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 Post subject: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Prose
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2021 8:35 pm 
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Master
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Location: Wisconsin
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This was my mom's book. She was a smoker... opening the pages the smell of old smoke (and memories) comes flooding out.

I just finished "Johnny Pye and the Fool Killer". Benet's prose is very fun to read. When I finished this short story I remembered that I had read this one many years ago when I was a young fella.

Johnny is running from the "Fool Killer" whom his adopted father and mother had warned him about ("Looks like the fool killer caught another one" when someone would die). Impressionable, young Johnny didn't want to be the victim of the Fool Killer so he becomes a vagabond of sorts. Hitching himself up with person after person in hopes that they will give him the escape from the Fool Killer. Cleverness, money, political success/fame.... he dabbles in all but always decides that they're not what will protect him from the Fool Killer.

"Time passes"... and Johnny has a wife and family. By dumb luck he stumbles upon the Fool Killer who grants Johnny a temporary reprieve as well as the possibility of a permanent if he can answer (at some undisclosed point in the future) this question "how can a man be a human being and not be a fool".
Time passes and Johnny experiences the death of his son (drowned while fishing).

Johnny comes across the Fool Killer shortly after this:

Quote:
"You coward!" said Johnny Pye....

"Why couldn't you have taken me?", as if those words had never been said before. "What's the sense in all this? Why can't you take me now?"

"Time passes" said the old man (fool killer), nodding his head. "Time passes"

"It will never cure the grief I have for my son," said Johnny Pye.

"It will not," said the old man, nodding his head. "But time passes. Would you leave your wife a widow and your other children fatherless for the sake of your grief?"

"No, God help me!" said Johnny Pye "That wouldn't be right for a man".


An unexpected bit of dialog between Johnny and Death.

In the end, with Johnny aged to his 90s, he turns down the old man's offer. He sees no benefit of living "until Judgement Day".

He asks the old man:
Quote:
"Tell me," he said, in a low voice. "Well, you know what I mean. Afterwards. I mean, if you're likely to see" - he coughed-"your friends again. I mean, if it's so - like some folks believe."

"I can't tell you that," said the scissors grinder (old man/fool killer). "I only go so far"

_________________
For who we are and what we'll be/ I'll sing your praise eternally/ the miles we've shared I'd trade but few/ they're the ones that kept me away from you.


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:18 pm 
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Master
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Religion: Roman Catholic
Finished The Devil and Daniel Webster. I had heard of the story but had never read it prior.
Liked it, but not as much as the Fool Killer. Felt like Paul Bunyan when Daniel Webster was described. He even outwitted the devil so much that he kept him in bondage… only out of pity releasing him.

I’ll have to read it again. It seems to be one of Benet’s most lauded stories.

_________________
For who we are and what we'll be/ I'll sing your praise eternally/ the miles we've shared I'd trade but few/ they're the ones that kept me away from you.


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 2:46 pm 
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Master
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Religion: Roman Catholic
Very sharp bit of morality and virtue in this part of Devil and Daniel Webster:

Quote:
But before he started he looked over the judge and jury for
a moment, such being his custom. And he noticed the glitter in their eyes was twice as strong as before, and they
all leaned forward. Like hounds just before they get the fox, they looked, and the blue mist of evil in the room
thickened as he watched them. Then he saw what he’d been about to do, and he wiped his forehead, as a man
might who’s just escaped falling into a pit in the dark.
For it was him they’d come for, not only Jabez Stone. He read it in the glitter of their eyes and in the way the
stranger hid his mouth with one hand. And if he fought them with their own weapons, he’d fall into their power;
he knew that, though he couldn’t have told you how. It was his own anger and horror that burned in their eyes; and
he’d have to wipe that out or the case was lost.



You can’t ‘fight like the devil’ and win. You’ll not only lose the battle, you’ll lose yourself.

I overlooked this at first. Daniel Webster couldn’t win by cheap and dirty tactics. So, he won by appealing to the jury’s (men who had died and wound up in hell) nostalgia for what they had lost on earth: good and wholesome things. Things that made the jury remember their humanity (though these in particular had fallen):

Quote:
He painted a picture of that, and to each one of that jury he spoke of things long forgotten. For his voice could search the heart, and that was his gift and his strength. And to one, his voice was like the forest and its secrecy, and to another like the sea and the storms of the sea; and one heard the cry of his lost nation in it, and another saw a little harmless scene he hadn’t remembered for years. But each saw something. And when Dan’l Webster finished he didn’t know whether or not he’d saved Jabez Stone. But he knew he’d done a miracle. For the glitter was gone from the eyes of judge and jury, and, for the moment, they were men again, and knew they were men.

_________________
For who we are and what we'll be/ I'll sing your praise eternally/ the miles we've shared I'd trade but few/ they're the ones that kept me away from you.


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2021 6:06 pm 
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Master
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Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:13 am
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Location: Wisconsin
Religion: Roman Catholic
These short stories are incredible.

Just finished "The Blood of the Martyrs", which tells of a scientist and professor (Gregor Malzius) who is in prison for treason. Namely, for not identifying the deeds and locations of some students of his that were fomenting dissent against the new governmental regime. These students came to Malzius because they trusted him. Malzius was a man of science who seems very much a materialist but still deeply concerned about truth... scientific though.

Quote:
A horrible, an appalling thing—to be trusted. He had no wish to be a guide and counselor of young men. He wanted to do his work. Suppose they were poor and ragged and oppressed; he had been a peasant himself, he had eaten black bread. It was by his own efforts that he was Professor Malzius. He did not wish the confidences of boys like Gregopolous and the others
............
"I don't want your problems, man. I don't want to know what you are doing outside the laboratory." But Gregopolous had brought his problems and his terrible trust none the less, humbly and proudly, like a fox terrier with a bone. After that—well, what was a man to do?


At one point Malzius is about to be exonerated... if he will agree to being the scientific mouth-piece of the nation. And, using his scientific acumen to explain why one race is more virtuous/preferable to another. The point is being pressed up on him directly by the Dictator.

Quote:
The Dictator nodded. "You are a distinguished man of science," he said. "You will prove that our women must bear soldiers, our men abandon this nonsense of republics and democracies for trust in those born to rule them. You will prove by scientific law that certain races—our race in particular—are destined to rule the world. You will prove they are destined to rule by the virtues of war, and that war is part of our heritage."


Malzius explains that this simply won't work...

Quote:
"But," said Professor Malzius, "it is not like that. I mean," he said, "one looks and watches in the laboratory. One waits for a long time. It is a long process, very long. And then, if the theory is not proved, one discards the theory. That is the way it is done. I probably do not explain it well. But I am a biochemist; I do not know how to look for the virtues of one race against another, and I can prove nothing about war, except that it kills. If I said anything else, the whole world would laugh at me."


And it doesn't work. (Spoilers follow)....

He realizes that he can't both sell out his concern for scientific truth but that similarly he cannot sell out the students who had trusted him. The Dictator had already informed him that he no longer needed to inform on the students since they had all been executed... it no longer mattered.

Malzius' materialistic frame cracks a bit. Those students, those variables had been removed from the equation... but he couldn't go along with the demands of the Dictator. He still owed 'something' to those young men.

Malzius tricks the Dictator and the General of the prison into thinking that he will sign whatever it is they need him to sign, showing his acquiescence to their designs. Once he gets near the inkwell that he'll need to sign.... he throws it at the face of the Dictator.

He gets marched out by the guards who have been instructed to execute him.

The last bit of narrative is simply beautiful:


Quote:
They were coming out into an open courtyard now; he felt the fresh air of outdoors. "Gently," he said. "A little gently. What's the haste?" But already they were tying him to the post. Someone struck him in the face and his eyes watered. "A schoolboy covered with ink," he muttered through his lost teeth. "A hysterical schoolboy too. But you cannot kill truth."

They were not good last words, and he knew that they were not. He must try to think of better ones—not shame Bonnard. But now they had a gag in his mouth; just as well; it saved him the trouble.

His body ached, bound against the post, but his sight and his mind were clearer. He could make out the evening sky, gray with fog, the sky that belonged to no country, but to all the world.

He could make out the gray high buttress of the castle. They had made it a jail, but it would not always be a jail. Perhaps in time it would not even exist. But if a little bit of truth were gathered, that would always exist, while there were men to remember and rediscover it. It was only the liars and the cruel who always failed.

Sixty years ago, he had been a little boy, eating black bread and thin cabbage soup in a poor house. It had been a bitter life, but he could not complain of it. He had had some good teachers and they had called him The Bear.

The gag hurt his mouth—they were getting ready now. There had been a girl called Anna once; he had almost forgotten her. And his rooms had smelt a certain way and he had had a dog. It did not matter what they did with the medals. He raised his head and looked once more at the gray foggy sky. In a moment there would be no thought, but, while there was thought, one must remember and note. His pulse rate was lower than he would have expected and his breathing oddly even, but those were not the important things. The important thing was beyond, in the gray sky that had no country, in the stones of the earth and the feeble human spirit. The important thing was truth.

"Ready!" called the officer. "Aim! Fire!" But Professor Malzius did not hear the three commands of the officer. He was thinking about the young men.

_________________
For who we are and what we'll be/ I'll sing your praise eternally/ the miles we've shared I'd trade but few/ they're the ones that kept me away from you.


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2021 5:48 pm 
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Master
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Best one yet; "By the Waters of Babylon".

Starts off at first like it's a tale of a young Native American/Indian. He is not named. You know that he is a priest and the son of a priest. There are "Dead Places" where priests will go to collect metal. Only the priests can do this, for others are afraid that if the touch the metal they'll end up like the dead who 'inhabit' those "Dead Places". In these homes there are bones of the past residents. Believed to be gods by the priests. They know never to go east or to cross the Great River.

The bold, young protagonist priest goes on his journey and breaks the rules of custom. He heads east, crosses the Great River and comes to the Place of the Gods. It's in ruins. Enormous towers, some better balanced on the edge of erosion and endurance. Great roads (the roads of the gods) that are crumbling.

As the story progresses you realize that you're on the other side, the 'new beginning' after some apocalyptic event. The point after which humanity (our time line) has collapsed from devastating war.

_________________
For who we are and what we'll be/ I'll sing your praise eternally/ the miles we've shared I'd trade but few/ they're the ones that kept me away from you.


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2021 9:41 am 
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Some Poor Bibliophile
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p.falk wrote:
Best one yet; "By the Waters of Babylon".

Starts off at first like it's a tale of a young Native American/Indian. He is not named. You know that he is a priest and the son of a priest. There are "Dead Places" where priests will go to collect metal. Only the priests can do this, for others are afraid that if the touch the metal they'll end up like the dead who 'inhabit' those "Dead Places". In these homes there are bones of the past residents. Believed to be gods by the priests. They know never to go east or to cross the Great River.

The bold, young protagonist priest goes on his journey and breaks the rules of custom. He heads east, crosses the Great River and comes to the Place of the Gods. It's in ruins. Enormous towers, some better balanced on the edge of erosion and endurance. Great roads (the roads of the gods) that are crumbling.

As the story progresses you realize that you're on the other side, the 'new beginning' after some apocalyptic event. The point after which humanity (our time line) has collapsed from devastating war.



One of the few post apocalyptic ss I enjoyed. That being a sub-genre I usually avoid. Not always, but usually.

_________________
"I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2021 11:46 am 
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Master
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Location: Wisconsin
Religion: Roman Catholic
It's not a theme I read too often either... didn't even know it was going that way at first.

_________________
For who we are and what we'll be/ I'll sing your praise eternally/ the miles we've shared I'd trade but few/ they're the ones that kept me away from you.


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2021 11:30 pm 
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Master
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Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:13 am
Posts: 1735
Location: Wisconsin
Religion: Roman Catholic
“Too Early Spring”…

A story that brings you right back to your youth and your first innocent affections for a girl. It’s written in a way that is moral but not heavy handed and sincere but not mushy (as the narrator constantly decries all things ‘mushy’ when it comes to feelings for girls).

Written so wistfully you can see yourself again as a young boy who unexpectedly stumbles into a relationship with a gal. The heartache at the end is subtle yet jarring. An accident as pure as they come but soured and spoiled by adults (namely the parents of the girl) who apparently view all things through the filter of the distrust they have for each other. That accident being enough to ruin the relationship.


The introductory paragraph is written very well:

Quote:
I'M writing this down because I don't ever want to forget the way it was. It doesn't seem as if I could, now, but they all tell you things change. And I guess they're right. Older people must have forgotten or they couldn't be the way they are. And that goes for even the best ones, like Dad and Mr. Grant. They try to understand but they don't seem to know how. And the others make you feel dirty or else they make you feel like a goof. Till, pretty soon, you begin to forget yourself—you begin to think, "Well, maybe they're right and it was that way." And that's the end of everything. So I've got to write this down. Because they smashed it forever—but it wasn't the way they said.

_________________
For who we are and what we'll be/ I'll sing your praise eternally/ the miles we've shared I'd trade but few/ they're the ones that kept me away from you.


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2021 1:44 am 
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Master
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Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:13 am
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Location: Wisconsin
Religion: Roman Catholic
I need to read a biography on Benet. I want to know what he was like.

These stories are so good. Haven't read one that I haven't liked.
The one that was trending that way, "The Story About the Anteater", turned out to be one of my favorites.

"The Story About the Anteater"...

A modern young man (Roger) and woman (Terry) become romantically involved. They have no intention to be like any of those typical couples. They even speak about wanting an "free union" that they had read of "in popular books of the period". "..their marriage was going to be like no other marriage."

Things are heading towards their marriage smoothly when one day Roger and Terry go for a picnic out in a field. Roger tells a joke about an anteater. He bursts out laughing at the joke's conclusion while Terry is shocked. The joke was vulgar and Terry had no idea who this man was that she was sitting next to. An argument ensues about his telling the joke and her reaction to it. At one point she's about to call the engagement off while attempting to remove the ring to which Roger says, "You keep that on.. do you hear, you damn little fool!".

She collapses crying and he gets pulled out of his anger and they go back and forth saying "No, I'm the one who's to blame" in attempts to mollify each other.

The story jumps to 6 years and 5 hours in the future. It's their anniversary and Terry is looking back on her life wondering where it all went wrong. It's their anniversary but they're dining at another couple's (Mr & Mrs George Lattimore) house (an older couple). Terry made Roger swear he would not say that it was their anniversary. But it slips out of him.

To make matters worse he tells the anteater joke. At this point he's told it a hundred times and Terry can see his little quirks of behavior right before he says "have you ever heard the one about the anteater?".

From the story:

Quote:
Someone, most unhappily, had brought up the subject of pet animals. She saw a light break slowly on Roger's face—she saw him lean forward. She prayed for the roof to fall, for time to stop, for Mrs. Lattimore to explode like a Roman candle into green and purple stars. But, even as she prayed, she knew that it was no use. Roger was going to tell the anteater story.

The story no longer seemed shocking to her, or even cruel. But it epitomized all the years of her life with Roger. In the course of those years, she calculated desperately, she had heard that story at least a hundred times.



After the resounding personal defeat felt by Terry she has this very touching interaction with Mrs. Lattimore.

Quote:
"My dear," the great lady was saying, "I'd rather have asked you another night, of course, if I'd known. But I am very glad you could come tonight. George particularly wished Mr. Colden to meet your brilliant husband. They are going into that Western project together, you know, and Tom Colden leaves tomorrow. So we both appreciate your kindness in coming."

Terry found a sudden queer pulse of warmth through the cold fog that seemed to envelop her. "Oh," she stammered, "but Roger and I have been married for years—and we were delighted to come—" She looked at the older woman. "Tell me, though," she said, with an irrepressible burst of confidence, "doesn't it ever seem to you as if you couldn't bear to hear a certain story again—not if you died?"

A gleam of mirth appeared in Mrs. Lattimore's eyes.

"My dear," she said "has George ever told you about his trip to Peru?"

"No."

"Well, don't let him." She reflected, "or, no—do let him," she said. "Poor George—he does get such fun out of it. And you would be a new audience. But it happened fifteen years ago, my dear, and I think I could repeat every word after him verbatim, once he's started. Even so—I often feel as if he'd never stop."

"And then what do you do?" said Terry, breathlessly—far too interested now to remember tact.

The older woman smiled. "I think of the story I am going to tell about the guide in the Uffizi gallery," she said. "George must have heard that story ten thousand times. But he's still alive."

She put her hand on the younger woman's arm.


This counterbalance to the way that she had been viewing her life with George. This wise, older lady who had the same struggles but came to see some bit of beauty in it for both her and her husband.

She goes on to say:

Quote:
"We're all of us alike, my dear," she said. "When I'm an old lady in a wheel chair, George will still be telling me about Peru. But then, if he didn't, I wouldn't know he was George."


Roger and Terry get dropped back off at their home. They have a child and Terry goes to look in on him.

Quote:
Terry ran in to see after the boy. He was sleeping peacefully with his fists tight shut; he looked like Roger in his sleep. Suddenly, all around her were the familiar sights and sounds of home. She felt tired and as if she had come back from a long journey.


No cheap cynicism. No overly saccharine turn of heart.... but a gentle thawing and slow warming. Seeing the same thing but from a better angle this time.

The couple that was so certain they were in advance of the age. Not the ones to fall inline with the silly customs of those marriages other people have. Together but independent of each other. The early dent in this facade that had her questioning all of her feelings for him... an annoying little story of his that had her wondering who this man even is. A doubt that lingered for years. Benet doesn't say "God's grace"... but Providence in the form of Mrs Lattimore's alternative way of viewing those same annoying quirks.

I don't mean to post so much from the story but there's this simple reflection Terry has, years later while at the threshold of their 20 year anniversary:

Quote:
She looked back through those years, seeing an ever-younger creature with her own face, a creature that laughed or wept for forgotten reasons, ran wildly here, sat solemn as a young judge there. She felt a pang of sympathy for that young heedlessness, a pang of humor as well. She was not old but she had been so very young.

Roger and she—the beginning—the first years—Roger Junior's birth. The house on Edgehill Road, the one with the plate rail in the dining room, and crying when they left because they'd never be so happy again, but they had, and it was an inconvenient house. Being jealous of Milly Baldwin—and how foolish!—and the awful country-club dance where Roger got drunk; and it wasn't awful any more. The queer, piled years of the boom—the crash—the bad time—Roger coming home after Tom Colden's suicide and the look on his face. Jennifer. Joan. Houses. People. Events. And always the headlines in the papers, the voices on the radio, dinning, dinning "No security—trouble—disaster—no security." And yet, out of insecurity, they had loved and made children. Out of insecurity, for the space of breath, for an hour, they had built, and now and then found peace.

No, there's no guarantee, she thought. There's no guarantee. When you're young, you think there is, but there isn't. And yet I'd do it over. Pretty soon we'll have been married twenty years.

_________________
For who we are and what we'll be/ I'll sing your praise eternally/ the miles we've shared I'd trade but few/ they're the ones that kept me away from you.


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2021 10:19 am 
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Some Poor Bibliophile
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Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2003 10:22 pm
Posts: 19973
p.falk wrote:
I need to read a biography on Benet. I want to know what he was like.

These stories are so good. Haven't read one that I haven't liked.
The one that was trending that way, "The Story About the Anteater", turned out to be one of my favorites.

"The Story About the Anteater"...

A modern young man (Roger) and woman (Terry) become romantically involved. They have no intention to be like any of those typical couples. They even speak about wanting an "free union" that they had read of "in popular books of the period". "..their marriage was going to be like no other marriage."

Things are heading towards their marriage smoothly when one day Roger and Terry go for a picnic out in a field. Roger tells a joke about an anteater. He bursts out laughing at the joke's conclusion while Terry is shocked. The joke was vulgar and Terry had no idea who this man was that she was sitting next to. An argument ensues about his telling the joke and her reaction to it. At one point she's about to call the engagement off while attempting to remove the ring to which Roger says, "You keep that on.. do you hear, you damn little fool!".

She collapses crying and he gets pulled out of his anger and they go back and forth saying "No, I'm the one who's to blame" in attempts to mollify each other.

The story jumps to 6 years and 5 hours in the future. It's their anniversary and Terry is looking back on her life wondering where it all went wrong. It's their anniversary but they're dining at another couple's (Mr & Mrs George Lattimore) house (an older couple). Terry made Roger swear he would not say that it was their anniversary. But it slips out of him.

To make matters worse he tells the anteater joke. At this point he's told it a hundred times and Terry can see his little quirks of behavior right before he says "have you ever heard the one about the anteater?".

From the story:

Quote:
Someone, most unhappily, had brought up the subject of pet animals. She saw a light break slowly on Roger's face—she saw him lean forward. She prayed for the roof to fall, for time to stop, for Mrs. Lattimore to explode like a Roman candle into green and purple stars. But, even as she prayed, she knew that it was no use. Roger was going to tell the anteater story.

The story no longer seemed shocking to her, or even cruel. But it epitomized all the years of her life with Roger. In the course of those years, she calculated desperately, she had heard that story at least a hundred times.



After the resounding personal defeat felt by Terry she has this very touching interaction with Mrs. Lattimore.

Quote:
"My dear," the great lady was saying, "I'd rather have asked you another night, of course, if I'd known. But I am very glad you could come tonight. George particularly wished Mr. Colden to meet your brilliant husband. They are going into that Western project together, you know, and Tom Colden leaves tomorrow. So we both appreciate your kindness in coming."

Terry found a sudden queer pulse of warmth through the cold fog that seemed to envelop her. "Oh," she stammered, "but Roger and I have been married for years—and we were delighted to come—" She looked at the older woman. "Tell me, though," she said, with an irrepressible burst of confidence, "doesn't it ever seem to you as if you couldn't bear to hear a certain story again—not if you died?"

A gleam of mirth appeared in Mrs. Lattimore's eyes.

"My dear," she said "has George ever told you about his trip to Peru?"

"No."

"Well, don't let him." She reflected, "or, no—do let him," she said. "Poor George—he does get such fun out of it. And you would be a new audience. But it happened fifteen years ago, my dear, and I think I could repeat every word after him verbatim, once he's started. Even so—I often feel as if he'd never stop."

"And then what do you do?" said Terry, breathlessly—far too interested now to remember tact.

The older woman smiled. "I think of the story I am going to tell about the guide in the Uffizi gallery," she said. "George must have heard that story ten thousand times. But he's still alive."

She put her hand on the younger woman's arm.


This counterbalance to the way that she had been viewing her life with George. This wise, older lady who had the same struggles but came to see some bit of beauty in it for both her and her husband.

She goes on to say:

Quote:
"We're all of us alike, my dear," she said. "When I'm an old lady in a wheel chair, George will still be telling me about Peru. But then, if he didn't, I wouldn't know he was George."


Roger and Terry get dropped back off at their home. They have a child and Terry goes to look in on him.

Quote:
Terry ran in to see after the boy. He was sleeping peacefully with his fists tight shut; he looked like Roger in his sleep. Suddenly, all around her were the familiar sights and sounds of home. She felt tired and as if she had come back from a long journey.


No cheap cynicism. No overly saccharine turn of heart.... but a gentle thawing and slow warming. Seeing the same thing but from a better angle this time.

The couple that was so certain they were in advance of the age. Not the ones to fall inline with the silly customs of those marriages other people have. Together but independent of each other. The early dent in this facade that had her questioning all of her feelings for him... an annoying little story of his that had her wondering who this man even is. A doubt that lingered for years. Benet doesn't say "God's grace"... but Providence in the form of Mrs Lattimore's alternative way of viewing those same annoying quirks.

I don't mean to post so much from the story but there's this simple reflection Terry has, years later while at the threshold of their 20 year anniversary:

Quote:
She looked back through those years, seeing an ever-younger creature with her own face, a creature that laughed or wept for forgotten reasons, ran wildly here, sat solemn as a young judge there. She felt a pang of sympathy for that young heedlessness, a pang of humor as well. She was not old but she had been so very young.

Roger and she—the beginning—the first years—Roger Junior's birth. The house on Edgehill Road, the one with the plate rail in the dining room, and crying when they left because they'd never be so happy again, but they had, and it was an inconvenient house. Being jealous of Milly Baldwin—and how foolish!—and the awful country-club dance where Roger got drunk; and it wasn't awful any more. The queer, piled years of the boom—the crash—the bad time—Roger coming home after Tom Colden's suicide and the look on his face. Jennifer. Joan. Houses. People. Events. And always the headlines in the papers, the voices on the radio, dinning, dinning "No security—trouble—disaster—no security." And yet, out of insecurity, they had loved and made children. Out of insecurity, for the space of breath, for an hour, they had built, and now and then found peace.

No, there's no guarantee, she thought. There's no guarantee. When you're young, you think there is, but there isn't. And yet I'd do it over. Pretty soon we'll have been married twenty years.


Yep.

I'm Roger.

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Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2021 12:50 pm 
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And how blessed we are to have found our Tammy’s

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2021 12:54 pm 
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Some Poor Bibliophile
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p.falk wrote:
And how blessed we are to have found our Tammy’s


53 years ago, for me.

Patient woman.

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Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2021 2:05 pm 
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Master
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That’s pretty cool, GKC.

My wife and I first started dating in 1999. Got married in 2006.


Had you read this Benet story before?
Are you familiar with him?

I’m constantly impressed with the moral undercurrents in these stories.
I only came across this volume because it was one of the many memories I wanted to hold on to when my sister and I had to sell our parents’ house.
Had it not been for that I would have never have known.

Interesting side note. Benet was very much impressed with the poetry of Joy Davidman. Helping her get some of her poems published. But I haven’t been able to find if Lewis, Tolkien, or Chesterton had knowledge of him or thoughts on his work.

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2021 4:17 pm 
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p.falk wrote:
That’s pretty cool, GKC.

My wife and I first started dating in 1999. Got married in 2006.


Had you read this Benet story before?
Are you familiar with him?

I’m constantly impressed with the moral undercurrents in these stories.
I only came across this volume because it was one of the many memories I wanted to hold on to when my sister and I had to sell our parents’ house.
Had it not been for that I would have never have known.

Interesting side note. Benet was very much impressed with the poetry of Joy Davidman. Helping her get some of her poems published. But I haven’t been able to find if Lewis, Tolkien, or Chesterton had knowledge of him or thoughts on his work.


Never read that Benet story before. Read some of his SS and the book length poem JOHN BROWN'S BODY (my father's copy is somewhere around here). Lyle Dorsett mentions Benet in his book on Lewis/Davidman AND God CAME IN, but had you not mentioned it, I wouldn't have gone and checked it.

I've no memory of ever seeing Benet's name associated with any of the three. But I don't recall all I've read, nor have I read all I own.

Note: Interesting. No matter that I type "God", in all caps in Dorsett's book title, it comes out "God". Wonder what would happen if I just type it here, in all caps.

God

Hmmm.

God IN THE DOCK

Amazing.

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Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2021 12:09 am 
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Interesting. Didn’t know that it corrected it that way.


Also interesting… Benet wrote a poem/play called “A Child is Born”.
It was broadcast on radio programs in yesteryear.

Kind of helps connect some of the dots of the deep rooted themes of virtue and morality in his short stories.



https://youtu.be/5NQYdLkTvYE

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2021 9:53 am 
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p.falk wrote:
Interesting. Didn’t know that it corrected it that way.


Also interesting… Benet wrote a poem/play called “A Child is Born”.
It was broadcast on radio programs in yesteryear.

Kind of helps connect some of the dots of the deep rooted themes of virtue and morality in his short stories.



https://youtu.be/5NQYdLkTvYE


Radio programs of yesteryear is, as some may recall, a subject of long-time collecting interest/ to me. I was barely of that era, until it passed, recalling listening to it from around 1949-50. Was listening to some of my Jack Webb/Pat Novack shows last night.

I have a few Cavalcade of America broadcasts, but not many. So to be safe, I've added this one. And that ChestertonRadio page is now bookmarked. Might possibly be something there I don't have. We must see.

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Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2021 3:37 pm 
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Ha. I didn't notice at first that the youtube channel I posted was called Chesterton Radio.

GKC, I think this is Providence saying you should read more Benet :yes:

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2021 8:30 pm 
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p.falk wrote:
Ha. I didn't notice at first that the youtube channel I posted was called Chesterton Radio.

GKC, I think this is Providence saying you should read more Benet :yes:


Wouldn't bother me a bit.

Except that it would cause conflicts with TOLKIEN AND THE GREAT WAR/Garth, THE NEGLECTED C.S. LEWIS/Neal & Root, and the last posthumous book by Gene Wolfe, all of which I am currently reading. Each of which has links to stuff I want to read/reread, subsequently.

I then found a you tube thingy that has me itching to reread a particular book on the battle of Midway.

There is no end to it.

OTOH, I only got 9 books for Christmas. Progress of a sort.

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Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2022 2:59 pm 
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I come to this late. But, my favorite Benét poem, also my favorite poem, is, in its entirety:

When Daniel Boone goes by, at night,
The phantom deer arise
And all lost, wild America
Is burning in their eyes.

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Benedicamus Domino!
~Hilaire Belloc

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Vincent Benet - Selected Works of Poetry and Pro
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2022 10:03 pm 
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Thanks for sharing that Highlander.
I'll have to start checking out the poetry section to this volume on poetry and prose.

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