Annals of Love 11: Beware of loving a Poet

 

There is a version of the story of Orpheus which says that the gods had no sympathy for him in his loss of Eurydice because they believed he loved nothing but his his lyre, his songs, his tutelary deity, Apollo.

 

The gods revenged themselves for his irreligiousness and autonomy by killing Orpheus.

 

But, his decapitated head sings still.  Prophecies and poetry continue for those who are open to them.

 

Every poem you remember, even fragmented, when you don’t recall the poet:  s/he is  Orpheus.

 

 

 

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The Death of Orpheus, 1893, oil on canvas.  Jean Delville, 1893-1962, Belgian.  Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Belgium on loan to a Symbolist exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

 

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These Poems, She Said

Robert Bringhurst, Canadian born 1946

from “These Poems, She Said” from The Beauty of the Weapons: Selected Poems 1972–1982.

 

 

 

These poems, these poems,

these poems, she said, are poems

with no love in them. These are the poems of a man   

who would leave his wife and child because   

they made noise in his study. These are the poems   

of a man who would murder his mother to claim   

the inheritance. These are the poems of a man   

like Plato, she said, meaning something I did not   

comprehend but which nevertheless

offended me. These are the poems of a man

who would rather sleep with himself than with women,   

she said. These are the poems of a man

with eyes like a drawknife, with hands like a pickpocket’s   

hands, woven of water and logic

and hunger, with no strand of love in them. These   

poems are as heartless as birdsong, as unmeant   

as elm leaves, which if they love love only   

the wide blue sky and the air and the idea

 

 

 

Autumn 2015-25

 

 

of elm leaves. Self-love is an ending, she said,   

and not a beginning. Love means love

of the thing sung, not of the song or the singing.

   

These poems, she said….

                                       You are, he said,

beautiful.

                That is not love, she said rightly.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Writer, 1925, oil on cardboard. Manuel Rodriguez Lozano, 1896-1971, Mexican.  Private collection on loan to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in I can’t remember when

 

 

The header is a self-portrait of Adolfo Best Maugard, 1891-1964, Mexican.  Private collection on loan to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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