This week’s Meeting the Bar at the dVerse Poets Pub is all about marraige and couplets. The form I have chosen is the côte, a poem of uneven couplets attributed to John Schroeder, in which line 1 is a single imperative verb and line 2 is a glossing or expansion of line 1.
I’m in love. As in love as the wind and trees. The Earth and the Sun. I don’t want to die but I don’t care if I die this minute. Except I must live for you my son. The world is round. My eyes weep. I could run to the ends of the Earth. But I cannot for the world is round. My soul expands like bread as it proves.
I will give you a poem when you wake tomorrow. It will be a peaceful poem. It won’t make you sad. It won’t make you miserable. It will simply be a poem to give you When you wake tomorrow.
It was not written by myself alone. I cannot lay claim to it. I found it in your body. In your smile I found it. Will you recognise it?
You will find it under your pillow. When you open the cupboard it will be there. You will blink in astonishment, Shout out, ‘How it trembles! Its nakedness is startling! How fresh it tastes!’
We will have it for breakfast; On a table lit by loving, At a place reserved for wonder. We will give the world a kissing open When we wake tomorrow.
We will offer it to the sad landlord out on the balcony. To the dreamers at the window. To the hand waving for no particular reason We will offer it. An amazing and most remarkable thing, We will offer it to the whole human race Which walks in us When we wake tomorrow.
Merry eyes, wicked smile, teller of tales. Grandfather mine, I would sit on your knee hear of Susan, the Mule that liked to kick officers and saved you on a mountain pass. How you were called the Prince of Baghdad by your comrades and of meeting real Princes in India. Self taught, you bought me Maths books to read with you taught me poetry squeezed me into your invalid carriage and drove to expensive French restaurants for lunch. Your love of life and learning and food is mine, forever.
She calls it Moo-juice in a trying-hard-to-be-cute way. He winces, wonders why she does this then is lost once more in her eyes. I watch, hopefully furtive, observing the locals in their native habitat
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 every day’s Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. 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.