Love one another, but make not a bond of love
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
– Excerpted from Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet.
Here is a poem by Philip Larkin, written in the last millennium when ambulances were seen as symbols for death. Nothing was worse than being carried away in an ambulance to an impending death.
Closed like confessionals, they thread
Loud noons of cities, giving back
None of the glances they absorb.
Light glossy grey, arms on a plaque,
They come to rest at any kerb:
All streets in time are visited.
Then children strewn on steps or road,
Or women coming from the shops
Past smells of different dinners, see
A wild white face that overtops
Red stretcher-blankets momently
As it is carried in and stowed,
And sense the solving emptiness
That lies just under all we do,
And for a second get it whole,
So permanent and blank and true.
The fastened doors recede. Poor soul,
They whisper at their own distress;
For borne away in deadened air
May go the sudden shut of loss
Round something nearly at an end,
And what cohered in it across
The years, the unique random blend
Of families and fashions, there
At last begin to loosen. Far
From the exchange of love to lie
Unreachable insided a room
The trafic parts to let go by
Brings closer what is left to come,
And dulls to distance all we are
Now, I’m not really a fan of poems, mushy or otherwise, but this one here, by Elizabeth Barret Browing, i like. Maybe a better suiting title would be If Love Me Thou Must, but anyway.. Here is the wonderful Poem:
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say
“I love her for her smile her look her way
Of speaking gently, for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of ease on such a day”
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee, and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheek dry,
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou may’st love on, through love’s eternity.
More posts on similar lines coming up soon…!