And the word ‘love’ makes no sense, this history is almost
Ripe for the mind’s museum — broken jars
That once held wine or perfume.
Yet looking at their elegance on the stands
I feel a certain pride that only lately
(And yet so long ago) I held them in my hands
While they were full and fragrant.
So on this busy morning I hope, my dear,
That you are also busy
With another vintage of another year;
I wish you luck and I thank you for the party —
A good party though at the end my thirst
Was worse than the beginning
But never to have drunk no doubt would be the worst;
Pain, they say, is always twin to pleasure.
Better to have these twins
Than no children at all, very much better
To act for good and bad than have no sins
And take no action either.
You were my blizzard who had been my bed.
But taking the whole series of blight and blossom
I would not choose a simpler crop instead;
Thank you, my dear — dear against my judgement.
—from Louis MacNeice’s Autumn Journal, xix (p. 65)
wow. thanks for introducing this poet. very good indeed, unpretentious.