Muddle-headed Kay (mhw) wrote,
Muddle-headed Kay
mhw

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Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt

Which is exactly how I'm feeling at the moment.

(For those of you who missed out on a really dull education, that quotation is from Book I of Virgil's Aeneid, and means - roughly, and there's room enough to argue over the nuances of translation - "There are tears for troubles, and human sorrows touch the heart." And if you're curious about why the butch Aeneas should be sniffling over the human condition in a Carthaginian temple, you should find yourself a good translation of the Aeneid: Tony Kline's pretty excellent modern English one may be found here.)

I am blaming my new freedom from venlafaxine for this sudden access of emotionality. I now cry at the drop of a hat, and I thought that I'd been able to cry before. I thought that I was pretty well over Dad's death last year - but no, there are tears for troubles indeed, and somehow mine hadn't been shed. Even passages in books that I've read recently, which heretofore would have neither shaken nor stirred me, have left me with a catch of breath and a lump in the throat, if not tear-stained cheeks.

I feel that I want to visit you all. I want to tell you to your face how much you mean to me. I don't want to die without having touched you. It seems to me that you are so rare, so precious and so chance-vulnerable that any unkind wind might snatch us irrecoverably apart, and this fills me with trepidatious longing. I can feel my emotions seeping out of me like watercolour on paper, seeking to soak into you.

I hold no brief for homoeopathy as any kind of medicine, but with emotions perhaps similia similibus curantur does hold true, so I've been attempting a proper Aristotelian tragic purge and reading poetry until my lachrymal glands give up.

So, that being said, I'm going to inflict some poetry on you. My maternal grandmother used to tell me this poem - one of her favourites, and now mine - partly for its beauty's sake and partly for for its wisdom.

Fare Well
by Walter de la Mare (1873-1956)

When I lie where shades of darkness
Shall no more assail mine eyes,
Nor the rain make lamentation
When the wind sighs;
How will fare the world whose wonder
Was the very proof of me?
Memory fades, must the remembered
Perishing be?

Oh, when this my dust surrenders
Hand, foot, lip, to dust again,
May these loved and loving faces
Please other men!
May the rustling harvest hedgerow
Still the Traveller's Joy entwine,
And as happy children gather
Posies once mine.

Look thy last on all things lovely,
Every hour. Let no night
Seal thy sense in deathly slumber
Till to delight
Thou have paid thy utmost blessing;
Since that all things thou wouldst praise
Beauty took from those who loved them
In other days.
Tags: poetry
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