It's Good to Be Young!
I admit it. I would have no poetry in my soul at all, if it were not for the fact that I'm a sucker for a poetic lover. Once they whisper those sweet "nothings" in my ear, I am doomed. They might as well put the ring in my nose for they can now lead me around wherever they want.
I think I suggested before that my first love won me over by whispering a Shakespearean sonnet under a summer moon. Actually it was a street lamp peering in from between the curtains, but it was summer all the same. We had strolled through the city park and the air was full of the fragrance of Magnolia blossoms. Well I assume this to be true, as my sinuses were stopped up, it was the south, and those big gaudy flowers were everywhere. It was my first time away from home and I was on my own. I had never been in love and I thought that it couldn't happen to me. I don't know why I thought this, except that I had always been a lonely soul of sorts with little expectation of love. We met in the park and started talking about the book I was reading. It was one of the "Lord of the Rings" books, but I don't remember which one. Today I would probably use something completely different for a pick up, but then, as we were at the "just out of college" age, it was perfect. We talked for hours and I couldn't imagine anyone being more fascinating, intelligent, or beautiful.
We noticed that the "shadows were growing long," and yes, we actually used that phrase, and knew that we couldn't waste much more time on talk. We had dinner together--okay, it was a cheap dinner--remember we were just out of college. But with every laugh, and every gesture, and every glance, which was no longer stolen but indulged, I became more mesmerized and had no clue as to why this time was different.
We spent that afternoon, that evening, and most of that night, together. Sometime during that night, between the pseudo-intellectual banter and the awkward and callow maneuvers of youthful love making, to my surprise, I thought and then said, "I think I love you." I was not new to the "aren't we the intelligent and worldly sophisticates" masquerade, nor to the youthful play of passion. There was something more. That added component that I didn't think I would ever know. There it was and I didn't know what to do with it. The next morning I was scheduled to leave and I did.
We pledged our love to each other, in the love letters we wrote for years, but saw one another only when my work took me back to that part of the country. Our lives were a thousand miles apart, but we thought we were one and we were inseparable. We thought our love would last through eternity. We were young.
During this time, on the eve of one of our separations, we shared this farewell, this valediction:
.A VALEDICTION FORBIDDING MOURNING.
~ by John Donne
As virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
"The breath goes now," and some say, "no."
So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;
T'were profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.
Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears;
Men reckon what it did, and meant;
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.
Dull sublunary lovers love
(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit
Of absence, because it doth remove
Those things which elemented it.
But we by a love, so much refined.
That ourselves know not what it is,
Inter-assured of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.
Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to aery thinness beat.
If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two;
Thy soul the fix'd foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th' other do.
And though it in the center sit,
Yet, when the other far doth roam,
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.
Such wilt thou be to me, who must
Like th' other foot, obliquely run;
Thy firmness draws my circle just,
And makes me end, where I begun.
It's good to be young ~ rachman