Valentine's Week 2024: 5 Love-Poems From The Chronicles Of World Literature

Valentine's Week 2024: 5 Love-Poems From The Chronicles Of World Literature

Words are observed as a medium to express ourselves, and poetry is the most elevated form of artistic expression. But when it comes to love poems, they have the power to cross the barriers of time and space. -Mariyam Usmani

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, February 08, 2024, 01:14 PM IST
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It's often said that nobody can love like a poet, but we have several such great stories where the leads have crossed the boundaries of language to embrace and walk on the path of fire! Everything is an aberration, and everything can turn into a medium! The softest things, like sunlight, air, water, and fragrance, and the hardest things, like mountains and concrete! But when it comes to poetry, we can't draw a perfect line to distinguish between reality and imagination; similar is the case with love and the enormous, dazzling world of emotions! As we step into Valentine's week to celebrate the gush of love, it's time to look back into the treasure of world literature to dive deep and capture the glam of some of the most luminous gems!

Taking note from Robbin Williams of the classic hit film 'Dead Poets Society' (1989), I would not decode or introduce the magic!

Dive into the world of insightful waves with your own world of vision and thoughts! Read between the lines, and then forget the words to catch the flames of refined interpretations!

Here are 5 pearls from the long-lasting river of human sensitivity and thirst to love and to be loved!

1. 'Your Feet' by Pablo Neruda

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When I cannot look at your face
I look at your feet.
Your feet of arched bone,
your hard little feet.
I know that they support you,
and that your sweet weight
rises upon them.
Your waist and your breasts,
the doubled purple
of your nipples,
the sockets of your eyes
that have just flown away,
your wide fruit mouth,
your red tresses,
my little tower.
But I love your feet
only because they walked
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters,
until they found me.

2. 'Language'- Nizar Qabbani

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When a man is in love
how can he use old words?
Should a woman
desiring her lover
lie down with
grammarians and linguists?

I said nothing
to the woman I loved
but gathered
love's adjectives into a suitcase
and fled from all languages.

3. 'Mad Girl's Love Song'- Sylvia Plath

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I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

4. 'To Helen'- Edgar Allan Poe

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Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicean barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfum'd sea,
The weary way-worn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
To the beauty of fair Greece,
And the grandeur of old Rome.

Lo ! in that little window-niche
How statue-like I see thee stand!
The folded scroll within thy hand —
A Psyche from the regions which
Are Holy land !

4. 'Do You Love Me?'- Rumi

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A lover asked his beloved,
Do you love yourself more
than you love me?

The beloved replied,
I have died to myself
and I live for you.

I’ve disappeared from myself
and my attributes.
I am present only for you.

I have forgotten all my learning,
but from knowing you
I have become a scholar.

I have lost all my strength,
but from your power
I am able.

If I love myself
I love you.
If I love you
I love myself.

[Translated by: Fereydoun Kia]

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