I was looking through some old papers and came upon a brace of poetry I wrote some four and more decades ago.
The scene is needed to be set: I had met Bern in my Senior year of High School, when she was but a Freshman. There was another boy, a year younger than me and two years older than Bern, who pursued her endlessly. Even today he sends her birthday cards--which used to annoy me and now amuses me. What does he imagine--that my 63 year old wife would run away to Texas, where he lives, to shack up with his 65 year old self? There is something pitiful about his adolescent love for her that has not aged at all. I have come to feel sorry for him. They haven't seen each other for over 45 years. When do you give up?
But the poems I found were from me in my freshman year of college, for Bern in her sophomore year of high school when I wasn't sure I could keep her through the miles and hours of our separation and while she was still seeing Nolan everyday in school.
So I share two of them with you. I was an English major and came under the spell of Shakespeare and iambic pentameter right away. Ok, here they are, bad poems both....
Love, long ago when thee I first did love,
You gave great hurt which broke my heart in twain
And left we doubting all that stands above,
And left me fearing love could nothing gain.
In darkest night, that Hurt didst plung my sou,
Did numb my mind and my poor broken heart.
Did passion quench and all my worth turn cold;
That Love which flamed with his own darling Dart.
Then did my too young love diseas'ed die
And deeper love was born to take it's place.
For then I knew the worth of all the sky
That 'round you whirled to gain from you your grace.
Great Paradox--I truly loved that Pain
That did me prompt to woo anew and gain.
Bad enough for you. Here's one more that will set your teeth on edge....
Were I so false as I am True to thee,
My every thought would base betrayal plot,
My heart would daily plan your misery,
And very Passion would from Vileness rot;
Were I so cruel as I hope I am kind,
I would bestow jewels of glaz'ed glass
To win your heart and so to tempt your mind
That me you'd love and grief I'd cause would last.
If I could hate as I you do so love,
I would thee torment and pain thee so well
That I would torment even saints above
And make them make for me a hotter hell.
But since I'm kind and true and love thee so,
Those self-same saints give heaven here below.
OK, all in all bad poetry, but in the end it worked. Bern and I have been together for 49 years and married for 43 of those. Not a bad outcome for bad poetry....
(The post I wrote on September 4 called '43 and counting' has had 4 times more views than any post I've ever had. Something about a long, long, long love must appeal to people....)
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