Perlllongher’s “Amelia” gets my vote as the MOST CONFUSING POEM EVER. I don’t care how well I know the language – I mean, I look up the words in the dictionary and I’m still no wiser since the words in English are just as obscure and cryptic and non-going-togethery. Wow and yikes. I refuse to admit I have bitten off more than I can chew. I must consult my friend Norah!!! I have an idea of the poem – okay, given the context of the book it’s probably some historic figure who was captured and tortured and killed or something by the soldiers of Gen. Rosas (which is all a very very thinly veiled way to talk about the 70s and 80s dirty war) and … gah… these weird axles that meanings rotate around, so that we have a Thing of “snail/labyrinth/inner ear/spiral/prancing horse/dancing” and a thing of “death/graves/horticulture/transplantedness/suddenness of flowering/inexplicably bloody penis”. And there is some implication going on of violence and sexuality, and a tie between sexuality and nation or statelessness (hungarian/bulgarian/albanian) Yargh! I kind of get it, but it’s really hard and I have a feeling I’m going to make mistakes or leap to wrong conclusions.

But then I realized driving home some things about another “axis” :
– chalet books in the Tyrol
– “Sound of Music”
– think of the scenes from Buchan (was it Greensleeves? 39 steps? no, the book in the middle) where he is in the Tyrol and what it means to be there
– Perlllongher’s poems from “Austria-Hungary”

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