Friday, January 5, 2018

Delight in Disorder

Robert Herrick, Cavalier poet (1591 - 1674)


A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness :
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction :
An erring lace which here and there
Enthralls the crimson stomacher :
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbons to flow confusedly :
A winning wave (deserving note)
In the tempestuous petticoat :
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility :
Do more bewitch me than when art
Is too precise in every part.

Sweet Disorder by Diana Warnok


nick herbert said...

Note that Herrick's poem is packed with the kind of ear-catching disorder he celebrates. Most of the lines don't rhyme well or scan unless twisted off kilter. "A lawn about the shoulders thrown/Into a fine dis-trax-ee-own" is one way to push lines 2 and 3 into proper rhyming couplet form. Herrick playfully invites the reader to notice and to correct his deliberate poetic blunders (untied verbal shoelaces, as it were)-- if law and order is what turns you on.

Anonymous said...

nice observation. I felt the disorder in reading it but
not at the level of awareness.

Anonymous said...

Very Sweet RumiNations, all of you

Shasta Wallace said...

Yes. I like the ruminations and observations and juxtapositions of visual and auditory disorders.

Paul Hillery said...

Yes, although I live in Germany I'm a fan of disorder and discord. It always gives food for thought.

Strange Fruit, too

Discordia knocked three times on the door,
Then threw her golden apple on the floor.
She thought it’d be fun
To attach a note which said:
“To the prettiest one.”

All the goddesses beamed, then squabbled and presumed,
Pulled hair and tossed cream pies,
Then they clawed at eyes, consumed
By pride (vanity dressers crashed down over heads)
And mascara ran as they fought and cried
Blurring Discordia laughing just outside

Eve watched the scene in her scrying pool,
smiling, though ironic and sad,
She still loved apples and saw no reason
For people to play the fool
And tumble about frothing and mad.

She remembered The Garden and the Serpent and the Tree
And The Serpent with his offer of fruit.
And afterwards, when she regained her strength,
(The Serpent sure knew how to use his length!)
God shrugged and smiled, saying:

“So you see. Now you know.
The Serpent isn’t such a brute.”
And how He said, “Now you can go,
Go do your thing! Take The Serpent and the apple.
Plant the seeds.
“Don’t worry about Cain,
And I’m sorry about your pain,
But its part of growing up,
Don’t you see?”

So She looked at Sleeping Adam
And she took a deep breath,
Took The Serpent and the apple,
Later had Jumela and Seth.
She still liked her apples and all she’d come to know;
Still tried to attend all the Judy Chicago shows.

And she laughed so hard at that scene in WOMEN IN LOVE
When they talked about the ways to eat figs,
That the cops and ushers tried to kick her out
(Okay, she did call them “Fascist Pigs!”)

And she stayed a vegan and kept a lovely garden
In the south of Ireland where the tropic winds come in.
And she made her mead and cider and several nice wines
And always thanked the goddess of the vines
For the way that fruit fell and fermented into something fine
(this was something that lately played on her mind).

But she thought of poor Prometheus
And the fire, bombs and fuses
And she thought of drunkard Irish
And wives beaten and abused.

Then one day, one hot day, in exactly mid-summer,
When she needed cheering up (for those thoughts were a bummer!)
She got a phone call (on her [800] number) -
An invite to a party from her old friend Lugh
who thanked her for a book on how to use
apple cider vinegar
and tried to get her out
to a party

nick herbert said...

I'll have what Hillery's having.