Saturday, December 12, 2009

twisted sinews of thy heart

To this day I have trouble understanding poems. I think I read novels well, often getting what I believe are the authors' beneath-the-plot messages. Not with poems. It might take me an hour to read a short Emily Dickinson poem to get it, and even after an hour I still may not really have it.

I'll guess that most of us in high school or college had to read the William Blake poem Tyger, Tyger. The recent news about the world's most famous golfer has brought that poem up to my consciousness.

Last night while sweating off suet on an elliptical machine in a gym, I attempted to find a channel on the personal television set that was NOT discussing Tiger Woods. It took a while to find a Seinfeld rerun. Before I found it I paused for a moment and listened to some self proclaimed wizard say that what "Tiger did today" was the first step in his personal recovery. The pundit went on to talk about how "Tiger" has a series of problems. "We know he has a problem with sex" said the wizard. He went on to rant about the other problems this--on a first name basis with Tiger-- analyst had detected.

Before I switched to listening to the relatively cogent wisdom of George Costanza, I wondered what "Tiger" had done to indicate that he was on the path to recovery. I later found out that Tiger had given up golf for a while.

So, what do I think.

I think that it bothers me that so many people are putting in their two cents about this. Of course, this blog entry might make it seem as if I am a contributor, but my take is somewhat different. If Tiger Woods was a bachelor, would he have a sex problem? I really don't think so. It seems to me from watching advertisements, seeing what sells in film, and listening to conversations at parties and even in sports bars, that most people like sex. And seek it out. Doesn't seem as if Woods has a sex problem. Seems as if he has several solutions in fact. What he apparently has done is violated a pledge to be monogamous. What he has is a marital problem. To my understanding, such problems are not unique to Tiger/Elin. Since I am not a buddy, or shrink, or family member of Tiger Woods, this marital problem is none of my business--or anyone else's business except for his and his wife's. The outrage, the sanctimonious analysis, the paternal commentary from pontificating meretricious experts borders on voyeurism and is just inappropriate.

"And what shoulder, & what art,Could twist the sinews of thy heart?" is a line from Blake's Tyger, Tyger. That line I understand. And I know that the sinews of the heart are often twisted, not only by sexual infidelities. Personally I find misrepresentation, irresponsibility, personal manipulation, and inconsideration more reprehensible and in relationships of any sort, more likely to account for twisted sinews of the heart.

Tyger Tyger will burn bright again. No thanks to the hypocritical and venal wizards currently passing judgment. My two cents: Don't give up golf. You need it.

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