February 13, 2006

Quirky Love Poems


And now, this being the season of love and such, don't you know, we would like to introduce you to two of the most unusual love poems ever--

by Elizabeth Bishop

The moon in the bureau mirror
looks out a million miles
(and perhaps with pride, at herself,
but she never, never smiles)
far and away beyond sleep,
or perhaps she's a daytime sleeper.

By the Universe deserted,
she'd tell it to go to hell,
and she'd find a body of water,
or a mirror, on which to dwell.
So wrap up care in a cobweb
and drop it down the well

into that world inverted
where left is always right,
where the shadows are really the body,
where we stay awake all night,
where the heavens are shallow as the sea
is now deep, and you love me.

* * * * * * *

Oh, when I was in love with you
by A.E. Housman

Oh, when I was in love with you
Then I was clean and brave,
And miles around the wonder grew
How well I did behave
But now the fancy passes by,
And nothing will remain
And miles around they'll say that I
Am quite myself again.


Lynn Bruce said...

Two of my very favorite love poems, as you know. Whenever I read Insomnia, I almost catch myself wondering what the tune is -- it just seems like it should be an old folk song.

You must have gotten that thing for unsappy love poems with a quirky twist from me. Hmmm, I think I might post a couple...

Nomos said...

When I first read Insomnia, I didn't understand it...maybe because I only read the first and last line, but who knows? However, after going over it the second time, I completely agree with queen: this is now one of my favorite "unsappy love poems."

I also like the Housman one...very good.

Lynn Bruce said...

Glad you've been converted, Nomos -- it IS a masterful bit of writing. That last line packs the whole punch -- comes out of nowhere, and yet doesn't. You don't see it coming, and then --it suddenly makes the whole thing make perfect sense.

Gives me a little lump in the throat every time.