Sir John Suckling – 6 ( “The Deformed Mistress”)

[The Ugly Duchess – Quentin Matsys,  c. 1513, oil on wood 64.2 cm x 45.5 cm, National Gallery, London]

Allen’s notes on John Suckling continue and conclude

AG: And then the last…  then there are two other poems that are worth checking out – “The Deformed Mistress” ( this is written by the handsomest man of his age, and the richest) – “I know there are some fools…” – (it’s like there’s a line in (W.H.) Auden –  “Tell then of witty angels who/Come only to the beasts/ Of Heirs Apparent, who prefer/ Low dives to formal feasts;/For … Read More

Sir John Suckling – 5 (Suckling and Jonson)

[“Or hast thou viewed the peacock in his pride”]  

Then he [John Suckling]  also was quite a scholar and was interested in the same things we are in poetics so he did a little imitation of (Ben) Jonson’s poem on page two-sixty, the “Oh so white…” – remember that one that we went over so much. – from “The Triumph of Charis?

“Have you seen but a bright lily grow/Before rude hands have touched it/Have you marked but the fall of snow/Before the soil hath smutched it?/Have you felt the wool of beaver,/Or swan’s down ever?/Or have … Read More

Sir John Suckling – 4

[“Love is the fart/Of every heart” – Floral border to Le Livre des hystoires du Mirouer du monde, Paris 15th century]

AG: So on page three fifty-four. (more Suckling) – “Out upon it I have loved three whole days together” – “Out upon it, I have lov’d/Three whole days together;/And am like to love three more,/If it prove fair weather./ Time shall moult away his wings,/Ere he shall discover/In the whole wide world again/Such a constant lover./ But the spite on’t is, no praise/Is due at all to me;/Love with me had made no stays,/Had it any been but … Read More

Sir John Suckling – 3

[The Wedding Dance In A Barn – Pieter Brueghel the Younger c. 1616 – oil on oak panel 74 cms x 106 cms]

AG:  Well, he [John Suckling]’s got this “Ballad Upon A Wedding (page three hundred and fifty-one), which is a long poem, probably addressed to his friend, the poet (Richard) Lovelace, (who had an equally fantastical prettiness of body and extraordinary exquisite political career)

“I Tell Thee Dick” (Richard Lovelace) – page three fifty-one) – “I tell thee, Dick, where I have been/,Where I the rarest things have seen;/Oh, things without compare!/Such sights again cannot … Read More

Sir John Suckling – 2

[ John Suckling (1609-1641)]

continued from yesterday 

AG: So Suckling is one of those characters who was on the side of the King but he’s an extraordinary person. So, of all people, he needs a little biographical background to get something of the panache, lilt, flair, charm, Jimmy Dean-esque quality, of his little lyrics

“Beautiful and vigorous in body, educated in all the accomplishments that grace a gentleman, endowed from earliest youth with the prestige of a soldier and a popular courtier, his enormous wealth enabled him to indulge every whim that a fondness for what was splendid or … Read More

Sir John Suckling – 1

[John Suckling (1609-1641)]

Allen’s 1980 Naropa class on Basic Poetics continues

AG: Let’s start in the anthology with Sir John Suckling  (page three forty-nine),  with the poem called “Song”, which my father used to stomp around the house and recite when he was  teaching it in high school all the time  because it’s a charming poem, and, apparently, it was very popular among the lyric poets of the 1920s as a model example of all-time great top-ten lyric out of English history. And it fitted in with the tuneful cynicism of the ‘twenties, like (the) Floradora Sextette and the Flappers, Read More