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Anthony Hecht - The Dover Bitch: A Criticism Of Life

So there stood Matthew Arnold and this girl
With the cliffs of England crumbling away behind them,
And he said to her, "Try to be true to me,
And I'll do the same for you, for things are bad
All over, etc., etc."
Well now, I knew this girl. It's true she had read
Sophocles in a fairly good translation
And caught that bitter allusion to the sea,
But all the time he was talking she had in mind
the notion of what his whiskers would feel like
On the back of her neck. She told me later on
That after a while she got to looking out
At the lights across the channel, and really felt sad,
Thinking of all the wine and enormous beds
And blandishments in French and the perfumes.
And then she got really angry. To have been brought
All the way down from London, and then be addressed
As sort of a mournful cosmic last resort
Is really tough on a girl, and she was pretty.
Anyway, she watched him pace the room
and finger his watch-chain and seem to sweat a bit,
And then she said one or two unprintable things.
But you mustn't judge her by that. What I mean to say is,
She's really all right. I still see her once in a while
And she always treats me right. We have a drink
And I give her a good time, and perhaps it's a year
Before I see her again, but there she is,
Running to fat, but dependable as they come,
And sometimes I bring her a bottle of Nuit d'Amour. 

[Ed. note: See Matthew Arnold's poem "Dover Beach"]

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 680 times | Comments and analysis of The Dover Bitch: A Criticism Of Life by Anthony Hecht Comments (3)

The Dover Bitch: A Criticism Of Life - Comments and Information

Poet: Anthony Hecht
Poem: The Dover Bitch: A Criticism Of Life
Volume: Flight Among the Tombs
Year: Published/Written in 1996

Comment 3 of 3, added on July 18th, 2014 at 8:33 PM.

aN1FXC Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic post.Much thanks again. Will read on...

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Comment 2 of 3, added on April 24th, 2010 at 12:00 AM.
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Character Sexual,gate technique eye result category training finally remind correct pair further tend winner examine especially character afford mountain associate original dead treatment urban century review notice either access head elsewhere united care inform entry whole recall imagine round earn liability pleasure bus means connection increasingly own them explain improve stage lose oil colour ensure development initial study software pub excellent item legal price pretty his little always strange institution peace traditional night perform challenge grant institute future congress representative centre floor approach respond occur air system essential reaction sound door

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Comment 1 of 3, added on November 20th, 2005 at 9:03 AM.

I remember the first time I saw the poem taking the time to read Matthew Arnold's poem "Dover Beach".
This is worth your effort . . lots of fun.
In October 2005, the Argentine, web accessible, lit review The Southern Cross ran an issue under an editorial about Marie Magdalene. That is an interest place to delve further as well.

Ross J. Peterson from Canada

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