Thursday, February 20, 2014



My heart is like a dead bush
Whose berries are mute:
My heart is like a bent tree
Whose branches are bent with heavy fruit;
My heart is like an empty shell
That sinks beneath the sea;
My heart is sadder than all these
Because my love has left me.

Raise me a glass of champagne;
Fill it with flair and purple dyes;
Design its label with vibrant impressions,
A colorful intense disguise;
Work it in yellow and green,
In colors and lines reminiscent of my beloved fleur-de-lys;
Because the birth of my new heart
Will emerge when new love finds me.


This poem does not share in the boundless originality of Emily Dickinson. It is far from the solitary sublimity of the handful of Emily Brontë's apocalyptic lyrics, and yet it is a poem of majestic and permanent presence, with a stance reminiscent of Christina Rossetti's elegists of erotic sorrow. 

The touch of champagne is invariably light and bubbly, while the pitch is soft and low, disturbingly felt. And, though very rarely are ecstatic and celebratory thoughts expressed in hushed undertones, the emergence of them in the final stanzas brings us to a happy place whereby their presence is remembered, and longed for. 

This simple remembrance alludes to the potential guilt of the surviving sentiment: hope, a concept which was not perceived as positively by the Ancient Greeks as it is today. 

"My love has left me," is plangent with heartache, while "the birth of my new heart will emerge when new love finds me" is of little comfort, since hope is but a little respite granted by erotic loss. 

The happiest sentiment: "In colors and lines reminiscent of my beloved fleur-de-lys," is where one finds the gracious, gently testifying presence of a uniquely personal aspiration ~ despite the love that was lost, leaving the Reader with an expectation or conviction that assures one that the prospect of love is just beyond the horizon, even if it is not yet present.

One would not normally associate this poem with "happiness" ... but happiness is not only a blissful feeling devoid of other sentiment, happiness is a physical space into which one moves. Happiness surrounds all the other emotions and is there, available for our choosing. Sometimes, as in this poem, we have to search harder for it, but it is there. It appears the moment we fill our minds with happy thoughts. In that brief moment, pain is but a background noise. As with all human sentiment, happiness has to be continually renewed or it fades. However, every time we choose to fill our minds with happy thoughts, we are born anew. Expectation, or birth, is thus the intended sentiment of this poem, and hence its title. 


Anonymous said...

Such sadness behind the eyes of the poet. I feel compelled to share with you a truth. In my tired journey toward an as of yet undiscovered destination, I have ashamedly given many last kisses to that which was hope. By very definition, without it, all is truly lost. Give way to the platitude I beg and see for which it speaks. We are but simple creatures with complex concerns. We search, we find, we succumb, we conquer.
Fair one, do not surrender your gifts to loss of hope ... for this is the last of all that is. There is slight resolve past the flair and purple dyes; calm in the knowledge that love shall find you even in your hidden Rapunzel like tower.


Soph Laugh said...


there is an element of longing, but it was mostly poetic licensing that the notion of sadness was conveyed.

Often times, a writer writes for effect, to discover an element of themselves in a new light, but this does not, at least for me, convey the entirety of a feeling or even the presence of it.

The ancient Greeks did not perceive 'hope' as a positive thing, such as how we perceive and respond to the word in modern times, and it is understandable, as hope denotes loss, which is not a harmonious state of perception. In this respect, hope denotes a state of sadness, which is why 'hope' is not the 'happy' part of this poem; but rather, "In colors and lines reminiscent of my beloved fleur-de-lys" is the happiest element of the poem as it represents the poet's personal love or preference.

Recall in the notes following the poem that I mention Christina Rossetti's elegists of erotic sorrow, upon which this poem was based. While the complexities of both Rossett's was formidable, even for scholars with an interest in their work, this poem is mirror-like representation of perhaps how she felt, though her secrets were not conveyed, only her writing was shared.

Knowing oneself, as I continue to advocate, is the way to true happiness in being. Once one holds this within oneself, even if all else leaves and one is left with the simple knowledge that they love something, in this case an iconic fleur-de-lys, little can shake this 'knowing'.

This does not indicate that something disagreeable cannot happen to which we are displeased, but rather not shattered. Even dying cannot shatter a heart that knows itself, insomuch as one can know oneself.

Thank you, dear M, for your kind words ... and know that I do apologize for taking a literary leap into territory that is not my conventional mode of sharing.

I use this blog as a vehicle for self-exploration as well as exploration for the sake of exploration. It was my true sincere desire in this particular post to show that even in loss, one can maintain an element of self-understanding, which in my mind is the highest love of all.

So, no hope is needed as no loss is felt ... even in my Rapunzel like tower. This isn't to say that a prince who climbs up golden locks wouldn't be welcomed with open arms, but he has yet appear and there is much weaving to do.... enjoying eternity one stitch at at time.

Most agreeably,
Sophy :D