“When the Young Husband” by Donald Hall (poetry reading)

Extramarital sex is usually unrewarding: it is too self-conscious and pervaded by a sense of unreality which can be so powerful that, although the mind is made up, the body doesn’t recognise the situation as sexual and won’t co-operate. In fact we don’t really do it for the sex because that’s not the real point – there is never much sex in adultery anyway. Escape from the trap of marriage is the real point though we might fraudulently justify it to ourselves as romance Real sex is the combination of excitement and familiarity and mutual gratification that can only be achieved in long loving relationship such as marriage. In loving sex there is no question of the body not cooperating – it often responds to the opportunity before we become aware of it. The things which affect our lives most memorably took up very little time: the car-crash took only a couple of seconds, saying the wrong thing only a couple of minutes, infidelity only a couple of hours. No time at all compared with many unmemorable years we spent working and building relationships. Demolition is much more dramatic and abrupt than construction. (is this too sententious? I’ll probably modify it later) An interview with Donald Hall here: www.theparisreview.org The movie still is from Baisers Volés (1968) (Stolen Kisses) by Truffaut.

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8 Responses to “When the Young Husband” by Donald Hall (poetry reading)

  1. EyeLean5280

    Oh, and thumbs up for the clever choice of visual. Truffaut himself was never able to maintain any sort of fidelity to any woman.

  2. EyeLean5280

    I try to be compassionate toward people’s mistakes but I have less patience for adultery among the young.

    In my neighborhood, a young husband with an exceptionally intelligent and lovely wife destroyed everything with an affair that did not even last through his divorce proceedings. He walks home alone from the train station now with his eyes down, greeting no one anymore.

    Why? What could someone childless & not yet 30 possibly know about marriage? Why throw it away before you even know?

  3. soapmode

    Thanks for the reading. As for the blurb, don’t touch that dial. ;)

  4. mzim144659

    Inspired choice, the Stolen Kisses scene.

  5. iheartwalle

    the photo at the end just made me laugh at loud. XD

  6. b000gi


  7. scifiwritir

    Oh my gosh!!! What a great poem! And of course, the prophecy that warns of regret is never heeded. Soooooooooo good!

  8. sirguyslady

    Your commentary on this poem is more touching and realistic than what the poet desired to achieve. I hope people read it and remeber that a mistake can take a minute but the consequences can last a lifetime! I’m “liking” because of what you wrote.

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