Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

A Sonnet -- J K Stephen

(Poem #530) A Sonnet
 Two voices are there: one is of the deep;
 It learns the storm-cloud's thunderous melody,
 Now roars, now murmurs with the changing sea,
 Now bird-like pipes, now closes soft in sleep:
 And one is of an old half-witted sheep
 Which bleats articulate monotony,
 And indicates that two and one are three,
 That grass is green, lakes damp, and mountains steep:
 And, Wordsworth, both are thine: at certain times
 Forth from the heart of thy melodious rhymes,
 The form and pressure of high thoughts will burst:
 At other times--good Lord! I'd rather be
 Quite unacquainted with the ABC
 Than write such hopeless rubbish as thy worst.
-- J K Stephen
What could I possibly add to today's poem, save applause? Stephen has
perfectly captured my feelings about Wordsworth's poetry, the 'hopeless
rubbish' all the more disappointing in contrast with the sublime poems he is
capable of.

Returning to Stephen (there are several discussions of Wordsworth in the
archives already, without hijacking today's commentary to run another one
<g>) - he's one of the many delightful discoveries I've made while browsing
Steve Spanoudis' excellent 'Poet's Corner' website. Like many other
deserving poets, he was not destined for immortality, but his verse is
nonetheless well worth a read, and I'll certainly run a few more of his
poems in the future.

As for today's poem, while I have the vague feeling he's parodying something
specific of Wordsworth's, I can't place it. The general feel of Wordsworth's
poetry is certainly in evidence, especially in the first four lines.


 (1859-1892) English Poetic Parodist, Royal Tutor, and International Law
        -- Poets' Corner

 The youngest and the shortest-lived of the three, James Kenneth Stephen,
 who, like Calverley, established himself in literature by his initials, had
 his chances marred in a manner even worse than that from which Calverley
 suffered, by his early death and the illness which preceded it. The variety
 and brilliancy of the talent shown in Lapsus Calami and the other too rare
 waifs of J. K. S.'s short life were altogether exceptional. Time and
 chance, with which no man can strive, arrested their development, but not
 before they had shown themselves unmistakably.


 The J. K. Stephen poems at the Poets' Corner:
   [broken link]

 For another treatment of the two faces of Wordsworth, see Browning's
 brilliant 'The Lost Leader': poem #130

 We've run several Wordsworth poems on Minstrels, but rather unsurprisingly
 concentrated on the good ones. However, I did use one of the other kind to
 make a point - see poem #411

 And of course, if anyone has a good anti-Wordsworth rant just waiting to be
 unleashed (and preferably with examples to support it), feel free to send
 it in :)


33 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Suresh Ramasubramanian said...

> Two voices are there: one is of the deep;
> It learns the storm-cloud's thunderous melody,

> As for today's poem, while I have the vague feeling he's parodying something
> specific of Wordsworth's, I can't place it. The general feel of Wordsworth's

Try 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree' .... ;)


Thomas Abraham said...

Here's the original:

'Thoughts of a Briton on the Subjugation of Switzerland'

Two Voices are there -one is of the Sea,
One of the Mountains; each a mighty Voice:
In both from age to age thou didst rejoice;
They were thy chosen music, Liberty!
There came a tyrant, and with holy glee
Thou fought'st against him; but hast vainly striven:
Thou from thy Alpine holds at length art driven
Where not a torrent murmurs heard by thee.
Of one deep bliss thine ear hath been bereft;
Then cleave, O cleave to that which still is left;
For, high-souled Maid, what sorrow would it be
That Mountain floods should thunder as before,
And Ocean bellow from his rocky shore,
And neither awful Voice be heard by Thee!

-- William Wordsworth

Space Matters Real Estates said...

Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return. Plots for sale in Hyderabad
Plots for sale in Banjara Hills
Plots for sale in Jubilee Hills
Plots for sale in Manikonda
Plots for sale in Madhapur
Plots for sale in kondapur
Plots for sale in Gachibowli
Plots for sale in Kukatpally

Anonymous said...

I think the admin of this website is really working hard in favor
of his site, for the reason that here every information is quality based material.

Feel free to surf to my page ::

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it's just me or if everybody else experiencing
problems with your blog. It looks like some of the text on your posts are running off the screen.
Can somebody else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too?
This could be a problem with my browser because I've had this happen before. Cheers

Also visit my website; Gucci Ufficiale

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure where you're getting your info,
but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
Thanks for magnificent info I was looking for this info for my mission.

Feel free to surf to my website: Solde Air Max

Anonymous said...

Hello, i believe that i saw you visited my blog so i came to go back the favor?

.I'm attempting to in finding things to enhance my site!I guess its good enough to use a few of your concepts!!

Look into my homepage :: Cheap Jerseys

Anonymous said...

I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?

Plz answer back as I'm looking to construct my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. kudos

Have a look at my blog post - Learn More

Anonymous said...

Hmm is anyone else having problems with the
images on this blog loading? I'm trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog.
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Here is my homepage ... related site

Anonymous said...

What's up, after reading this remarkable article i am too delighted to share my familiarity here with colleagues.

My page Christian Louboutin Outlet

Anonymous said...

Hello! I simply would like to give you a big thumbs up for your great information you have right
here on this post. I am coming back to your website for more soon.

Feel free to surf to my blog :: Tory Burch Outlet - -

Anonymous said...

I want to to thank you for this wonderful read!! I certainly loved
every bit of it. I've got you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post…

Check out my web page: Nike Free Run Sko

Anonymous said...

It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be
happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things
or suggestions. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.
I wish to read more things about it!

Feel free to surf to my webpage - Cheap NFL Jerseys (

Anonymous said...

I was curious if you ever thought of changing the layout of your site?

Its very well written; I love what youve got to
say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content
so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 images.
Maybe you could space it out better?

Also visit my webpage: Borse Gucci

Unknown said...

This is such a great post, and was thinking much the same myself. Electronic Products And Technology | Electronic Equipment and Components | Another great update.

Anonymous said...

Seberat apapun beban masalah yang kamu hadapi saat ini, percayalah bahwa semua itu tidak pernah melebihi batas kemampuan kamu.

Post a Comment