Wednesday, June 7, 2017

"Pertinax" and something else


First there is this from Robert Frost:

"Pertinax"

Let chaos storm!
Let cloud shapes swarm!
I wait for form.

And there is something else from me:

I apologize to everyone for my blogging chaos, contradictions, and confusion. All that has appeared here in recents days, weeks, and months has been damaged by my cognitive impairment, physical ailments, and adverse reactions to medications and treatments. So, as I beg for your forgiveness, I ask you to do three things: (1) ignore all previous postings because I am canceling all earlier announced reading, posting, and discussion plans (e.g., no more Holmes and Watson stories); (2) understand that my blogging future is merely a day to day proposition without any promises or plans; (3) tell me your thoughts on Robert Frost's three-line poem, one of ten brief poems that make up "Ten Mills" found on page 281 in the Library of America edition. As for myself, "Pertinax" says precisely what I wish I could say so artfully and succinctly. Yes, in spite of the storm, I wait for peace, quiet, and happiness.





14 comments:

  1. The great thing about blogs, Tim, is that they are ours to shape as we will. You're entitled to post whatever suits you. As to the Frost poem, it makes me think of how important it is to us humans to make sense of things. We like things to have at least some sort of structure, I think.

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  2. butbutbut... where's my Sherlock...??? oh well, maybe later...
    i'm not sure this is actually a poem; more like a cri de coeur, or something similar... probably he'd just hit his thumb with a hammer, or the roof on the barn fell in or something worse...

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    1. I'm not sure either, Mudpuddle, but I stumbled upon it when browsing through Frost's poems this morning. Somehow he seemed to nail it for me, and he didn't even use a hammer.

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    2. hahahal excellent!!!! forgive my childish sense of humor: i'm old...

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  3. Frost's short poems are always a bit strange--I see them as a Frostian haiku. A single thought embedded in imagery. In this case, it's chaos and storm clouds, and he's just waiting it out, knowing as the Taoists say, that chaos will subside to form, which in turn will dissolve once more into chaos.

    There have been times when I wished I had known this poem.

    The poem does rhyme, and each line has four syllables: form.

    Check out the career of Pertinax whose career had many ups and downs, in favor and out of favor during the second century AD, until he was named emperor and then assassinated 86 days later. Also check the meaning of the Latin word pertinax.

    Thanks for posting this. It's time I took a closer look at his haiku.

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    1. Fred, yes, the structure as well as the Roman and Latin connections are interesting. Form for life also interests me. I wonder what form would have been and meant to Frost.

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    2. Fred, I've resumed reading the Frost biography by Jay Parini. Perhaps that will help with my poetry encounters.

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    3. Tim,

      I think structure would be what Frost means by form. He supposedly was asked once what he thought of free verse. He said writing free verse was like playing tennis without a net.

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    4. Fred, I do better at tennis without the net. The lines also create problems..

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  4. Three lines, three tumultuous months for Emperor Publius Helvius Pertinax Augustus during the entirely too lively Year of the Five Emperors.

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    1. Yes, Marly, and clearly you, Fred, and Frost know a lot about Roman history and Latin. My high school Latin teacher for three years,Thelma Brandfas, would scold me.

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    2. they never mentioned this in my hydrology class...

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    3. I don't call myself a knower of much. The universe is awfully big and rich. But "Pertinax" sounded like a Latin name I should look up!

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    4. Tim,

      You give me far too much credit. I was curious about the title, so I looked it up. The credit should go to Google.

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