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Seeking help on Glyn Maxwell's poem “Anything But the Case” Options
Posted: Thursday, October 23, 2014 9:42:27 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 6/28/2011
Posts: 35
Neurons: 281
Location: San Juan, San Juan, Argentina
Hello all!

I am currently analyzing Glyn Maxwell's poem Anything But the Case and could use some feedback on it. Here's the poem:

Do me my elegy now, or I'll scrawl the thing
I scrawl as you're going or screw in a ball when you're gone,
Or you and I write unaware in each other's tongue
That you or I ever set foot . . . Or do what our son
And/or little daughter got done: got our brilliant names
Pricily grooved in marble by one skilled
In times of loss; dream iridescent dreams
It's that first Saturday. Let this hour be filled
With anything but the case, so that Time the clerk
Goes panting in horror from gremlin to error to glitch
And his screen is stripes and he knows he saved his work
In one of a billion files but fuck knows which,
And he lets us alone or, at worst, as we tiptoe by,
Feels we're familiar, can't for the world say why.

I believe the poem presents, in general terms, an unhappy relationship between narrator and his/her spouse. I'm trying to pick up its sense from line 8 onwards, particularly the sense of the word case. Could someone please tell me if you feel that case here implies situation or facts, as I believe it does? Perhaps it's too obvious and the word here carries nothing but its usual meaning, but I'm consulting because, according to some pundits, Glyn Maxwell is a difficult poet and so I want to make sure I'm not missing something important here.

Whatever interpretation you can draw from any part of the poem will be most welcome. Thanks beforehand!
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 4:24:31 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/15/2014
Posts: 104
Neurons: 148,179
Location: Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
I think you are right that the phrase 'the case' is being used to mean the present situation, the real facts.

He seems to plead (but I am not sure with whom?) that absolutely any other arrangement of reality would be preferable to things as they are.

I am not sure what event has happened to make him so wish to rearrange all time to change it.

Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 5:03:31 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/30/2010
Posts: 10,965
Neurons: 32,652
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
On the sixth day God created man. It's the first, the only day. Let's not hate each other and wish the other dead. Let's hope time loses our file. Let's hope that if our names aren't carved on headstones that we'll live forever. Let's hope...
Posted: Monday, November 24, 2014 12:46:37 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/20/2012
Posts: 1,032
Neurons: 12,634
Tell me NOW God
that you remember me
That you *remember* creating me
This miserable bit of humanity we call *MAN*
And for *me* personally
And that you lament for my suffering
And are waiting at the window
with worried brow and outstretched arms
for my return...
So that this soul numbing reality
empty of meaning
we live in--makes sense
*I* and my Fucked Up LIfe make sense
Otherwise, why should *I* care
Whether I am angel or beast

Sorry trying to write this on a cell phone
Don't know what I am doing
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