Thursday, February 16, 2012


Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

W.H. Auden, Funeral Blues

 I first heard the poem in "Four Weddings and a Funeral".  Was reminded of it reading Joan Didion's memoir about the death of her daughter, Blue Nights.  Went on to read the one about her husband, The Year of Magical Thinking. 

I never liked Joan Didion, although she was one of my son's favorites.  I always found her cold.  Now I think she is just like me.  Or maybe all people who lose their only child are alike.  In any case, it helps to read about someone else experiencing the exact same thing.  It makes you feel less alone.  Thank you, Joan.  You take comfort where you can find it.  I have always looked to literature.  Never thought I would find it in non-fiction.  It has changed my perspective on writing.  That even the most profoundly personal can be universal.

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