|the dearly departed Beckham, c/Tbogg|
You know the Elizabeth Bishop poem, "One Art." I'm not sure it's legal to quote it in entirety, but apparently there are any number of posted copies as I found them instantly by googling the poem. So here it is, and I hope it sells some of Ms. Bishop's collected poetry volumes, as she's as good as it gets in my book.
Ms Bishop lived with a woman in Santos, Brazil, for some years. Eventually they broke up. The woman in Brazil died. Ms Bishop returned to the United States and continued to write absolutely perfect poems, including this one, about love, grief, aging, persevering. Some say Ms Bishop was a "difficult" person. She was friends with Robert Lowell. He was certainly a "difficult" person. But neither Mr. Lowell nor Ms Bishop would think to say that a marriage between two people of the same sex, who loved each other as much as Ms Bishop loved her friend, should never be allowed, because such a marriage might somehow magically "damage" the "institution of marriage." (Indeed, the breakup of the "marriage" between Ms Bishop and the woman in Brazil implies nothing about their love for each other. Again, see the poem.) People who take that latter view actually spit on love. Oddly, they are mostly the same people who think that even a child brought to this country at an early age by parents who entered "illegally" in order to find work should be given no measure of help and mercy even if they make heroic efforts to get an education and become a productive member of "our" society. For these people, who oddly enough people our churches in droves every Sunday, empathy and mercy are left in the front of the pew, with the hymn book. For the most part they don't even know that one of the first casualties in Iraq was such a kid--a kid who got his citizenship posthumously.
Ms Bishop was born in 1911, same year as it happens as my mother. Here's a link to her wiki biography:
We're idiots, babe, it's a wonder that we still know how to breathe.