Guest poem submitted by Sunil Iyengar:
(Poem #589) Sonnet Reversed
Hand trembling towards hand; the amazing lights Of heart and eye. They stood on supreme heights. Ah, the delirious weeks of honeymoon! Soon they returned, and, after strange adventures, Settled at Balham by the end of June. Their money was in Can. Pacs. B. Debentures, And in Antofagastas. Still he went Cityward daily; still she did abide At home. And both were really quite content With work and social pleasures. Then they died. They left three children (besides George, who drank): The eldest Jane, who married Mr. Bell, William, the head-clerk in the County Bank, And Henry, a stock-broker, doing well.
Another Georgian poem. We normally acquaint Brooke with sober patriotism ("The Soldier") or English nostalgia ("Grantchester"), and his reputation as a WWI poet who died at 28 obscures his sense of humor. A lover of Donne, Brooke reveled in irony and metaphysical conceits, although here we have plain old wit on the order of Byron. This sonnet starts from the "supreme heights" of the conventional final couplet, then descends into mundane realities: the daily commute and family tree, both anticlimactic. I'm unclear about the references in lines 6 and 7, but the context is sufficiently developed to secure enjoyment of the poem. Sunil Iyengar. [thomas adds] Balham: district in Wandsworth, Greater London. Can. Pacs. B. Debentures: securities or bonds in (possibly) Canada Packers. Antofagastas: Antofagasta is a city in Chile. -- http://www.library.utoronto.ca/utel/rp/poems/brooke6.html Actually, I think Can. Pacs. is more likely to be the Canadian Pacific Railway, one of those gigantic engineering projects which the Victorian Era was famous for. Antofagastas, meanwhile, are probably a slang term for South American government bonds. (Bond market terminology is a fascinating beast: you have Treasuries in the USA, Gilts in the UK, Tresors in France, Bunds in Germany... then there are Yankees, Samurais, Kangaroos... ). thomas.