13 March 2014

Poems for after work

I love my wife.

Now there's an adventure!

Every so often she apologizes that after work she changes out of her office attire (very nice, very professional, and very attractive) into relaxing or project clothes. Not, be it said, into what the old movies called, "slipping into something more comfortable."

She means well, but really, I always say, "why wouldn't you?"

My adventures in poetry recently provided other ways to respond to my Karen:

John Donne, from The Undertaking
But he who loveliness within
   Hath found, all outward loathes;
For he who colour loves, and skin,
   Loves but their oldest clothes.

Ben Jonson, Simplex Munditiis
Still to be neat, still to be drest,
As you were going to a feast;
Still to be powdered, still perfumed,
Lady, it is to be presumed,
Though art's hid causes are not found,
All is not sweet, all is not sound.

Give me a look, give me a face
That makes simplicity a grace;
Robes loosely flowing, hair as free:
Such sweet neglect more taketh me
Than all the adulteries of art;
They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.

Jonson's title means something like "elegant simplicity" - you see it in the 2nd line of the 2nd stanza "makes simplicity a grace." Granted, Jonson's lines may well suggest that trope of "slipping into something more comfortable," but it need not, after all.

I'm enjoying the ways poetry illuminates life! And thankful for the clarifying ways of thinking and speaking about common, daily things.

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