Friday, 28 February 2014


Last day of February. That was quick. :-) 

The poem for today’s post has been a favourite since high school when I first had to read it for an English Literature class. It’s by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Of course, I memorized a part of it, and recited it often during my heavy-poetry-writing years. 

A few years later, after reading one of my own pieces to an audience of fellow poets and poetry lovers at the Poetry Society of Jamaica, one of the poets remarked, "I like it, without any literary anything!" Lol! That's kinda how this piece strikes me. It simply draws me in - not in the way of too much literary anything.

I have been looking forward to sharing it here! It was love at first read. You’ll see why.

    O LOVE, Love, Love! O withering might!
    O sun, that from thy noonday height
    Shudderest when I strain my sight,
    Throbbing thro' all thy heat and light,
    Lo, falling from my constant mind,
    Lo, parch'd and wither'd, deaf and blind,
    I whirl like leaves in roaring wind.

    Last night I wasted hateful hours
    Below the city's eastern towers:
    I thirsted for the brooks, the showers:
    I roll'd among the tender flowers:
    I crush'd them on my breast, my mouth;
    I look'd athwart the burning drouth
    Of that long desert to the south.

    Last night, when some one spoke his name,
    From my swift blood that went and came
    A thousand little shafts of flame
    Were shiver'd in my narrow frame.
    O Love, O fire! once he drew
    With one long kiss my whole soul thro'
    My lips, as sunlight drinketh dew.

    Before he mounts the hill, I know
    He cometh quickly: from below
    Sweet gales, as from deep gardens, blow
    Before him, striking on my brow.
    In my dry brain my spirit soon,
    Down-deepening from swoon to swoon,
    Faints like a daled morning moon.

    The wind sounds like a silver wire,
    And from beyond the noon a fire
    Is pour'd upon the hills, and nigher
    The skies stoop down in their desire;
    And, isled in sudden seas of light,
    My heart, pierced thro' with fierce delight,
    Bursts into blossom in his sight.

    My whole soul waiting silently,
    All naked in a sultry sky,
    Droops blinded with his shining eye:
    I will possess him or will die.
    I will grow round him in his place,
    Grow, live, die looking on his face,
    Die, dying clasp'd in his embrace.

    Alfred, Lord Tennyson



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