a woman’s light dressing gown or negligee.
Complacencies of the peignoir, and late
Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair,
And the green freedom of a cockatoo
Upon a rug mingle to dissipate
The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.
make small enhancing alterations to (something).
(tittivate oneself) make oneself look attractive.
Is it for nothing, then, that old Chinese
Sat tittivating by their mountain pools
Or in the Yangtse studied out their beards? (17)
a person’s hairstyle, typically an elaborate one.
You know the mountainous coiffures of Bath. (17)
vigor and spirit or enthusiasm.
The measure of the intensity of love
Is measure, also, of the verve of earth. (17)
a piece or lump of flesh, food, or other matter.
Every day, I found
Man proved a gobbet in my mincing world. (20)
another term for PENT-UP.
closely confined or held back.
I am too dumbly in my being pent. (22)
a black African; a very dark-skinned person.
Damned universal cock, as if the sun
Was blackamoor to bear your blazing trail. (25)
1. land attached to a manor and retained for the owner’s own use.
–the lands of an estate.
–a region or domain.
2. possession of real property in one’s own right.
How greatly had he grown in his demesne,
This auditor of insects! (33)
a change of circumstances or fortune, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant.
–alternation between opposite or contrasting things.
That wrote his couplet yearly to the spring,
As dissertation of profound delight,
Stopping, on voyage, in a land of snakes,
Found his vicissitudes had much enlarged
His apprehension, made him intricate
In moody rucks, and difficult and strange
In all desires, his destitution’s mark. (33)
a projecting corner or angle of a wall or building.
instruct (someone) in the principles of Christian religion by means of question and answer, typically by using a catechism.
–put questions to or interrogate (someone).
The fabulous and its intrinsic verse
Came like two spirits parleying, adorned
In radiance from the Atlantic coign,
For Crispin and his quill to catechize. (34)
Now, as this odd
Discoverer walked through the harbor streets
Inspecting the cabildo, the façade
Of the cathedral, making notes, he heard
A rumbling, west of Mexico, it seemed,
Approaching like a gasconade of drums. (34)
an independent treble melody usually sung or played above a basic melody.
–a melodious song.
–a discourse on a theme or subject.
And what descants he sent to banishment! (36)
cause slight but persistent annoyance, discomfort, or anxiety.
–find fault with (someone) in a petty way.
Illusive, faint, more mist than moon, perverse,
Wrong as a divagation to Peking,
To him that postulated as his theme
The vulgar, as his theme and hymn and flight,
A passionately niggling nightingale! (36)
1. (of air, esp. that at high altitudes) of lower pressure than usual; thin.
2. distant from the lives and concerns of ordinary people.
But let these backward lapses, if they would,
Grind their seductions on him, Crispin knew
It was a flourishing tropic he required
For his refreshment, an abundant zone,
Prickly and obdurate, dense, harmonious,
Yet with a harmony not rarefied
Nor fined for the inhibited instruments
Of over-civil stops. (37)
producing or capable of producing an abundance of offspring or new growth; fertile.
–(of a woman or women) capable of becoming pregnant and giving birth.
And as he came he saw that it was spring,
A time abhorrent to the nihilist
Or searcher for the fecund minimum. (37)
resin, esp. the solid amber residue obtained after the distillation of crude turpentine oleoresin, or of naphtha extract from pine stumps. It is used in adhesives, varnishes, and inks and for treating the bows of stringed instruments.
Tilting up his nose,
He inhaled the rancid rosin, burly smells
Of dampened lumber, emanations blown
From warehouse doors, the gustiness of ropes,
Decays of sacks, and all the arrant stinks
That helped him round his rude æsthetic out. (37)
(of an action or situation) likely to arouse or incur resentment or anger in others.
–(of a comparison or distinction) unfairly discriminating; unjust.
Hence the reverberations in the words
Of his first central hymns, the celebrants
Of rankest trivia, tests of the strength
Of his æsthetic, his philosophy,
The more invidious, the more desired. (38)
an ancient and medieval musical instrument like a dulcimer but played by plucking the strings with the fingers or a plectrum.
The responsive man,
Planting his pristine cores in Florida,
Should prick thereof, not on the psaltery,
But on the banjo’s categorical gut,
Tuck, tuck, while the flamingoes flapped his bays. (39)
apt in the circumstances or in relation to something.
The melon should have apposite ritual,
Performed in verd apparel, and the peach,
When its black branches came to bud, belle day,
Should have an incantation. (40)
a divine creative impulse or inspiration.
These bland excursions into time to come,
Related in romance to backward flights,
However prodigal, however proud,
Contained in their afflatus the reproach
That first drove Crispin to his wandering. (40)
Perhaps if discontent
Had kept him still the prickling realist,
Choosing his element from droll confect
Of was and is and shall or ought to be,
Beyond Bordeaux, beyond Havana, far
Beyond carked Yucatan, he might have come
To colonize his polar planterdom
And jig his chits upon a cloudy knee. (41)
a Eurasian plant of the daisy family, with feathery leaves and heads of small white, yellow, or pink aromatic flowers.
It may be that the yarrow in his fields
Sealed pensive purple under its concern. (41)
a sovereign or state having some control over another state that is internally autonomous.
–a feudal overlord.
But day by day, now this thing and now that
Confined him, while it cosseted, condoned,
Little by little, as if the suzerain soil
Abashed him by carouse to humble yet
relating to or taking place in the morning.
He first, as a realist, admitted that
Whoever hunts a matinal continent
May, after all, stop short before a plum
And be content and still be a realist. (41)
a slotted hinged metal plate that forms part of a fastening for a door or lid and is fitted over a metal loop and secured by a pin or padlock.
–a similar metal plate on a trunk or suitcase with a projecting piece that is secured by the lock.
lock (a door, window, or lid) by securing the hasp over the loop of the fastening.
So Crispin hasped on the surviving form,
For him, of shall or ought to be in is. (42)
a title or form of address given to scholars, esp. those qualified to teach in a medieval university.
Crispin, magister of a single room,
Latched up the night. (42)
(of punishment or retribution) appropriate to the crime or wrongdoing; fitting and deserved.
In the presto of the morning, Crispin trod,
Each day, still curious, but in a round
Less prickly and much more condign than that
He once thought necessary. (43)
heat (metal or glass) and allow it to cool slowly, in order to remove internal stresses and toughen it.
ribald talk or behavior.
Good star, how that to be
Annealed them in their cabin ribaldries! (43)
1. a stiffened or hooped petticoat worn to make a long skirt stand out.
2. a stiff fabric made of horsehair and cotton or linen thread, typically used for stiffening petticoats or as a lining.
But the quotidian composed as his,
Of breakfast ribands, fruits laid in their leaves,
The tomtit and the cassia and the rose,
Although the rose was not the noble thorn
Of crinoline spread, but of a pining sweet,
Composed of evenings like cracked shutters flung
Upon the rumpling bottomness, and nights
In which those frail custodians watched,
Indifferent to the tepid summer cold,
While he poured out upon the lips of her
That lay beside him, the quotidian
Like this, saps like the sun, true fortuner. (43)
a royal or national treasury.
(of a horse) having irregular patches of two colors, typically black and white.
the public treasury of Rome or the emperor’s privy purse.
–a public treasury or exchequer.
For all it takes it gives a humped return
Exchequering from piebald fiscs unkeyed. (43)
a financial inducement; a gratuity or bribe.
Thrum with a proud douceur
His grand pronunciamento and devise. (44)
a march from a coast into the interior, as that of the younger Cyrus into Asia in 401 BC, as narrated by Xenophon in his work Anabasis.
–a military advance.
a small leather box containing Hebrew texts on vellum, worn by Jewish men at morning prayer as a reminder to keep the law.
(in India and the East) a covered litter for one passenger, consisting of a large box carried on two horizontal poles by four or six bearers.
The return to social nature, once begun,
Anabasis or slump, ascent or chute,
Involved him in midwifery so dense
His cabin counted as phylactery,
Then place of vexing palankeens, then haunt
Of children nibbling at the sugared void,
Infants yet eminently old, then dome
And halidom for the unbraided femes,
Green crammers of the green fruits of the world,
Bidders and biders for its ecstasies,
True daughters both of Crispin and his clay. (44)
–(esp. of hair) of the pale yellow color of dressed flax
Then third, a thing still flaxen in the light,
A creeper under jaunty leaves. (44)
1. gilded silver or bronze.
(esp. of sound) sweet and soothing (often used ironically).
A few years more and the vermeil capuchin
Gave to the cabin, lordlier than it was,
The dulcet omen fit for such a house. (45)
make excuses for.
noisy and difficult to control.
Or if the music sticks, if the anecdote
Is false, if Crispin is a profitless
Philosopher, beginning with green brag,
Concluding fadedly, if as a man
Prone to distemper he abates in taste,
Fickle and fumbling, variable, obscure,
Glozing his life with after-shining flicks,
Illuminating, from a fancy gorged
By apparition, plain and common things,
Sequestering the fluster from the year,
Making gulped potions from obstreperous drops,
And so distorting, proving what he proves
Is nothing, what can all this matter since
The relation comes, benignly, to its end?. (46)
dark brown or black; ebony.
It causes him to make
His infinite repetition and alloys
Of pick of ebon, pick of halcyon. (49)
That fosters seraphim and is to them
Coiffeur of haloes, fecund jeweller–
Was the sun concoct for angels or for men? (58)
(of a circumstance) not giving or indicating a good chance of success; unfavorable.
But I am, in any case,
A most inappropriate man
In a most unpropitious place. (66)
Fear never the brute clouds nor winter-stop
And let the water-belly of ocean roar,
Nor feel the x malisons of other men [...] (107)
a counterpart or equal to someone.
And you, my semblables, in sooty residence
Tap skeleton drums inaudibly. (110)
1. the destruction of small growths or areas of tissue using diathermy.
2. a flash like that of lightning.
It was pleasant to be sitting there,
While the sultriest fulgurations, flickering,
Cast corners in the glass. (115)
a kind of earthenware made in imitation of Italian maiolica, esp. in England during the 19th century.
Panic in the face of the moon–round effendi
Or the phosphored sleep in which he walks abroad
Or the majolica, dish heaped up with phosphored fruit
That he sends ahead, out of the goodness of his heart,
To anyone that comes–panic, because
The moon is no longer these nor anything
And nothing is left but comic ugliness
Or a lustred nothingness. (120)
a savory jelly made with meat stock, set in a mold and used to contain pieces of meat, seafood, or eggs.
Life is a bitter aspic. (122)
1. changing from one color to another in different lights.
And it may be
That in his Mediterranean cloister a man,
Reclining, eased of desire, establishes
The visible, a zone of blue and orange
Versicolorings, establishes a time
To watch the fire-feinting sea and calls it good,
The ultimate good, sure of a reality
Of the longest meditation, the maximum,
The assassin’s scene. (123)
1. thick, durable twilled cloth with a short nap, usually dyed in dark colors.
2. pompous or pretentious speech or writing.
The bristling soldier, weather-foxed, who looms
In the sunshine is a filial form and one
Of the land’s children, easily born, its flesh,
Not fustian. (133)
a subdivision of a department in France, for purposes of local government administration.
–an administrative district of certain large French cities, in particular Paris.
Without the forfeit scholar coming in,
Without his enlargings and pale arrondissements,
Without the furious roar in his capital. (137)
(of a person) tending to find fault or raise petty objections.
The scholar, captious, told him what he could
Of there, where the truth was not the respect of one,
But always of many things. (137)
a person who takes particular pleasure in fine food and drink.
How thick this gobbet is with overlays,
The double fruit of boisterous epicures,
Like the same orange repeating on one tree [...] (137)
in an initial stage; beginning to happen or develop.
–(of a person) developing into a specified type or role.
Universal delusions from universal grandeurs,
The slight incipiencies, of which the form,
At last, is the pineapple on the table or else [...] (138)
a service of morning prayer in various churches, esp. the Anglican Church.
–a service forming part of the traditional Divine Office of the Western Christian Church, originally said (or chanted) at or after midnight, but historically often held with lauds on the previous evening.
–(also matin ) literary the morning song of birds.
Because what they have chosen is their choice
No more and because they lack the will to tell
A matin gold from gold of Hesperus [...] (139)
the mental process by which a person makes sense of an idea by assimilating it to the body of ideas he or she already possesses.
–fully conscious perception.
But it is, dear sirs,
A difficult apperception, this gorging good,
Fetched by such slick-eyed nymphs, this essential gold,
This fortune’s finding, disposed and re-disposed
By such slight genii in such pale air. (140)
accelerando (adj. & adv.)
with a gradual increase of speed (used chiefly as a direction).
a passage to be performed with such an acceleration.
In the instant of speech,
The breadth of an accelerando moves,
Captives the being, widens–and was there. (141)
a person, esp. a priest in ancient Greece, who interprets sacred mysteries or esoteric principles.
the action of formally investing a person with honors or rank.
–a ceremony at which honors or rank are formally conferred on a particular person.
Reality is the beginning not the end,
Naked Alpha, not the hierophant Omega,
Of dense investiture, with luminous vassals. (146)
a person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning.
It is the infant A standing on infant legs,
Not twisted, stooping, polymathic Z,
He that kneels always on the edge of space [...] (146)
the chief attraction, point of greatest interest, or central idea of a thing.
Free from their majesty and yet in need
Of majesty, of an invincible clou,
A minimum of making in the mind, [...] (148)
prolonged and idle discussion.
–a parley or improvised conference between two sides.
Their eyes closed, in a young palaver of lips. (149)
1. a garland or wreath for a person’s head.
2. a string of 55 beads (one third of the rosary number) for counting prayers, or as a necklace.
3. a metal support for the core of a hollow casting mold.
1. an ornamental hairnet or fabric bag worn over the hair at the back of a woman’s head.
–a ribbon or band worn by unmarried women in Scotland to confine their hair.
2. a wide ring of knitted material worn as a hood or scarf.
3. a short line attaching a hook to a main line in sea fishing.
The pearled chaplet of spring,
The magnum wreath of summer, time’s autumn snood, [...] (155)
1. a metal or plastic instrument that is used to dilate an orifice or canal in the body to allow inspection.
2. a bright patch of plumage on the wings of certain birds, esp. a strip of metallic sheen on the secondary flight feathers of many ducks.
3. a mirror or reflector of glass or metal, esp. (formerly) a metallic mirror in a reflecting telescope.
–short for speculum metal.
He belonged to the far-foreign departure of his vessel and was part of it,
Part of the speculum of fire on its prow, its symbol, whatever it was,
Part of the glass-like sides on which it glided over the salt-stained water,
As he traveled alone, like a man lured on by a syllable without any meaning,
A syllable of which he felt, with an appointed sureness,
That it contained the meaning into which he wanted to enter,
A meaning which, as he entered it, would shatter the boat and leave the oarsmen quiet
And at a point of central arrival, an instant moment, much or little,
Removed from any shore, from any man or woman, and needing none. (162)
a heavy cotton fabric, typically with a floral pattern printed on one or both sides, used for upholstery.
A form of fire approaches the cretonnes of Penelope,
Whose mere savage presence awakens the world in which she dwells. (164)
of or resembling silver.
An argentine abstraction approaching form
And suddenly denying itself away. (167)