arousing both elements, and perhaps the foundry has the greater power.
The modern poet has joined the great army of seekers after freedom, that is, he refuses to observe the old conventions in regard to his subjects and his method of treating them. He refuses to be bound by the old restrictions of rhyme and metre, and goes far afield in search of material on which to work. The boldest of the new school would throw overboard all the old forms and write only in free verse, rythmic prose or whatever he may wish to call it. The conservative, on the other hand, clings stubbornly to the old conventions, and will have nothing to do with vers libre or anything that savours of it.
But vers libre, like the motor-car and aeroplane, has come to stay whether we like it or no. It is not really a new thing, although put to a new use, for some of the greatest poetry of the Hebrews and other Oriental nations was written in a form of free verse. At the present time the number of those using it as medium of expression is steadily increasing. In France, Italy, the United States, and even in conservative England, the increase in the number of poems recently published in this form has been remarkable. The modernists hail this tendency as the dawn of a new era of freedom, while the conservatives see poetry falling into decadence and ruin. The right view of the case probably lies, as it generally does, between the extremes. There is much beauty to be found in walking in beaten paths or rambling in fenced-in fields and woods, but perhaps one who sails the skies in an aeroplane may see visions and feel emotions that never come to those who wander on foot along the old paths of the woods and fields below.
But it seems to me that it matters little in what form a poem is cast so long as the form suits the subject, and does not hinder the freedom of the poet's thought and emotion. And I am old-fashioned enough to expect that beauty will be revealed as well. Out of this union of thought, emotion and beauty, we could scarcely fail to get strength also, which term many modern poets use to cover an ugliness that is often nothing but disguised weakness. But form alone will not make even a semblance of poetry as the following lines, unimpeachable in form, from Sir Walter Scott plainly show:
"Then filled with pity and remorse, He sorrowed o'er the expiring horse."
Nor can I conceive of more beautiful poetry than the following, by Richard Aldington, although rhyme and regular metre are absent:
"And we turn from the music of old, And the hills that we loved and the meads, And we turn from the fiery day, And the lips that were over-sweet; For silently Brushing the fields with red-shod feet, With purple robe Searing the grass as with a sudden flame, Death, Thou hast come upon us."
And this brings me to the real purpose of this Foreword--the explanation of the title of this book. On the hills and plains of Southern Europe there grows a plant with beautiful indented leaves--the Acanthus. The Greek artist saw the beauty of these leaves, and, having arranged and conventionalized them, carved them upon the capitals of the columns which supported the roofs and pediments of his temples and public buildings. Since that time, wherever pillars are used in architecture, one does not have far to look to find acanthus leaves carved upon them. In the Roman Forum, in Byzantine churches like Saint Sophia or Saint Mark's, in the Medi¾val Cathedrals of France. England and Spain, in the Renaissance buildings scattered throughout the world, and even in the most modern office-buildings of our great cities, this decoration of acanthus is to be found. And the reason is not far to seek.
"A thing of beauty ... will never Pass into nothingness."
I recently saw a picture of a Corinthian column of a ruined Greek temple standing against the sky, and broken fragments of its fellows lying at its foot, with wild vines climbing over them. And who could say that one was more beautiful than the other? The carved acanthus leaves upon the column were beautiful because of their symmetry, harmony of light and shade and clear-cut outline, but the wild grape was perhaps more beautiful still in its natural freedom.
So in this little book will be found some poems in the old conventional forms and some others in free rhythms, in which the author has tried in a humble way, to mingle elements of thought, emotion and beauty.
written byF.O. Call
Author of "In a Belgian Garden"
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Poetry Book On Cd..acanthus And Wild Grape By F.o. Call: $6