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In talking, just now, about Robert Frost’s…

… poem, Desert Places, I suddenly thought of Frank Zappa’s What’s the Ugliest Part of Your Body?.

I mean, it suddenly seemed a very close parallel – not in terms of style, but in terms of the idea that the scariest desert place is your own mind.

The students seemed to have heard of UD‘s beloved Zappa… Or were they just humoring her?


And then there’s this, by Philip Larkin.

If, My Darling

If my darling were once to decide
Not to stop at my eyes,
But to jump, like Alice, with floating skirt into my head,

She would find no tables and chairs,
No mahogany claw-footed sideboards,
No undisturbed embers;

The tantalus would not be filled, nor the fender-seat cosy,
Nor the shelves stuffed with small-printed books for the Sabbath,
Nor the butler bibulous, the housemaids lazy:

She would find herself looped with the creep of varying light,
Monkey-brown, fish-grey, a string of infected circles
Loitering like bullies, about to coagulate;

Delusions that shrink to the size of a woman’s glove
Then sicken inclusively outwards. She would also remark
The unwholesome floor, as it might be the skin of a grave,

From which ascends an adhesive sense of betrayal,
A Grecian statue kicked in the privates, money,
A swill-tub of finer feelings. But most of all

She’d be stopping her ears against the incessant recital
Intoned by reality, larded with technical terms,
Each one double-yolked with meaning and meaning’s rebuttal:

For the skirl of that bulletin unpicks the world like a knot,
And to hear how the past is past and the future neuter
Might knock my darling off her unpriceable pivot.

Margaret Soltan, January 20, 2011 3:47PM
Posted in: STUDENTS, ud's hippie years

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One Response to “In talking, just now, about Robert Frost’s…”

  1. Van L. Hayhow Says:

    Probably not. In this neck of the woods, the college radio stations seem to play their share of Zappa.

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