W.H.Auden – Age of Anxiety – 1

Allen Ginsberg on W.H.Auden’s “Age of Anxiety” continues

AG: Then, there is a very magnificent long speech, I think, by Rosetta – oh no, a real funny one – oh yeah, another form he did was alliterative (which was to make a little sort of Broadway love song where the lovers are vowing to each other). “If you..”, well, there are

“Which vows they now alternately swore” (swore – using this kind of alliterative verse) – “If you blush. I’ll build breakwaters./ When you’re tired, I’ll tidy your table./If you cry, I’ll climb crags./When you’re sick, I’ll sit at your side./If you frown, I’ll fence fields./ When you’re ashamed, I’ll shine your shoes./If you laugh, I’ll liberate lands./When you’re depressed, I’ll play you the piano./If you sigh, I’ll sack cities./When you’re unlucky, I’ll launder your linen./If you sing, I’ll save souls./When you’re hurt, I’ll hold your hand./If you smile, I’ll smelt silver./When you’re afraid, I’ll fetch you food./If you talk, I’ll track down trolls./When you’re on edge, I’ll empty your ash-tray./If you whisper, I’ll wage wars./When you’re cross, I’ll clean your coat./If you whistle, I’ll water wastes./When you’re bored, I’ll bathe your brows.” – Again they embraced.”

Well, the scene here is they’ve left the bar, a group of four people, have left the bar and gone home for a nightcap, and, as they’re all around sort of horny and not knowing what to do), one guy’s like, a little soldier, and Rosetta.. And the soldier and Rosetta get together and dance, and finally, this guy’s involved in.. the young kid and the older girl are going to make out (the others are going to go home). So the other two guys there take it with good (graces), make a good scene out of it…

“Quant poured out the dregs of the glass on the carpet as a libation and invoked the local spirits” – (So, you know,alliterative, playful alliterative speech)

“Ye little larvae, lords of the household,/Potty, P-P, Peppermill, Lampshade/Funnybone, Faucet, Face-in-the-wall/Head-over-heels and Upsy-daisy/And Collywobbles and Cupboard-Love/Be good, little gods, and guard these lives/Innocent be all your indiscretions,/That no paranoic notion obsess/Nor dazing dump bedevil their minds/With faceless fears, no filter passing/Virus invade, no visible germ,/Transgressing rash or gadding tumor/Attack their tissues, nor, taking by/Spiteful surprise, conspiring objects/With slip or sharpness or sly fracture/Menace or mangle the morbid flesh/Of our king and queen.”

(a funny old (toast)…

to be continued

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately sixty-and-a-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately sixty-three-and-a-quarter minutes in

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