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Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Robert Herrick: Silks


File:Meister nach Chang Hsüan 001.jpg

When as in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then (me thinks) how sweetly flowes
That liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave Vibration each way free;
O how that glittering taketh me!

Robert Herrick: Upon Juiia's Clothes, from Hesperides (1648)

Women working on new silk (detail)
: Master Chang Hsüan, beginning of 12th century (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)


Curtis Roberts said...

It would be good to see the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, pair this image with these words. They go together so well.



Yes, the beauty of Julia's silks in the West (Herrick's Hesperides) and Master Chang Hsuan's in the East. . . .

TC said...

Thanks, friends.

Yes, the challenge and the fun here came in the attempt to find a happy (and unexpected) collision (or shall I say communion?) of elements, image and words.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

"That brave Vibration each way free"

Thanks, Tom, a lovely way to start the day.

TC said...

Thanks Don.

And yes, one suspects that in Robin Herrick's day and world there may have been so many (more) ways a Vibration might seem free.

(I love his invention of "liquefaction" for the occasion, by the way. He was one of those poets, like Hardy, who were never afraid, when the right word was not to be found in the existing kit, to just go ahead and invent it. The OED is full of Herrick's apparent first-time-round usages. And unlike some of Hardy's, these of Herrick's almost always seem to my ear "natural", as if the language, rather than the poet, were calling them into being: words that were always meant to exist, and were merely waiting patiently for the poet to come along and summon them from potentiality into poetic actuality.)

TC said...

(And Don, speaking of Herrick and mornings, here is his lovely little day-is-breaking-by-degrees good-luck charm. It has a definite lilliputian Issa-oid joy to it, I think you might agree.)

Marie W said...

This reminds me of a book I quite enjoyed reading, Silk (Alessandro Baricco). I don't know if the English translation is a good one, though.
An anti-scratchy, very lovely way to start the day, I agree.