Monday, January 19, 2009

No Wonder We Like Them

I’ve been thinking of these two lines since posting the anecdote below. They were all I could remember of the poem, and I wasn’t sure who wrote it, so it took me a bit of looking to find it.

Women are really much nicer than men:
No wonder we like them.

—Kingsley Amis, “A Bookshop Idyll”

I’m doing an injustice to the poem by quoting only these two lines, but it’s a bit long to post, not to mention that it’s no doubt still under copyright. Amis is noting the focus on love in poetry written by women, and the scary vulnerability involved—dread of that scary vulnerability was part of what sent me fleeing from the gathering I described. A bit more context:

And the awful way their poems lay them open
Just doesn’t strike them.
Women are really much nicer than men:
No wonder we like them.