Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Great Regulars: This curious blend--Graves

the Conqueror and Graves the Conquered, the kingly lover and the lowly menial--animates and brightens one of his most unlikely triumphs, "The Frog and the Golden Ball." It's a poem seemingly doomed to mediocrity: a simple retelling, in old-fashioned quatrains, of the fairy tale of the prince imprisoned in the guise of a frog. Yet it beguiles from the opening stanza:

She let her golden ball fall down the well
And begged a cold frog to retrieve it;
For which she kissed his ugly, gaping mouth--
Indeed he could scarce believe it.

from Brad Leithauser: The New York Times: A Poet of Piercing Valentines


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