“Bad Poems By Good Poets”

is an interesting anthology published in 1957.  Copies are SUPER hard to find, I bought mine at the Needham Public Library’s Used Book Sale for 50 cents.  Some of them are definitely debatable (the Yeats one seems fine, the T. S. Eliot one is a little mean-spirited because he wrote it when he was 10) but some of the guys (they’re all guys) like Frost looked pretty clowned on.

Hey, at least they swung for it, right?  In the Frost one, too, you’re still like, “well, he’s still Robert Frost, you know?  I’ll give him a pass on this one.”

Anyway, on that subject:


Mrs. Schuyler Burning Her Wheat Fields On The Approach Of The British, 1852

Emmanuel Gottlieb Leutze.  That one’s over at LACMA.


June 6

Good day to reread this article, “The Real War 1939-1945” by the late Paul Fussell.

One wartime moment not at all vile occurred on June 5, 1944, when Dwight Eisenhower, entirely alone and for the moment disjunct from his publicity apparatus, changed the passive voice to active in the penciled statement he wrote out to have ready when the invasion was repulsed, his troops torn apart for nothing, his planes ripped and smashed to no end, his warships sunk, his reputation blasted: “Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops.” Originally he wrote, “the troops have been withdrawn,” as if by some distant, anonymous agency instead of by an identifiable man making all-but-impossible decisions. Having ventured this bold revision, and secure in his painful acceptance of full personal accountability, he was able to proceed unevasively with “My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available.” Then, after the conventional “credit,” distributed equally to “the troops, the air, and the navy,” came Eisenhower’s noble acceptance of total personal responsibility: “If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone.” As Mailer says, you use the word shit so that you can use the wordnoble, and you refuse to ignore the stupidity and barbarism and ignobility and poltroonery and filth of the real war so that it is mine alone can flash out, a bright signal in a dark time.


Sure


Wanderer Above The Sea Of Fog, 1818

Watsof

Caspar David Friedrich.

By 1820, he was living as a recluse and was described by friends as the “most solitary of the solitary”.  Towards the end of his life he lived in relative poverty and was increasingly dependent on the charity of friends. He became isolated and spent long periods of the day and night walking alone through woods and fields, often beginning his strolls before sunrise.


The Glorious First Of June

The Glorious First of June (also known as the Third Battle of Ushant, and in France as the Bataille du 13 prairial an 2 or Combat de Prairial) of 1794 was the first and largest fleet action of the naval conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the First French Republic during the French Revolutionary Wars. The British Channel Fleet under Admiral Lord Howe attempted to prevent the passage of a vital French grain convoy from the United States, which was protected by the French Atlantic Fleet, commanded by Vice-Admiral Louis Thomas Villaret de Joyeuse.

In the immediate aftermath both sides claimed victory and the outcome of the battle was seized upon by the press of both nations as a demonstration of the prowess and bravery of their respective navies.