The Drunkenness of Things Being Various


Snow by Louis MacNeice

The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes –
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one’s hands –
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.



What is ‘the truth’ that we speak if we can, and have the right to, change our minds over and over again? Where is solid ground? Not outside of ourselves and our imaginations?

Is “Human speech is a cracked cauldron on which we knock out tunes for dancing bears, when we wish to conjure pity from the stars.” – Flaubert, Madame Bovary –  and if so, so what?

Who is speaking for and in what proportions? If it’s mainly for the speaker to test things about themselves and about their place in the world, not necessarily a bad thing, what then is an ideal form dialogue? I am interested in how we can ever truly connect with another person, for how long, and under what conditions.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s