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".

Cardinal Newman,

An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, (1845), sect. 2.

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