A & A : Andrew & April, 'the greyhound' & 'Child'.
'God's Library' & 'God's Librarian'.
Although real people, whose biographical details are entirely accurate in the poem, Andrew
and April, are primarily new literary creations, paralleling and eclipsing Dante and Beatrice.
The new couple are designed to render the poem as canonical, sacred and sublime as possible.
They constitute, as 'the Library' and 'the Librarian', a complete theory of The Western Canon.
'Know, Andrew, that you and she, April, are become,
'God's library' whole, and she, 'God's librarian';
New codex and new manuscript, maiscule and miniscule, you,
Would make together such as mine, her father's 'Divine Comedy',
Would sink beneath fundamentum weight of this 'Christ Colloquy'.
'The Christ Colloquy', Book I Commedia, Canto XV: 117- 121.
Dante and Andrew in Inferno.
In Filosofia, Canto XLVIII, Our Lady invokes April from 'the manger of light' in order to reunite her with Andrew, declaring the word 'fiat' - 'imprimatur', in regard to the new literary gospel. The "April twins", then happily discuss Erasmus' 'In Praise of Folly' and 'The Cloud of Unknowing', in the presence of Vocatio, she, holding in her arms, Dante's 'The New Life'.
'No man loves me, and I am unloved; will you love me?' And, I looked
At Our Lady, Stella Maris, she, gaily laughing, as they had looked
On the one whom they had pierced. 'Will you love her, Andrew, this
Chrysanthemum bloom 'Child of April', she who was born in Heaven,
With the face of the Virgin Mary?' And I looked at that sad and
Sorrowful face, black doe eyes welling, and the arrow of courtly love did
Pierce my heart for April Child, and I fell In courtly love, with April Child.
'The Christ Colloquy' Book III Filosofia Canto XVIII, 145-151.
In this canto, after encountering both Dante and Shakespeare, Andrew meets the lady emissary, sent by Our Lady, Beatrice and Vocatio, to the locus at the very heart of The Western Canon and Letteratura Land, the Guicciardini Tower in Florence, where Shakespeare's DNA is symbolized by a white spiral staircase, within a three-floored building, mirroring the three parts of Dante's Commedia and the Holy Trinity. She tests his purity of heart, as a form of a screen lady, dressed in April's clothes, speaking on her behalf, to evaluate Andrew and his intentions.
And, I stood within, breath-taking topos place, where, five years before,
Her Sloane nunnish, flat brown shoess, had drilled up and down,
Will's corkscrew DNA staircase, to dissolve and cut me up, totally, in
Courtly love. Holy choir-box, book administration, her song-place, locus
Of administration, where she had sung, not from Graduale and Antiphonale,
But Librarian Studies and Bibliography, about, the distribution of books.
In Palazzo Lanfredini, I saw a colouration wall of climbing books,
Spines and colours of much gloriousness, mosaic patches, presses,
Academic imprints, from prestigious printing houses, of all the world.
From Villa La Pietra, I stood, a fish out of the cloister, as the Son's
Christ Church, book-distillation, John Hopkins to Chicago, in an aquarium;
'Memoirs of an Aesthete', Andrew Wood, 'The Bourbons of Naples'.
I saw a habit cloak of must petal-pink, subdued as rose wine
In its pigmentation and colouration, with a chain clasp
Of decorative gold, inset with oyster pearl of great price.
I saw a gown of must pink lace and muslin, shift dress
Dropped down to her feet, pink ballet shoes, such as a principal
Ballerina would wear at a royal ballet, for Swan Lake.
I remembered, a habit of resplendent ink black, with a
Damask sheen, Cardiff Welsh heaviness, cascading encirclement,
Cocooning me, in an clothing orb of God's goodness in
The holy monastery of Our Holy Father St. Benedict;
Black Oxford shoes, and a white Roman Collar regal,
About a dropping scapular of black rectangle servant-hood.
I recalled Joyce's 'Two Gallants', Tully's 'De Amicitia'. I remembered
Erasmus' 'sweet More', and I thought of tender Milton with mature Diodati,
Fallen Heloise, with lost Abelard, proud Joyce with steadfast Nora.
I pondered my weeping feet, as they had filled up the choir face
Waiting for a novice companion, to sing with me, holy, straight
And true, to shoot Aelred's arrow of divine love to the Sacred Heart.
I thanked Trench, Waterfield and Ferrando, for reading room,
Library and space; Hutton, Gardner and Gollancz, for, Royal Charter;
And, British Institute for Anglo Italian Cultural Convention.
I stood, and considered, the eighteen year old Stratford youth
Before Anne Hathaway; and, I thought of nine year old Dante,
Before eight year old Beatrice, I forty, before the one and forty.
Her face, was shielded with a muslin cloth, as a Bedouin tribe
Woman of Arabia in Lawrence's stormy desert. Her smile, was
Hidden, by a flash of fabric, about her down-turned mouth.
'My Heaven father Dante, told my Heaven mother, Bice,
That after an Irishman called James, that an Englishman
Called Andrew would come, whom, sufficient serpahim above,
Appellate 'Logos Lover', he, the delight of the angelic hosts, never to be
Condemned to a false love, as Samson to a Delilah, that Shakespeare, he,
Who calls me, his true dark lady of the sonnets, would have a soul-majesty
Fjord, soul compass and encompassment, that, two English poets,
The Globe, William, and, The logos globe, Andrew, circumscribe
The globe of the earth, with such sublimeness of soul, that two
Irradiating masterpiece, concentric, prime publications, the 'First Folio'
And, 'The Christ Colloquy', would rest either side, the King James Bible
On bookshelves of Alexander Pope, heroic couplet, versfiier of Heaven'.
'Your Heaven father Durante, told your Heaven mother,
Bea, that, if I climbed Mount Purgatory, a meek, low pilgrim,
I would see again, in lady companionship of Beatrice and Lucy,
Rachel, and Agnes and Perpetua, aside David's manna
Tabernacle in the second basilica of Rome, Santa Maria
Maggiore's twin, where yeast rises to a flat loaf, the
Egresser of the manger of light, where the man and woman
Of all eternity, who, were nursed in the warm arms of Joseph
And Mary, on the sanctuary, before they were placed in the
Moses basket, were set to be, Adam and Eve and all time-passage,
For surpassing such consangunity of purpose, that Dante and
Beatrice knew, in orginating a New Logos Gospel for Anglia'.
'You were nursed in the sinuous rills, of that embankment
University, when I did diligent learn my Senate House foreign
Letters at the Gower Street locus, where Senate House, abuts
The Warburg Institute, and, the School of Oriental Studies, and
The British Library, leans upon the British Museum, as
Donne's St Paul's Cathedral, prays, in unity with Westminster'.
'You learned those letters Busleiden German, while I ploughed
Through Early English Texts, and, you did master librarian
Studies, me to postgraduate Theology basic rudiments. Then,
Bibliographical work, did render you, most amiable assistant
To Philosophy, that you took for me, from the earth of index
Cards, to the serenity of the monastic office and the Divine'.
'The Christ Colloquy': Book II: Letteratura, Canto XLVIII, 1-75, Grattan.
The greyhound was born 'between the felt and felt', which refers to Feltre and Montefeltro, but also, poetically, 'between the wood and the wood', the two wooden arms of the Cross depicted on the cover of 'The Christ Sonnets', written in Rome at the age of 31, before coming to Florence at 35. Felt was also used in the production of paper, in medieval Italian paper mills, paper, thus 'between the felt and felt', the sheets of felt, used in the process. Another pairing, is the two codes of law, Canon Law and Civil Law, either side, Salavtor mundi,Christ, centred, with the Cross arms either side. The echoic 'Gemini twins', Andrew and April, honour, in true serving justice, the two Cross arms, with the paralleling 'choirwood shelf' and 'library shelf', producing a new book, a literary "sixth gospel", and the literary protagonists, both form two new religious orders, whose members wear felt hoods: pink and black. The greyhound is both Andrew 'of the wood', and a book, 'The Christ Colloquy'.
In Book III, Canto III, Andrew is fully reunited with his 'Gemini twin', April, he, who first came to Adonai Abbey in innocence and good zeal, as a postulant in the month of April, at the age of 26, before meeting April at 35 in Florence. Our Lady & April, sent from Paradise together, by the Holy Spirit, emerge from behind the tabernacle at St Paul's together at 6pm on Holy Saturday evening, and engage with the new "supreme poet".
'Beloved Blessed Virgin', and she did move, and a third
Tear, to form a gracious Trinity, drilled down her cheek,
To accompany the two before, as Christ had been two,
Both God and Man.
'No, I am not the Blessed Virgin', and she smiled
A smile of sweetest sorrow. 'Do you not know me,
You who gazed upon me, among my coterie of female friends
Amiable, supporting and pure, and was put to wonderment and
Consternation. You saw me in that Palazzo Guicciardini, five
Years ago, when an Oratory, Dominoes and Adonians
Had felix blessed, bound you over to further Cross distress;
You, who had sought the mas e-utopia wood, that promises
All, and find it now in the logos vibrant on your tongue. I am the
Daughter spiritual of a Florentine Poet, April Paschalized Dante,
Who led you through Inferno last night, with Virgil, you, who
Are exiled from the flower city that you loved, as you are exiled
From that 'Comus' land and selva opaca. My mother spiritual,
Is Beatrice Portinari, who married-joined that banking family
Illustrious and was torn from this world and conjugal love.-
On earth, my parents spiritual married others, but in the
Sweet, sere light of Heaven, courtly love gnosis was
Gifted into my mother's soul, as a gift charismatic of the
Holy Spirit, so that a union communable and sweet was
Arranged between the inhabitant of the Santa Croce tomb,
While, she, Bea, disappeared into history. Viae of Florence
Wreathe with their holy love, and the streets
Of Heaven, are hammered by his worshipful longings
For my mother, and he gazed upon her as he had
Upon those trecento streets, and I was conceived
As an embryo in her womb; - another nascent,
Was twinned-birthed with me, a girl to accompany
Me in sisterly love, and she was blessed consecrated
Vocatio'. And I spoke, lest I never have the opportunity
To speak before her again: 'How did you come to bear such
A lovely name, such that, when I say it, it is as annunciating
Jesus and Shakespeare upon my unchoiring tongue?'
'How is it, that you are so wise about me and my provenance?
When my father spiritual, Durante, held me in his arms, on the
Sanctuary of Christ's, the gubernator's ark, my mother said,
He gazed in wonderment at my babish chest, and saw 'First Folio',
In spidery ink, flash across my tummy, opus of Willow Arden.
So he, Mysterium Christi, Friday's Durante, named me 'April', after
That Easter month; and when he passed my precious parcel back
To my mother, she called me 'Child', as she said I was a, true,
'Child of God''. Understanding, silent communion, passed between
Us novice twins, so that one full revolve of a half-minute transpired,
And then, I sensed some gentle movement behind her.
Soft, swish of a delicate gown melted behind her,
As that second figure, advanced from behind darkness
Of the tabernacle, and she held her head low too,
So that a cloud of coffee dark hair swept over her
Dark face, and it was not she until she stood before me,
That I gasped for creation of a carbon copy.
But, this was not the same, for this woman,
Who wore a golden rose upon her blue court shoes,
And an ivory gown upon her undecorated shoulders,
Was as damask dark, with a dark hued olive, to her
Skin; - this dark Rose, moved beyond she who was
As a white as an English one, and I marvelled
At their precise and concrete similarity.
And two blessed virgins stood before me,
One, true Mother of the House of Israel;
Second, bitterly unhappy copy for me to alight upon'.
And I wept.
'The Christ Colloquy', Book III Filosofia , Canto V, 50-112 Grattan.
IT IS ONLY IN CONVERSATION WITH SHAKESPEARE, THAT ANDREW
FINALLY ACCEPTS, THAT HE IS THE FABLED GREYHOUND.
'Greyhound prophecy, ortus of me, courtly
Love telemetry of the Arno One, in her Library
Fortress of German, Librarianship and Bibliography,
Dante and I, -twins in nervous system deduction,
The ache of our hearts, despatched by the heroines
Of our constitutions and our systems, Beatrice, too
Borne off her bier, to the angels?'
'The Christ Colloquy', Book II Letteratura, Canto XI, I6-22.
"To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often".
An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, (1845), sect. 2.