Wednesday 14 February 2007

Valentine: The Ark of Lovers

Well the day that's in it, one almost feels obliged to post a love poem! This is one I wrote years ago, but not because I had found that kind of love. I wrote it in hope, in a frustrated longing for something I felt sure did and could exist, but that always seemed beyond my grasp. Being a rather pragmatic soul at ehart, as all peots are, I turned cynic and decided that that kind of love was a pleasant illusion. I offer it here as - well as a sincere valentine. A homage to the gods of love, to Aengus Óg, to finding out that there are relationships based on trust, kindness, chemistry and laughter.

The Ark of Lovers

Compact for me, O Gods, this single ark.
No covenant more do I need.
Build me a temple on these grounds
And I am freed.

Give me one promise,
And that promise, thine.
I need seek truth no longer
For thy word is mine.

Give me one troth
And let it be your own.
I will cast caution aside
Like the dark dream flown.

Give me one oath
And I need hear no more
In all the whole world wide,
I will make thee my shore.

And when they call the Judgment day, the gods
Will raze and fire the temple walls of men
But the shrine I build of trust and faith in thee
Will stand, and stand again.

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne

And elsewhere in the world of poetry:

A devotion that waxes and wanes
Valerie Lawson traces love poetry's fragile affair between the sheets of time.

PLATO knew that "at the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet". They certainly try to today, when the commercialisation of a saint's day demands words to accompany the champagne and roses.Valentine love lines range from the beautiful to the banal, from the borrowed to the freshly minted, and from inspirational to doggerel
Love poetry and The passage of Time

Nathaniel Mackey was a high school student in Orange County when he stumbled upon poetry. It was William Carlos Williams' "Pictures From Brueghel," discovered by Mackey at the Santa Ana Public Library.
It opened a new world to him. Before long, he got hip to African American poet Amiri Baraka, then known as LeRoi Jones, whose liner notes he read on a John Coltrane album. One poet's work led to others' -- Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, Garcia Lorca -- but he always retained a special fondness for Williams, the man he calls "my initiator into poetry."

UNC Chapel Hill dedicates dorm in honor of slave, poet
The Associated Press
February 13, 2007
It is well past time for this university to honor our native son, and to help ensure that, at least within the Carolina family, he is a known and honored hero
A dormitory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been named for a Chatham County slave who became a published poet.
The George Moses Horton Residence Hall, dedicated Monday, is the first building at the university named after a slave.
Horton, who lived from 1798 to 1883, would recite love poems for students who bought them for their sweethearts. He later became the first black man in the South to publish a book of poetry. Horton's themes included the cruelty of slavery, Civil War-era politicians and campus life.


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