Un 2 de junio de 1977 Raymond Carver (1938-1988) dejó la bebida. En 1976 le habían hospitalizado en cuatro ocasiones a causa de los estragos del alcohol sobre su organismo. Reproduzco dos poemas que muestran su cambio de actitud. Sin moralina.
Drinking While Driving
It’s August and I have not
Read a book in six months
except something called The Retreat from Moscow
Nevertheless, I am happy
Riding in a car with my brother
and drinking from a pint of Old Crow.
We do not have any place in mind to go,
we are just driving.
If I closed my eyes for a minute
I would be lost, yet
I could gladly lie down and sleep forever
beside this road
My brother nudges me.
Any minute now, something will happen.
Versos que invitan al hedonismo y al dejarse llevar. Versos lúcidos, pero de una lucidez distinta a la de estos otros:
No other word will do. For that’s what it was. Gravy.
Gravy, these past ten years.
Alive, sober, working, loving and
being loved by a good woman. Eleven years
ago he was told he had six months to live
at the rate he was going. And he was going
nowhere but down. So he changed his ways
somehow. He quit drinking! And the rest?
After that is was all gravy, every minute
of it, up to and including when he was told about,
well, some things that were breaking down and
building up inside his head. «Don’t weep for me,»
he said to his friends. «I’m a lucky man.
I’ve had ten years longer than I or anyone
expected. Pure Gravy. And don’t forget it.»