13 February 2007

Poetry for St. Valentine's Day; Love Poetry Challenge

A little while ago, Ariel posted a link to a great discussion of contemporary love poetry. It claimed that the stuff that passes for love poetry now-a-days is garbage compared to that which was written in, say The Renaissance.

Here's part of my comment:
I had a 17th. cent. poetry prof. who had a really compelling theory about why there's no good love poetry now. He said that all through the Renaissance, good old Petrarch & Dante & their cronies wrote out of the power & inspiration of frustration, from their unrequited love. Then along came the 17th century, when fat Ben J. & his "Sons" & the "Cavaliers" wrote their poetry of requited -- & consummated -- love. & that, this prof. thought, put an end to all the pent-up energy & poured out a whole lot of love poetry, & then ran out of ideas, ran out of inspiration. & here we are.

But I also agree with several other commenters who think that there's plenty of good love poetry being written right this minute! & my students are learning to do just that, among others.

SO I'd like us to take up the challenge! I charge you to post here, as a comment, an excellent love poem that has been written (by yourself or someone else) in the last 100 years. I'll start, by putting here my favorite by Edna St. Vincent Millay (perhaps the female Petrarch of the 20th century). I'd also love to hear some speculations on why love poetry has died, if it has.

Sonnet xxviii

I pray you if you love me, bear my joy
A little while, or let me weep your tears;
I, too, have seen the quavering Fate destroy
Your destiny's bright spinning--the dull shears
Meeting not neatly, chewing at the thread,--
Nor can you well be less aware how fine,
How staunch as wire, and how unwarranted
Endures the golden fortune that is mine.
I pray you for this day at least, my dear,
Fare by my side, that journey in the sun;
Else must I turn me from the blossoming year
And walk in grief the way that you have gone.
Let us go forth together to the spring;
Love must be this, if it be anything.

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay


gymbrall said...

I'll be brave and post a poem I wrote my wife while we were dating. I stumbled across it (and others) while reading old emails we had mangaged to save. I posted the rest of my "entries" here, but here's one:

I remember how we began…
with a quick and startling glimpse,
into each other’s lives.
Little pieces of conversations, emails,
and late night phone calls,
beginning the gentle process of my life slipping into yours,
and your life flowing into mine; of our hearts, teaching one another,
that love is not a dream.

There is no end to love like this,
For I loved you, before I knew your name.
You are the love, I thought I’d never find,
The part of me I thought,would never be complete,
You are my heart, my life, the better part of me.
There is no end to love like this…
How could there be?

Nabeel said...

I totally agree with you .. most of the stuff we find these days is crap (poems) .. more and more people are calling their 'thoughts' poem ..

well .. i love the sonnet you posted/

Iambic Admonit said...

Here's a little one of my own, just a haiku:

Body Impressions

The bed wears the shape
Of your absence. In the dark,
I lie down in it.

~ Admonit