Sunday Poetry

Quarter of eleven.

Though I skipped church today, in my mailbox I found a note from Lisa attached to a more general letter to everyone in the parish. This makes my day. I slept lousy last night, still worried about my therapy sessions: will they go the way they have in the past? But I know the bottom line is what makes a person happy, not distressed and traumatized. Positive thoughts are what they are, and negative is negative. This is all you need to know to keep yourself on an even keel. When you feel unhappy, then you know something is wrong with your situation… It’s very cold out this morning, and shrouded by haze (why don’t they call it fog anymore?). The trip to the market was unremarkable. I’m in the mood for anything French: maybe Baudelaire, without too much pressure on myself to get the language perfect. It’s hit and miss from day to day; my comprehension varies. I’d like to understand what he means by the Ideal. And why does he talk about the “gulf” in his poetry?

Quarter after one.

I still have a little virus the symptoms of which come and go. Yesterday I felt fine all day, but now I feel weird: dizzy and a bit congested in the head. I sampled some poetry of Baudelaire in French and was struck by its darkness and despair; it also evokes substance abuse and glorifies it with poetic imagery like eating the lotus. The poet praises novelty and discovery, regardless if it’s divine or infernal. It was good stuff, but I’d appreciate it better if I were not in recovery. Maybe good poetry is good no matter what the message? T.S. Eliot thought Baudelaire was very great, even though Eliot was a Christian. He was objective enough to recognize the quality of the poetry and the genuine suffering of the poet. But no doubt his French was far better than mine. People worked harder at literary craft a hundred years ago. Also at music. 

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