25 October 2010

Life, friends, is boring.

It's the birthday of John Berryman, poet and teacher. I've always related to him because he struggled - obviously as an alcoholic, and less overtly with depression - which he dealt with through his writing.
I try to remember, when I feel leaden in the world and despairing of any future easiness, that creative people are often creative because of the dark vision they carry - or have lived inside of. It's difficult, this attempting to recall the impetus for wanting, hell, for needing to write. The world in which I was raised, the world I tried so valiantly to fit in to, the world where so many people seem so comfortable and happy to exist on the surface - this world had me convinced that my darkness, my ironic viewpoint, my deeps were to be hidden rather than written down and shared.
Shaking off this conviction has been the work of my last few years. I'm better for the shaking, but still fall back into the belief that my experience and what I have to write about are not really wanted by the world - at least occasionally.
So I'm glad to be reminded today of Berryman's Pulitzer for the 77 Dream Songs - and these lines that He wrote in "Dream Song 14":
Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.

After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,

we ourselves flash and yearn,

and moreover my mother told me as a boy

(repeatingly) 'Ever to confess you're bored

means you have no

Inner Resources.' I conclude now I have no

inner resources, because I am heavy bored.

Peoples bore me,

literature bores me, especially great literature,

Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes

as bad as achilles,

who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.

And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag

and somehow a dog

has taken itself & its tail considerably away

into mountains or sea or sky, leaving

behind: me, wag.

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