Why I Love Thee?
By Sadakichi Hartmann
Why I love thee?
Ask why the seawind wanders,
Why the shore is aflush with the tide,
Why the moon through heaven meanders;
Like seafaring ships that ride
On a sullen, motionless deep;
Why the seabirds are fluttering the strand
Where the waves sing themselves to sleep
And starshine lives in the curves of the sand!
Carl Sadakichi Hartmann was born on November 8, 1867, in Nagasaki Japan. His poetry collections include Naked Ghosts: Four Poems (Fantasia, 1925), Tanka and Haiku: 14 Japanese Rhythms (G. Bruno, 1915), and My Rubaiyat (Mangan, 1913). A dramatist, fiction writer, and art critic, he died in St. Petersburg, Florida, on November 21, 1944.
About the Poem: A “pictorial suggestion” of love.
The More Loving One
By W. H. Auden
Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.
Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.
W. H. Auden was admired for his unsurpassed technical virtuosity and ability to write poems in nearly every imaginable verse form; his incorporation of popular culture, current events, and vernacular speech in his work; and also, for the vast range of his intellect, which drew easily from an extraordinary variety of literatures, art forms, social and political theories, and scientific and technical information.
About the Poem: At once a celebration of unrequited love and a metaphysical poem about the difficulty of finding ‘love’ and meaning in a secular age.
Love Song for Love Songs
By Rafael Campo
A golden age of love songs and we still
can’t get it right. Does your kiss really taste
like butter cream? To me, the moon’s bright face
was neither like a pizza pie nor full;
the Beguine began, but my eyelid twitched.
“No more I love you’s,” someone else assured
us, pouring out her heart, in love (of course)—
what bothers me the most is that high-pitched,
undone whine of “Why am I so alone?”
Such rueful misery is closer to
the truth, but once you turn the lamp down low,
you must admit that he is still the one,
and baby, baby he makes you so dumb
you sing in the shower at the top of your lungs.
Rafael Campo was born in Dover, New Jersey, on November 24, 1964. He attended both Amherst College and Harvard Medical School before publishing his first collection of poems, The Other Man Was Me: A Voyage to the New World, which won the National Poetry Series Open Competition in 1993. Campo is a practicing physician at Harvard Medical School and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
About the Poem: Love is within the two who feel the love, and no one else can change that.
I Needed Your Body Near Me
By Timothy Liu
An ocean is nothing, there is no separation
between two lovers. And I knew just what
it took: six hours, two meals with a movie
in between, blinders over eyes, plugs in ears
as I tried to get some sleep. When I awoke,
I knew I’d crossed more than a time zone
for my body was always nearer to yours
than anyone else’s still sleeping in your bed—
Timothy Liu’s most recent books of poems are Polytheogamy and Bending the Mind Around the Dream’s Blown Fuse. He lives in Manhattan.
About the Poem: A long distance relationship.
♥️HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY♥️
Thank you, Susan, for the beautiful Valentine’s Day Card pictured above.