by Vassilis Zambaras
“Hukklyeand Cinquor on Myopia and its Existential Problems”
Dude, I know it’s tough being
The butt of ugly jokes
But look at it this way, man—
You could’ve been born with four eyes.
Comments: I don’t know about Cinquor, but I’ve been wearing glasses since the second grade and that never stopped me from becoming—I think—the oldest, shortest and most farsighted (!) poet writing in English in the Peloponnese. I must admit, however, that many slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune were aimed at my sensitive, wispy frame by fellow classmates during my elementary school days and that their barbs did indeed cut to the bone.
“Huuklyeand Cinquor on Negative Capability**”
When you think
Comments: C’mon, Huuklyeand, are we supposed to swallow this hook, line and sinker? No way.
“Huuklyeand Cinquor on Going in Circles”
Here is a square peg.
Comments: The apotheosis of the absurd in only seven words; however, what remains of my frazzled logic impels me to peg the odds at 99-1 that prior to writing this “exercise in futility,” Cinquor envisaged the specter of the great Archimedes uttering his famous last words “Do not disturb my circles” just before an enraged, mathematically ignorant Roman soldier “put him in a pine box” for what he thought was insubordination when, in reality, all the good mathematician had in mind was to continue his line of thought undisturbed, outside the box.
MELIGALAS, GREECE—(Weekly Hubris) 01/31/11— What’s in a name? Well, if it’s Huuklyeand Cinquor’s, just the sight of it should be enough to send most readers into convulsions; those who get over the initial shock of seeing such an odd name are still faced with the daunting task of pronouncing it, not to mention examining its etymological roots. As a matter of fact, ever since Cinquor selected me as a conduit for his apophthegmata, my incoming e-mail box has been inundated by a steady stream of inquiries about his unconventional moniker, so I think it’s high time I did some serious speculating about it.
So where is one to begin? For a start, let’s examine the spelling and separate the words into their five respective syllables: Huuk-lye-and Cin-quor. Stress? ( ’- -’- ) To my romantic ear, this meter sounds suspiciously like Byron’s romping anapests in his poem “The Destruction of Sennacherib” i.e., “The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, and his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold,” but I could be mistaken. However, if it is anapestic, we must examine the possibility of Huuklyeand’s being an Assyrian name and Cinquor’s a Hebrew one, basing our interpretation as such on Byron’s poem, which is a rendering of the famous battle for sovereignty over Jerusalem written from the Hebrew point of view, viz. Huuklyeand (Assyrian) and Cinquor (Hebrew)—an amalgamation symbolizing the assimilative bi-polar properties of the imagination whenever it’s faced with a situation requiring the deployment of imaginal space as defined so eloquently by Joe Hutchison in one of his recent, illuminating posts.
So far so good, but we have to be a bit more cautious when approaching the thorny subject of pronunciation, so let me take a stab. The first syllable is most certainly pronounced as the double “o” in “look” rather than “Huck” as in “Finn” or “Hulk” as in The Green Giant, a claim based on the fact that there was no Huck Finn, Hulk, or Green Giant when Byron composed his poem; the second syllable looks like “lye” but, on closer investigation, there could be a diphthong lurking in there, making the syllable sound like “lie-in,” “line” or “lined”—your guess is as good as mine (not as in “mien”). “Cinquor” poses no problem and should be pronounced as “sinker” and certainly not “sank-her” or, worse yet, “canker.”
Of course, this column is always open to other speculations regarding Huuklyeand’s name, as long as they have that inimitable air of gritty conviction we have all come to expect from his apophthegmata.
*Singular, apophthegm, a rather rare malaise characterized by an overwhelming urge to express one’s self in terse, instructive aphorisms, not to be confused with the more familiar apoplexy, a confusion brought on no doubt by the Greek etymology of both terms, but also because such aphorisms frequently leave their normally loquacious victims dumbfounded and speechless—as if stricken by
hordes of howling Assyrians coming down like wolves on the fold.
**See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_capability for a deeper understanding of this somewhat deceptively shallow-appearing poem.