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Ah yes. Good old WUncle Winnie.
My point isd that it often suits the needs of blank verse.

P.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carrol Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 9:25 AM
Subject: Re: 'Gerontion' -- Grammatical Accuracy


> The use of inversion in poetry has been a locus of dispute in the last
> century. Some of the early 'mdoernist' manifestos attacked its use in
> 19th-c poetry. Then when reviewers criticized Binyon's translation of
> Dante for its inversions, Pound defended Binyon, snarling against
> turning principles into rules (or something like that). Binyon, of
> course, was forced to twist his syntax by his decision to keep Dante's
> rhyme scheme. But Nancy is right of course that inversion is by no means
> archaic. It even is apt to appear occasionally in collouial
> conversation. And in jokes: "This is the sort of arrant nonsense up with
> which I will not put."
> 
> Carrol
> 
> 
> > Nancy Gish wrote:
> > 
> > What do you mean by "Elizabethan"?  Inversion is not common but is
> > also not at all excluded in modern English.  It simply creates great
> > emphasis because modern English is so reliant on word order.  But
> > poets invert all the time for emphasis, as do other writers.  It was
> > more common perhaps before grammar got codified, but it is not
> > archaic.
> > 
> > "Into the valley of death rode the six hundred."
> > Nancy
> > 
> > >>> Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> 03/11/10 7:46 AM >>>
> > On the other hand, why Eliot used the Elizabethan
> > acccusative first in the phrase, is an interesting question.
> > It certainly puts a lot of emphasis on the object.
> > 
> > P.
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Carrol Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 7:57 AM
> > Subject: Re: 'Gerontion' -- Grammatical Accuracy
> > 
> > > Apparently Diana is s till having considerable difficulty in
> > > distinguishng factual from interpretive questions. That "devours" is
> > 
> > > simple present is a factual question; it merely asserts that "eats"
> > and
> > > "is eating' are not identical. One word is not identical with two
> > > words. The phrse does raise interpretive puzzles, puzzles which
> > Diane
> > > seems to want to transform into the nonsense of arguing about tense.
> > 
> > > "Devours" does, to some extent, FEEL LIKE an ongoing action. But
> > that
> > > feeling cannot be explained by idiotic arguments that the present
> > tense
> > > is not the present tense.
> > >
> > > Carrol
> > >
> > > Jerome Walsh wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Sorry, Diana. That's what "parse" and "tense" meant when I went to
> > 
> > > > school. Maybe those terms have changed since.
> > > >
> > > > Jerry
> > > >
> > > >
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > 
> > > > From: Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]>
> > > > To: [log in to unmask]
> > > > Sent: Wed, March 10, 2010 9:04:11 AM
> > > > Subject: Re: 'Gerontion' -- Grammatical Accuracy
> > > >
> > > > Dear Jerome,
> > > >
> > > > This is middle-school sentence diagramming, not a complete
> > > > consideration of all the syntactical nuances the statement
> > implies.
> > > >
> > > > I would like you to explain why you think "devours" is in the
> > simple
> > > > present tense. You are saying that the tiger is devouring the
> > narrator
> > > > in the poem, and the action is completed in the present. That's
> > > > ridiculous.
> > > >
> > > > The tiger "always" devours us, if and when he (or she!) is
> > > > encountered. That's not simple present tense.
> > > >
> > > > Diana
> > > >
> > > >
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > 
> > > > Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 06:51:25 -0800
> > > > From: [log in to unmask]
> > > > Subject: Re: 'Gerontion' -- Grammatical Accuracy
> > > > To: [log in to unmask]
> > > >
> > > > Diana,
> > > >
> > > > "Us" is the objective case of the first person plural personal
> > > > pronoun. It is used as the direct object of the sentence here.
> > > > "He" is the nominative case of the third person singular personal
> > > > pronoun. It is used as the subject of the verb.
> > > > "Devours" is the third person singular (simple, ordinary) present
> > (not
> > > > "progressive present") tense of the verb "to devour."
> > > >
> > > > Jerry Walsh
> > > >
> > > > (My knowledge of the complexities of [English] grammar, however,
> > is
> > > > limited; so I would gladly defer to those who can unravel these
> > > > complexities more accurately than I.)
> > > >
> > > >
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > 
> > > > From: Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]>
> > > > To: [log in to unmask]
> > > > Sent: Wed, March 10, 2010 8:21:26 AM
> > > > Subject: Re: 'Gerontion' -- Grammatical Accuracy
> > > >
> > > > Dear Terry,
> > > >
> > > > You are noticeably silent in response to my request that you
> > provide
> > > > the "accuracy in grammatical identifications" that I obviously
> > could
> > > > not achieve.
> > > >
> > > > Please parse "Us he devours" with all the grammatical accuracy you
> > can
> > > > muster. I look forward to reading it.
> > > >
> > > > Diana
> > > >
> > > >
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > 
> > > > Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2010 19:46:57 -0500
> > > > From: [log in to unmask]
> > > > Subject: Re: 'Gerontion' -- the dramatic arc
> > > > To: [log in to unmask]
> > > >
> > > > Diana,
> > > >
> > > > You seem to be under the impression that poetic ambiguity,
> > > > multiplicity of meaning, and interpretive range provide rationales
> > for
> > > > a critic to make errors in grammatical identifications. 'T'isn't
> > so.
> > > > Whether or not sentences such as "Us he devours" and "Don't touch
> > me"
> > > > imply ongoing action (an interpretive matter), it is inaccurate to
> > say
> > > > that they're in the progressive present tense (a factual matter).
> > > > Whether or not a poem such as "Gerontion" implies movement, the
> > noun
> > > > "Gerontion" is not a verb or verbal phrase. Claims to the contrary
> > are
> > > > not interpretations; they're just errors. Critics who feel "free
> > to
> > > > select the tense of your choice" are writing their own text, not
> > > > interpreting the one the poet wrote.
> > > >
> > > > You also seem to assume that a call for accuracy in grammatical
> > > > identifications is ipso facto a rejection of poetic ambiguity,
> > > > multiplicity of meaning, and interpretive range, that the
> > expectation
> > > > of critical accuracy necessarily entails an insensitivity to the
> > > > richness and suggestiveness of a poem. This assumption is so
> > > > ridiculous I'm not going to comment on it.
> > > >
> > > > Terry
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Dear Terry,
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Don't credit me with interpreting Jesus's statement to Mary
> > > > as an ongoing action that continues beyond the present
> > > > moment; biblical scholars have developed arguments on both
> > > > sides of that debate. Try googling Noli me tangere for
> > > > details.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > If you like things to be unambiguous, you ought to steer
> > > > clear of poetry. I've said that "Us he devours" seems like
> > > > an ongoing action of the tiger, rather than a devouring that
> > > > completes itself in the poem as a conversion experience. But
> > > > even as the progressive present, a conditional quality might
> > > > be implied, as in "If the tiger arrives us he devours" or
> > > > "When the tiger arrives us he devours." Poetry is enriched
> > > > by ambiguity; if we could point to one meaning Gerontion
> > > > would not fascinate us as it does. You of course are free to
> > > > select the tense of your choice for "Us he devours" and
> > > > settle on one interpretation.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > As for the discussion on the poem's title, I believe it
> > > > could signify both the name of the narrator and the state or
> > > > condition of old age. I must have posted something that
> > > > suggested I believed the title signified an action, which is
> > > > why Nancy tried to disabuse me of that notion. We got it
> > > > cleared up. I was arguing that ageing was not a static
> > > > condition, and that the narrator reacts to time passing him
> > > > by, since someone said the poem was static. The poem, not
> > > > the title, implies movement.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Do try to pay attention so you don't need replays of
> > > > discussions to clear up your misconceptions.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Diana
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > >appeals to tense don't always settle disputes about meaning
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Diana,
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Now that Jerry has twice corrected your claims about Greek
> > > > tenses, you say that appeals to tense don't always settle
> > > > disputes, but you are the one who has been making such
> > > > appeals - and erroneous ones at that. You say "Us he
> > > > devours" is the progressive present tense, which it's not.
> > > > The progressive present in English requires an "ing" verb.
> > > > (Jerry gave "I am touching" as an example, but you
> > > > apparently paid no attention to that part of his post.) "Us
> > > > he devours" is no more the progressive present than are the
> > > > negative commands "don't touch me" or "don't hold me" or
> > > > "don't cling to me." If you want to interpret those as
> > > > continuing actions, that's fine, but please stop using
> > > > labels you don't understand. (You did this before in your
> > > > syntactical misreading of the poem's title, about which
> > > > Nancy's efforts to correct your error seem to have made no
> > > > impression.) I'll file your current "appeals to tense don't
> > > > always settle disputes about meaning" with your previous
> > > > "this tense can radically change meaning" (Sun, March 7,
> > > > 2010).
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Terry
> > > >
> > > >
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > 
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