NABOKV-L post 0014151, Wed, 22 Nov 2006 11:29:59 EST

Re: Hopkins et al: CHW to JM

Jansy wrote:
…. poets VN respected ( among them Keats and Browning). In the first part
of Lolita VN made a passing mention to Hopkins and often I hear of "dappled"
clearings which might be related to this bespeckled alliterative rhythmic
And yet, in ADA, his comment on "sprung rhythm" seemed rather mocking, but I
found it difficult to judge since I cannot even imagine how Russian verse
would sound in SR. Could you, CHW, or one among our List experts clarify ?
Dear Jansy,
I much regret Russian to me is a closed book that I'm unlikely to open at
this juncture. There must be others on the list not too base to ignore your
query. However, I would say that the greatest disaster that has befallen English
poetry in the last 150 years is the selfless reticence and suppression of
Hopkins until Bridges' belated (and hesitant?) recognition of him in 1918;
coupled with the previous hysterical, and in my view barmy, adulation of Pound,
a barn-storming self-promoter from the New World. I am reasonably certain
that VN couldn't abide Pound, under any conditions.
My (Kinbote's) own language:
Ret wóren ok spóz on nátt ut vétt?
Éto est vótchez ut míd ik détt.
How do you think did GMHopkins rate with VN?
Off the cuff, I'd say he was in two minds about him. Looking at this little
chunk of Zemblan translation again, I'd say it resembles nothing so much as
several Scandinavian languages passed through a meat-mincer. "Votchez" and
"spoz" could be added spices, from a more exotic habitat. I suppose the acute
accents indicate stress, a la Hopkins.
Wikipedia has quite a good stab at explaining sprung-rhythm.

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