"Allegory of Vanity" by Antonio de Pereda‘On Pride’ by Elwin Wirkala The Society February 13, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 9 Comments I thought and thought of pride and pride began to grow and over-ride my common sense until I thought the thought itself was what I sought— nor could I sense the meaningful sense that I, a common fool were trapped in blindness of the self (it’s not a road to mental health); and when I thought about my soul in pride I thought my self were whole. It took me years to realize a prideful self is never wise— a hard truth to conceptualize when it’s right before your eyes. Elwin Wirkala was in the Peace Corps in his early twenties and subsequently spent two plus decades in South America, gaining near native fluency in Portuguese and Spanish. He has translated Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz’s sonnets and the great Primer Sueño, on which he is writing a book. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 9 Responses Allegra February 13, 2020 Beautiful poem! Reply Elwin L Wirkala February 16, 2020 Thank you, Allegra! Elwin Reply Joe Tessitore February 13, 2020 A very good read! A grammar point – the word “were” appears twice in the poem and should be “was”. Reply C.B. Anderson February 13, 2020 Joe, “Were” used in this way denotes the subjunctive mood, as in a clause such as “If I were rich,” though the first instance (“were trapped in blindness of the self”) should probably use the indicative mood “was.” Reply Joe Tessitore February 14, 2020 Thanks, C.B. I’ve never been good (or comfortable) with those. My apology to Mr. Wirkala. Wilude Scabere February 15, 2020 In cadence, tone and punning, Mr. Wirkala’s “On Pride” is reminiscent of Launcelot Gobbo. Reply Elwin Wirkala February 16, 2020 Thanks for these comments, friends. Joe, I guess I’m obsessed with the subjunctive. I spent years speaking mostly Portuguese and Spanish so maybe got contaminated that way. No need to apologize! This is the first time I’ve been e-published. It’s really nice to get comments, even if I get gobbosmacked. If any of you would like to critique my translation of ‘Primero Sueño’, please let me know, and if Mr. Mayrink would like to change my ‘weres’ to ‘wases’, fine with me! I’d like to place some translations (from Sor Juana mostly) so will have to figure out how. Warm greetings to all. Reply Joe Tessitore February 16, 2020 Welcome aboard! We look forward to more from you. Reply Monty February 26, 2020 I like this, Elwin. It’s a fresh and unusual subject for a poem; well-written (in a diction and grammar sense); and with strong rhymes. I also like the clever wordplay with “thought and thought”: “pride and pride”: “thought the thought”: “sense the . . sense”: they’re quite imaginative. I must remark upon a couple of things: In L6, “a common fool” is an interjection separated from the rest of the sentence, hence there should be a comma not only after “I” (which you’ve done), but also after the word “fool”. In L7, I agree with Joe that the “were” should be a “was”. The use of ‘were’ for ‘was’ is generally only used colloquially in the north of England. For example, in south and central England, we’d say: “It was him, not me” . . but in the north, many still say: “It were ‘im, not me”. In L10, I’d replace the word “were” with ‘as’; so it reads: ‘I thought myself as (being) whole’. In L14, I’d add the word ‘there’ just to maintain the meter: ‘When it’s right there before your eyes’. But they are only minor quibbles. This is a good poem; and you’ve got a good poetic sense about you. You also write with a light touch. Well played . . and good luck with your book. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.