Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Spirit of Romance

"Ezra Pound once remarked to me that Shakespeare of the Sonnets may well have been 'a public letter-writer':  that's writing poetry-to-order -- a trade.  Pound told me this during the time he was imprisoned in a mental hospital in Washington, D.C.  'Sometimes,' he added, 'the guards come to me, for a piece of verse to give their sweethearts.'  'And do you write it?' I asked.  'Oh, yes.'"  (Hugh Kenner, The Elsewhere Community, pg. 150)

Say gal, happy valentine's day!  Look, I wrote ya somethin.
Aw shucks Stanley, I didn know you wrote no poetry.
Yeah, well, for a swell gal like you...
Like it?
Sure I like it, but now when did you learn italian?, I picked up a bit in the service.  You know.  Learned it from Uncle Sam.
Oh...I...sure.  Say, what's "usura"?
Eh...dat's, like, I wanted to say "you sura are a...nice girl" and all.
But Stanley, it's doesn't...
Oh it's just a nice thing I wrote you, why ya always gotta...What?
Stanley, most of our friends in the building are Jewish, how could you say this part here?
Lemme see that... ah shit.  Ezra Pound wrote it, alright?  Happy?