[lit-ideas] Re: One in the morning

  • From: Lawrence Helm <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 03 Jul 2015 03:41:11 -0700

I was up at one in the morning once again. In regard to keeping errors at a minimum, I will have read a poem several times before I post it. If I have still missed something, well, Lit-Ideas doesn't allow me to go in and fix it. But if I notice it, I correct it in my WordPerfect original and on my blog. "One in the morning" made me squirm for more than one reason. Maybe I shouldn't have posted it.


On 7/3/2015 2:59 AM, epostboxx@xxxxxxxx wrote:

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 "Writing":

"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.

To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off,
digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 2015.0.6037 / Virus Database: 4365/10149 - Release Date: 07/03/15

To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off,
digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

Other related posts: