The Wisdom of the Crazy – Tom O’Bedlam

[”From the hag and hungry goblin/that into rags would rend ye/All the sprites that stands by the naked man/In the book of moons, defend ye..”]-  (image from Guillaume-Benjamin Duchenne de Boulogne – Mécanisme de la physionomie humaine) (1862),] 

AG (from 1980):  We’ve been going through these poems of such persons as the Tom o’ Bedlam anonymous lyric, Marlowe, Wyatt, Donne, Marvell, Herbert, Shakespeare, Milton   (and I’ve been recommending everybody to get the rhythm in their bones and learn the stylistics).

And so now I want to… I mentioned that when I was beginning to study … Read More

Herrick and Tom o’ Bedlam

“All the sprites that stands by the naked man/In the book of moons, defend ye” – Zodiac Man (illustration from a 1580 Almanac)]

AG: Then, I don’t know if you remember,.. there’s an interesting rhythm here, like the Tom o’ Bedlam” lyric that I read last year – “From the hag and hungry goblin/ that into rags would rend ye/ All the sprites that stands by the naked man/ In the book of moons, defend ye”, “That of your five sound senses/ You never be forsaken/ Nor wander from your selves with Tom/ Abroad to beg your bacon.” … Read More

The History of Poetry – 3 (Tom o’ Bedlam)

William Hogarth (1697-1764) – The Interior of Bedlam (Bethlem Royal Hospital) from The Rake’s Progress – Plate VIII – The Rake In A Madhouse, engraving published 1763
AG: “Around his (Shakespeare’s) time there was a lot of great language and song. So I want to run through some of the short songs, or short poems or lyrics of (the) 16th Century, 16th, and maybe 17th, Century. I don’t think I put it on the reading list but one very good anthology, or one very good survey of all the … Read More