From whence love?

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From whence love?

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Redigeret: aug 12, 2007, 3:08 pm

Maybe you could talk about a time that love came from an unexpected place, someplace dirty or forbidding or forbidden. This could be an artwork, a work of literature, or something you struggled to write or to understand.

Theodore Roethke wrote in "Song":

From whence, love?
From the dirt in the street,
From the bolt, stuck in its groove,
From the cur at my feet.

aug 14, 2007, 2:53 am

Magritte's "The Red Model" is solely responsible for my first marriage, as, oddly enough, Billy Idol's "White Wedding" is for my second.

ahh, but it's Pablo Neruda's "Captain's Verses" that's brought me deep in to the realms of secretive, desperate loves ...

several stories here for several other times . . .

aug 14, 2007, 3:11 am

Ah, Neruda. Has anyone ever written better love poems than him? He lifts love (and sex) to the heavens. Secretive and desperate loves.

I found this one recently at

Here is an excerpt:

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent, starving I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disquiets me,
I search the liquid sound of your steps all day.

I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your loveliness,
The nose, sovereign of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

And I walk hungry, smelling the twilight
Looking for you, for your hot heart,
Like a puma in the barren wilderness.

Henry Miller would be another author who brings those nitty gritty details of love, desperation, and sex together in a wonderful mix.

Stephen Ambrose (historian), whose books I enjoy very much, said he wanted to be a novelist until he realized he'd have to write about love or sex. I admit, it isn't easy. Few writers can capture it in a way that isn't either filthy or laughable. Ah, but Neruda, yes, he did. And so, so well.

Redigeret: aug 14, 2007, 3:15 am

"A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" is an excellent short story about a filthy angel. It reminds me of the Christ story, in that no one expected anything good to come out of Nazareth. The best things come from the unlikeliest places, sometimes. Making a great subject for stories or poems!

aug 15, 2007, 3:05 pm

Who translated the Neruda poem you quote from, Theresa? It's a wonderful translation of a wonderful poem. So often, I have difficulty with poetry because a certain incantatory effect in rhythm, alliteration, and other sound qualities of the language acts, at least for me, as a barrier that separates me from the meaning inside the poem instead of leading me inside. In this poem, the sound qualities are all of a piece with the meaning, amplifying rather than masking it.

aug 15, 2007, 4:42 pm

margad, I'm not sure who did the translation. It is a good one, isn't it? I like the directness of it, along with the choice of intimate details. It is very sexual, just not overtly. It is a very exciting poem. "I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your loveliness," wow.

aug 16, 2007, 8:57 am

Olga Broumas' 'Beginning with O' stired some things in me (to be a bit nebulous here).

aug 16, 2007, 3:30 pm

Now, see, southwestpoet, I should know that poem (collection), but I don't. Could you give just a stanza or two? If I like, I'll be going to Amazon (again), sigh. LOL about being stirred. But that is part of life, a big part, don't you think? Being stirred?

aug 19, 2007, 12:55 pm

Mingus' Ah Um, and Iron and Wine's "Promising Light" from The Creek Drank the Cradle have both begun year-long love affairs for me. Hey, I'm low-brow.

aug 19, 2007, 2:32 pm

#9: JMatthews: I LOVE Iron and Wine! What haunting and luscious tunes!

aug 19, 2007, 5:32 pm

I'm glad I'm not alone!

aug 19, 2007, 6:43 pm

I've never heard of Iron and Wine. I know Charles Mingus (or know who he is), but jazz is not my preference. When I google Iron and Wine I get 500 paqes of tablatures, but no information. I'm kind of finally outgrowing the music I grew up with and need some new music to listen to, but considering its expense am leery about just shelling out $20 sight unseen.

Redigeret: aug 22, 2007, 8:57 pm

Just posted a short essay on my blog called "The Consolations of Love" on this very subject (I know, I know: "Blog whore"). I don't know how someone can suffer the slings and arrows of life without having someone/thing that redeems or rationalizes the pain and stupidity that seems to be omnipresent. My wife and two sons provide the kind of unshakable faith I need to continue to make my mark as a writer. Without them, I couldn't endure the disappointments and setbacks that are part of the writer's life. In my case, love is essential to my life support system. It is the source of my courage, strength and inspiration. It refuses to let me consider the possibility of surrender and rejuvenates me when my energies are flagging...

Redigeret: aug 23, 2007, 2:45 am

Cliff...everyone...yes...but...from *whence* love? (smiles) Love that comes from unexpected or dirty places. Like Nazareth. Cindrella's ash heap. A skating rink. A pool hall. A stable. A busy street. A public phone. A worm. A toad. A beggar. From whence...????