Wednesday, November 5, 2008

One of these things is not like the other (?) (!)

Recently I heard a poem on NPR written by Elizabeth Bishop that I really liked. I checked out her anthology at the library and had Bubba read the poem as well, convinced that he too would like it. To my dismay, he not only disliked it, he strongly disliked it. He thought it was the most depressing, awful thing he had ever read. This awful poem, titled "Breakfast Song", reads:

My love, my saving grace,
your eyes are awfully blue.
I kiss your funny face,
your coffee-flavored mouth.
Last night I slept with you.
Today I love you so
how can I bear to go
(as soon I must, I know)
to bed with ugly death
in that cold, filthy place,
to sleep there without you,
without the easy breath
and nightlong, limblong warmth
I've grown accustomed to?
—Nobody wants to die;
tell me it is a lie!
But no, I know it's true.
It's just the common case;
there's nothing one can do.
My love, my saving grace,
your eyes are awfully blue
early and instant blue.

Okay. I'll give him that it may be depressing. But the funny thing is, he recently purchased a song on iTunes that seems strangely similar in tone to this poem. The lyrics, in part, are:

She says "If I leave before you, darling
Don't you waste me in the ground"
I lay smiling like our sleeping children
One of us will die inside these arms
Eyes wide open, naked as we came
One will spread our ashes round the yard

My question is: is there a material difference between these two? Is it reasonable for Bubba to despise one and cling to the other?

And, more importantly, who do you think is right?


Stacy and Mike said...

Both terribly depressing! So in other words you are right and though Bubbs may get all "lawyerey" and argue his point.. you are still right. Case closed!(Now go listen to something uplifting)

Emily said...

Weird! Elizabeth Bishop is my mom's name....but I really doubt she is the author of that poem. (unless there is something she is not telling me)

Kimberlee said...

They are both terrible. But Bubba probably enjoys the melody over the lyrics so it makes sense he would want to download and listen to the one put to music rather than just read a depressing poem

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with Bubba. Elizabeth Bishop's poem sounds alot like the other rubbish found on NPR. I still don't understand why my tax money supports such a station.