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Comment 2 of 28, added on September 2nd, 2010 at 1:11 PM.
Warning to Poets
This poem is Wilbur’s elegant little answer to the generations of poets who
have praised their lady’s (or lord’s) beauty, lamented its ultimate decay,
and comforted the beloved with the thought that that beauty would be have
eternal life in the poet’s words. The Etruscans were the predecessors to
the Romans on the Italian peninsula. They had a vibrant literary culture,
of which many inscriptions and one book have come down to us. Many in
modern times have dedicated their lives in attempts to decipher the
Etruscan language, but so far all have failed. One imagines that one of
those indecipherable Etruscan texts said something like, “So long as men
can breathe or eyes can see,/So long lives this, and this gives life to
thee.” Much as I love Shakespeare, I’ve always found this attitude of
poets highly annoying, as well as vaguely insulting. (I would much more
quickly be won by someone quoting from “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like
the sun.”) Therefore, I love Wilbur’s little “not so fast” warning to this
kind of poetic egoism.
AlbanyReader from United States
Comment 1 of 28, added on August 1st, 2005 at 11:49 AM.
I am not trying to put anyone down it's just that I think that you could
make the poem more livly, but on the outher hand someone else might be able
to understand it.
from United States
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