It’s a Nice Day to Start Again

10 Jul

I hesitate to say that Brad DeLong is wrong–merely misguided, perhaps–in his advice to Ta-Nehisi Coates.  Marriage is good thing (There’s a drinking! And presents! All while in formal wear!) but I was reminded of a few lines from Philip Larkin’s “The Whitsun Weddings”:

Success so huge and wholly farcical;
The women shared
The secret like a happy funeral;
While girls, gripping their handbags tighter, stared
At a religious wounding. Free at last,
And loaded with the sum of all they saw,
We hurried towards London, shuffling gouts of steam.
Now fields were building-plots, and poplars cast
Long shadows over major roads, and for
Some fifty minutes, that in time would seem

Just long enough to settle hats and say
I nearly died,
A dozen marriages got under way.
They watched the landscape, sitting side by side
– An Odeon went past, a cooling tower, And
someone running up to bowl – and none
Thought of the others they would never meet
Or how their lives would all contain this hour.

Yes, Larkin was a dyspeptic and rather unlikable fellow, but he has a point; one must consider the entire affair, the sheer production of it all.  If the current arrangement seems to be humming along nicely, no need to trade it in just yet. To be honest, though, the first lines to pop into my head were from the, uh “poet”, Gordon Sumner:

No earthly church has ever blessed our union
No state has ever granted us permission
No family bond has ever made us two
No company has ever earned commission
No debt was paid no dowry to be gained
No treaty over border land or power
No semblance of the world outside remained
To stain the beauty of this nuptial hour

The secret marriage vow is never spoken
The secret marriage can never be broken

No flowers on the altar
No white veil in your hair
No maiden dress to alter
No bible oath to swear

The secret marriage vow is never spoken
The secret marriage can never be broken

I should also mention that Young Zeitlin rains on my “excuse to have a party” parade with a thoughtful post about marriage policy and the Democrats.


One Response to “It’s a Nice Day to Start Again”


  1. Coming to a theater near you: a pro-family Democratic Party « The United States of Jamerica - July 10, 2008

    […] to Corey Spaley) Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Democrats aren’t that safe in ‘08Why […]

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