Fulke Greville & Hart Crane’s Atlantis



AG: – (looking through anthology) – Is (Hart Crane’s)”Atlantis in here? – where you’ll find something similar (to Fulke Greville] there. The reason I was thinking of that little poem is that it’s got a lot of.. it’s a seminal poem that a lot of people have heard that got a little vibe out of – Crane’s Atlantis, and, if it’s not here, I’ll bring it in some other time …. Nine-forty-three..Hart? what? One-thousand-and-eighty-three – Hart Crane.. I’ll see if I can find a similar piece of rhetoric…No, “Atlantis” isn’t here.. Well, okay I’ll substitute for that another piece of Crane, its “Voyages” to.. One-thousand-and-eighty-three … Not quite the same but it gives you a little bit of the.. a little bit of that. I’ll read the poem. It’s also a great piece of Ayn Rand-like rhetoric (similar to Fulke Greville’s power), talking about the Mediterranean.. I mean, the Caribbean – a view of the Caribbean, a glimpse of “Carribeternity” (and also I pulled some images from here into “Howl” too) –

“And yet this great wink of eternity, of rimless.. “ (it’s the same “insatiable vast”, “insatiable vast space. actually, that he’s getting at )

—And yet this great wink of eternity,/Of rimless floods, unfettered leewardings,/Samite sheeted and processioned where/Her undinal vast belly moonward bends,/Laughing the wrapt inflections of our love;/Take this Sea, whose diapason knells/On scrolls of silver snowy sentences,/The sceptred terror of whose sessions rends/As her demeanors motion well or ill,/All but the pieties of lovers’ hands./

And onward, as bells off San Salvador/Salute the crocus lustres of the stars,/In these poinsettia meadows of her tides,—/Adagios of islands, O my Prodigal,/Complete the dark confessions her veins spell./Mark how her turning shoulders wind the hours,/And hasten while her penniless rich palms/ Pass superscription of bent foam and wave,—/Hasten, while they are true,—sleep, death, desire,/ Close round one instant in one floating flower./Bind us in time, O Seasons clear, and awe./O minstrel galleons of Carib fire,/Bequeath us to no earthly shore until/Is answered in the vortex of our grave/The seal’s wide spindrift gaze toward paradise.”

..”seal’s wide spindrift gaze toward paradise” – that’s a real great long cadenza there. But I like that “Bind us in time, O seasons clear, and awe./ O minstrel galleons of Carib fire”, and what I’m pointing out is the similarity to “Rather, sweet Jesus, fill up time and come” – “Bind us in time.. “ – “Rather, sweet Jesus, fill up time and come”  It’s..the.. I think Crane gets his kind of rhetoric from..Fulke Greville. His friends.. Yvor Winters, his friends and other 1920’s poets were reading a lot of Greville and actually were doing scholarly research on that era and putting it all together in anthologies and collections of seventeenth-century and sixteenth-century poetry. But dig that – badda-bom badda-badda bom-bom-bom da-da – “Rather, sweet Jesus, fill up time and come” The sound in that is big. .it’s the trumpets of Judgement Day, that is the rhythmic thing there, the solidity of the vowels – “Raather, sweet Jesus, fill up time and come” – badda bup ba-da – ba-ba-ba ba-da-da! – So you get the Gabriel’s trumpet, Gabriel’s trumpet sound there.

[Audio for the above can be heard here, begining at approximately twelve minutes in and continuing to approximately sixteen-and-a-half  minutes in]

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