Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A week of readings for a year's end: Touch

"Song to the Opherian"

Gus Krutzsch

The golden foot I may not kiss or clutch

Glowed in the shadow of the bed

Perhaps it does not come to very much

This thought this ghost this pendulum in the head

Swinging from life to death

Bleeding between two lives

Waiting that touch.

The wind sprang up and broke the bells,

Is it a dream or something else

When the surface of the blackened river

Is a lace that sweats with tears ?

I saw across the alien river

The campfire shake the spears.

"Gus Krutzsch" is the pseudonym of T.S. Eliot. "Song to the Opherian" was published in 1921 and appeared in The Tyro, the second magazine published by Wyndham Lewis. Eliot also contributed two essays, "The Lesson of Baudelaire" and "The Romantic Englishman, the Comic Spirit, and the Function of Criticism," in the same number. The "Tyros" illustrations were satirical caricatures intended by Lewis to comment on the culture of the "new epoch" that succeeded the First World War. "A Reading of Ovid" and "Mr Wyndham Lewis as a Tyro" (above) are the only surviving oil paintings from this series. Lewis (1882-1957) was also a novelist and social critic. The Tyro, no. 1 and no. 2, as well as Blast 1, Blast 2, and Blast (War Number) are available for viewing online at Brown University's Center for Digital Scholarship.

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