"I am so coarse, the things the poets see Are obstinately invisible to me." So said C. S. Lewis, when he reflected in his poem "A Confession" that he was having a hard time appreciating the more modern sort of poetry that for its own inscrutable reasons looked at a sunset and saw "a patient etherized upon a table". I'm inexpressibly relieved to find someone I admire so much in the same proverbial boat as myself. For years I've tried to tried to grasp the appeal of poets such as T. S. Eliot or W. H. Auden without succeeding much at all. I think my problem is that I react to beauty almost entirely emotionally, without much careful ratiocination. It could be the Celtic strain in my blood manifesting in a wilder connection to natural beauty; something that to me is warmer and more human. A song rather than a thought? I don't exactly understand Yeats or Hopkins, but they produce an intense reaction for me that the coldly cerebral work of Eliot doesn't even begin to approach. I'm fairly certain this reveals an intellectual weakness in myself, and have to admit that I often wish I were less passionate and more rational. But for now I think I will continue to demonstrate such Irish tendencies as running barefoot in the wet grass and glorying in the beauty of God's Creation without being able to categorize or explain it. My mind may halt and retreat from The Wasteland; but my soul, soaked in heroic myth and the love of a native land, understands wherefore a terrible beauty is born.


Anonymous said...

In a small spot in the west of Ireland, in a county called Mayo, lives those who love intensely, and to them you say hello.

They are your people proud and loving, to God they bend their knee, and to them I bow in homage, when I see they have led to thee. Love P

Dr. J said...

I thought you knew more:

We would rather be ruined than changed,
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die.

— W. H. Auden

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