Friday, June 20, 2014

Dewy Interlude

Paul Muldoon recently chastised
Susan Cheever's biography
Of e.e. cummings for using
The term "dewy" with reference
To Radcliffe students attending
The six nonlectures. "Exactly
What does 'dewy' mean, anyway?"
I thought of his complaint today

While reading the pilgrim's novel
In which bodies are stacked like cords
Of firewood outside cabins.
The pilgrim refers to "dewy
Beauty" in a context something
Like Cheever's, which reminded me
Of Muldoon's review and, in turn,
Of an equally sour review

A few year's back, castigating
The pilgrim for being showy.
Showy and dewy. Reminds me
Of the pun about the law firm,
"Dewey, Cheatham, & Howe."
Is it possible for writers
To parse other writers
Without logrolling or envy?

Probably not. Logs roll under
Bodies clearing logjams, drowning
Whatever isn't wholly crushed.
It's why I still like the pilgrim,
However dewy and showy
The cruelty of the meadows
In which Death gets loosed in those texts,
Mowing characters just like us.

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