Monday, April 27, 2009

For as Cleanthes said:

Blog poetry I found it.  It’s from one of Montaigne’s essays on the education of children, and here is some context:

“History is more my quarry, or poetry, which I love with particular affection. For as Cleanthes said, just as sound, when pent up in the narrow channel of a trumpet, comes out sharper or stronger, so it seems to me that a thought, when compressed into the numbered feet of poetry, springs forth much more violently and strikes me a much stiffer jolt.”

Still, in the little note I found, this quote is handwritten and signed ‘MWC.’ I still think it’s Billy Collins’s handwriting.  Well, why not?  Anything else is less interesting!

And I’m still hunting for my tapestry notes!

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Valerie said...

You know, the name Cleanthes just sounds like someone sent along to nag one about spring cleaning. Even tho' (s)he does say pretty words about poetry.

OzWeaver said...

Cleanthes: one of the reasons I love Billy Collins's poem "Forgetfulness" is that it describes me so well (and don't we all feel that?). Not only have I forgotten books I've read, but as a student of Classics, someone who loves the muses, I am rather quickly forgetting everything I ever knew about them....including their names!

So I thought Cleanthes was one of the muses, which made me love the name...didn't I even realize it is not a female name? NO! It turns out HE was a philosopher from the early 3rd century.

Forgetfulness must someday become rather pleasant when you no longer remember how much you've forgotten!

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous gift of poetry you're sharing with us! I am not very good at reading poetry - I am lazy and like best to have it read to me. I'm a great fan of Montaigne too. I wish I could sit in my room and write pungent essays... well, I guess that's what blogs are for.