[lit-ideas] Re: One in the morning

  • From: epostboxx@xxxxxxxx
  • To: Lit-Ideas <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 3 Jul 2015 11:59:09 +0200

On 28 Jun 2015, at 05:51, Lawrence Helm <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I hesitated before posting this one which is clearly an "occasional" poem
about which Auden speaks disparagingly. Poetry in his view should be
universal, or at least much larger than 'occasional.' But then I realized
that I didn't care. I am certainly not a "professional poet." I write
poetry. I even have to write poetry. But perhaps I don't need to compare
myself to a "professional." Perhaps I have a neurosis. Auden was very fond
of neuroses.

Apologies to the list - and especially you, Lawrence - for being so slow with
my response.

(And apologies if I have already some time ago posted this.)

Your mention of Auden got me reaching for his SELECTED ESSAYS (filled, as with
many of the books on my shelves, with various bits of paper, often mementoes -
in this case tickets to the International Garden Show held in a suburb of
Hamburg in 2013 - which mark places that I wished to quote or comment on in
who-knows-what [did I think I would live forever, with infinite intellectual
energy and ambition?] which will now most probably never be written). One of
the many places marked in the Auden book is the following aphorism from

"To keep his errors down to a minimum, the internal Censor
to whom a poet submits his work in progress should be a Censorate.
It should include, for instance, a sensitive only child, a practical
housewife, a logician, a monk, an irreverent buffoon and even,
perhaps, hated by all the others and returning their dislike, a
brutal foul-mouthed drill sergeant who considers all poetry rubbish."

I offer this NOT as a comment on your poetry (about one poem in particular I
still DO intend to comment, but not today), but merely as a thought which I
think that you may perhaps appreciate (by which I do NOT mean 'necessarily
agree with' - many of the things written which I 'appreciate' express ideas or
sentiments about which I have very grave reservations or indeed strong
antithetical reactions!)

Chris Bruce,
now seeing all those bits of paper
sticking out of all those books as
little white flags, and meditating
on the comment by one of Iris
Murdoch's characters to the effect
that 'the best one can hope for is
a fairly honourable defeat', in
Kiel, Germany.

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