Monday, 29 September 2008

Poetry can be a Comfort

It is sometimes said that it's good to take up pen and paper to write a letter in a moment of anger or desperation, even if you don't post it.

To me, writing poetry is perhaps a more satisfying solution. I found it so during one particularly testing time in my life ...

Signs from the Body

My shoulders
have borne the weight of my heart.
They tighten. They scream with tension,
The pain, the tears…

Sometimes I want to live without people,
for the sadness of rejection is too much…
I ask
Why should I put myself
in the way of such melancholy?

There has been betrayal.

Dare to trust again?
Do I dare it?
Trust is a comfort which,
when misused,
leaves open the path to a crumbling
of the spirit.

Do love and companionship warrant
the risk?
Could I dare again?
At this moment….NO!

Solitude seems safe and manageable.
But can we betray even ourselves?
© June Saville 2008

Precious Breath

Breath comes more easily now,
Flowing through a body in need.
Breath, deep and generous.

Relaxed. More relaxed …

The knot in my back is passed.
© June Saville 2008

At other times it is wise to reach towards truly masterful writers. To my mind this is one of the most beautiful love poems I have read:

Sonnet from the Portuguese XLIII

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise,
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, - I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! - and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

- Elizabeth Barrett Browning

June Saville's original work not to be reproduced without written permission.


  1. June, You never cease to amaze me with your writing and now your poems. Poetry has always been something I enjoy reading so much. Browning is one of my favorite poets, too. You are one talented lady.

  2. You have many sides too Judy ...
    I think curiosity is a central issue in a person's development.
    By the way, that sonnet is certainly wonderful.

  3. Oh my gosh, June. I think I’m in love with you! (Is that acceptable for a woman to say to another women?) -Any way,I really love your blog! You put in words what I struggle so hard to put in my paintings. Very endearing and the honesty in emotion just beams. You’re extraordinary.

    I just put your link on my blog and I’ll definitely be back to see you.

    70! I'm so delighted. I'm 58 and didn't think there was anyone older than myself. How's that for honesty?

    Love's fine by me Vikki! Thanks for the kind words. There you go - there are people past the supposed seventy barrier who can swing a mean pen. (They can be arrogant too.)
    Thanks for liking my writing - I sure enjoyed your art. We'll cross paths often I'm sure ...
    58 - you're a baby. We have plenty of time.

  5. Your poems are straight from the heart. I found the bodyache-soul-suffering connect quite true and interesting. Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning are my favourite poet-couple, better even than the doomed Sylvia Plath-Ted Hughes romance.

  6. Hello Sucharita
    Yes, for me there is a demonstrated connection between the physical and the emotional.
    As for Elizabeth and Robert - certainly an unlikely combination, and obviously glued otogether via passionate love.
    It's hard to beat Sylvia and Ted for drama however.

  7. I think you wrote the first poem for me. Your writing is excellent June. Does this mean I will be asking for your autograph at next years' writers festival?

  8. Not unless you're a publisher in disguise Lilly. I have been great at PR for corporations, but I'm not into selling myself. They'll have to come to me!
    Thanks for the kind words - I love that!
    May the feelings in the second poem soon be more in your zone ...

  9. I love your poems, I don't know as I have ever felt that kind of pain, and hope I never do.

    Thanks for your very kind words.

  10. I hope you don't get to feel those emotions too Eric.
    Thanks for the approval!
    June in Oz


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Cheers June