Hi CR,

 no I can't but who says the man with heavy eyes is Sweeney? The next stanza starts "The host with someone indistinct" which I would say could be said of all present except when explicitly say it is Sweeney whose knee is identified as the place to fall from. The stage setting is provided with specific locations but shifting naming of the characters. Now this is reminiscent of the alternate names of epic oral verse but it is self conscious here not entirely a nod to tradition. I feel as if there is a nightmare crowd of shape shifting players 'the person" in the cape is "she" once she is on the floor and later "the lady in the cape" so I guess I am ok to say this is one person and that is the one in league with another "she" who because of proximity of reference is Rachel nee Rabinovitch  but still it could be the "silent vertebrate in brown"  that is the other she although the "brown" suggests it is the silent man of the preceding stanza. Nancy has written that this poem relies less on conscious cleverness than the other Sweeney poems but I find this kind of gambit distracting  . Do you think circumscribe is just to surround or is it to delimit and is "golden" a glorious adjective or a more sinister toothy gold capped leer?

Cheers Pete

On 30/07/2012, at 12:07 PM, Chokh Raj wrote:

There's an anomaly (?) between Sweeney's animal laughter in the opening stanza and his later golden grin. Could someone please explain it? Here's the opening stanza:

APENECK SWEENEY spreads his knees
Letting his arms hang down to laugh,
The zebra stripes along his jaw
Swelling to maculate giraffe.


From: P <[log in to unmask]>;
To: <[log in to unmask]>;
Subject: Re: Sweeney's golden grin?
Sent: Mon, Jul 30, 2012 1:27:30 AM

Really wonderful poetry!!

Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

She and the lady in the cape           
Are suspect, thought to be in league;
Therefore the man with heavy eyes
Declines the gambit, shows fatigue,
Leaves the room and reappears
Outside the window, leaning in,         
Branches of wistaria
Circumscribe a golden grin;

'Sweeney among the Nightingales'

Incidentally, a picture of Wisteria at