Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day Poem

Rather than write about the first -- yes, first -- storm of the winter which isn't nice, fluffy, pretty snow, or even a sparkling ice storm but just slushy. mushy, yucky, I'll observe Valentine's Day -- not a day I have ever taken very seriously. But I try to share poems every so often believing familiarity breeds, not contempt for heaven sakes, but tolerance that can become fondness for the many who are not poetry readers, having been thorouthly scared off by ignorant school teachers.

This poem by Pushkin. He's not in most of our anthologies because we like our Russian literature fraught with neuroses or full of political upheaval. At college I worked for a few weeks as secretary in the Russian department, most especially for a professor doing a transalton of Eugene Onegin. He tried and succeeded in convincing me Pushkin stands along side almost all English writers except maybe, Shakespeare. The following poem seems to me perhaps to better most of Shakespeare's love poetry because I find it more mature, and far more generous than all the summer days S. likened his love to. We do not think of love and generosity in the same instance except when the love is for our children, and then generosity is basic. But few poets celebrate generous towards their mates or lovers. What isn't sensuous is usally about ownership and possession.

I loved you, even now I may confess,
Some embers of my love their fire retain;
But do not let it cause you more distress,
I do no want to sadden you again.
Hopeless and tonguetied, yet I loved you dearly
With pangs the jealous and the timid know;
So tenderly I loved you, so sincerely,
I pray God grant another love you so.

No comments :