воскресенье, 26 августа 2012 г.

Brodsky and Auden (Alonso speech from 'The Sea and the Mirror')'

J. Brodsky "About Auden":

".... I think this man was terribly mistaken for a social commentator, or a diagnostician, or some such thing. The most frequent charge that's been leveled against him was that he didn't offer a cure. I guess in a way he asked  for that by resorting to Freudian, then Marxist, then ecclesiastical terminology. The cure though, lay precisely in his employing these terminologies, for they are simply different dialects in which one can speak about one and the same thing, which is love. It is the intonation with which one talks to the sick that cure. This poet went among the world's grave, often terminal cases not as a surgeon but as a nurse, and every patient knows that it's nurses and not incisions that eventually put one back on one's feet. It's the voice of a nurse, that is, of love, that one hears in the final speech of Alonso to Ferdinand in 'The Sea and the Mirror':

But should you fail to keep your kingdom
And, like your father before you, come
Where thought accuses and feeling mocks,
Believe your pain...

Neither physician nor angel, nor - least of all - your beloved or relative will say this at the moment of your final defeat: only a nurse or a poet, out of experience as well as out of love."


W.H. Auden 'Alonso to Ferdinand':

"How narrow the space, how slight the chance
For civil pattern and importance
Between the watery vagueness and
The triviality of the sand,
How soon the lively trip is over
From loose craving to sharp aversion,
Aimless jelly to paralysed bone:
At the end of each successful day
Remember that the fire and the ice
Are never more than one step away
From the temperate city; it is
But a moment to either.

But should you fail to keep your kingdom
And, like your father before you, come
Where thought accuses and feeling mocks,
Believe your pain: praise the scorching rocks
For their desiccation of your lust,
Thank the bitter treatment of the tide
For its dissolution of your pride,
That the whirlwind may arrange your will
And the deluge release it to find
The spring in the desert, the fruitful
Island in the sea, where flesh and mind
Are delivered from mistrust."

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