Monday, April 18, 2011

Poem: "We will not pass this way again, my love"

“We will not pass this way again, my love”

To see in passing you mountaine Rocks
How clad, how drest, how variant in your kind
Chearfull & sad, some shady, dark, some light
Some curl’d, some freez’d, some with their hanging locks
—from “Of the River Banks between Meziers & Liege,” attributed to Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke


We will not pass this way again, my love,
although this rock has no mind to change places,
alhough this cherry will meet each spring with flowers,
my love, we will not pass this way again.

Although this rock has no mind to change places,
we do, and that makes all the difference.
Still as we may sit on this ledge, we think
to change places, although this rock does not mind.

We do—and that makes all the difference—
when we think of doing the slightest thing,
brushing your hair back, for instance, as if
that makes all the difference to what we do.

When we think of doing the slightest thing
of love, the cherry returns with a different thought.
Not doom, perhaps, but some milder affection,
of doing, the slightest thing. When we think

of love, the cherry returns with a different thought
to the rock that we sat on but now rise from,
not spring, nor fall, but some idea of winter
the cherry returns with. A different thought of love.

2 comments:

Eric Norris said...

Something bothers me about that observation, "we are shown up to be soft through and through." I think it is missing something. I am not sure exactly what that something is, metaphorically speaking, but I can feel it in my bones...

Jee Leong Koh said...

Thanks, Eric, for that thought. It will create other thoughts.