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.