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The Most Touching Love Poem


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I found this in a recently acquired book of Amy Lowell poetry. It is a translation by her of a piece by Li T'ai-po titled The Lonely Wife. I think it is so emotional.

 

The mist is thick. On the wide river, the water-plants float smoothly.

No letters come; none go.

There is only the moon, shining through the clouds of a hard, jade-green sky,

Looking down at us so far divided, so anxiously apart.

All day, going about my affairs, I suffer and grieve and press the throught of you closely to my heart.

My eyebrows are locked in sorrow, I cannot separate them.

Nightly, nightly, I keep ready half the quilt,

And wait for the return of that divine dream which is my Lord.

 

Beneath the quilt of the Fire-Bird, on the bed of the Silver-Crested Love-Pheasant,

Nightly, nightly, I drowse alone.

The red candles in the silver candlesticks melt, and the wax runs from them,

As the tears of your so Unworthy One escape and continue constantly to flow.

A flower face endures but a short season,

Yet still he drifts along the river Hsiao and the river Hsiang.

As I toss on my pillow, I hear the cold, nostalgic sound of the water-clock;

Sheng! Sheng! it drips, cutting my heart in two.

 

There is a third stanza about the cold winter weather and snow covering the ground, but somehow I felt it detracted from the first two so have omitted it.

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  • 1 month later...

i sometimes think that the short poem is the art form capable of the closest thing in life to perfection. i think this is such a lovely and bittersweet poem

 

Flowers, by Wendy Cope

 

Some men never think of it.

You did. You'd come along

And say you'd nearly brought me flowers

But something had gone wrong.

 

The shop was close. Or you had your doubts-

The sort that minds like our

Dream up incessantly. You thought

I might not want your flowers.

 

It made me smile and hug you then.

Now i can only smile.

But, look, the flowers you nearly brought

Have lasted all this while

 

 

Another more mysterious one. a friend sent me this a while ago, but didnt seem to know where it came from or who it's by. Was wondering if anyone on here had an opinion on it, or knows who it's by?

 

Luck

 

I can hardly remember that day

Stumbling with tiredness and still

Half drunk from the night before

When god-knows-what with god-knows-who

Left me smelling tasting sweat and booze

And smoke-

 

Like stale words

That wither

On the tongue

 

 

I was waiting, then.

Waiting to meet you for the second

First time thinking

How long's it been, a year?

But you were the same

In every vital detail- you appeared

And in that moment

I knew

 

That nothing had changed

But everything could

 

 

You looked up, when you saw me

And smiled

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is silly, but also sweet...

 

Love's Philosophy

 

The fountains mingle with the river

And the rivers with the ocean,

The winds of heaven mix for ever

With a sweet emotion;

Nothing in the world is single,

All things by a law divine

In one another's being mingle—

Why not I with thine?

 

See the mountains kiss high heaven,

And the waves clasp one another;

No sister-flower would be forgiven

If it disdain'd its brother;

 

And the sunlight clasps the earth,

And the moonbeams kiss the sea—

What are all these kissings worth,

If thou kiss not me?

 

-- Percy Byssche Shelley

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  • 2 months later...

The best-loved Shakespeare sonnet, of course, and this one by Edna St. Vincent Millay:

 

Love is not all: It is not meat nor drink

Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain,

Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink

and rise and sink and rise and sink again.

Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath

Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;

Yet many a man is making friends with death

even as I speak, for lack of love alone.

It well may be that in a difficult hour,

pinned down by need and moaning for release

or nagged by want past resolution's power,

I might be driven to sell your love for peace,

Or trade the memory of this night for food.

It may well be. I do not think I would.

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This has always been one of my favourites. The tone is ironic, but the feeling underneath is unbearably real.

 

It's by W.H. Auden. No title.

 

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,

Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,

Silence the pianos and with muffled drum

Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

 

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead

Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,

Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,

Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

 

He was my North, my South, my East and West,

My working week and my Sunday rest,

My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;

I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

 

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;

Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;

Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood,

For nothing now can ever come to any good.

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Sonnets from the Portuguese, number 43

 

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of everyday's

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;

I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints!-I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life!-and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

 

I love saying this out loud to myself.

 

Zebra

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  • 3 weeks later...

If I were to choose a poem for today it would have to be:

 

He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven (W. B. Yeats)

 

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Harley
This is silly, but also sweet...

 

Love's Philosophy

 

The fountains mingle with the river

And the rivers with the ocean,

The winds of heaven mix for ever

With a sweet emotion;

Nothing in the world is single,

All things by a law divine

In one another's being mingle—

Why not I with thine?

 

See the mountains kiss high heaven,

And the waves clasp one another;

No sister-flower would be forgiven

If it disdain'd its brother;

 

And the sunlight clasps the earth,

And the moonbeams kiss the sea—

What are all these kissings worth,

If thou kiss not me?

 

-- Percy Byssche Shelley

 

Yes, it's very silly, but it's still one of my favorites.

It's actually the first love poem I ever read on purpose. :D

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I have a very soft spot for this by e.e.cummings, first discovered thanks to its being quoted (and used as a tool of seduction... ;)) in Woody Allen's Hannah And Her Sisters:

 

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond

any experience, your eyes have their silence:

in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,

or which i cannot touch because they are too near

 

your slightest look easily will unclose me

though i have closed myself as fingers,

you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens

(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

 

or if your wish be to close me, i and

my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,

as when the heart of this flower imagines

the snow carefully everywhere descending;

 

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals

the power of your intense fragility: whose texture

compels me with the color of its countries,

rendering death and forever with each breathing

 

(i do not know what it is about you that closes

and opens; only something in me understands

the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)

nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

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  • 2 months later...

The Prophet (On Marriage)

 

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.

Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

 

 

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

 

 

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

 

Kahlil Gibran

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  • 4 weeks later...

Wherever I am, there's always Pooh,

There's always Pooh and Me.

Whatever I do, he wants to do,

"Where are you going today?" says Pooh:

"Well, that's very odd 'cos I was too.

Let's go together," says Pooh, says he.

"Let's go together," says Pooh.

 

"What's twice eleven?" I said to Pooh.

("Twice what?" said Pooh to Me.)

"I think it ought to be twenty-two."

"Just what I think myself," said Pooh.

"It wasn't an easy sum to do,

But that's what it is," said Pooh, said he.

"That's what it is," said Pooh.

 

"Let's look for dragons," I said to Pooh.

"Yes, let's," said Pooh to Me.

We crossed the river and found a few-

"Yes, those are dragons all right," said Pooh.

"As soon as I saw their beaks I knew.

That's what they are," said Pooh, said he.

"That's what they are," said Pooh.

 

"Let's frighten the dragons," I said to Pooh.

"That's right," said Pooh to Me.

"I'm not afraid," I said to Pooh,

And I held his paw and I shouted "Shoo!

Silly old dragons!"- and off they flew.

 

"I wasn't afraid," said Pooh, said he,

"I'm never afraid with you."

 

So wherever I am, there's always Pooh,

There's always Pooh and Me.

"What would I do?" I said to Pooh,

"If it wasn't for you," and Pooh said: "True,

It isn't much fun for One, but Two,

Can stick together, says Pooh, says he. "That's how it is," says Pooh.

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HER eyes the glow-worm lend thee,

The shooting stars attend thee;

And the elves also,

Whose little eyes glow

Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee.

 

No Will-o'-the-wisp mislight thee,

Nor snake or slow-worm bite thee;

But on, on thy way

Not making a stay,

Since ghost there 's none to affright thee.

 

Let not the dark thee cumber:

What though the moon does slumber?

The stars of the night

Will lend thee their light

Like tapers clear without number.

 

Then, Julia, let me woo thee,

Thus, thus to come unto me;

And when I shall meet

Thy silv'ry feet,

My soul I'll pour into thee.

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  • 9 months later...

Neruda writes with a sort of open sensuality that really gets to me... some very, very honest, stunning love poems.

 

 

Sonnet LXXXI

 

 

And now you're mine. Rest with your dream in my dream.

Love and pain and work should all sleep, now.

The night turns on its invisible wheels,

and you are pure beside me as a sleeping amber.

 

No one else, Love, will sleep in my dreams. You will go,

we will go together, over the waters of time.

No one else will travel through the shadows with me,

only you, evergreen, ever sun, ever moon.

 

Your hands have already opened their delicate fists

and let their soft drifting signs drop away; your eyes closed like two gray

wings, and I move

 

after, following the folding water you carry, that carries

me away. The night, the world, the wind spin out their destiny.

Without you, I am your dream, only that, and that is all.

 

 

 

AND

 

 

 

Sonnet XXV

 

Before I loved you, love, nothing was my own:

I wavered through the streets, among

Objects:

Nothing mattered or had a name:

The world was made of air, which waited.

 

I knew rooms full of ashes,

Tunnels where the moon lived,

Rough warehouses that growled 'get lost',

Questions that insisted in the sand.

 

Everything was empty, dead, mute,

Fallen abandoned, and decayed:

Inconceivably alien, it all

 

Belonged to someone else - to no one:

Till your beauty and your poverty

Filled the autumn plentiful with gifts.

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For me, one of the most touching poems I have read lately (and yes, I have to admit as part of my course material) was Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130. Like most of his other sonnets, this one is also about love. It is in fact an expression of his love and he states that in order to express love, one has to talk about it and examine it. The poem deals with his ideas about where love comes from and how it can be found inspite of any physical flaws. This I found the most touching aspect of the poem.

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Says it all, in 11 words:

 

You refine me,

Define me,

Incline me.

 

If you died

I'd.

 

I also love this one of Yeats, especially the bit I've put in bold:

 

There is grey in your hair.

Young men no longer suddenly catch their breath

When you are passing;

But maybe some old gaffer mutters a blessing

Because it was your prayer

Recovered him upon the bed of death.

For your sole sake -- that all heart's ache have known,

And given to others all heart's ache,

From meagre girlhood's putting on

Burdensome beauty -- for your sole sake

Heaven has put away the stroke of her doom,

So great her portion in that peace you make

By merely walking in a room.

Your beauty can but leave among us

Vague memories, nothing but memories.

A young man when the old men are done talking

Will say to an old man, "Tell me of that lady

The poet stubborn with his passion sang us

When age might well have chilled his blood.

' Vague memories, nothing but memories,

But in the grave all, all, shall be renewed.

The certainty that I shall see that lady

Leaning or standing or walking

In the first loveliness of womanhood,

And with the fervour of my youthful eyes,

Has set me muttering like a fool.

You are more beautiful than any one,

And yet your body had a flaw:

Your small hands were not beautiful,

And I am afraid that you will run

And paddle to the wrist

In that mysterious, always brimming lake

Where those What have obeyed the holy law

paddle and are perfect..Leave unchanged

The hands that I have kissed,

For old sake's sake.

The last stroke of midnight dies.

All day in the one chair

From dream to dream and rhyme to rhyme I have ranged

In rambling talk with an image of air:

Vague memories, nothing but memories.

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