15 May 2011

Throw the Dice

Mostly I read things because smart people compel me. My happy visit with Anne Carson's The Beauty of the Husband comes from a post by Katherine Hill.

But, in a larger sense, I like to think I also read things because they reconcile irreconcilable parts of my life. This morning The Beauty of the Husband has also done that.

I still find Carson's Autobiography of Red more affecting overall than TBOTH (perhaps it's worth noting that, biographically speaking, I'm more familiar with mythic unrequited redness than the truthful complications of marriage) but, thanks to a recent viewing of Bright Star, I had better occasion to gasp at this Keats-centric book.

The reminder of why I read poetry came in the book's 22nd tango, "Homo Ludens." Carson's plainspoken thunderbolt:

If a husband throws the dice of his beauty one last time, who is to blame?

For years I've tried to wrap my head around seemingly illogical romantic leaps made by family, friends, exes, etc. and I've never known how to put it until reading that line. They're throwing the dice of their beauty and, finally seeing that, I can draw a fresh breath. I've always enjoyed watching craps anyway.

(Next week I hope WTT will return to the cinema. But, after all, May is National Poetry Month, right?)

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