July 27, 2009

The sobbing mess

Reading the Paris Review interview with poet, John Ashberry, I came upon these wonderful lines by W. H. Auden, from a poem, 'In War Time'.
Abruptly mounting her ramshackle wheel,
Fortune has pedalled furiously away;
The sobbing mess is on our hands today.
The sobbing mess indeed! Sigh!

P.S. Loved these lines too by Ashberry, when asked about the connection between life and poetry.
I have always been averse to talking about myself and so I don't write about my life the way the confessional poets do. I don't want to bore people with experiences of mine that are simply versions of what everybody goes through. For me, poetry starts after that point. I write with experience in mind, but I don't write about them, I write out of them.
 And this when asked to expalain the paradox between ambiguity and certitude...
The idea of relief from pain has something to do with ambiguity. Ambiguity supposes eventual resolution of itself whereas certitude implies further ambiguity.


Things are in a continual state of motion and evolution, and if we come to a point where we say, with certitude, right here, this is the end of the universe, then of course we must deal with everything that goes on after that, whereas ambiguity seems to take further developments into account. We must realize that the present moment may be one of an eternal or sempiternal series of moments, all of which resemble it because, in some ways, they are the present, and won't in other ways, because the present will be the past by that time.
Links to some other interviews with John Ashberry: 1 (1985), 2 (1989), 3 (2005), 4 (2008).

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