Wednesday, October 17, 2007

To a dead British poet who assayed the veins of the human heart weighing lead and gold together

I envy not on any morn
The celebrants on papered grasses,
Extending toasts and raising glasses
While holding in their scorn.

I would not imitate, though able,
Those who laugh in ennui,
And gossip over sweetened tea
As if others' trysts set up the table.

Nor would I count those two as blest,
Who as one live out their days
Hand in hand and eyes in glaze,
The cloth of life, that in which they're dressed.

For the truth of living and its price
Is that no life can be lived fully
With heart so yoked and mind so gullied
One turns to poets for advice.

'Tis better to have lived alone
 Than to waste each hour twice.
-Elijah Serf Jenkins

BEATITUDE, n.  A blessing on the wanting.

34 comments:

Minka said...

The book according to Doug, would have not re-populated the earth quite as speedily!

Doug said...

Minka, solitude is its own reward. Company's costs compound.

Minka said...

true... you could tell that to the trees, since there wouldn't be an audience with ears!

Tom & Icy said...

Beatitude: advice more quoted than followed

Omnipotent Poobah said...

beatitude: That intangible quality displayed by Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

stan said...

I see: An Ode to Confirmed Bachelorhood. And well-written, too. But where does that leave us pining poets? Our eloquent laments must be heard, too.

G said...

Silly man - nobody to blame for leaving the toilet paper roll empty. I think we need to talk.

Beatitude: The moment between the realization that the house is drenched in sunlight and solitude and the start of your thoughts racing.

quilly said...

I did ten years alone. I do not mourn their loss. I do not mourn my independence. I do not yearn for empty space on the other side of the bed. I would however like to do fewer dishes.

BEATITUDE -- the attitude of being blessed
SEE ALSO:
que sera, sera;
Don't worry. Be happy.
AND
Like it, or lump it.

Doug said...

Minka, that's the kind of audience I do well in front of.

Icy, more spoken than heard, too.

Nice pun, Poobah. City lights.

Stan, I can think of no better medium for a lyric of missing love than inside a box of chocolate-covered marshmallows.

G, it's funny you should say that but I'm not going in to why.

Quilly, blessed be the happy couples, for they shall know clean plates.

Cooper said...

I gave up the church in ninth grade althoug i've heard some pretty weird things on the side of mountains it was usually because the guy behind me was getting ready to land on me.

beautitude: the attitude of an aesthetically pleasing person.

Stan said...

Funny you should say that, Doug. A few years ago, when I was feeling particularly poetic, I thought about inserting my verse in printed form in the catalogs I send out. I thought, what better way to force people to read my poems? Ultimately this plan was not put into being, and as a result we still have mail order customers.

I Dive At Night said...

Beatitude: Blessed are those confident that they are blessed.

the amoeba said...

Somebody somewhere (can't find it now) did a study of men in the Australian army. Australia, where "mateship" is almost a religion. It found that a man who could not claim a buddy - a "mate" - didn't live as long as one who could.

Apparently, there is a similar study saying that, on average, a single man lives a shorter life than a married one. Of course, most married men that I know dispute this finding. "It only seems longer."

But coming home to a hug sure beats coming home alone.

BEATITUDE, n. Without it, the hip-hop be whack.

Doug said...

Cooper, a guy landing on you isn't, technically, a beatitude.

Stan, consider the Whitman Sampler. Your poetry is admirable and I'd consider it a selling point. Besides, people eating your candy are giddy when they read.

Morgan, and few more so. Bless you, child.

OK, Amoeba, if longevity is a virtue then mating, I suppose, is an atonement. For the record, my provocation isn't against marriage or coupledom but the implication by Tennyson that any marriage is better than any single life, which I think deserves satire and you would too if you'd attended some of the Thanksgivings I have.

javajazz said...

"...if longevity is a virtue then mating, I suppose, is an atonement. For the record, my provocation isn't against marriage or coupledom but the implication by Tennyson that any marriage is better than any single life, which I think deserves satire and you would too if you'd attended some of the Thanksgivings I have..."

i think that's the best paragraph
i've ever read...

Minka said...

In Memoriam was written by Tennyson...for his FRIEND who, if I remember correctly, drowned. Well, somehow he left this sphere. This poem was written over 17 years, where Tennyson was trying to make peace with the sadness he felt, with the questions it caused...with the conept of fate, of religion... In Memoriam is a master piece dedicted to a friend.

the amoeba said...

I read that the friend was Arthur Henry Hallam, and that he passed on due to a cerebral hemorrhage.

Minka said...

Oc, that's right...I remember it now...same difference!

the amoeba said...

Speaking of dead English poets, there's this extinct creature named Willy who condensed his opinion of humankind into one line, delivered by a fairy:

What fools these mortals be!

If togetherness was all it's cracked up to be, we wouldn't have psychiatrists, divorce lawyers, or hitmen.

If solitude was all it's cracked up to be, we'd all live like tigers, each claiming and patrolling our ten acres and permitting company only long enough to ensure the succession of tigers.

Last I knew, tigers were still on the endangered species list.

Jamie Dawn said...

That poem mentioned sweet tea.
I love sweet tea!!!!

Tom & Icy's comment is great, and so is your response to his comment.

Blessed are the Bloggers, for they shall have many Blog Buddies.

javajazz said...

we're the only fools who somehow decided solitude or togetherness was cracked up to be any kind of way... maybe if we fed our expectations of how things are supposed to be to the psychiatrists, to give them a little more food for thought, we might just clear a bit of a pathway in our brains to sense what we really need or want in our lives...

hitmen, psychiatrists and divorce lawyers have nothing to do with our dysfunctional relationships...they're just smart enough
to benefit from our stupidity...

PANSI!!!!! said...

Be Atitude!!!! The atitude I all way's try to have!!!! Its alot easier than can-do atitude, and I no its in the Bible some where!!!!

quilly said...

OC is also not adverse to coming home to, "Wash up. Dinner's ready." That's a beautiful Beatitude.

Lily Strange said...

I love this poem! Sums up about how I feel. I've been more than a little unhappy about my financial situation, but who wants to be in the bad company of the snooty rich?

Nessa said...

Any relationship is most definitely NOT better than no relationship. I was alone for 10 years too and enjoyed it. I've been married for 10 years and like that too.

Beatitude: Thinking like the Beatles: "All You Need Is Love."

Doug said...

Why, thank you, JJ."i think that's the best paragraph
i've ever read..." I think that's the best sentence I've ever read.

OK, Minka I may have misunderstood and probably owe Tennyson an apology, but the living had this coming.

Amoeba, I think I'll put in a study for you and Minka.

Sure, Minka. What difference does it make which tissue dampens?

Amoeba, I thought I had a pretty smart answer until I read JJ's next comment. See JJ's comment.

Jamie Dawn, Blessed be those who find the sweet part of a sour story, for they shan't pucker in heaven.

JJ, amen! (and as P.T. Barnum said, no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people- not sure if he meant North American)

Pansi, work it!

Quilly, those words say "I love you" better than "I love you."

Not I, Lily. plus, their snooty watch dogs.

Nessa, that's just the point, isn't it?

javajazz said...

you and i both know
that was certainly not the best sentence
you've ever read,
but wow, i see you've made some advances
in your ability to accept compliments,
and i assure you, these are not
empty compliments,
as your words are bursting forth
with depth, insight, wisdom,
social commentary
humour (that's canadian humor)
and meaning
that offer me
some kind of nourishment
when i can actually understand
what you're saying...

Doug said...

I'm sincerely glad you enjoy it here, JJ.

javajazz said...

(blush.)

I Dive At Night said...

Yeah, it is fun here.

Any relationship better than none? No one famous for their brain ever said such a thing. (Maybe Britney?)

ariel said...

Morgan, almost any. I cannot remember if Leon the professional gave name to his only friend he kept in the window and watered regularly. :-P

Doug said...

JJ,

Morgan, no one famous for their brains but every Aunt and grandmother that ever was.

Ariel, I bet it wasn't Fluffy. I hope this helps.

javajazz said...

!

javajazz said...

ps..i'm relatively certain
Britney is not famous
for her brain...