Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Turner on Nipples, etc.

This afternoon after doing the domesties (then onto sitting here), I've been flirting with Anthony Bailey's _Standing in the Sun: A Life of J.M.W. Turner_, especially the section called Deep Puzzles which is more or less in some parts just a sort of long winded chuckle over what a lousy poet Turner was, and how he was called on it, but didn't care. The thing that niggled itself into my head, was the example Bailey, and I think Bailey is a bit of an ass, keeps giving for the poetry of the real Turner as opposed to some of the better things he wrote as supposedly under the influence of other poets. Now, I know there are other thinkers who have spent time with Turner's poetry and come away with at least something of interest, namely W.J.T. Mitchell in his _What do Images Want?_. But Baily twice uses, and I haven't made an exhaustive study of this book, but I do like it, Turner's Molly Dear Molly poems, and I guess what struck me is the fact that Joyce may have lifted his closing of Ulysses from Turner? Probably not, but the echo is at least worthy of mention.

Here is a section from Turner:

By the touch of lip or rove of my hand
By the critical moment no Maid can withstand
Then a bird in the bush is worth two in the hand
OMolly dear Molly               I will


I guess my favorite part of all this is

the poor donkeys slipping half asleep

By thy bosom so throbbing with truth
Its short heavings to me, speaks reproof
By the half-blushing mark on each hill
O Molly dear Molly be still.

I think he's talking about nipples.