It’s The Way I Tell ‘Em

I used to be a terrible maudlin romantic. I was thirteen when I discovered Far From The Madding Crowd, and since then I must have read it twenty times. As for Jude The Obscure, I’ve lost count. Was there ever such a tragedy? – children being hanged, heroines going mad in graveyards – I thought all my Christmasses had come at once. Whoever said ”Nothing is so sweet as lovely melancholy” was speaking my language.

I still think they’re two of the greatest books ever written, yet I can no longer bear to read them. In fact, that goes for all the classics. Is it age? As we get nearer death do we become more superficial? Or is our understanding too close for comfort? I now realize what Hardy wrote was true, and I don’t want to know.

But for all you romantics out there, here’s an eighth century Chinese poem from Li Po:

”I had gone aboard and was minded to depart,
When I heard from the shore your song with tap of foot.
The pool of peach blossom is a thousand feet deep
But not so deep as the love in your farewell to me.”

‘Farewell’ – the most terrifying word in the English language. The time comes when you don’t want to be reminded of it. I’m afraid the following is about my level now:

Little Boy: ”Mummy, Mummy, Daddy’s been run over by a steamroller!”

Mother: ”Oh, don’t make me laugh, you know my lips are chapped!”

(It’s the way I tell ’em.)


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12 responses to “It’s The Way I Tell ‘Em

  1. You are one funny lady and young still…

    My favourite romantic poem is this Haiku (translated)

    If it were death to love
    Then I should have died
    And died again, one thousand times over

  2. Oh my god, you were so serious up until the chapped lips. I’m cracking up. Pardon the pun. You’re hilarious in a maudlin way 😀

  3. Peter McCay

    Hehe. Now that is “Belfast Speak”.

  4. “I still think they’re two of the greatest books ever written, yet I can no longer bear to read them.”
    I had something that sounds like a similar reaction after getting married, oddly enough. I couldn’t stand to read or watch horror. (Not that I am putting most horror mass media on the level of /Jude the Obscure/, more’s the pity, but the creeping tension when I tried to get into the stories, the “I don’t want this, take it away”… Your description made me think of that.)

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