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This is just to highlight two observations by you, Peter Dillane, one about the ambiguity of 'golden' in the "golden grin", the other a couple about 'circumscribing':

>[Is] "golden" a glorious adjective or a more sinister toothy gold capped leer? 


>I wonder what I am supposed to think about that circumscribing which is only apparent when you view him from inside. 

>Do you think circumscribe is just to surround or is it to delimit[?]  

The ambiguity of 'golden', to my mind, evokes the hiatus between the "toothy gold capped leer" and the "glorious" aspect of 'golden'. The glorious aspect is evident in the subsequent scenario where 


          The nightingales are singing near     
          The Convent of the Sacred Heart 

[BTW, juxtaposition, or presence in the same poem, of disparate images, I believe, mutual 
bearings. It modifies our response by way of contrast.]

The other observation about "circumscribing" being evident only when viewed from inside has rich connotations. An exercise for the listers, if you like. 

I also appreciate the question, Pete, whether the circumscribing merely frames the golden grin or is it of a "delimiting", liberating sort. 

I wonder if literary scholarship has taken into account these ramifications. 

CR 

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2012 8:57 AM
Subject: Re: Sweeney's golden grin?
 

Interesting observations, Pete. 

My attempt at resolving the indistinction of persons and places is only aimed at discerning the pattern, if there is any, behind Sweeney's paradoxical behavior. 

Your observation about circumscribing, visible only from inside, is remarkable, with profound connotations. 
Apparently it is the omniscient narrator who takes note of it from a specific angle. 

CR 



________________________________
 From:  Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]>; 
To:  <[log in to unmask]>; 
Subject:  Re: Sweeney's golden grin? 
Sent:  Mon, Jul 30, 2012 4:24:44 AM 
 

yes I also CR  as most would I think but  
I still ask myself why I engage in that economy of narrative collaboration when 
the poet goes out of his way to tease out who is who for  each event. 
 
As Nancy also observed (paraphrasing from memory ) 
it is a poem of transient indistinct events with a grave menace in the 
background.  If there is a kind of slippage or indistinct view of person 
and place I cant see why I should be so sure of my presumptions that I know who 
is who. 
 
The persons represented all are gravity bound to 
this room  and find themselves in specific locations except Sweeney who is 
also guarding something like the gates of hell  when the vista slips 
towards the river plate and  he also gets out from under the girl 
seamlessly and then  outside if that is him at the window. 
 
outside with the nightingales.. I wonder what I am 
supposed to think about that circumscribing which is only apparent when you view 
him from inside.
 
Cheers Pete
 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Chokh Raj 
>To: [log in to unmask] 
>Sent: Monday, July 30, 2012 1:56 PM
>Subject: Re: Sweeney's golden grin?
>
>
>Thanks, Pete. Much grist for my grind. 
>
>"The person in the 
        Spanish cape / Tries to sit on Sweeney’s knees"
>
>I always thought 
        "the man with heavy eyes" to be Sweeney who, apprehending the two ladies 
        to be "suspect", declines the gambit, pretends fatigue with heavy eyes 
        and departs.
> 
>CR
>
> 
>
>
>
>________________________________
> From: Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]>; 
>To: <[log in to unmask]>; 
>Subject: Re: Sweeney's golden grin? 
>Sent: Mon, Jul 30, 2012 3:00:56 AM 
>
>
>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.
>>
>>CR 
>>
>>
>>
>>________________________________
>> 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!!
>>P.M.x
>>
>>
>>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'
>>http://www.bartleby.com/199/24.html 
>>
>>
>>Incidentally, a picture of  Wisteria at 
>>http://media.photobucket.com/image/wisteria%20vine/marianinia/Flowers-002.jpg?o=3 
>>
>>
>>
>>CR 
>> 
>>
>>
>> 
>