Daily Archives: November 4, 2009

Off Topic: It’s not about a Boy

Oh, quit lying to yourself.  It’s always about a boy.

Asexual. Antisexual. Demisexual.

Hetero(non)sexual homoromantic.

Actually, no.  I am none of them.

I’m really a Greek poet.  Quoi?!

How dare I compare myself not quite to a summer’s day?

I never claimed to walk in beauty like the night of cloudless climes or starry skies.  There is no Helen in this Troy.


But Anne Carson has finally found an adequate and appropriate, if not earth-shatteringly exemplary, descriptor of my interiority.  Eros the Bittersweet has changed me permanently.

Back to my claim of being a Greek poet.  Observe:

In the Greek poets it is a knowledge of self that begins to come into focus, a self not known before and now disclosed by the lack of it — by pain, by a hole, bitterly.  Not all lovers respond to erotic knowledge so negatively…we saw what a gust of elation accompanies the change of self for Nietzsche…But then, Nietzsche calls the modern world an ass that says yes to everything.  The Greek poets do not say yes.  They allow that erotic experience is sweet to begin with…They acknowledge ideal possibilities opened out for selfhood by erotic experience; they do so, in general, by divinizing it in the person of the god Eros.  Sappho, as we have seen, projects the ideal in the particular person of “the man who listens closely…

But a sense of exultation at the thought of incorporating the self’s possibilities within the self’s identity is missing.  In these ancient representations, bittersweet Eros prints consistently as a negative image.  Presumably, a positive picture could be made if the lover were to reincorporate his lack into a new and better self.  Or could it? Is that positive picture what the lover wants from love? (66-67).

Just who is this Sappho?  What “man who listens closely” ?

Eros who has been, understandably, playing games with me.