A POET SPEAKS TO HIS LOVE—A NEW POEM FROM SCARRIET

How did she love when the love she found
Demanded silence, and not one small sound
Was allowed in her heavens or on her ground?
She did not love, for silence engenders fear;
Silence kills love if the love is near,
For sounds are sacred when they enter the ear.
But when love is outside, making no sound,
Like a spider on the wall, a statue, or a mound,
It may have authority and may be profound
But it withers and dies like death underground.

She told me all this as I looked in her eye,
And then she looked down and began to cry,
But I touched her hand, and sang; never silent, I,
Never one to care for confusion or fear,
For sounds are sacred when they enter the ear
And love is made of sound: like this poem here.

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2 Comments

  1. September 24, 2012 at 2:06 am

    The phrase “like this poem here” has a certain off-handedness that undercuts the serious tone of the rhetoric that precedes it. It may seem like a small matter, except it’s your exit line, and has the greatest effect on the impression left by the whole.

    On the other hand, it has a matter-of-factness which may be what you’re after. Still, when a poet mixes tones or address this way, I tend to think the confusion is not deliberate. After all, nothing in any other part of the poem–with its stern formality–has that quality. I’m somewhat disarmed.

  2. thomasbrady said,

    September 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Curtis,

    Thanks, I didn’t think of that. “Like this poem here” is too short a phrase, I would think, to establish formality or not, one way or the other. But you could be right. I had in the back of my mind Shakespeare’s “So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.” Perhaps my offense is saying “poem,” which strains towards a brag by the author. Perhaps I should change it to “Like this sound here.” The concept of sound, after all, was what I was after. The formal issue might be helped, also, by “As this sound here,” I don’t know.

    And love is made of sound: as this sound here.

    Tom


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