Doing some reading in Alexandrian "bucolic" poetry - Theocritus et al., & Virgil's Eclogues. Also interesting study, Pipes of Pan, by Thos. Hubbard, on "intertextuality" in pastoral poetry.

The librarian-poets of Alexandria. Bookish scholars transposing epic to something less grand, more scribal and allusive. "Bucolic" poetry as not so much about rural vs. urban or nostalgia for the countryside, as allegories of actual poets' rivalries, their shared (intertextual, allusive) meanings. The contests of the "shepherds".

Sometimes I read things like this through the lens of what I've already written. Somebody someday might see Forth of July through an "Alexandrian" lens. Grassblade Light, the middle book, might be set beside Theocritus' 1st Idyll, about the Adonis-like dead shepherd, Daphnis, and the "Sicilian songs" sung by the rural shepherds. Grassblade enacts a sort of "ghost dance"/Ojibwa/shamanic resurrection ceremony for "dead shepherds" Hart Crane and John Berryman (along with the mysterious Juliet). It transposes its own "epic" narrative into a series of "songs", lyrics, "dream songs". And it's modeled, structurally, on a castle built by Emperor Frederick II, the ruler of the Kingdom of Sicily (Castel del Monte).

I guess it's a stretch. But nevertheless its one of the ways those who should be reading me could read me!

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