Posts Tagged ‘wrong’


the courage to do
wrong — all our very cheapest
stories recognise
— in some blind way — that nothing
makes sense like a paradox

My last night’s dream was really quite powerful and significant. It entailed my being seduced by Beryl Graves, the wife of the poet Robert Graves. Currently I am reading his historical novel Count Belisarius, and finding it a little bit tedious. Graves is an important figure for me. He captured my imagination in my mid-twenties, when I was struggling with so-called ‘psychotic’ experiences, and I made the journey to his house in Spain, in 1982, to try and gain enlightenment from the great man. I knocked on the door and was kindly entertained for an hour by his wife (then in her sixties) while Robert himself sat inert in a wheelchair. He was 87 and had retreated into dementia.



to do the right thing
just this incredibly strong
urge — like an instinct
— towards rightness — what is it?
how come it does so much harm?

There is a clear route of association, from having seen the film The Danish Girl last night, to this idea in the poem, of a person’s inbuilt sense of rightness — although it wasn’t conscious at all in the process of writing. But the Eddie Redmayne character (Lili Elbe) is made up almost entirely of this passionate urge towards rightness (i.e. to her, being a woman feels completely right). I got to it though, this morning, by thinking about fidelity. I had two dreams last night, in both of which Liz was my faithful companion. In one, we were digging up the roots of a tree together. In the other, we were part of a foursome with another couple. I noticed, thinking about how much I passionately desire to be with Liz and to stay with Liz, that it was all bound up with a generalised desire to please the beneficent forces of the universe (whatever they are). Actually, fidelity is much more irrational than that sounds. It goes to the deepest gut level which I don’t understand. But so in fact does the urge towards rightness. There’s no doubt at all, for me, as to how illusory the idea of ‘right’ is. It ends up wrong so often, it’s almost the invariable rule. But I don’t propose to try to justify that statement here.