by Miguel de Cervantes
When I was marked for suffering, Love forswore
All knowledge of my doom; or else at ease
Love grows a cruel tyrant, hard to please
Or else a chastisement exceeding sore
A little sin hath brought me. Hush! No more!
Love is a god! All things he knows and sees,
And gods are bland and mild! Who then decrees
The dreadful woe I bear and yet adore?
If I should say, O Chloe, that ’twas thou,
I should speak falsely since, being wholly good
Like Heaven itself, from thee no ill can come.
There is no hope; I must die shortly now,
Not knowing why, since, sure, no witch hath brewed
The drug that might avert my martyrdom.
How many connections can you find between these two poets, these two poems? The obvious ones and the personal that are only meant for you? It is interesting to use poetry as a way to connect ourselves to others that we will never meet, either through time or place. Poetry forgives all the things left out and unexplained. There is no requirement in poetry the author must footnote each sentiment and expression. There is no journalistic standards to which a poet must abide. Poetry allows for more than casual punctuation, it encourages the reader to usurp the writer’s words and find in them something personal, intimate that only the two of you know to be true in the way the words speak to you. What secret do you share with Cervantes, Lorna Dee and Miguel?
by Lorna Dee Cervantes