The Sorrows of Young Werewolf (eyeteeth) wrote,
The Sorrows of Young Werewolf

The writing life

Today I elected to stay home from work because my innards are playing up in this weird way that makes me feel constantly as if I have to pee, whether I do or not. Before bed last night I read a few pages of Edmund Spenser's giant epic poem The Faerie Queene, which I am reading at probably about the rate at which Spenser wrote it, maybe more slowly, though in fairness he was getting paid. Specifically, I read the part of Book II, Canto III where Belphoebe first shows up. Belphoebe, like a lot of the women in The Faerie Queene, is an aspect of Queen Elizabeth, Spenser's patron; and he does this neat trick where he patterns her appearance after that part of the Iliad where Aphrodite appears to Aeneas disguised as Diana, so that Belphoebe is Elizabeth as Aphrodite as Diana, as beautiful as the former goddess and as fiercely chaste as the latter. That's what I call covering all your bases:
Her face so faire as flesh it seemed not,
But heauenly pourtraict of bright Angels hew,
Cleare as the skie, withouten blame or blot,
Through goodly mixture of complexions dew;
And in her cheekes the vermeill red did shew
Like roses in a bed of lillies shed,
The which ambrosiall odours from them threw,
And gazers sense with double pleasure fed,
Hable to heale the sicke, and to reuiue the ded.

In her faire eyes two liuing lamps did flame,
Kindled aboue at th'heauenly makers light,
And darted fyrie beames out of the same,
So passing persant, and so wondrous bright,
That quite bereau'd the rash beholders sight:
In them the blinded god his lustfull fire
To kindle oft assayd, but had no might;
For with dredd Maiestie, and awfull ire,
She broke his wanton darts, and quenched base desire.

Anyway, when my alarm went off this morning at eleven-fifteen, it woke me in the middle of a fake Spenserian dream-line: "A golden bow on a silver knee." (Which doesn't work, because it's not iambic; but "A golden bow upon a silver knee" scans perfectly.) And I guess I was still mostly asleep as I climbed down the ladder to the floor, because I missed the last rung and went careening across the room until I crashed into the wall and fell over. I think it's a good thing I decided to stay home today.
Tags: books, edmund spenser, poetry, sleep, spasmodicbehavior
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