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Trail: TheBeautyOfTheHusband

TheBeautyOfTheHusband

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Read this while spending one day in the hospital1
some NN or other passed the name of this book somewhat subliminally at some point in the past.
AnneCarson is someone I would like to know more about. I liked the structure of her poems. Almost not like poems. I like the loftiness, the quoting of John Keats (someone else I would like to know more about. There is a cleverness there that is overdone by most other writers.

XXVI. PROVIDED IN A SPIRIT OF UNASHAMED DISCLOSURE OR AS KEATS MIGHT SAY STITCHING THEIR THROATS TO THE LEAVES SOMETHING TO MAKE TIME PASS

the little groups of sentences and fragments always added up to the number of the tango
He had a voice like a broken tango count the lines.

XIV. RUNNING YOUR HAND OVER IT TO CALCULATE ITS DIMENSIONS YOU THINK AT FIRST IT IS STONE THEN INK OR BLACK WATER WHERE THE HAND SINKS IN THEN A BOWL OF ELSEWHERE FROM WHICH YOU PULL OUT NO HAND

the quoting of Keats from things he wrote in the margins of Otho the Great: A tragedy in Five Acts or Paradise Lost.

 She] {Ha?} She D

So it is about a woman and her husband who cheats on her with dark women.
I felt a blush while reading... considering having been the dark mistress. In spite of all this guy thinks he still loves her. When asked why she loved she says it is because of his beauty. I am not sure she meant physical beauty, his letter to her are beautiful. she may think that all husbands have beauty.

III. AND FINALLY A GOOD DEDICATION IS INDIRECT (OVERHEARD, ETC.) AS IF VERDI’S “LA DONNA E MOBILE” HAD BEEN A POEM SCRATCHED ON GLASS

XI. MAKE YOUR CUTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LIVING JOINTS OF THE FORM SAID SOCRATES TO PHAEDRUS WHEN THEY WERE DISSECTING A SPEECH ABOUT LOVE

2 Comments.

XII. Here’s Our Clean Business Now Let’s Go Down the Hall to the Black Room Where I Make My Real Money

You want to see how things were going from the husband’s point of view---
let’s go round the back,
there stands the wife
gripping herself at the elbows and facing the husband.
Not tears he is saying, not tears again. But still they fall.
She is watching him.
I’m sorry he says. Do you believe me.
Watching.
I never wanted to harm you.
Watching.
This is banal. It’s like Beckett. Say something!
I believe

your taxi is here she said.
He looked down at the street. She was right. It stung him,
the pathos of her keen hearing.
There she stood a person with particular traits,
a certain heart, life beating on its way in her.
He signals to the driver, five minutes.
Now her tears have stopped.
What will she do after I go? he wonders. Her evening. It closed his breath.
Her strange evening.
Well he said.
Do you know she began.
What.

If I could kill you I would then have to make another exactly like you.
Why.
To tell it to.
Perfection rested on them for a moment like calm on a lake.
Pain rested.
Beauty does not rest.
The husband touched his wife’s temple
and turned
and ran
down
the
stairs.

--Anne Carson, The Beauty of the Husband: a fictional essay in 29 tangos

– wof 2005-10-27 08:24 UTC


VII. BUT TO HONOR TRUTH WHICH IS SMOOTH DIVINE AND LIVES AMONG THE GODS WE MUST (WITH PLATO) DANCE LYING WHICH LIVES DOWN BELOW AMID MASS OF MEN BOTH TRAGIC AND ROUGH

144 She]{Ha} She D?

—John Keats,
Otho the Great: A Tragedy in Five Acts, I.3.114 ad 114

All myth is an enriched pattern,
a two-faced proposition,
allowing its operator to say one thing and mean another, to lead a double life.
Hence the notion found early in ancient thought that all poets are liars.
And from the true lies of poetry
trickled out a question.

What really connects words and things?

Not much, decided my husband
and proceeded to use language
in the way that Homer says the gods do.
All human words are known to the gods but have for them entirely other meanings
alongside our meanings.
They flip the switch at will.

My husband lied about everything.

Money, meetings, mistresses,
the birthplace of his parents,
the store where he bought shirts, the spelling of his own name.
He lied when it was not necessary to lie.
He lied when it wasn’t even convenient.
He lied when he knew they knew he was lying.

He lied when it broke their hearts.

My heart. Her heart. I often wonder what happened to her.

The first one.

There is something pure-edged and burning about the first infidelity in a marriage.

Taxis back and forth.

Tears.

Cracks in the wall where it gets hit.

Lights on late at night.

I cannot live without her.

Her, this word that explodes.

Lights still on in the morning.

Auriea 2007-02-21 14:04

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