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Old September 20th, 2012, 06:17 PM   #101
Paul Kearney A.K.A. NEMO
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Keith's documentary evidence, if that's what it is, is not that clear and convincing otherwise a jury wouldn't need to consider it
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Old January 31st, 2018, 02:47 PM   #102
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Bumping up this thread for the "benefit" of Keith Skinner.....
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Old January 31st, 2018, 02:51 PM   #103
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An important post from the past courtesy of Caz.

Originally Posted by SirRobertAnderson View Post
I'm glad I was sitting down when I read your post. Hoo boy is all I can say for now. Many thanks to Pilgrim for raising this point.

Seems it is not far fetched to think the Diarist was familar with Crashaw.

Today, 02:12 PM

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...some testing of the ink showed it to have been most probably of post WWI origin ?

Well that is extremely debatable, Pilgrim, but not for this thread.

As for the quote from Crashaw, it is of course difficult to say what the possible import could be, certainly without knowing the length and content.

Oh costly intercourse
of death

That's all you get in the diary, and it comes from Sancta Maria Dolorum.

Beginning with the line before this in the actual poem, my 1858 Turnbull edition of The Complete Works of Richard Crashaw gives me this:

…Her eyes bleed tears, His wounds weep blood!
O, costly intercourse
Of death’s, and worse
Divided loves: while Son and Mother
Discourse alternate wounds to one another!…

But the 1980s source supposedly used by a late 20th century hoaxer (Sphere History of Literature Vol 2: English Potery & Prose, 1540-1674, edited by Christopher Ricks) only quotes the four lines from 'O costly… to …one another'. So the first line I quote above would not have been available to a modern hoaxer using the Sphere book.

Bearing this in mind, I’d like to quote from the passage in the diary immediately preceding the diarist's use of the Crashaw quotation, and ask if you think the diarist was aware of the whole poem, including the line about eyes bleeding tears and wounds weeping blood:

I keep seeing blood pouring from the bitches. The nightmares are hideous. I cannot stop myself from wanting to eat more. God help me, damn you. No no-one will stop me. God be damned. Think think think write tell all prove to them you are who you say you are make them believe it is the truth I tell. Damn him for creating them, damn him damn him damn him. I want to boil boil boil. See if their eyes pop. I need more thrills, cannot live without my thrills. I will go on, I will go on, nothing will stop me nothing. Cut Sir Jim cut. Cut deep deep deep.

And in my opinion, one of the perhaps most well-known poems written by Crashaw might very well have latched onto a chain of association relating it to the Whitechapel murders: A Hymn to the Name and Honour of the Admirable Saint Teresa. Which may have been the case with some of his other poems too, for what I know. But if that is what happened the author of the "Diary" would perhaps most probably be someone with an interest in both subjects - the Whitechapel murders, and poetry ?

Now this is extremely interesting. I had no idea that this specific poem was one of the most well-known of Crashaw’s, but it certainly struck several chords with me when I first read it - again in my Turnbull edition - some time ago.

Using the link you very kindly provided, I noted that it does not give us the whole poem. Here is the extract that interested me in particular:

She never undertook to know
What death with love should have to do.
Nor has she e’er yet understood
Why, to show love, she should shed blood;
Yet, though she cannot tell you why,
She can love, and she can die.
Scarce has she blood enough to make
A guilty sword blush for her sake;
Yet has a heart dares hope to prove
How much less strong is death than love.

(The next six lines do not appear via the link so I have transcribed them from Turnbull.)

Be love but there; let poor six years
Be posed with the maturest fears
Man trembles at, we straight shall find
Love knows no nonage, nor the mind.
’Tis love, not years or limbs, that can
Make the martyr, or the man.

Towards the end of the diary, we get ‘Sir Jim’ waxing lyrical:

tis love that spurned me so,
tis love that does destroy
tis love that I yearn for
tis love that she spurned
tis love that will finish me
tis love that I regret

And just before signing off:

I give my name that all know of me, so history do tell, what love can do to a gentle man born.

The Sir Jim of the diary is very definitely portrayed as a poetry enthusiast, but also as a pretty lousy poet. But do you think the person doing the portraying would have been aware of these two poems by Crashaw when composing Sir Jim’s feeble attempts? Or was it just as likely to be someone with absolutely no knowledge of Crashaw’s background or work, beyond the extracts they could have come across at random in the Sphere book?


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