I will incline mine ear to the parable, and shew my dark speech upon the harpfrom Psalm 49
Great line.Great poem.But what does it mean?!~ Maria
dear Maria,One of his contemporaries, I think it was Alan Dugan, once observed that "Ashbery makes a living out of saying nothing." But they are vivid, whimsical nothings that he comes up with!I couldn't begin to attempt a paraphrase, either of the highlighted line, or of the poem as a whole.
+JMJ+I'd compare it to the more famous, now cliched, "Life is a box of chocolates . . ."--but I agree with you, Dylan, that it's not so easily paraphrased as that.
Enbrethiliel and Dylan,Do you attach any significance to the poet's choice of the word "living," that is, the act of, rather than the more philosophical "life"?Does it make any difference?And, more importantly, by choosing a mealoaf sandwich, which is really a comfort food, the kind served in the informality of a home, could he be making a statement about family, community, and even love?Just wondering, on a quiet Sunday evening.~ Maria
Maria,Funny you should ask! I was going to link to another poem of Ashbery's, also appearing in this month's issue of Poetry, in which he said "life" is a desert!Living does sound more active, more kinetic, than life; and I like what you say about comfort food. Maybe he's urging us, the readers, to take a bite out of life! His meatloaf sandwich is surrounded by "laughing advice," gusts of forty-five miles an hour, the "luck we know about," and the statement, "I had a good time up there."Enbrethiliel,Yes! But when our friend Mr Gump compared life to the box of chocolates, he was saying it was unpredictable: "You never know what you're going to get." Ashbery's meatloaf sandwich sounds, well, safer! (Then again, given the variable quality of meatloaf ...)
Post a Comment