Mar 23, 2010

Lux and Yeats on Daughters









A Little Tooth - Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More








RPO -- William Butler Yeats : A Prayer for my Daughter


Okay, okay, so I already posted "A Prayer for My Daughter" back on June 17. Here it is again. I predict you'll get over it, and it makes an interesting comparison to Lux's "A Little Tooth." Maybe someone would like to comment on that. Minimal yak from me today.

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9 comments:

Brenda's Arizona said...

OK, I bite. Why are you so silent? No comments back to our posts yesterday... us sister wummin' like feedback. You owe us.

WBY poem - my dad gave it to me when I was a child. I haven't thought of it in years - I bet it is buried with old letters. The Little Tooth poem is just that. Little. I guess it is to the point, but I want more.

More from you, too!

Brenda's Arizona said...

P.S. I shouldn't say we 'like feedback' - we wummin' folk like CONVERSATION that is challenging, ponderable, worthy. So there.

altadenahiker said...

I think The Little Tooth is a "For Instance" wannabe. But it only ends up sounding derivative. I'm going to take Yeats to bed with me tonight.

(Sister Wumin, maybe he's jest all talked out. We can always talk quietly amongst ourselves. Did you read United States of Huck?)

BANJO52 said...

It was late and I wanted to get something posted. Lordie . . .

Also, shutting myself up sometimes gets others talking, if not here, then elsewhere.

And it's not like anyone beat the doors down trying to talk about Hopkins, after all. You've got a priest who wants to shack up with Jesus, and YOU'VE GOT NOTHING TO SAY???!!! Holy cauliflower, Batman.

So I was kinda hoping someone might argue that Lux accomplishes everything in his few lines of plain language that Yeats does in his grandiloquent manner. Don't know if I'd agree, but it might make an interesting argument. What happened to "Less is more" ???

And finally, I'm interested in just how sexist people (NOT JUST YOU!!!--but PEOPLE.) might find the Yeats, esp. if you don't take into account the year of its publication (1920s, I think). So I thought I might get "Yeats is one more VERBOSE Dead White Male Sexist," from somebody, after which "Pig" would be a redundant piling on.

I'm conflicted about all that. How much leeway do we give an author for the time in which he wrote? Many find Mark Twain racist for what he writes in Huck Finn. I don't see that argument except for the last 1/4 or so of the novel, which is also inferior in every other way, as well as turning a noble Jim into a clown for southern white boys. After the incisive social criticism of the first 3/4, Twain's lapses are mysterious, but I think AH's guy addresses that in the United States of Huck and the episodic way Twain wrote the thing.

So back to Lux: is it EVER true that less is more? Where? How so?

So take THAT, Sister Wumins. (By the way, what happened to "wymyn" as the alternate spelling that took men altogether out of wymynhood? I like your version better).

Your turn. And all you silent visitors out there, how about pitchin' in for once? What is this, a charity event? I'm tired and now I'm probably gonna be tarred as well.

Brenda's Arizona said...

Hmm, I like that: sister wymyn. Good one, Banjomyn.

A Little Tooth comments: is anyone's life that insignificant? You and your wife get old, flyblown, and die? Is that all he has to say? His daughter's life is so insignificant, too? She grew a tooth, ate real food, fell for a bad dude, and that is it? Certainly there was more 'dramadey' in life than that. OK, I walk by this poem, in disgust/in sadness.

Yeats? He has lofty prayers for his daughter. What if she turns out to be like Lux's daughter? Does that mean Yeats' dreams are dashed?

Yeats is excited about the child's future! Sure, he wants her beautiful - but what if she grew was 3 or 4 teeth in her life? What if her smile was all gums?

Yeats wants/hopes his daughter learns some values. Does Lux even care? Would Lux even notice if his daughter was kind or generous or had a gracious heart?

Yeats doesn't want his daughter to learn to hate. Does Lux even care, once again I ask?

Yea, Yeats' poem might be sexist, but I never saw it that way. Yeats is excited about his daughter, Lux is bored with is.

When my dad gave me Yeats' poem all typed up, he gave my brother a poem called "Your Name" (I found it online at http://www.iammea.org/jmoney/yourname.htm). Whereas my poem got buried away, Iilya's was posted on his bedroom wall. Even I know it by heart. In both cases, the 'sexist' accusation should be dropped in exchange for a father being too cautious, full of rules and hopes.

Lux's poem is just depressing. If brevity is depressing, then I guess none of us are depressed.

altadenahiker said...

Yay, we're not depressed! I really can't top brother husbun and sister wumin, but:

Yeats wants his daughter just beautiful enough. Just beautiful enough to attract, but not so beautiful her enitre life is ruled by others reaction to her beauty. I think he's sensible.

This is what he doesn't want:
"I hope she'll be a fool--that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool... You see, I think everything's terrible anyhow... And I know. I've been everywhere and seen everything and done everything."
-Daisy, The Great Gatsby

And I wish you wouldn't put on the coffee, as it were, with another post when we're still on the salad.

BANJO52 said...

Wow. Where do I begin? First, thanks. There's really something to respond to in your comments, though I agree with practically everything you've said, except that I wouldn't be so hard on "Little Tooth." Once again, this got long, so I'm converting it today's post, with a bit added on Jean Toomer. I hope you'll check it out there.


Brenda, I AM gonna look up your brother's poem. (By the way, what's the source of his name? Is it Russian, or am I stuck on Ilya?).

Brenda's Arizona said...

AH, I haven't gotten to USofHuck yet. I got so wrapped up in his Dubai story and then his Brief Study of the British, haha... and in between stories. I think I am almost at that chapter! I will keep you posted. Banjomyn, have you read Saunder's stuff?

BANJO52 said...

I read beginning and ending pages and spots of the middle of Saunders on Huck. Liked it and will get it from the Lib. It's kind of lit crit from the "school of accessibility," and I guess I'm old school enough to wonder how good the scholarship is (if it's enjoyable? Yes, that's probably what I'm saying. Shame on me).

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