Identifying Purpose – Somerset Maugham & Reconsiderations, from Caravaggio’s Dagger 3.14

W. Somerset Maugham (Courtesy: Fine Arts America)

W. Somerset Maugham (Courtesy: Fine Arts America)

“Reconsiderations” closes the Third Taxonomy of Caravaggio’s Dagger and states one of the central postulates of the book. Its content is highly influenced by Somerset Maugham’s 1938 The Summing Up, in which the concept is expressed in the last paragraph of the book. The first version of the poem was written in Vancouver in February 2000, and revised in February 2009 in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. The poem that immediately follows and opens the Fourth Taxonomy, “The Beauty-sleep of Death,” also derives from Maugham, from his 1949 A Writer’s Notebook, which is dedicated to his companion of thirty years, Gerald Haxton, who died in 1944 at the age of 52.

The influence of Bach runs throughout the book, most particularly in the elegy for my father that also appears in the Third Taxonomy, and in the two-part ‘cantata text’ work that includes the reference that gives the book its title.

Caravaggio’s Dagger is published by Iguana Books (Toronto, Ontario, 2013, 105 pp.). It can be obtained from the publisher, and from Amazon, Chapters Indigo, and many other international online distributors. Buy it here, or here or here. Kindle, ePub, or print edition.

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