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This item is taken from PN Review 207, Volume 39 Number 1, September - October 2012.

Letters from John Ashbery, Len Krisack, Tony Lopez, Anthony Rudolf
Being Beauteous

I enjoyed Matthew Creasy's sympathetic review of my translation of Rimbaud's Illuminations (PNR 205). At one point he notes, 'The collection is peppered with odd, anglicised phrases ("Bottom"; "Being Beauteous") that sit strangely amongst [Rimbaud's] exotic French formulations. As a title, “Being Beauteous” may be a gerund (the evocation of an aesthetic condition) or an archaic combination of noun or adjective - the “Être de Beauté” it describes.' It's generally agreed that 'Bottom' is a reference to the character in A Midsummer Night's Dream. 'Being Beauteous' is from 'Footsteps of Angels', a poem by Longfellow about his dead wife:

And with them the Being Beauteous,
Who unto my youth was given,
More than all things else to love me,
And is now a saint in heaven.

Thus, the title is an 'archaic combination of noun and adjective' rather than a gerund. I'm indebted for this information to the poet J.D. McClatchy, who is a Longfellow expert - rather a rare breed these days.

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Being (Not Meaning)

Nick Liptrot ('What About the Whats?', PNR 206) is confused about Ezra Pound. It was Archibald MacLeish who penned the famous line 'A poem should not mean, but be.'

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More So

In his review (PNR 206), for which I am most grateful, Ian Brinton states that '[each] of the ten sections of Only More So contains fifty-five sentences'. In fact there are a hundred sections each containing fifty-five sentences, and those one hundred sections are gathered into ten titled chapters, each containing five hundred and fifty sentences.

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Tooth Taste

I wish to apologise for my own typographical error in my article about Charles Tomlinson ('1963', PNR 206). It resulted in my piling a bad joke on top of what I thought was a good joke. In the following extract, for 'paste' please read 'taste': 'I knew I was safe when the young lady said her mother had told her she should marry a dentist. What we learn from this is that wisdom is not found only in the tooth and that jokes about pulling power are in bad paste.'

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This item is taken from PN Review 207, Volume 39 Number 1, September - October 2012.

Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this item to
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