Friday, November 13, 2015

Poetry Friday: Love and Loss

In Mary Oliver's poem "In Blackwater Woods," she says that there are three things we have to learn in life.  One is "to love what is mortal."  The second is "to hold it/ against your bones knowing/ your own life depends on it."  The third is "when the time comes to let it/ go,/ to let it go."  You can read that whole poem here.

I am very good at the first two things Oliver says I must learn, but very bad at the third one.  This is a time of letting go in my life, not because of death (not this time), but because of people moving on in life to new situations.  Relationships aren't ending, exactly, but they are changing.

So much poetry is about loss.  I had a professor once who said that all poetry is about death, because everything we write about, we will lose.  That's part of being human.  Change is a form of loss, and change is a constant.

I posted this poem for Valentine's Day in 2012.  It's appropriate again now as I think of letting go.  "Time will come and take my Love away."  Whatever or whoever our Love is, that's the truth. 

Sonnet 64
William Shakespeare

When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
The rich proud cost of outworn buried age;
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss and loss with store;
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded to decay;
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate,
That Time will come and take my love away.
This thought is as a death, which cannot choose
But weep to have that which it fears to lose.

Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup, at Wee Words for Wee Ones.


Linda B said...

It is true about losing what once was, Ruth, and poems are everywhere about that as you wrote. I'm not so sure about the 'letting go'. Sometimes, it's just taking the next step & being glad for having it. Love reading your post, always thoughtful.

jama said...

You're absolutely right. Change is the only constant in our lives. It's hard to accept at times -- what bothers me more is how much harder it is to accept the older you get, and how much quicker things seem to change.

Nice reading a bit of Shakespeare today -- reminds me of grad school. :)

Bridget Magee said...

I've had to practice the art of letting go recently. Your poem resonates strongly with me: "...weep to have that which it fears to lose" - oh William! Thanks for sharing, Ruth. =)

Anonymous said...

Change is always such an emotional time. Good things often come of it... but change is... change. Beautiful sonnet.

Tabatha said...

The feeling is timeless, isn't it? Just as fresh now as when he wrote it.