Sunday, February 04, 2007

I Have No Idea What Grasshoppers Look Like, I Guess

Below, Richard saucily proposes that instead of celebrating Marianne Moore this month, we should celebrate Frederick Tuckerman, a "really bad 19th-c. American poet absurdly overrated by Yvor Winters." I take issue with this characterization! Any man who is the wellspring of such images as "the old grasshopper molasses-mouthed" deserves our respect as well as our cartoons, and so I set Marianne Moore aside for the moment and celebrate him today:

Sleep soundly, Frederick Tuckerman; I pray that sticky-lipped bugs are gnawing you.


RHE said...

If your tastes run to the 19th-c version of Hallmark sentiments, set in irreproachable metres, and Longfellow and Bryant seem too familiar for the occasion, maybe Tuckerman will do. I look forward to your illustrations of such lines as,

Here, but a lifetime back, where falls tonight
Behind the curtained pane a sheltered light
On buds of rose or vase of violet
Aloft upon the marble mantel set,
Here in the forest-heart, hung blackening
The wolfbait on the bush beside the spring.

"[B]ud of rose or vase of violet" is just a little too much for me, and the image of home a bit too homely. I found myself reciting, "The pure products of America go crazy."

Tricia said...

Whoa. Whoa. Why, Richard, have you made it your business to tempt me with wolfbait of the mind? I stand firm in my decision to celebrate Marianne this month, but when I at long last fling the one-poet-each-month theme to the wind and make EOICC a total free-for-all, wolfbait on the bush will be the very first thing I tackle.