This Newsletter was published on Thursday 3 December 2009

Quid pro quo…

On von Maltzahn’s “Marvell’s Restoration Garden” (AMSN Vol. 1, No. 1)

Nicholas von Maltzahn is formidable, of course, and while I haven’t read the Pritchard piece on “The Garden,” I have given Hammond’s on “The Mower Against Gardens” a pretty thorough going-over, and I’m afraid these arguments based on similar trope + rhyme clusters strike me as pretty flimsy. In a rhyme-poor language like English, what is the likelihood that a popular myth like Apollo’s pursuit of Daphne would produce a “tree” rhyme? And that poets writing in roughly the same milieu would produce similar passages on a myth like this? Fairly high, I’d bet. What I’ve been digging up makes a strong(er?) case for “Mower Against Gardens” coming from the same source as the other Mower poems. I’d agree that “Mower Against Gardens” was not necessarily written at the same time as the other Mower poems, but it is largely inspired by the same material.

Alan Altimont
St. Edward’s University

A Couple of Notes on Altimont’s “A Visit to Nunappleton” (AMSN Vol. 1, No.1)

  1. Bilborough Hill. Local hearsay has it that there was a bit more of a hill there (though nothing quite so dramatic as Marvell implies), but that, some years back, the farmer on whose land it peaked, ploughed the top flat. I’ve not investigated the truth of this.
  2. glow-worms. I grew up, in the 1960s-70s, in York, living for many years in Copmanthorpe– a few miles from Bilborough. I never saw a glow-worm.

Timothy Raylor
Carleton College