On re-visiting W.H. Auden again, I stumbled on this exquisite poem about Freud. For reasons of copyright I have posted the site where his estate has given permission for its publication. It is so dense with allegorical information it takes extended perusal.
I am lived. I am died. I was two-leafed three times, and grazed, but then I was stemmed and multiplied, sharp-thorned and caned, nested and raised, earth-salt by sun-sugar. I was innerly sung by thrushes who need fear no eyed skin thing. Finched, ant-run, flowered, I am given the years in now fewer berries, now more of sling out over directions of luscious dung. Of water crankshaft, of gases the gears my shape is cattle-pruned to a crown spread sprung above the starve-gut instinct to make prairies of everywhere. My thorns are stuck with caries of mice and rank lizards by the butcher bird. Inches in, baby seed-screamers get supplied. I am lived and died in, vine woven, multiplied.
Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth. What you held in your hand, what you counted and carefully saved, all this must go so you know how desolate the landscape can be between the regions of kindness. How you ride and ride thinking the bus will never stop, the passengers eating maize and chicken will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness, you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho lies dead by the side of the road. You must see how this could be you, how he too was someone who journeyed through the night with plans and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow. You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread, only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say It is I you have been looking for, and then goes with you everywhere like a shadow or a friend.