"Through a field of breadcrumbs the little hand of a clock extends itself
     disproportionally
A pair of crab or serpent eyes alternately light up or turn off on it
Against the light emerges a smoke cloud of embroidered eyelashes
And disposed like a tower that simulates a woman who undresses
Other more familiar animals like the hippopotamus or the elephant
Find their path amid bone and meat
A web of medusa eyes impedes transit
Through the sand that extends like an abandoned hand
At each step an ivory ball says whether the air is green or black
If the eyes weigh the same on a scale crossed by hairs
And locked in an aquarium installed in the heights of a mountain
Sometimes stopping and sometimes tossing like a catapult
Pink or black or green cadavers of children at the eight extremes
Cadavers painted according to zebras or leopards
And that open up so beautifully like a box of trash when they fall
Spread out in the middle of a patio of pink marble”

© Emilio Adolfo Westphalen, ‘César Moro’. Translated by Guillermo Parra on Venepoetics.

"Tracker of the clouds dragged along by your hair
In the lifted silence of two parallel seas…”

© Emilio Adolfo Westphalen, ‘Tracker of the Clouds’. Translated by Guillermo Parra on Venepoetics.

Artist Kate BaylayAbove: ‘The Old Chevalier’, Illustration for Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesan published by The Folio Society, 2013: “When she rode so madly, when she surrounded herself with admirers, she had her eye on him, as a competitor in a chariot race would have his eye on the driver just beside him.” Middle: ‘The Comb and the Collar’, Illustration for The Olive Book by Andrew Lang published by The Folio Society, 2012: “The lady whom he had last beheld in peerless beauty was sitting in a chair wrapped in flames, which were twisting like hair about her head.”Below: ‘Geirlaug the King’s Daughter’, Illustration for The Olive Book by Andrew Lang published by The Folio Society, 2012: “… and so absorbed were they in making plans for him, that they never noticed a huge dark shadow creeping up…”
Zoom Info
Artist Kate BaylayAbove: ‘The Old Chevalier’, Illustration for Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesan published by The Folio Society, 2013: “When she rode so madly, when she surrounded herself with admirers, she had her eye on him, as a competitor in a chariot race would have his eye on the driver just beside him.” Middle: ‘The Comb and the Collar’, Illustration for The Olive Book by Andrew Lang published by The Folio Society, 2012: “The lady whom he had last beheld in peerless beauty was sitting in a chair wrapped in flames, which were twisting like hair about her head.”Below: ‘Geirlaug the King’s Daughter’, Illustration for The Olive Book by Andrew Lang published by The Folio Society, 2012: “… and so absorbed were they in making plans for him, that they never noticed a huge dark shadow creeping up…”
Zoom Info
Artist Kate BaylayAbove: ‘The Old Chevalier’, Illustration for Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesan published by The Folio Society, 2013: “When she rode so madly, when she surrounded herself with admirers, she had her eye on him, as a competitor in a chariot race would have his eye on the driver just beside him.” Middle: ‘The Comb and the Collar’, Illustration for The Olive Book by Andrew Lang published by The Folio Society, 2012: “The lady whom he had last beheld in peerless beauty was sitting in a chair wrapped in flames, which were twisting like hair about her head.”Below: ‘Geirlaug the King’s Daughter’, Illustration for The Olive Book by Andrew Lang published by The Folio Society, 2012: “… and so absorbed were they in making plans for him, that they never noticed a huge dark shadow creeping up…”
Zoom Info

Artist Kate Baylay

Above
: ‘The Old Chevalier’, Illustration for Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesan published by The Folio Society, 2013: “When she rode so madly, when she surrounded herself with admirers, she had her eye on him, as a competitor in a chariot race would have his eye on the driver just beside
him.”

Middle
: ‘The Comb and the Collar’, Illustration for The Olive Book by Andrew Lang published by The Folio Society, 2012:

“The lady whom he had last beheld in peerless beauty was sitting in a chair wrapped in flames, which were twisting like hair about her head.”

Below
: ‘Geirlaug the King’s Daughter’,

Illustration for The Olive Book by Andrew Lang published by The Folio Society, 2012: “… and so absorbed were they in making plans for him, that they never noticed a huge dark shadow creeping up…”

"But I will not here enter into debate, nor attempt at length a defense of the mythical mode of imagination, and the disentanglement of the confusion between myth and folktale into which these judgements appear to have fallen. The myth has other forms than the (now discredited) mythical allegory of nature: the sun, the seasons, the sea, such things. The term ‘folk-tale’ is misleading; its very tone of depreciation begs the question. Folk-tales in being, as told — for the ‘typical folk-tale’, of course, is merely an abstract conception of research nowhere existing — do often contain elements that are thin and cheap, with little even potential virtue; but they also contain much that is far more powerful, and that cannot be sharply separated from myth, being derived from it, or capable in poetic hands of turning into it: that is of becoming largely significant — as a whole, accepted unanalysed. The significance of a myth is not easily to be pinned on paper by analytical reasoning. It is at its best when it is presented by a poet who feels rather than makes explicitly what his theme portends; who presents it incarnate in the world of history and geography, as our poet has done. Its defender is thus at a disadvantage: unless he is careful, and speaks in parables, he will kill what he is studying by vivisection, and he will be left with a formal or mechanical allegory, and, what is more, probably with one that will not work. For myth is alive at once and in all its parts, and dies before it can be dissected*. It is possible, I think, to be moved by the power of myth and yet to misunderstand the sensation, to ascribe it wholly to something else that is also present: to metrical art, style, or verbal skill. Correct and sober taste may refuse to admit that there can be an interest for us — the proud we that includes all intelligent living people — in ogres and dragons; we then perceive its puzzlement in face of the odd fact that it has derived great pleasure from a poem that is actually about these unfashionable creatures.”

© J.R.R. Tolkien, ‘Beowulf, The Monsters and The Critics’

* Italics mine

Yea, a desserte of lapwyngs, a shrewednes of apes, a raffull of knaues, and a gagle of gees.

© J.R.R. Tolkien, quoting from the ‘Book of St. Albans’ in his lecture/paper, ‘Beowulf, The Monsters and The Critics’

"For it is of their nature that the jabberwocks of historical and antiquarian research burble in the tulgy wood of conjecture, flitting from one tum-tum tree to another. Noble animals, whose burbling is on occasion good to hear; but though their eyes of flame may sometimes prove searchlights, their range is short."

© J.R.R. Tolkien, ‘Beowulf, The Monsters and The Critics’

"So far from being a poem so poor that only its accidental historical interest can still recommend it, Beowulf is in fact so interesting as poetry, in places so powerful, that this quite overshadows the historical content, and is largely independent even of the most important facts (such as the date and identity of Hygelac) that research has discovered.

[…] Nearly all the censure, and most of the praise, that has been bestowed on The Beowulf has been due either to the belief that it was something that it was not — for example, primitive, pagan, Teutonic, an allegory (political or mythical), or most often, an epic; or to disappointment at the discovery that it was itself and not something that the scholar would have liked better — for example, a heathen heroic lay, a history of Sweden, a manual of Germanic antiquities, or a Nordic Summa Theologica.”

© J.R.R. Tolkien, ‘Beowulf, The Monsters and The Critics’

Trapeze

nectar-traps:

It was March and you had declared
your sadness a national holiday.

I remember bed sheets wilting
in every room: entire carnations of linen
like confetti on the floor, scattered

from a sleep you said you loved,
then left at the altar every morning.

You were the evening’s fickle bride;
always tired and pining for
the pills you’d never take:

those pale, wretched vows
that turned to syrup in your palm and
trickled out between your fingers;
never made it to your mouth.

There were decorations. I recall
seven mugs of half-drunk tea,
tepid, ornamental;

every balled-up shirt, a love-letter
your body couldn’t answer—

there were insect legs
or bobby pins, your cigarettes,

that scar

where you’d unzipped your wrist,
a circus tent, and let the music play;

seen acrobatics on your veins
and watched them neatly stitched away—

I remember the carnival,

the cackle of a crowd we couldn’t hear
but through your microphone lips,

the illusions and 
delusions: my vanishing act
(white rabbit, magic hat), and you,

the clown with painted lips
who wouldn’t leave the tent.

A small grove massacred to the last ash,
An oak with heart-rot, give away the show:
This great society is going to smash;
They cannot fool us with how fast they go,
How much they cost each other and the gods.
A culture is no better than its woods.

W.H. Auden, Bucolics, II: Woods (via murderclit)