Here’s something to illustrate (wrongly) what I alluded to in my last entry, i.e. the glumness of being, the malaise of the mind, (the pretentiousness of) the ennui of existence.
My November Guest
MY Sorrow, when she’s here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.
Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
She’s glad her simple worsted gray
Is silver now with clinging mist.
The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.
Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise.
– Robert Frost
This I took to be a reference to depression, and the way it colours your whole perception. Or rather drains of colour. Until all that’s left is grey, unremitting, interminable and devoid of even the hope of cessation.
Turns out it’s nothing of the sort. It’s a tale of the poet going for a walk with his wife (his sorrow? Never heard of divorce?) and her taking pleasure in the season, and berating him for failing to appreciate it, whereas he was enjoying it just as much, but letting her extol it’s virtues to share the frission.
Also, while we wax lyrical here is my favourite, and only memorised poem
A Last Word
by Ernest Dowson
Let us go hence: the night is now at hand;
The day is overworn, the birds all flown;
And we have reaped the crops the gods have sown;
Despair and death; deep darkness o’er the land,
Broods like an owl; we cannot understand
Laughter or tears, for we have only known
Surpassing vanity: vain things alone
Have driven our perverse and aimless band.
Let us go hence, somewhither strange and cold,
To Hollow Lands where just men and unjust
Find end of labour, where’s rest for the old,
Freedom to all from love and fear and lust.
Twine our torn hands! O pray the earth enfold
Our life-sick hearts and turn them into dust.
Not bad for 1899.