Tuesday, January 13, 2009

heroic minds

I spent far too much time today helping my son Joe with his submission to the Kalamazoo Animation Festival (animation takes forever), but I did get to think about some words in Daniel's epistle.  First of all, the last line in the manuscript (which I didn't have till Sunday) is a sarcastic echo of Drayton's sycophantic poem "Ode to the Viriginia Voyage" in which he calls explorers "great heroic minds." Daniel also coins the word "transpass" meaning "cross a boundary" (far antedating any OED mention). Given his attitudes toward exploration and his explicit references to Eden and the fall, I'm pretty sure he invented the word to echo "trespass."  There are some interesting things going on with enjambment too. All in all, I'm happy that the poem is standing up to closer scrutiny.

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