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Monday, 4 February 2013

Thomas Wyatt: Thought-Wracked (A Poetry Comic by Nora Sawyer)


Nora Sawyer: Thomas Wyatt: My galley charged with forgetfulness (a poetry comic), from Nora Sawyer, 1 February 2013


TC said...

Our talented friend Nora has been putting up a series of terrific poetry comics to give the New Year something to be grateful for.

Here is her original post of this one, with some remarks from Nora on the background of the conception.

As she suggests, we've had an ongoing conversation about Wyatt, and about this poem, over the years.

I particularly like the way a woman's eye has here recognized that the two suitors, high and low (Henry VIII and his diplomatic envoy Wyatt, who was often sent off by his master on perilous sea voyages), were transformed by their common pursuit of the "deer" (Anne Boleyn) into a couple of courtly canines, reduced by their respective obstinate malenesses to worrying over the same bone.

Nora also brings to the project a special nautical awareness. She dwells aboard a boat.

Some further aspects of the intriguing Wyatt original, its antecedent in Petrarch, and its variant progeny, can be found here.

By the by, Nora will be no stranger to those who've followed this blog for a while. In some sense the present post is a belated answer to longstanding popular demand for more work by this multiply gifted artist and scholar. Four years ago her version of a touchstone epigram of the Emperor Hadrian -- Animula Blandula, Vagula -- was the basis of a post that has since then proved one of the most popular ever to appear here. (Last time I checked, it had been looked at over 7000 times, by beings from all across the virtual universe.)

Nin Andrews said...

Wow! She's amazing!

Jonathan Chant said...

Very cool. 7000 hits!

Wooden Boy said...

And every owre a thought in readiness

Placing the words along the length of the oar to hand. It's small touches like this that give Nora's comics that serious critical depth.

Wonderful stuff!

Nora said...

Thanks, Tom! (And dang, 7000 hits!? I wonder how many were me.)

TC said...

Thanks all, and yes, the sharp critical sense keeping up with the bright sense of humour, in all Nora's work -- what's not to like.

Those staccato storm-tossed uneasy-nights-at-sea thoughts notched on the oar like that, heave-ho mateys, a touch of genius, for me.

Nora's blog is one of those places like a mythic kindly Grandma's attic, where a bit of poking-about is likely to turn up all manner of surprises.

We especially enjoy her hilarious (yet loving) documentation of many years of interesting relationships with, and between, animals.

Her photostream has some great shots of dogs and cats almost but not quite getting along swimmingly.

The realities (and mysteries) of animal affairs, beyond the Valley of the Adorably Cute, captured in shots (and captions) like this one.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...


Your in parenthesis quote re captions captures Nora's humor in all its states!