From the critics
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Poems from book:
You were a moth brushing against my cheek in the dark. I killed you, not knowing you were only a moth, with no sting.
‘Jenny kissed me when we met, jumping from the chair she sat in; time, you thief, who love to get sweets into your list, put that in: say I’m weary, say I’m sad, say that health and wealth have missed me; say I’m growing old, but add, Jenny kissed me.’
...from Auden’s tribute to Herman Melville: Evil is unspectacular and always human, and shares our bed and eats at our own table. Towards the end he sailed into an extraordinary mildness, and anchored in his home and reached his wife and rode within the harbour of her hand, and went across each morning to an office as though his occupation were another island. Goodness existed: that was the new knowledge. His terror had to blow itself quite out.’
Poem quoted from film:
'Who hurt you, once, so far beyond repair that you would greet each overture with curling lip?’
Ruth snorted. ‘You really think throwing my own poetry at me’s going to do it? What’d you do, stay up all night cramming like a student for this interview? Hoping to reduce me to tears in the face of my own pain? Crap.’
‘Actually, I know that whole poem by heart:
When were these seeds of anger sown, and on what ground that they should flourish so, watered by tears of rage, or grief?’
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