I’ll woo her back with poetry

Because that’s how I won her first.

Maybe she doesn’t love me—

Maybe my poems will fail—

But miss a chance to love? To love her! That’s worse.


I already love her, the Muse knows that’s true,

So my poems should be easy to write

For love makes everything easy,

Almost too easy, I found,

Because ease produces spite.


It’s so easy to smile, and kiss a smile, too,

Oh I used to laugh and weep

With joy just to be near her,

Acting strange, I was so in love,

But love that easy is not easy to keep.


True feelings annoy those whose feelings are not true,

Who need to think before they speak;

I know because I was like that once, too,

Calculating the impact I made,

And terrified of seeming silly, or weak.


All that changes when you really fall in love;

But love’s a funny thing.

Before you are certain they really love you

Or how it will play out in life

You feel like a singer who cannot sing.


Nothing at all is easy,

Except those feelings which make you mad,

And happy and ready to love,

To give yourself to that great worship

Of love, which is religious, it is so sad!


So alarms are raised in the lovers,

Because they are flirting with madness

And regular life doesn’t like that.

Ordinary life is jealous of love;

It laughs at religious sadness.


We all have that moment when we are young,

When, truly ready to love and adore,

A priestly voice takes us aside and whispers,

“Don’t you get it? It’s all a show.”

When we hear this we don’t quite love anymore.


Oh we may fall in love, later,

But we love doubtfully; normal life

Makes us feel self-conscious and afraid,

For we have joined ordinary life:

Someone else’s job, weighty children, unhappy wife.


The need to love, really love, though, never goes away,

Never goes away, or fades,

Even as we stumble through life, fake-smiling,

Failing at everything—because we don’t love,

Even if we manage to win a prize, or get good grades,


Because we know there is easy love,

Like playing sad music on guitar,

Even though we don’t play guitar;

We know love is spectacular and easy

And we want this ease to define what we are;


No more obstacles or hesitations,

No more calculations, no more freaking out.

We take up God’s guitar

Made by God and play what God already knows,

And love lives, and there isn’t any doubt.


This is what I do with poetry,

Which makes me a spectacular lover, and true

And mad and happy—and her?

I love her. She lives in my heart

In perfect ease! Muse, there is no need to woo.














1 Comment

  1. maryangeladouglas said,

    August 14, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    I unequivocally, without reservation of any kind, love this poem. It is braided with love, genuineness, humor, pathos, wit, everything you could conceivably want in a poem. As the saying goes, Bravo Mr. Graves.

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