October 30th, 2014

Other peoples poems, my own stumbling words

'They carry back bright to the coiner the mintage of man,
The lads that will die in their glory and never be old.'

If I could put 23 words in a row that were that good, (not even touching on the rest of the poem,) I would be content with life.I return to Houseman over and over, and Kipling too. There must have been something in the water, in those years.

Taken as a shard of writing it could easiy refer to the young men who died 1591-4. (we know there was crap in the water then. Maybe the tapering off of genius is correlated with too much water drinking...) Only Will made it out alive. And Ben Jonson who was younger.

I have decided that reading Marlowe is like prancing in cumulous clouds, or perhaps like a whopping dose of morphine. Nashe, is like curly wooden fretwork, and Jonson is like pushing your face into the sunwarmed earth under a tree. I like all those things. All those things are more complicated than they seem. (Well, I am guessing about the cloud prancing.)

It seems strange that the writing that moves me most is not that of my own country. I love much of it, of course, Emily Dickinson, Millay, Frost, but I always felt that the stories came from somewhere else first. We cannot tell what will move us. I remember reading somewhere that Phil Collins the singer is a world expert on the Alamo. I can imagine him as a little guy, reading about Davy Crockett.

It appears I will be going up to Massachusetts in the next week or two. One final sleep in the house of my childhood. I lived there summers until I was 15. And I lived there full time age 5-15. After 15 I did not really live at home. I was visiting after that. (You cannot send your kids away and expect to have them come back fully your own. that is perhaps the point.)

I think I will be renting a car to go up, so I am going to take Z and Hazel with me. He can help with any heavy lifting, and get a little break from the city. And Hazel will enjoy running on the beach. Thurber (another good one,) said that Marthas Vineyard is a paradise for dogs. And it is very true. So we have that to look foreward to.

But I am not leaving yet. My fan and other fiction has fallen sadly off. Hope to do something about that in the next week.