Thursday, March 09, 2006

O Tell Me the Truth About Love

I've been having a very busy week. My eldest, S, has been off school since Monday with a gastric bug; work goes on apace; the house is a tip; there are nowhere enough hours in the day. This evening I escaped to the local acoustic club for some friendly faces, some familiar and surprising music. Even some singing from me.

And still no reply from Mr F-M. I don't expect a reply. And yet I do expect to hear from him. Sometime, maybe not for days, weeks, maybe even longer. A strange mix of hope, dread and resignation combines in the feeling that he will always be in touch. The hope really has to go.

And in the meantime, my pc is on its last legs. It has been showing odd signs of wear & tear by insiting on diskchk occasionally when it's switched on. Then yesterday it started telling me that the hard disk is about to fail (I guessed as much). So, any day now it will pack up and refuse to co-operate with any more of my life's essentials - Listen On Demand (courtesy of Radio 3), online banking, my diary and my blogging will have an enforced sabbatical. How will I cope?!?!

If I take it into the office I can filch a hard drive (it's ok, it's my company) and the emergency will be averted, but S is ill so I'm working from home, holding my breath and hoping the pc fairy will wave her wand for a few days more.

And I'm thinking about love, how it appears, how it slips away, how it's a a conundrum, a cocktail of the selfish and the nurturing. If only it was as easy to fix as the hard drive on my pc.
So, in want of some time to write something more meaningful I'll cheat and fall back on some poetry...

Some say that love's a little boy,
And some say it's a bird,
Some say it makes the world go round,
And some say that's absurd,
And when I asked the man next-door,
Who looked as if he knew,
His wife got very cross indeed,
And said it wouldn't do.


Does it look like a pair of pajamas,
Or the ham in a temperance hotel?
Does it's odour remind one of llamas,
Or has it a comforting smell?
Is it prickly to touch as a hedge is,
Or soft as eiderdown fluff?
Is it sharp or quite smooth at the edges?
O tell me the truth about love.


Our history books refer to it
In cryptic little notes,
It's quite a common topic on
The Transatlantic boats;
I've found the subject mentioned in
Accounts of suicides,
And even seen it scribbled on
The backs of railway-guides.


Does it howl like a hungry Alsatian,
Or boom like a military band?
Could one give a first-rate imitation
On a saw or a Steinway Grand?
Is its singing at parties a riot?
Does it only like Classical stuff?
Will it stop when one wants to be quiet?
O tell me the truth about love.


I looked inside the summer-house;
it wasn't ever there:
I tried the Thames at Maidenhead,
And Brighton's bracing air.
I don't know what the blackbird sang,
Or what the tulip said;
But it wasn't in the chicken-run,
Or underneath the bed.


Can it pull extraordinary faces?
Is it usually sick on a swing?
Does it spend all it's time at the races,
Or fiddling with pieces of string?
Has it views of it's own about money?
Does it think Patriotism enough?
Are its stories vulgar but funny?
O 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 shoes?
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.


W.H. Auden

6 Comments:

Blogger Rick said...

Love reminds me of an illicit drug. Not very rational but feels very nice for a time...until it doesn't.

2:18 pm  
Blogger Rick said...

Just remembered...

"Everything that is dear to me, and everyone that I love has the nature of change. There is nothing I can do to avoid being separated from them."
-- Thich Nhat Hanh

What a pain in the rump. I told this to myself over and over when I was near your spot in life...didn't help much for me. Perhaps it will work for you. Hope you find the medicine you need.

2:22 pm  
Blogger WDKY said...

Is there a "truth" about love? I suspect not - or we each have our own truth.

Tricky business, eh, Ginny?

5:33 pm  
Blogger fjl said...

All I really know is that it's come to me in the most meagre and unnaceptable forms, like refuse in the bins outside Marks and Spencers. At least I had the wit to say 'go to hell' when it was offered. Which is more than you can say for some bloggers x

7:05 pm  
Blogger fjl said...

...but, I did love the post, and the poem. I love Auden, and in particular his 'my dear' peom, 'looking for you and me, my dear'.....

9:09 pm  
Blogger Neil said...

I was hoping that you were going to write a poem comparing the ease of switching a hard drive with the complexity of love.

7:20 am  

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