Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Not So Greek Julian Jaynes


Or in the many-poemed comparison of love to a rose, it is not the tenuous correspondence of metaphrand and metaphier but the paraphrands that engage us, that love lives in the sun, smells sweet, has thorns when grasped, and blooms for a season only. Or suppose I say less visually and so more profoundly something quite opposite, that my love is like a tinsmith's scoop, sunk past its gleam in the meal-bin.D The immediate correspondence here of metaphrand and metaphier, of being out of casual sight, is trivial. Instead, it is the paraphrands of this metaphor which create what could not possibly be there, the enduring careful shape and hidden shiningness and holdingness of a lasting love deep in the heavy manipulable softnesses of mounding time, the whole simulating (and so paraphranding) sexual intercourse from a male point of view. Love has not such properties except as we generate them by metaphor.
Footnote: From "Mossbawn (for Mary Heaney)" by Scumas Heaney, North (London: Faber, 1974).
(from The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind)

Julian Jaynes is here having fun with neologisms and making a serious mistake about the subject of a poem. The ‘Mary’ is Seamus Heaney’s mother. Marie is his wife’s name. Mossbawn is where Heaney grew up. Watching your mother making bread is something that you never forget. My mother had a way of rubbing with the back of a spoon the soda in her hand and moving her palm over the basin of flour.

Mossbawn: Two Poems In Dedication


1. Sunlight

There was a sunlit absence.
The helmeted pump in the yard
heated its iron,
water honeyed

in the slung bucket
and the sun stood
like a griddle cooling
against the wall

of each long afternoon.
So, her hands scuffled
over the bakeboard,
the reddening stove

sent its plaque of heat
against her where she stood
in a floury apron
by the window.

Now she dusts the board
with a goose's wing,
now sits, broad-lapped,
with whitened nails

and measling shins:
here is a space
again, the scone rising
to the tick of two clocks.

And here is love
like a tinsmith's scoop
sunk past its gleam
in the meal-bin.

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