Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Happy Valentines

Michael Drayton
Three sorts of serpents do resemble thee

Three sorts of serpents do resemble thee:
That dangerous eye-killing cockatrice,
The enchanting siren, which doth so entice,
The weeping crocodile—these vile pernicious three.
The basilisk his nature takes from thee,
Who for my life in secret wait dost lie,
And to my heart sendst poison from thine eye:
Thus do I feel the pain, the cause, yet cannot see.
Fair-maid no more, but Mer-maid be thy name,
Who with thy sweet alluring harmony
Hast played the thief, and stolen my heart from me,
And like a tyrant makst my grief thy game:
Thou crocodile, who when thou hast me slain,
Lamentst my death, with tears of thy disdain.

Anna Akhmatova (translated by Jane Kenyon)

There is a sacred, secret line in loving
which attraction and even passion cannot cross,—
even if lips draw near in awful silence
and love tears at the heart.

Friendship is weak and useless here,
and years of happiness, exalted and full of fire,
because the soul is free and does not know
the slow luxuries of sensual life.

Those who try to come near it are insane
and those who reach it are shaken by grief,
So now you know exactly why
my heart beats no faster under your hand.

Photos from Bill Owen's Suburbia, 1972 | Poems from Valentine's Day Poetry: Love isn't always pretty, by Robert Pinsky (via)

PS - before you buy that dozen roses, consider the Kenyan man who waters them every day but whose wage does not allow him to buy water for his family.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not loneliness that gets to me, its not having someone to share it with..

lovely poems, M:)

Reading ur posts is like solving a crime scene. I'm evidence of what happens when u dont do ur homework.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY!
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