[ilds] BITTER LEMONS the poem

James Gifford james.d.gifford at gmail.com
Sat Feb 19 14:13:17 PST 2011

"unshed" and "unsaid" seem to suggest something akin to a diplomat's 
role...  What would have been the virtues of Durrell shedding or saying 
his tears and feelings about Cyrpus?  Hence, he's neither condoning nor 
condemning, which means being lost to both.

Good attention, Ken.  I see much of Durrell's poetry as explicitly 
"unsaid."  For /Tree of Idleness/, I suspect the diplomatic restrictions 
played a significant role -- prior to this, the unsaid strikes me as 
already being present for aesthetic reasons.


On 15/02/11 10:53 PM, Ken Gammage wrote:
> Apparently I don’t have “Loeb’s Horace” in my Dutton paperback The
> Poetry of Lawrence Durrell (1962). However, I do have “BITTER LEMONS,” –
> and yes, I agree that this poem is about hiding or suppressing feelings:
> pain, sadness, memories, emotions. “Better leave the rest unsaid," - he
> wants to be understated, and yes he is bitter. "Keep its calms like
> tears unshed.” He doesn’t want to cause any more trouble. But still –
> even understated, even hiding something: the poem leaves a powerful
> impression. I don’t know more about it at the moment: when it was
> written in relation to the book. But knowing what we know about the
> subject matter, it is terribly sad.
> -- Ken

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