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Judas Iscariot


Judas Iscariot

God looks to be close on the tail of hazi-sahar, tonight.
In western slice of sky I note the chase. And her grace.
It seems to me He always keeps close to the moon when
she is gibbous, going gravid, centered in risen scent of herself.
But I don't think much on God anymore. Or His searing hands.
Just another star geometric in His indifference to
strategems and details and ovens and anvils.
Ceasar says His name is Jupiter-of-the-overplan.

I've become an old man's skin still trapped in a boy's first love.
And my village girl whose first garden let me moistly in.
Back then I thought my selection, rejection of her for the Nazarene
was everlasting love, my salvation, the bride's truth in a promise.
In a way I proved myself right. Everlasting in my damnation.

Looking back in play, replay, and play again of moment's memory
I know God's Son to have been an impresario. And a pimp of souls.
My girl never once had required so much of love. He finally came to me,
said He needed me in scented Gethsemane. My second garden.
The Magdalene came with Him, but she too loved Him too much,
never came forward, never said of the pointed kiss he tutored me in.

I intended my boy-god no injury. I know now why He chose me.
A rube I've always been in conditions unconditional in love.

In temple precincts the holy prostitutes ease me of my story.

Tere

Last edited by Terreson, Jun/6/2013, 7:49 pm
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queenfisher Profile
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Re: Judas Iscariot


dear tere

i'm not qualified to comment as i'm not familiar with the biblical refrences

i do remember: the kiss of Judas - a term refered to - for betrayal

however i loved the lyrical beauty of the 1st stanza:

God looks to be close on the tail of hazi-sahar, tonight.
In sky's western slice I note the chase. And her grace.
It seems to me He always keeps close to the moon when
she is gibbous, going gravid, centered in risen scent of herself.
But I don't think much on God anymore. Or His searing hands.
Just another star geometric in His indifference to
strategems and details and ovens and anvils.
Ceasar says His name is Jupiter-of-the-overplan.
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Re: Judas Iscariot


Thank you, Queen, for reading and commenting. Thanks also for your comment about S1. Possibly the stanaza I am most worried about.

The poem falls in line with an ambition of mine. To cover all the punk rockers, so to speak, of the Bible. So far I've done the Magdalene, Salome, and the Wandering Jew (not of the Bible but a product of European folklore). Thinking Delilah might be next.

Thanks again.

Tere
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Re: Judas Iscariot


hi Tere,

I agree with queen re: the first stanza, particularly the lines starting with, "But I don't think much on God anymore."

I guess when you refer to the "punk rockers" of the Bible, you mean the complex, subversive characters(?) They are the most interesting,

Chris
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Re: Judas Iscariot


Hi Tere,

I like that you used the gnostic Judas for your dramatic monolgue. Much richer soil to cultivate to create a multi-dimensional charater, someone who is closer to Christ's accomplice rather than a villian. What I especially like about the poem is that it is told by an aging Judas and doesn't concentrate solely on the kiss of betrayal.

Oops, gotta run. Will be back.
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Re: Judas Iscariot


Yes, Chris, by 'punk rockers' that is pretty much what I mean. And I agree. They are the more complex. Recently refreshed my memory of the Esau/Jacob story. Talk about complexity! Talk about family politics!

And yes, Kat. You know as well as I do that in every myth there is a story behind the (official) story. Funny thing is I've convinced myself I am right about Judas. A rube too much in love with the Master to have refused him. Then left to pay for his rubeness, as all ill-cautioned lovers must.

Thanks for reading, my friends.

Tere
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Re: Judas Iscariot


Coming back to reread this poem, Tere. Some will find it controversial, but I love the angle of approach you use to tell the untold backstory. I hope you do continue to write about what you refer to as the "punk rockers" of the Bible. You seem to have a knack for bringing them to life in unexpected ways.
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Kat, thank you for the huge encouragement. Delilah is next. No question in my mind but that she was a high priestess in the worship of Astarte, Semitic goddess of fertility.

Tere
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Re: Judas Iscariot


T---

God looks to be close on the tail of hazi-sahar, tonight.

I like the immediate intimacy, the chummy tone.


In western slice of sky I note the chase. And her grace.

Delicate, unobtrusive lyric note, good.



It seems to me He always keeps close to the moon when
she is gibbous, going gravid, centered in risen scent of herself.



Scent, stopped me. Scent?


But I don't think much on God anymore. Or His searing hands.
Just another star





on a roll, but now this:

geometric in His indifference to
strategems and details and ovens and anvils.
Ceasar says His name is Jupiter-of-the-overplan.


Oh, oh….that docent in teaching mode, just when I thought we had ditched him at that last gas stop….





I've become an old man's skin still trapped in a boy's first love.

Conveys real feeling of the narrator, very good.

Here I am, an old man in a dry month,
Being read to by a boy, waiting for rain.

 
i like the eliot echo. Gerontium



And my village girl whose first garden let me moistly in.

Nope. Stop when ahead.



Back then I thought my selection, rejection of her for the Nazarene
was everlasting love, my salvation, the bride's truth in a promise.
In a way I proved myself right. Everlasting in my damnation.



Bor ing.



And more religious polemic, why? We were just talking about an aging man in a boy's skin….

religious polemic:

Looking back in play, replay, and play again of moment's memory
I know God's Son to have been an impresario. And a pimp of souls.
My girl never once had required so much of love.



Walking to the fish pond with Magdalene I rest in the scented plot of Gethsemane.

Keep it personal, integrate the religious figures with your current daily life.


Sexy windup:

In temple precincts the holy prostitutes ease me of my story.


Last edited by Bernie01, Jun/11/2013, 1:37 pm


---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Judas Iscariot


"But I don't think much on God anymore. Or His searing hands.
Just another star"

Oh, oh….that docent in teaching mode, just when I thought we had ditched him at that last gas stop….


Hey Bernie,

I hope Tere doesn't mind my jumping in here, but I don't understand how/why you are using the word "docent" and "teaching mode" in this context. To me the N, who happens to be Judas, is expressing his feelings about God. Or proporting to. To me this would be no different, for example, than if Browning's N in My Last Duchess said something like: "I don't think much on her anymore. Or her searing lips." When a N talks about his/her thoughts and emotions directly, I don't automatically equate that with the writer going into a docent/teaching mode. In fact, I often like it when a N does that; it can reveal character, as I think it is in this case: does the reader necessarily believe that Judas doesn't think about God anymore? I don't.

Last edited by Katlin, Jun/11/2013, 7:01 am
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Re: Judas Iscariot


T---

I wasn’t clear; this is what I consider a docent’s message, a city college lecture:

geometric in His indifference to
strategems and details and ovens and anvils.
Ceasar says His name is Jupiter-of-the-overplan.



geometric strategems? From what country did this awkward phrase immigrate?


Compare that frigid remark with this human confession:


I've become an old man's skin still trapped in a boy's first love.

The contrast between these two remarks is revealing, is it not?


sorry, just my opinion, but these lines are immature:
  

Back then I thought my selection, rejection of her for the Nazarene
was everlasting love, my salvation, the bride's truth in a promise.
In a way I proved myself right. Everlasting in my damnation.



But at least it is the narrator speaking from the heart, not the head.

yes, I call this religious polemic:

Looking back in play, replay, and play again of moment's memory
I know God's Son to have been an impresario. And a pimp of souls.
My girl never once had required so much of love.



Once again, not sweetened to my taste, but understand others might find those above lines informative, even poetic; glad, the narrator proved himself right…

Everlasting damnation sounds like standard sermonizing, so how come one half the King James version of scripture is accepted, but the directive that we (you) love the godhead is rejcted so completely.

Filial/carnal love compared (confused) with divine love?

Having your cake and eating it too.

But I do note that Milton’s Paradise Lost (17th-century) says the angel/devil is cast from heaven because he doesn’t like the godheads insistence on devotion.

But I don’t read Milton for religious education, but for the language, the rich imagery and all the other factors we associate with the best poetry.

a restless part of my brain often asks how i can anchor---even answer---a beautiful passage from long ago in a current poem or story:

Psalm 34/5

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.


Hemingway:

Brett was radiant. She was happy. The sun was out and the day was bright.

beautiful language (for me):

Songs 7/4

Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon, which looks toward Damascus. ... Verse 4. - Thy neck is like the tower of ivory; thine eyes are as the pools in Heshbon ...


Hemingway:

“Brett’s face was white and the long line of her neck showed in the bright light of the flares.”


Romero is beaten (and Mike and Jake in an earlier incident), but continues to rise from the floor---brett later says Romero's face is a mess.


The Sun Also Rises:

I stood in front of the door of Mike's room and knocked. There was no answer. I tried the knob and it opened. Inside the room was in great disorder. All the bags were opened and clothing was strewn around. There were empty bottles beside the bed. Mike lay on the bed looking like a death mask of himself. He opened his eyes and looked at me.

"Hello, Jake," he said very slowly. "I'm getting a little sleep. I've wanted a little sleep for a long time."

"Let me cover you over."

"No. I'm quite warm."

"Don't go. I have n't gotten to sleep yet."

"You'll sleep, Mike. Don't worry, boy."

"Brett's got a bull-fighter," Mike said.




The Robe---
The Crown of Thorns ----
the kiss


Luke 23:11 simply calls it a "gorgeous robe." Matthew 27:28 says it was a scarlet robe. The Tabernacle described in Numbers is a picture of the ministry of Jesus as our High Priest. It was covered over by scarlet.


Hemingway:

The swordhandlers and bull-ring servants came down the callejon carrying on their shoulders the wicker baskets of fighting capes and muletas. They were bloodstained and compactly folded and packed in the baskets. The sword-handlers opened the heavy leather sword-cases so the red wrapped hilts of the sheaf of swords showed as the leather case leaned against the fence. They unfolded the dark-stained red flannel of the muletas and fixed batons in them to spread the stuff and give the matador something to hold. Brett watched it all. She was absorbed in the professional details.



bernie


Last edited by Bernie01, Jun/10/2013, 10:18 pm


---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
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Re: Judas Iscariot


Hey Bernie,

Thanks for answering my question in your comment to Tere. BTW, don't be afraid to address me directly if I ask you a question. We don't have a rule against that here. I see I misunderstood which comment you meant was using the docent voice. Sorry about that. As is probably obvious by now: I sometimes find your comments difficult to follow. Not what you are saying per se but the way the quoted material sometimes gets added in. This recent post is clear to me, however, so I thank you for it.

Last edited by Katlin, Jun/18/2013, 12:04 pm
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Terreson,

This poem presents me with several problems. I wasn't going to read the comments, but I did. Bernie has marked the areas he objects to; and they seem to correspond with the areas I recognized as being "Terreson" rather than Judas. Particularly in the wording: "my village girl." I guess I'm being influenced by having read your poetry centered around the female essence/presence. That's only one of the considerations I have as I read your poem.

Also, I know you reject the traditional notions of God, and specifically, Christianity, so when I read "Judas" I also "think" Terreson. I suppose these things are unavoidable, and maybe that's what makes an exegesis complex and challenging.

The poem itself is at this moment a little out of my full reach; I guess that's why I did read the comments. It would only be fair to come back later and read it pretending to know nothing or very little about the creator/poet. Then what would it look like? Zak

quote:

Terreson wrote:

Judas Iscariot

God looks to be close on the tail of hazi-sahar, tonight.
In western slice of sky I note the chase. And her grace.
It seems to me He always keeps close to the moon when
she is gibbous, going gravid, centered in risen scent of herself.
But I don't think much on God anymore. Or His searing hands.
Just another star geometric in His indifference to
strategems and details and ovens and anvils.
Ceasar says His name is Jupiter-of-the-overplan.

I've become an old man's skin still trapped in a boy's first love.
And my village girl whose first garden let me moistly in.
Back then I thought my selection, rejection of her for the Nazarene
was everlasting love, my salvation, the bride's truth in a promise.
In a way I proved myself right. Everlasting in my damnation.

Looking back in play, replay, and play again of moment's memory
I know God's Son to have been an impresario. And a pimp of souls.
My girl never once had required so much of love. He finally came to me,
said He needed me in scented Gethsemane. My second garden.
The Magdalene came with Him, but she too loved Him too much,
never came forward, never said of the pointed kiss he tutored me in.

I intended my boy-god no injury. I know now why He chose me.
A rube I've always been in conditions unconditional in love.

In temple precincts the holy prostitutes ease me of my story.

Tere



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Re: Judas Iscariot


Thanks, all, for reading and for commenting. I'm reminding myself right now that the forum is described as a place for the poet/critic dialogue. Let me see if I can do this response thing without necessarily defending the poem.

First off, Bernie, I too don't understand why you didn't adresss Kat in your second post. Not doing so comes across, if likely not intentional, as patronizing. I like to think we don't do that sort of thing here. Also, as Kat says upthread and I have said before, it is damn diffficult figuring your comments out sometimes. Beyond the fact that the poem doesn't work for you, this on several accounts, I don't get the point in the citations, especially as they are here taken out of original context. Makes little sense to me.

About this docent charge, one you've made before. To be clear, I reject the charge, something also I've tried to convey to you before. Here too I find your tone patronizing. You say something to the effect of 'I thought we had taken care of that problem.' Truth is, I've kind of turned the comment back on you, telling you that, viewed from one standpoint, all poets are docents, at least to the extent of conducting a tour through certain interiors. You do it too. Only, you do it in such a way so that in order to understand the dynamics of a poem by you I am often forced to resort to a search engine in order to gain a sense of context, historical, even cultural context. And so I'm left wondering. Who are you addressing when making the charge? Me or yourself?

As for the religious polemic charge. Also your dislike, possibly a personal matter, of the line involving "geometric indifference." One, you do get that, by the time of his address, Judas would have been an old man. He would have had a lot of time to reflect on an act that irreversibly changed his life. Two, we also know that Judas was a literate man, at least by tradition. We know this because of the recently discovered "Gospel of Judas." Probably not written by the disciple himself. But written within a hundered years of Christ's life. And written by one mightily pissed off author. Pissed off in the way I've known former Christians to be whose argument is with their one-time God and who've felt betrayed. So that was in the mix of my thoughts when making the poem.

Bernie, my friend, I cannot help it if my poetry is layered, with a number of subtexts. I can't help it, since, I am layered. It is just the way it is. But here is something to chew on. You don't really get Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby novel until you reckon with its first, intended, title. Trimalchio's Banquet. Trimalchio being the Roman slave become a wealthy man and who leaves his wealth to all his friends who must first eat his body after he has died. The first century AD Roman author, Petronius, created him. It's the story Fitzgerald had in mind. All literature is layered, Bernie. A feint within a feint.

Here is what it comes down to for me. Something I've tried to say to you before. When reading me, or anyone else here, take my poetry on my terms, set within the context I've created, expressed using the syntax I use. Not within the terms of how you might make a poem. That is what it comes down to. What all truly gifted poetry readers do. It is what Eliot did, for example, when he promoted Dylan Thomas.

Tere
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Re: Judas Iscariot


Zak, the English painter, Turner, was asked once by a student to define art. In reply he is supposed to have said: Art, my boy, is a rum thing. That is how I feel about religious expression.

Tere
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Re: Judas Iscariot


T---


my remarks add up to why you want to leave behind this strong, lyrical language:

God looks to be close on the tail of hazi-sahar, tonight.

and


In western slice of sky I note the chase. And her grace.


which i called "delicate, unobtrusive lyric..."

just to unwrap this artless digression:

geometric in His indifference to
strategems and details and ovens and anvils.
Ceasar says His name is Jupiter-of-the-overplan.


I contrasted that clunky statement with this heartfelt echo of Gerontium:


I've become an old man's skin still trapped in a boy's first love.

that phrase, i remarked, conveyed the real feelings of the narrator.

Gerontium:

quote:

Here I am, an old man in a dry month,
Being read to by a boy, waiting for rain.


  
compared, once again, to this literary misdemeanor (just said that for fun):
 

Back then I thought my selection, rejection of her for the Nazarene
was everlasting love, my salvation, the bride's truth in a promise.
In a way I proved myself right. Everlasting in my damnation.


or this religious polemic:

Looking back in play, replay, and play again of moment's memory
I know God's Son to have been an impresario. And a pimp of souls.
My girl never once had required so much of love.



you offer yourself a sexy exit opportunity, why not take it?

In temple precincts the holy prostitutes ease me of my story.


bernie




Last edited by Bernie01, Jun/16/2013, 9:17 pm


---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
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Bernie, again I'm still trying to understand your crits. You charge this with amounting to a polemic:

~Looking back in play, replay, and play again of moment's memory
I know God's Son to have been an impresario. And a pimp of souls.
My girl never once had required so much of love.~

How exactly does this passage amount to a polemic, which, by definition amounts to "an aggressive attack on or refutation of the opinions or principles of another." How exactly does this amount to a refutation of principles? There is no refutation, only rejection, and personally expressed, of a lover by a lover who, after the fact, recognizes the extent to which he got used, what leads him to an examination of his former lover's character. I honestly don't get why you don't get why the Judas as I imagine him might be royally pissed at having been made to play a part in a passion play that, in the Christian mytho-world, would set him in eternal damnation, down in Dante's hell, one ring above Satan. I don't get the charge, unless you are a Christian and my "profane" take offends.

I remind you of what the New Critics taught poetry reading. That a poem should be textually taken within the context, its own little universe, it creates.

Tere
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T---


how do you think a fundamentalist christian reacts to hearing this:

I know God's Son to have been an impresario. And a pimp of souls.

i'm a pure blood athiest, so harsh language affirming or denying faith leaves me cold, but, but...that doesn't stop me from noting when a writer is harshly anti-christian or lovingly pro King James version in the psalms...and so many other verses.

hard to imagine a more aggressive attack through language than that, yes/no?


"an aggressive attack on or refutation of the opinions or principles of another."


of course, i understand your observation here, i just think it is superficial:
 

I honestly don't get why you don't get why the Judas as I imagine him might be royally pissed at having been made to play a part in a passion play that, in the Christian mytho-world, would set him in eternal damnation,

you also writ:


I remind you of what the New Critics taught poetry reading. That a poem should be textually taken within the context, its own little universe, it creates.


i love the New Critics.

but how do you write better if you are the poet? you tell the class, take your poem within its own context....yup, now what?


your religiosity is easy to understand, too easy.



New Critics also preferred to stress the writing rather than the writer...


quote:

Without critics, we will hold on to the familiar and be unable to accept that there are other uses for language, that there is new and exciting poetry all around us.



Matthew Zapruder


by the way, send your work out....other Forums, zines big and small---my four poems in the current issue of Avatar Review:


http://www.avatarreview.net/AV15/category/poetry/bernard-henrie/



send your poems out---religiously...bring air into this room. if cambridge gets a summer issue out, i will have four poems there. swell. they recently published Pulitzer winner Rae Armantrout....here she is in a soft polemic/philosophic mood which i also dislike---just statements that can be argued seven ways, reckon:


Here is the beginning of a poem by Rae Armantrout, “Upper World”:

If sadness
is akin to patience,

           we're back!


Pattern recognition
was our first response

to loneliness.

Here and there were like
one place.

But we need to triangulate,
find someone to show.



more an intellectual discussion than the frail emergence of a poem i can remember even as the propopol veils my other senses.

John Berryman:

The sunburnt terraces which swans make home
with water purling, Macchu Pichu died
like Delphi long ago—


Wolcott:

"the sunlight of olive oil slowly spreads in saucers",


Cormac McCarthy:

“the blue cordilleras stood footed in their paler image on the sand like reflections in a lake.”





 
bernie






 

Last edited by Bernie01, Jun/18/2013, 12:08 am


---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
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Re: Judas Iscariot


Bernie, you've taken a position vis a vis the poem and now you need to defend it, your position. My poem takes a position but I don't feel the need to defend it, my poem. That is the difference between us. So glad to hear cambridge will carry your poetry. So sad to hear you feel the need, by way of defending your position, to advertise as much. Another difference between us.

Tere
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T---


at my house we call it sharing.

i don't have a position, just what i like in your poem....do i seem to have a position there that needs defending?

LOL.

by the way, shouldn't we keep the focus on the pom? not the crit writer?

if i add up and list your personal commets, the list is not short.

nes pas?


bernie









---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
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Re: Judas Iscariot


K---

the docent offers grizzly facts. only the best manage to keep the heart attached to the head---the feeling together with the intellectual, the historical facts.

sister wendy, of all people, did so well.

Jacob Bronowski's ground breaking 1973 documentary The Ascent of Man.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2p9By0qXms


looking through the comments in this form, i see too many remarks that are opinions about the crit writer----not the poem.

a chief characteristic of the docent.

personality cult, with the poem left in the waiting room cooling its heels.

i pray every night (sorry that isn't true) for examples---poems of surpassing grace, toughness and depth...the reason i quote so often.

one can disagree, but at least we know what the speaker values.

browning speaks, but he is not trying to convince --- he is confessing.

but i see the line can be thin, indeed.

bernie

---
Fall

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Re: Judas Iscariot


Hi all,

As a follow-up to this thread, I have done a post in Salon Chat:

http://bdelectablemnts.runboard.com/t2223
Jun/18/2013, 8:45 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Re: Judas Iscariot


Hi again, everyone,

This thread has prompted me to start second thread in Salon Chat:

http://bdelectablemnts.runboard.com/t2224

Hoping you all will read and participate.
Jun/18/2013, 12:27 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Re: Judas Iscariot


Bernie, I'm not the one who made the exchange less about the poem, more about the critic's opinions and literary tastes. You are.

Tere

quote:

Bernie01 wrote:

T---


at my house we call it sharing.

i don't have a position, just what i like in your poem....do i seem to have a position there that needs defending?

LOL.

by the way, shouldn't we keep the focus on the pom? not the crit writer?

if i add up and list your personal commets, the list is not short.

nes pas?


bernie










Jun/18/2013, 8:25 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Re: Judas Iscariot


O how can I obtain my Beatrice with a sixth nose???

A more post-impressionist take on Judas here, not so Hebriac like it 'usually' is. Biblical in the swooping, dodging, lyrical frames of reference, sure. But very much too honest for epic in the old sense. Wonderful musicality, that's the point! Dante would get it.
Jul/7/2013, 11:42 pm Link to this post Send Email to satanicdoctor   Send PM to satanicdoctor Blog
 
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Re: Judas Iscariot


Thanks for reading and responding, satanic. Good to hear from you again. And, yes, you're likely right. Dante would get it.

Tere
Jul/11/2013, 8:22 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 


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