OK, moving along with our turgid pilgrimage, here's the Read-Along-with-Rest Note, for Poem # 6 (for those of you who are new to this, I am providing some mini-Cliff Notes to the ongoing poem, which you can read in installments there). Maybe these helpful hints will allow Jonathan or some other wanderer in Gould blog-jungle to solve the puzzler posted previously.

6.1 : "House of Ice" - see here for hysterical background. "We were married there..." - ie. we were (complacently) a part of this social construct, rooted in autocratic fantasy & whim.

6.2 : "Dreams are hash" etc. - one of Wallace Stevens' gnomic aphorisms. Combined with Hamlet, it sets up an amalgam of poet-prophet, one who flings jeremiads. "Something rotten in the state of Denmark."

6.3 : "table set amidst mine enemies" - this is a line from one of the Psalms, praising God for "setting up" the Psalmist in security among his foes. Here employed ironically, considering the "table" where Hamlet reached its poisoned denouement, as well as the table of the Last Supper. "Courland" - the little duchy ruled by Empress Anna's new husband. "Cour" - ie. heart-land : another glance at Hamlet, who at some point mentions the tables of the covenant written on his heart, which he must uphold. "A cup and signet seal" - the seal - his father's royal seal - which Hamlet used (on board ship) to foil his uncle's plan to have him executed. That seal is covenantal, "promissory".

6.4 : "we hushed ourselves, behind a hedge of speech". The poets, in general, fail to fulfill their prophetic, critical social role. "The Empress collected..." - because of this critical failure, society continues to move along in its fantastic clockwork fashion, leading to soldiery and war at the end.

6.5 : Both earth and sun wait for expiation (brooding, drowning, wayward). "the earth (formed long ago for everyone)" - something primordial countering the rigid, frozen social structures created by human beings.

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