love poetry

Flying into the Flame

Yet another metaphor for this experience.

I flew, knowing that I risked burns. And burned I was. I will fly in again as flames seem to flicker all about, albeit in the middle distance, and as I notice my eyes straining towards them.

A friend of mine once spoke of experiencing near immolation in love. Is this just a phenomenon of adolescence, uncompleted despite stage of life? Can immolation be experienced without annihiation? Or is this the existential dilemma?

Inspired by Bruce Sterling’s fantastic “The State of the World” presentation (mp3) from South by Southwest, I have been reading and listening to some peoms by Carl Sandburg. Sterling concludes his speech with a spine-chilling excerpt from “The People, Yes“.

Others of Sandburg’s poems speak more directly to the “love layers” uncovered in my recent probe.

Firstly, layer 2, the missing loved one, in:

At A Window

Give me hunger,
O you gods that sit and give
The world its orders.
Give me hunger, pain and want,
Shut me out with shame and failure
From your doors of gold and fame,
Give me your shabbiest, weariest hunger!

But leave me a little love,
A voice to speak to me in the day end,
A hand to touch me in the dark room
Breaking the long loneliness.
In the dusk of day-shapes
Blurring the sunset,
One little wandering, western star
Thrust out from the changing shores of shadow.
Let me go to the window,
Watch there the day-shapes of dusk
And wait and know the coming
Of a little love.

And layer 4, the ultimately unfulfillable, in:

Dream Girl (also available as an mp3)
You will come one day in a waver of love,
Tender as dew, impetuous as rain,
The tan of the sun will be on your skin,
The purr of the breeze in your murmuring speech,
You will pose with a hill-flower grace.

You will come, with your slim, expressive arms,
A poise of the head no sculptor has caught
And nuances spoken with shoulder and neck,
Your face in a pass-and-repass of moods
As many as skies in delicate change
Of cloud and blue and flimmering sun.

You may not come, O girl of a dream,
We may but pass as the world goes by
And take from a look of eyes into eyes,
A film of hope and a memoried day.

From Sandburg’s “The People, Yes“:

In the darkness with a great bundle of grief
the people march.
In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps, the people
“Where to? what next?”

Leave a Reply