Surely, I am not the only person who gets poetry stuck in my head? Or is this just a poets' thing?
It always perplexes me how these crusty Englishmen, like Philip Larkin and WH Auden can find these universal truths whilst residing in the dreaming spires of these auspicious universities, yet still be accessible.
But today, I have Auden playing in my head.
In particular, the last verse of "Oh tell me the truth about love."
When it comes, will it come without warning
Just as I'm picking my nose?
Will it knock on my door in the morning,
Or tread in the bus on my toes?
Will it come like a change in the weather?
Will its greeting be courteous or rough?
Will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love.
I wrote about the axe wound I was dealt a few weeks ago. I think I was half-prepared for the tsunami of emotions I was feeling back then. In the weeks that have passed, I've calmed and righted myself, but there are some residual effects occurring. I feel a little haunted and hunted. There are passing waves of strange emotions that come and inhabit me in my quiet times. Quite often just as I'm going to sleep or on waking.
And I ask myself, "Why?"
I think the metaphorical wounds are harder to deal with than the literal and physical ones. At least when you're injured you can bandage up the area and give it time and space to heal. The soul, well my soul, doesn't seem to heal that easily. But it's getting there.
I've made the decision to move on. It's hard and easy at the same time. And I know I will be haunted again, but for the moment, I'm concentrating on the now and the positive, and that is seeing me through.
The axe wound has stopped weeping - but the scar is raw.
So, I pass from Auden to Edna St Vincent Millay - another enigma. A feminist who write about love.
She gets it too. I wish I could write like that.
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.